Video Balun Frequently Asked Questions


Why use video baluns? Normally, coaxial cable is used to carry video between the camera and the monitor. Substituting networking cable (Cat5 or Cat6) will allow for longer runs at a lower cost. Such video can be carried over long distances, as much as 6,000 ft. Each Cat5 cable contains 8 wires. Because video is sent in pairs, one Cat5 cable can support up to 4 cameras. If fewer cameras are needed, Cat5 wires can be used to carry power, so that cameras can be powered from far away.

Phone cable can be used instead of Cat5. Phone cables are like Cat5 cables but only have six wires (three pairs of two). A normal phone number and connection uses only one pair (two wires), leaving four more wires free. These four wires can be used to carry video. Phone cables have a tremendous advantage – wiring cost efficiency. Because phone cables are already integrated into a building's walls, all you have to do is unscrew the face plate, strip the phone cable wires, and connect it to the balun.

State of the Art Cable Stripper

e.g. Cable Stripper

Speaking of wire stripping, most Cat5 and phone cable to balun connections will require wire stripping. Some fancy baluns have built in ports that allow easy connection directly from a cable with a connector; however, the more economical alternatives, the majority of baluns, require wire stripping and individual wire connection. Our cable wire stripper strips up to eight (Cat5) wires simultaneously.

Wire to Video Balun Connection

After stripping the wires, simply insert each wire into the corresponding wire slots in the video balun. A wiring guide is included with each of our baluns.

Video Balun Connectors: RJ-45, Terminal Block, and Screw Down Wiring



Terminal Block

Terminal Block

Screw Down Wiring

Screw Down

Power Transferring Video Baluns

Monitor-side baluns or bridges that support power will input 18V-24V DC from the wall. As the power travels towards the camera, naturally, this 18V current will degrade. On the camera-side balun, a power regulator will convert the higher current to 12V DC and feed it to the camera. Some pass-through baluns can pass AC power to the camera.

You can buy baluns with integrated remote power, or add it with a pair of power-only baluns. Use at least 1 pair of wires in the cable run to transmit power. An example diagram is shown below.

A single cable is used to carry video and power in the HDB-A100-KIT-4 kit. Here, the HDB-P-100-CABLE connects by two wires to the HDB-A-100-CABLE to send video. In order to carry remote power, the a href="/product-detail/P-POWER-121A-SP">P-POWER-121A-SP connects to the over to the P-POWER-121A using 3 pairs of wires. The P-POWER-121A will convert voltage to 12VDC 1A.


A similar setup is found here. A single cable is used to carry video and power in the HDB-A110-KIT-2 kit. Here, the NVA-P-100-SP monitor-side balun inputs 18VDC-24VDC from the wall, and is wired by Cat5/Cat6 cable to the HDB-A-110-PW camera side balun, which outputs 12VDC (750mA to 1A limit) to the camera. Power and video is transmitted on a signle line.


If you need to output more amperage to the camera, you can use the HDB-A202-KIT-2 kit, good for up to 12VDC 1.5A.

Active and Passive Video Baluns

Composite video signal normally carries a 1V peak to peak signal. Passive baluns do not alter the intensity of the signal, and merely transfers it from coaxial to Cat5 connectivity or vice versa. However, for long range applications, the signal will naturally degrade. Therefore, active baluns are useful for intensifying the signal and transmitting a stronger signal to the receiving balun. An active balun on the receiving side will receive a weakened signal and intensify it before sending it to the video surveillance appliance. The longest range active balun will boost the signal up to 5V. Active baluns come in long, medium, short, and adjustable ranges. A quality DVR machine can tolerate video signals ranging from 0.3V to 5.0V

Active and passive baluns can exist in various configurations:

Active / Passive Configurations for Standard Definition NTSC
Camera Side Monitor Side Description
Passive Passive No signal intensity change or amplification. About 1000ft maximum distance
Passive Active Receiving balun amplifies weakened signal and sends new stronger signal to surveillance device. 4,000ft maximum distance
Active Active Sending balun sends strengthened signal to receiving balun, which again strengthens the signal and sends to surveillance device. 6,000 ft maximum distance

Active / Passive Configurations for High Definition TVI, AHD, CVI
Camera Side Monitor Side Description
Passive Passive No signal intensity change or amplification. About 500ft maximum distance
Active Passive Sending balun sends strengthened signal to receiving balun. 1,000 ft maximum distance with excellent quality

Video Balun Product Chart

Here is a listing of our baluns. Baluns can vary by Cat-5 connector, video connector, power capacity, and other features.

Part Type Side          Cat5/6 Connector Video Connector Power Output
to Camera
Power from
Cat5 Minimum
Power from
Cat5 Maximum
Surge Protected Integrated Cables
HDB-P-100 Passive 1-port balun for HD & Analog  Both Terminal BNC Male      ESD  
HDB-P-100-CABLE Passive 1-port balun for HD & Analog  Both Terminal BNC Male      ESD Y
HDB-A-110-PW Active 1-port balun for HD & Analog  Camera Terminal BNC Male 12V 500mA  15VDC  36VDC   Y
HDB-A-202-PW Active 1-port balun for HD & Analog  Camera Terminal BNC Male 12V 1.5A  15VDC  36VDC   Y
HDB-P-100-CABLE Active 1-port balun for HD & Analog  Camera Terminal BNC Male 12VDC passthru      ESD Y
HDB-P-100-SP Passive 1-port balun for HD & Analog  Monitor RJ45 BNC Male Passthru       Y
HDB-A100-KIT-2 Active 1-port kit for HD & Analog  Both Terminal BNC Male  12VDC 1A     Y
HDB-A100-KIT-4 Active 1-port kit for HD & Analog  Both Terminal BNC Male  12VDC 1A     Y
NVA-P-100 Passive 1-port balun  Both Terminal BNC Male        
NVA-P-101-RK Passive 1-port balun BothTerminalBNC Female    
NVA-P-103-RK Passive 1-port balun BothTerminalF Female    
PIVB901-BP Passive 1-port balun BothRJ45BNC Male    
NVA-P-860-BP78 Passive 1-port balun BothRJ45BNC Male    
NVA-P-105-BS Passive 1-port balun BothScrewBNC Female    
NVA-P-100-CABLE Passive 1-port balun BothTerminalBNC Female   Y
NVA-501-W-KIT-1 Passive 1-port balun BothTerminalBNC Female     
NVA-501-W-KIT-2 Passive 1-port balun BothTerminalBNC Female     
NVA-P-201 Passive 1-port balun CameraTerminalBNC Female500mA18V24V  
NVA-P-201-ADA Passive 1-port balun MonitorTerminalBNC Female     
RACK-016 Passive 16-port Rackmount balun MonitorTerminalBNC Female     
PIVB862-BPM-AE Active 1-port balun MonitorTerminalBNC Male     
NVA-A-101-C Active 1-port balun (std definition only) CameraTerminalBNC Female     
NVA-A-102-C Active 1-port balun (std definition only) CameraTerminalF Male     
NVA-A-103-C Active 1-port balun (std definition only) CameraTerminalF Female     
NVA-A-102-M Active 1-port balun (std definition only) MonitorTerminalF Male     
NVA-A-103-M Active 1-port balun (std definition only) MonitorTerminalF Female     
NVA-A-201-ADA Active 1-port balun (std definition only) MonitorTerminalBNC Female500mA    
NVA-300-4P485 Passive 4-port balun (std definition only) CameraTerminalTerminal     
NVA-300-4P-RXAE Active 4-port balun MonitorTerminalBNC Female     

Video Balun Wiring in General

Our baluns follow a standard coloring scheme. CAT5 wires are color-coded. Simply match the correct colors to each function - video, power, and RS485. This diagram will indicate which wires to use on each side. The important thing is to be consistent in the wiring.

Video Balun Wiring - with a Bridge

Here is an illustration of using a monitor balun, a balun bridge (our NVA-300-4P485 4-port bridge) , and powered camera baluns (our NVA-P-201 balun.) Many of our baluns are rack-mountable. Here is our rack mount guide.

PTZ control

Our 4 port balun bridge (part NVA-300-4P485 has RS485 input and output. This passes through the RS485 control signal used in PTZ cameras. PTZ allows for remote control of pan, tilt, and zoom.