USB extender cables - how far?

rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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Does anybody here know the max length you can go on a USB extender cable?

I just got a request from a repeat client. They have an event that will be on a stage, probably a few hundred attendees. The presenter is a chef and they want to put 2 large screens on either side of the stage (big, 60-feet across) and feed a camera to the screens. I'm thinking to put a simple USB webcam, overhead of the chef. That way, the guests can watch the chef from their perspective or they can watch the screen, which is showing a birds eye view of the cooking surface. Any thoughts?
 

steve149

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Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
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Prospect, CT
USB 2 has a limit of 16' .. USB 3 has a limit of 3m (10'). To reliably go beyond that, you really need "active" cables that have built in amplification. Those can go to 30m (100'). There might be better solutions using Cat5 extenders instead.
 

Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
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Anytime we've had long distance video runs, we've used HDMI.
Even so, a signal amplifier was needed to boost the signal.
(which rarely worked)
Now, we hire a video guy, and he uses HDMI to Cat5 converters...
which can be run over a LOOOOOOONG distance without any issues.
 
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rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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Anytime we've had long distance video runs, we've used HDMI.
Even so, a signal amplifier was needed to boost the signal.
(which rarely worked)
Now, we hire a video guy, and he uses HDMI to Cat5 converters...
which can be run over a LOOOOOOONG distance without any issues.
Now that you mention it, I have a couple of those Cat5 converters. The real questions, however, isn't how to drive the projectors. The problem is what kind of camera interface. I've already told the lady that if the chef is moving around then it will take a cameraman and a completely different (more expensive) setup. What I'm pitching is a webcam on an extension stand, doing an overhead shot and then feeding the output to projectors on stage L&R.
 
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djcrazychris

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Jun 12, 2018
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Now that you mention it, I have a couple of those Cat5 converters. The real questions, however, isn't how to drive the projectors. The problem is what kind of camera interface. I've already told the lady that if the chef is moving around then it will take a cameraman and a completely different (more expensive) setup. What I'm pitching is a webcam on an extension stand, doing an overhead shot and then feeding the output to projectors on stage L&R.
for quality id go with a go pro maybe?

cc
 

steve149

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Sep 26, 2011
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Handinon

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I know some Karaoke DJ's who use wireless HDMI, so people don't trip on the cable. It seems to work very well, like these things -

328' range "line of sight" range, which I'd take with a big grain of salt. Certainly it will be less in a commercial building with steel in it.
 
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Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
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Now that you mention it, I have a couple of those Cat5 converters. The real questions, however, isn't how to drive the projectors. The problem is what kind of camera interface. I've already told the lady that if the chef is moving around then it will take a cameraman and a completely different (more expensive) setup. What I'm pitching is a webcam on an extension stand, doing an overhead shot and then feeding the output to projectors on stage L&R.
We just finished the Allentown Fair... yesterday....
and they feature a cooking stage.
We used one overhead camera that focused on the cooktop.
(we used a joystick and zoom)
 
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steve149

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I know there are some apps that will remote control a Canon dSLR. Most of mine have HDMI outputs.
 
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Handinon

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steve149

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rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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Update: I got confirmation on the cooking show gig. Let me show you my plan and please feel free to chime in if you see a problem.

I am intending to use a photography boom stand (long arm reach) to fly a Logitech 922 HD1080p webcam (the one I use on our photobooth) over the head of the presenter. At 7-8ft, this should give a perfect shot of the cooking surface. For lighting, I'll put a couple of LED ring lights on either end of the table. I found a 35ft active USB extender, which I'll use to feed signal to a laptop. From there, VGA out to a VGA splitter, then 2, 50-ft VGA cables to projectors on either side of the stage behind the presenter. I'll use a couple of my portable screens, flanked left & right of the presenter. Here's a shot of a mitzvah, where we did dual projection screens, which was done in the same room I'll be in (the middle screen will be gone).
2019-09-16 10_56_37-DJ Mitzvahs — Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ, Lighting.jpg

If for whatever reason the logitech isn't good enough quality (I'll pre-test), I have Canon 6ds that I can use. I'd rather avoid taking my expensive cameras on this gig if possible.

Here are the other components, which I just ordered off amazon.

VGA splitter

50-ft VGA cable (2 ordered)

35-ft active USB extension

I should have all the components here this week and can setup a test in my garage. I know you guys haven't been real keen on the webcam, but I've been entirely pleased with the quality we're getting on photobooth gigs. The main issue is putting good light on the subject(s). It's gold after that. Do you see anything I'm missing?
 
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Handinon

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Oct 1, 2014
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I would check it out and make sure the "USB Extender" works OK. This is dead lifted right from it's brochure -
"Devices with precise timing requirements (such as USB cameras) not recommended"
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I would check it out and make sure the "USB Extender" works OK. This is dead lifted right from it's brochure -
"Devices with precise timing requirements (such as USB cameras) not recommended"
Thanks, good catch. It'll be here this week and will only take a few minutes to test out. If this fails, the next step is a USB extender over CAT5. Hopefully, this active cable will do the trick.