Fiber-based Solutions: Recommended or Required in 2017?

by Trends Electronics International | Jan 06, 2017

While not a hard rule, most copper technologies max out at 10 Gbps over longer distances and therefore will not support higher bandwidth signals without compression...sorry 4K@60 4:4:4. In these applications fiber-based solutions are not only recommended, but are required.

Manufacturers often rate their products by the maximum supported resolution: 720p, 1080p, etc. This works well for older products that support lower resolutions, but 4K and its associated technologies present a bit of a challenge. 4K is not 4K , even though manufacturers often generically label their products as “4K compliant” or “4K ready.”

The below chart shows which HD signals equate to which bandwidths and, more importantly, whether typical twisted pair cabling (Cat 5, Cat 6, Cat 6A, etc.) is sufficient or whether you require fiber optic cabling.

 Fiber has the largest advancement in cable technology, with offering superior speed, quality of signal, length of run, just to name a few things. The manufactures are starting to supply more fiber products, which solves so many issues facing us. Wireless or streaming will not be able to offer the speed needed to offer 4K.

Prewiring Back to the Future

Two things happened around 2008 that changed the way builders prewired for home. After years of embracing “structured wiring” for new homes, builders saw 1) the collapse of the economy and 2) the rise of wireless. They skipped the “expense” of generous prewires because the economy was bad and, well, who needed it when “everything was going wireless anyway”? That tune is changing, not necessarily because of the economic rebound but because we need wires more than ever. Applications such as 4K video and high-resolution audio demand direct connections for best results. For these applications, fiber inside the home could be a big factor in 2017. Even high-speed wireless in the home requires Ethernet for the most effective access points. At the same time, so many wireless signals in the home … and in the neighbors’ homes … and in the wider area … are wreaking havoc on unwired home networks. 

When 4K isn't enough

The latest HDMI specification (HDMI 2.1) supports a range of Higher Video Resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, and increased bandwidth with a new 48G cable.  

So while the parameters are set for HDMI 2.1 to handle 48Gbps, are there cables that even exist that can handle that bandwidth?


 As you can see OS2 Fiber Optic Cable has is already capable of handling this kind of Bandwidth.  With OM2, OM3 and OM4 already knocking on the doorstep.

But how do we utilize Fiber Optic Cable with the new technology?

Enter TechLogix fiber optic extenders.
HDMI 2.0 & Control over Two Fiber Optic Cable Extender

HDMI cables are great for transmitting audio and video signals short distances, but larger buildings and larger rooms often need electronics inline to ensure signal performance. Simply pulling a long HDMI cable or connecting multiple HDMI cables together can cause signal drop out, interference, pixelization and a host of other signal and performance problems. Enter TechLogix fiber optic extenders. This cutting-edge technology future-proofs installations by offering industry-leading signal quality and bandwidth transmission. Plus, unlike copper HDMI cables and twisted pair extenders, fiber is immune to RF and EM interference ensuring performance for years to come.

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