The ARC (Audio Return Channel) function in HDMI has helped to remove unnecessary communication between TV and AV receiver, soundbar, or home theater. What does the ARC feature mean for twisted-pair HDMI extenders, and how can you use it?
We will review the INRIKS EX4076E twisted-pair HDMI extender with ARC function (and other useful features).
The INRIKS EX4076E extender provides a maximum 4K60Hz video transmission range of up to 230 feet over the CAT6 twisted pair.
The transmitter has an additional HDMI pass-through output for connecting a local TV. The receiver has a S/PDIF digital optical audio output.
The kit provides two-way IR signal transmission to control a remote TV on the transmitter side or a video source (e.g., TV receiver) on the primary TV side.
The INRIKS EX4076E is shipped in a plain gray box. The pictograms on the label show the device's main features.
Inside the box are the transmitter, receiver, and manual. The transmitter and receiver are packaged separately in tactile sachets.
Under the top layer are additional accessories: power adapters, brackets, IR emitter, and IR receiver.
The front and back panels of the transmitter and receiver indicate that we have a complex long-range HDMI signal transmitter. This kit gives the installer additional flexibility in connecting additional devices.
The transmitter has a pass-through HDMI output (e.g., connecting a local TV without an additional HDMI splitter). You can read more at this link:
The kit has a two-way IR signal transmission function. You can read more about this function by following this link:
The transmitter and receiver have In and Out inputs for connecting the IR blaster and IR receiver.
But only one pair is included. The manufacturer assumes that you will transmit the IR signal only one way. Another strange thing for us was the massive size of the IR blaster and IR receiver.
Perhaps these accessories have better signal reception and emission characteristics. But it won't be easy if you need to do a covert installation.
An IR blaster and receiver photo of another INRIKS HDMI extender kit is below for comparison.
The good thing is the removable brackets are included. The brackets are made to attach more flexibly to various vertical and horizontal surfaces.
The receiver has a S/PDIF digital optical audio output on one side and a S/PDIF / ARC switch on the other.
The S/PDIF output connects external audio devices with an optical cable (receiver, amplifier, soundbar, etc.).
The receiver extracts audio from the HDMI signal from the transmitter and sends it to the S/PDIF output.
The S/PDIF output will return audio from a TV connected to the receiver (if the TV supports the HDMI ARC function).
Myth. Thanks to ARC, the sound from the TV is transmitted over twisted pair towards the transmitter (for some installations, this would be very useful). It is not!
The receiver has a thick housing with ribs to improve cooling.
The PCB is locked into the case tightly without any gaps. The front side does not have any problems. But the back side has a minor patina at the soldering points.
We connected the transmitter and receiver with a 230 ft CAT6 twisted pair for the first test. The connecting cables for the laptop and TV were 6 ft long.
The video started streaming to the TV without any glitches immediately after the connection. We replaced the twisted pair cable with a CAT5e 230 ft cable. To our surprise, the video appeared on the TV. The manufacturer specifies a range of 230 feet exactly when using CAT6 cable, and this is very important.
But after some time, the video signal disappeared for a short time when using the CAT5e cable. Therefore, we do not recommend its use and advise you to follow the manufacturer's requirements.
For CAT5e cable, the length should be no more than 170-180 feet.
The INRIKS EX4076E is a good twisted pair extender kit for functionality/price. In addition to transmitting 4K60Hz video up to 230 feet, the devices have advanced useful features. S/PDIF output, ARC functions, HDMI pass-through output, two-way IR signal transmission, and removable mounts. Also, this extender kit is not demanding on the twisted pair cable quality.
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