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Niles C5-HDMI TWM

In-wall CAT-5 HDMI transmitter balun

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Our take on the Niles C5-HDMI TWM

by Amanda P.
Niles

Niles CAT-5 HDMI baluns use durable, inexpensive CAT-5 cable to send high-def video and surround sound to another room in your home. They're a great solution for folks creating a multi-room audio/video system, and also give you some cool options for your main home theater room. Wall-mount your flat-panel TV, then hide all your video sources in an adjacent room for a super-clean look. Or send a 1080p HD video signal to a ceiling-mounted projector, without having to invest in a long, expensive HDMI cable.

These HDMI baluns are a good option for homes with existing dual-CAT-5 cable runs, since you might not have to install any new in-wall wire. And they deliver clear, high-resolution video up to 1080p and full surround sound, even over cable runs of up to 100 feet.

How it works
You'll need to purchase two HDMI baluns to set up a fully functioning system — both this transmitter and an in-wall or small component-style receiver (sold separately). HDMI's high bandwidth requires the use of two CAT-5 cable runs. Installation is straightforward — just connect the transmitter and receiver to your two lengths of CAT-5 cable, then mount them in your wall. Connect the transmitter to a video source, like a high-def cable box or Blu-ray player, using an HDMI cable. Connect the receiver balun to your HDTV or home theater receiver with another HDMI cable. Now you can send high-def video and surround sound to a system in another room.

What is a balun?
A balun gets its name by converting signals between balanced and unbalanced lines. Balanced cables can carry signals over much longer distances than unbalanced lines because of their superior noise rejection. This balun converts video signals between balanced CAT-5 connections and unbalanced HDMI connections.

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Highlights:

  • one C5-HDMI transmitter and one Niles HDMI receiver required for a fully functioning setup
  • HDMI input (v1.3 compliant)
  • dual shielded CAT-5 jacks
  • requires two CAT-5 cable runs
  • maximum range:
    • resolutions up to 1080i: 200 feet
    • 1080p resolution : 100 feet
  • not compatible with Wi-Fi® adapters
  • cannot share CAT-5 cables with other signals
  • installs flush in wall
  • fits standard single-gang junction box
  • Decora wall plate included
  • requires external 5V power supply (included)
  • HDMI cables required for installation (sold separately)
  • 2-3/4"W x 4-1/2"H x 2-1/2"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • C5-HDMI TWM Wall-mount Cat-5 HDMI transmitter balun (with white Decora insert)
  • White Decora wall plate
  • AC adapter with attached 50 DC output cord (DC output: 5V/1A)
  • 2 Screws (Length=1-1/4")
  • 2 White painted wall plate screws (Length=1/4")
  • Installation Guide

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The C5-HDMI TWM Cat-5 to HDMI in-wall transmitter balun allows you to send an HDMI signal from a compatible device long distances over cost-effective Cat-5 twisted pair cabling. The C5-HDMI TWM has four connectors: two shielded RJ-45 jacks for the required 2 runs of Cat-5 cable, a single, gold-plated HDMI connector, and a barrel-style DC power connector. The entire C5-HDMI system is powered by the supplied 5V power supply.

Construction: The C5-HDMI TWM is designed to be wall-mounted into a single gang J-box or P-Ring. It has a white Decora insert, and includes the white Decora wall plate and hardware. The mounting depth is 2".

System Design: Two C5-HDMI units are required (one C5-HDMI T transmitter and one C5-HDMI R receiver) for a complete system. There are two form factors available for each type of unit: a wall-mount version and a chassis-style version. Two runs of Cat-5 cable are required between the two baluns. The HDMI-equipped devices, such as DVD players, TVs, or satellite receivers, plug into the system via the HDMI connector on each balun.

Specifications:

  • Resolutions: 480i to 1080p
  • HDCP compliant
  • HDMI Version: 1.3 compliant
  • Transmission Distances (at each resolution):
    • 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i: up to 200 feet
    • 1080p: up to 100 feet
  • Cable Compatibility: Cat-5, Cat-5e, Cat-6 UTP and STP

Performance Expectations: Actual performance may vary based on multiple factors unique to the installation

 
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Niles C5-HDMI TWM Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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4 out of 5

HDMI Balun Works!

Written By ScottM, Arlington, VA on Friday, October 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased the Niles CAT-5 HDMI transmitter balun to replace a transmitter that failed after five years of successful service. I considered purchasing a new HDBaseT standard (different technology) transmitter and receiver, which requires only a single Cat-5e (or better) cable (rather than two Cat-5 cables) between the transmitter and receiver, but that would have required replacing both the transmitter and the receiver, HDBaseT products seem over-priced, and I already own a WI-FI adapter for my TV that works just fine (so freeing up a Cat-5e line was not particularly advantageous to me at this time).
Pros:
1. Works well (many similar products do not). 2. Reasonably simple to install for a moderately technically-inclined person. Recently built homes will likely have Cat-5e cables (or better) running to the designated TV-install location(s). However, the cables may not yet have plugs attached at the ends. If you rather not attach the plugs yourself, you can arrange for an electrician or handy-man service to do this.
Cons:
1. Requires two Cat-5 cables. HDBaseT products (different technology) require only one Cat-5e (or better) cable. 2. Does not last forever. (I can accept five years as a useful life). I understand from custom installers that it always the transmitter (rather than the receiver) that goes first, which explains why the transmitter and receiver are sold separately.
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Add accessories for the Niles C5-HDMI TWM

You'll need a receiver for a fully functioning system. See all categories & accessories

Niles C5-HDMI R CAT-5 HDMI receiver balun
Your Price: $249.99
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Niles C5-HDMI RWM In-wall CAT-5 HDMI receiver balun
Your Price: $219.99
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles C5-HDMI TWM, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190HDMITWM/Niles-C5-HDMI-TWM.html ).