I have successfully run MyDMX through 200-feet of DMX cabling before it hit the first fixture and it's worked just fine for 8 64 LED Pros. But I've since learned some things and my overall designs have some requirements that requierd I buy the OptiBranch/4 DMX splitter. It has to do with where my lights go, where I am and other stuff like that. Since I'm not a DJ and don't run my rig from the stage and since my lighting configuration can be quite spread out, a single-run mentality doesn't work for me.
For the money and if you have a significant lighting investment, you should look into an Optibranch/4 or another similar Elation product(the name eludes me). This unit will protect you from possible damage to your equipment due to feedback on te signal cable due to stuff being powered on/off. It also will boost your signal strength. These are features I wanted. But, I also needed the splitter since I run spots behind me. Using the splitter saves me gobs of tme in wiring.
One of the things SerraAva brings up is unfortunately a way of life. In this case, he is talking about DMX and Chauvet trying to square up the wheel. DMX was in fact made to get away from proprietary signalling protocols. The same concept is used for other protocols, such as MIDI, MADI, ethersound and many other professional protocols. Cisco, the data networking giant, LOVES to come up with new proprietary things, and then impose them upon the industry(often with success). Sure, NEW stuff requires new things. I'm sure DMX is not a dead protocol, but I'm sure its not heavily evolving at this point either.
Just one more reason for me to continue to stick with the ADJ brand.