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Aurora Multimedia DXE-CAT-S2 (with extended firmware as a standard feature)

Jan 4, 2013 10:34 AM, By Patrick Barron


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Style of RS-232 Connector: 1/8in.

MSRP: $799

HDBaseT: Yes

auroramultimedia.com

Maximum Distance:

· Cat-5: Works up to 425ft. at all resolutions tested

· Cat-6: Works up to 625ft. at all resolutions tested

· Blu-ray player: Cat-5 works at 1080p and 1080p 3D up to 425ft. Cat-6 works at 1080p and 1080p 3D up to 625ft.

The Aurora Multimedia extender was the top performer in terms of distance achieved with both Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables. Aurora was able to make modifications that allowed the distance to dramatically increase while still maintaining the HDBaseT designation. It was neatly packaged and the parts were easy to identify. When a link was established between TX and RX units a status light turned on and another light indicated power status. The receiver is remotely powered through a Cat-X connection with transmitter. One of the features unique to Aurora was that both units could be powered by a power supply at one side only. This meant you could place a power supply at the TX or RX based on the installation configuration of which side was more convenient. This extender can also be powered with LAN PoE, which eliminates the need for a traditional power supply.

Bi-directional IR passthrough was another feature that was not tested, but it could be useful in many instances. The size of the box itself was the smallest one tested, which makes it very easy to locate in small spaces such as behind a wall-mounted flatpanel display. Because of the small form factor, the RS-232 connection is a 1/8in. mini connector. When ordering, there are options available to specify a dongle that breaks out this mini connector to a variety of other styles including DB9.

Another version of this extender is available at a higher price that adds a complete control system into the extender. The DXE-CAT-S2L (not tested) has 8MB of storage capability for hosting a Web Control page enabling control of any IR or RS-232 controllable device. Configurable as RPC and Telnet Client/Server, the S2L can also be integrated with existing supporting control systems effectively making them port expanders via IP. Additionally, it provides a two-port Ethernet switch at both ends, allowing connectivity of IP-capable displays and components.

REVIEW OTHER HDMI EXTENDERS

Atlona AT-HD4-V110SR
Aurora Multimedia DXE-CAT-S2
CE Labs HM1CK-3
Crestron HD-RX1-C/HD-TX1-C
Digital Extender UBHD-100 (RT COM)
DVIGear DVI-TPS-RX90/TX90
Factor HD-BaseT-Balun
Gefen Pro Gef-HDCATS-ELRPOLS
Intelix Liberty AV Digi-HDE-R/S
Key Digital KD-CATHD500
Kramer Electronics TP-573/574
Kramer Electronics TP-581T/TP-582R
Octava HDCATS100-TX/RX
Pure Link HTE
QVS HD4-C6E
Shinybow SB-6335/SB-6335R
Star Tech Com ST12UTPHDMI
Wyrestorm EX-1UTP-IR-100
Zektor Solo-CAT-HDE
Zigen ZIG-HAVEX
Zigen ZIG-HVX-70-RX/TX
Zuum Media HE1LBIR232



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