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Why Choose an Active Fiber or Hybrid Cable?

Posted by admin on July 10, 2015 12:14 pm

HDMI is one of the most widely adopted digital connection technologies for HDTV because a single HDMI cable can carry every signal type through one cable: all digital video, audio, two-way communications, control signals and power required to support all of the content data, synchronization and operation for a residential or commercial audio/video system.

As more people have learned that an HDMI or “pure digital” connection delivers the best picture quality available today, its applications have become more diverse and widespread. This is why the decision of which type of cable to use for HDMI distribution now requires a background of knowledge and careful consideration. For applications requiring long distance distribution, anactive fiber/copper hybrid cable can be used as an HMDI extension. This offers all of the benefits of active optical cables without the high cost of glass active fiber cables or the constraints associated with traditional copper cables.

Traditionally, copper cabling has been used to extend HDMI up to about 25 feet, however, if your particular application requires a longer run or flexible installation through tight conduits, an active optical fiber may be used. Along with increased distance and installation versatility, here are some additional benefits to choosing an active fiber cable like Opticomm-EMCORE’s AFC-HDMI2 over traditional copper cabling for your HDMI extension needs.

Advantages of Active Fiber HDMI Cables

  1. Thinner, lighter and more flexible than copper. With an ultra-thin, flexible construction and small connector, active fiber cables can easily be pulled through conduits. Additionally, active fiber cables have a significantly tighter bender radius – up to 6mm – than traditional copper cables, allowing for easy and versatile installation.
  2. Plug-n-play functionality (no additional power source required). Implied by the word “active,” these cables are self-powered by the HDMI source. Any HDMI source can provide the sufficient 5V of power needed to send HDMI video and audio over the fiber cable without the use of external power supplies.
  3. No boosters, extenders or repeaters needed. An active fiber converts an HDMI input signal to an optical pulse, which is transmitted over the fiber and then converted back for HDMI output on a display monitor. Since fiber is completely immune to signal loss, active fiber cables have a reduced risk of electromagnetic (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI) degradation, but is not completely free because it does have copper cabling in it. This makes it a great choice for typically high interference environments, such as operating rooms or manufacturing facilities, where 24/7 operation and high resolution for display are required.
  4. Flawless transmission over longer distances. An active fiber hybrid cable can transmit HDMI over a significantly longer distance, up to 330 feet (100 meters), compared to a traditional copper HDMI cable, which is only effective up to about 25 feet. Between the increased transmission distance and lower immunity to electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference, active fiber HDMI cables are a highly reliable choice for the most challenging environments and densely packed systems.
  5. HDMI can handle 4K resolutions. As per the current HDMI 1.4 spec, in order for an HDMI cable to be considered 4K capable, it must be able to pass 3840×2160 pixels at up to 30 frames per second and 4096×2160 at 24 frames per second.

The AFC-HDMI2: Opticomm-EMCORE’s Active Fiber Hybrid Cable

AFC-M-HDMI2Opticomm-EMCORE’s HDMI active fiber solution provides uncompressed plug-and-play connectivity for simple distribution of high-definition HDMI, 2K4K/UHD, 3D video and deep X.V. color. In contrast to standard copper cables, the AFC plenum-rated cable design is thinner and more flexible, suitable for being pulled through tight conduits and plenum spaces, and is available in various standard lengths up to 100 meters (330 feet).

For extremely tight spaces, there is the AFC-M-HDMI2, which features a micro-HDMI connector with detachable HDMI-A adapters. Like other active cables, the AFC-HDMI2 doesn’t require any external power supplies. Our active fiber cable also provides transparent EDID and HDCP support without signal attenuation. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to extend HDMI over 25 feet, the ADC-HDMI2 is the perfect solution.

Ideal applications for our AFC-HDMI2 Active Fiber Cable include (but are not limited to):

  • Blu-ray players, PCs, laptops, set-top boxes, projectors and HDTV
  • Conference room video systems
  • Digital home theater
  • Medical display systems
  • Data centers
  • Digital signage
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Factory automation system

For additional technological specs and information about Opticomm-EMCORE’s AFC-HDMI2 HDMI Active Fiber Cable, click here to view the data sheet.


Topics: Video Over Fiber

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