Some integrators have already jumped on the fiber wagon. 10-gigabit network switches support both copper wire or optical fiber through small form-factor pluggable (SFP) connections, and it’s likely that faster switches will rely mostly on fiber connections – the signal attenuation over the copper wire at higher frequencies is substantial, once the cable run exceeds ten feet.
Fiber optic cable doesn’t take up much room, either. Bundled cables with multiple fibers can be run and laid in overhead cable trays easily enough. (Just don’t put a tight bend in them!) By building out a facility with fiber interconnects to all rooms and spaces, you’ve ensured your facility is future-proofed. If another audio or video signaling format comes into vogue, or your bandwidth demands increase, you simply change out the optical interface – no need to pull new cables.
While the current version of HDMI our industry relies on (v2.0) uses the TMDS format, the next version (v2.1) and all versions of DisplayPort employ a packet-based digital transmission system. That’s an even better match for optical fiber transmission! What’s cool about fiber is that we can multiplex audio, video, control, and metadata all through the same cable, at the same time. We do this with a variety of tricks, including time division (spacing out different packets), code division (coding packets), and wave division multiplexing. With the later process, different wavelengths of light carry different signals.
It should come as no surprise that Kramer supports optical fiber signal distribution. The 676T 4K60 4:4:4 HDMI Transmitter over Ultra-Reach MM/SM Fiber Optic Transmitter and companion 676R Receiver are designed to extend HDMI v2.0 signals over very long cable runs. These useful gadgets couldn’t be easier to set up and operate – all you need to do is provide the fiber optic connection, using a type LC connector at both ends. For shorter runs, the multimode cable does the trick, while single-mode fiber will handle the long-haul stuff.
676T and 676R use near-zero latency video chroma sub-sampling conversion technology to auto−adapt HDMI signals with data rates above 10 Gb/s to a 10G optical link signal data rate. Both units are HDCP 2.2 compliant and support data rates up to 18G (6G per channel), along with LPCM 7.1, Dolby True HD, and DTS-HD audio formats, as specified in HDMI 2.0. Additionally, Kramer’s I-EDIDPro™ Intelligent EDID Processing™ ensures plug-and-play operation for HDMI source and display systems.
If you’re moving to or have already adopted SDVoE network-based AV signal distribution, there’s a Kramer optical interface product for that, too. KDS-8F is a high-performance, zero latency, 4K@60Hz (4:4:4) transceiver for streaming video and audio via Ethernet over single-mode and multimode optical fiber. And it is ambidextrous: KDS-8F can encode and stream its HDMI or DisplayPort input multiplexed with IR and RS-232 control signals, plus analog audio and USB; all over an IP network. Or, it can receive an SDVoE-encoded signal and decode it for HDMI output, along with control, audio, and USB.
For ruggedized operations, Kramer also offers the CRS-PlugNView-H cable. It’s a high-speed HDMI active, armored optical cable (AOC) designed for heavy-duty use and abuse expected from rental and road applications. These cables support resolutions up to 4K@60 (4:4:4) 18 Gbps over long distances without an external power supply or additional extenders. You can get ‘em in a variety of lengths from 33 to 328 feet.
Remember – fiber is good for you!