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SDI BNC Cable

The Best SDI Cables (2021)

Updated

This is a list of the best SDI cables I recommend and use.

In this list you'll find:

But first...

SDI Guidelines

After installing and troubleshooting hundreds of different SDI and broadcast systems in all kinds of environments, these are the rules I follow to ensure a reliable SDI signal:

What Cable Type To Use

There are many different classifications of coax cable that can be used for SDI transmission.

The only major differences between them are the size of the center conductor (gauge) and the amount/thickness of insulation and shielding.

Here are some popular cable types and how they are best used:

Installation

When planning for a permanent install:

Now, on to the list...


Pre-Made Cable Assemblies

Many times, if you need less than 1000' of cabling and don't have the tools or time to make your own cables, then buying pre-made assemblies is an easy and economical way to go.

These cables will show up on your doorstep ready to go - just plug in and you're off to the races!

Blue Jeans Cable RG-6 SDI Cable

Blue Jeans Cable RG-6 SDI Cable

Top Pick For 2021! Get Latest Price on Amazon

Blue Jeans Cable has a stellar reputation in the industry for many years for providing top quality cables.

Made with industry standard Belden 1694A cabling and Belden BNC connectors.

If you're looking for a rock solid cable that can carry signals up to 4K30 at distances up to 300', look no further.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: Not Rated / 6G-SDI: 340' / 3G-SDI: 509'

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for most installations except inside plenum spaces - a plenum version with Belden 1695A is also available)

Available Lengths: 25', 50', 100', 150', and 200'

*Custom lengths up to 975' available at BlueJeansCable.com

Blue Jeans Cable 12G RG-6 SDI Cable

Blue Jeans Cable 12G RG-6 SDI Cable

12G-SDI Alternative Get Latest Price on Amazon

Need 12G-SDI (4K60) capability? Look no further.

Made with industry standard Belden 4694R cabling and Belden BNC connectors.

If you're planning on running 4K, now or in the future, this is a great middle of the road option and an upgrade to the cable above.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: 257' / 6G-SDI: 374' / 3G-SDI: 538'

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Available Lengths: 25', 50', and 100'

*Custom lengths up to 975' available at BlueJeansCable.com

Blue Jeans Cable RG-7 SDI Cable

Blue Jeans Cable RG-7 SDI Cable

"The Boss" Get Latest Price on Amazon

When you really want to go the extra mile to ensure signal strength and future reliability, this will do it.

Made with industry standard Belden 4794R cabling and Belden BNC connectors.

If you're running 4K and need longer cable lengths, this is a no-brainer.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: 321' / 6G-SDI: 471' / 3G-SDI: 686'

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Available Lengths: 25', 50', and 100'

*Custom lengths up to 975' available at BlueJeansCable.com

Blue Jeans Cable RG-59 SDI Cable

Blue Jeans Cable RG-59 SDI Cable

Shorter Runs Get Latest Price on Amazon

Smaller than RG-6.

Great for use inside racks and for cable runs under 150'.

Made with industry standard Belden 1855A cabling and Belden BNC connectors.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: Not Rated / 6G-SDI: 207' / 3G-SDI: 302'

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Available Lengths: 5', 10', and 15'

*Custom lengths up to 975' available at BlueJeansCable.com

AV-Cables Mini RG-59 SDI Cable

AV-Cables Mini RG-59 SDI Cable

Small & Flexible 12G-SDI Option Get Latest Price on Amazon

Made by AV-Cables.net, another trusted provider of quality cables.

A smaller cable that works well in tighter spaces.

Can also be used for shorter cable runs under 150', even for 12G-SDI (100' or less recommended).

Made with industry standard Belden 4855R cabling and Amphenol BNC connectors.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: 149' / 6G-SDI: 215' / 3G-SDI: 310'

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Available Lengths: 1.5', 3', 6', 10', 15', 25', 35', 50', 75', 100', 150'


Bulk Coax Cable & Connectors

If you have the tools and the know-how (or are willing to invest in the tools and learn), bulk cable can often save you money compared to purchasing pre-made cables.

The two main types of connectors are crimp and compression.

Crimp connectors are the most common in professional broadcast environments and typically meet all SMPTE specs. While they are more difficult and time-consuming to install compared to compression, they are more reliable and durable.

Compression connectors are easier and quicker to install (designed mainly for consumer CATV and satellite installation), but are weaker and more prone to potential failure. They have gotten much better over the years though, so they can be a viable solution for some situations.

When in doubt, go with crimp connectors and learn to do it well.

Just be sure to use the proper tools and the approved connectors that fit the cable you choose.

Belden 1694A RG-6 Coax Cable

Belden 1694A

Top Pick For 2021! Get Latest Price on Amazon

A long-time industry standard coax used in both permanent installs and mobile environments.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: Not Rated / 6G-SDI: 340' / 3G-SDI: 509'

Recommended Connector: Belden 1694ABHD1 (B&H) or Belden 1694ABHD3 (B&H)

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Plenum Variant: Yes (available here)

Available Lengths: 500', 1000', 1000m, 1,372m, 5000', and 10,000'

West Penn 6350 RG-6 Coax Cable

West Penn 6350

Budget-Friendly Option Get Latest Price on Amazon

Similar performance and distance ratings compared to Belden 1694A at a slightly lower price.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: Not Rated / 6G-SDI: 346' / 3G-SDI: 510'

Recommended Connector: CN-BM73-5 (West Penn), CN-BNC6MCV (West Penn), or DB6BNCHD-25 (West Penn)

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Plenum Variant: Yes (available here)

Available Lengths: 500' and 1000'

Belden 1694F RG-6 Coax Cable

Belden 1694F

Flexible Alternative Get Latest Price on B&H

A more flexible version of Belden 1694A, but significantly less distance capability.

Great for difficult installs and mobile applications where flexibility is more important than distance.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: Not Rated / 6G-SDI: 225' / 3G-SDI: 348'

Recommended Connector: Belden 1694ABHD3 (B&H)

Fire Rating: CM (suitable for in-wall installation in residences or single-story commercial buildings)

Plenum Variant: No

Available Lengths: 500', 1000', 1000m, 1,372m, 5000', and 10,000'

Belden 4794R RG-7 Coax Cable

Belden 4794R

Top Pick For 12G-SDI Get Latest Price on Markertek

Like bringing a fire hose to a water gun fight.

When you want to install a cable that will outlive you, choose this.

Max Cable Lengths: 12G-SDI: 321' / 6G-SDI: 471' / 3G-SDI: 686'

Recommended Connector: Belden 4794RBUHD1 (Belden) or Belden 4794RBUHD3 (Belden)

Fire Rating: Riser (suitable for in-wall installation and/or vertical installations between stories of a building)

Plenum Variant: No

Available Lengths: 1000'


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