When it comes to connecting your devices, HDMI cables may be on the first spot of your priority list. These cables transmit high-resolution audio like DTS-HD Master Audio and can even transmit HD videos without compressing them. However, there are certain limitations to using these cables.
Unlike Optical cables, normal copper made HDMI cables are more prone to interference from other objects as they aren't covered. Also, old school HDMI cables have issues related to distance. The maximum distance these cables are reliable for transmitting 4K HDR data is approx 10 meters.
However, subject to factors like the nature of cable and that of equipment being connected through it, transmission issues can arise at a distance of only 7 meters. While you can put a repeater in between and have an additional distance arranged, sometimes this solution results in instability of the connection.
If you really want to have a stable connection over a long distance, especially over 10 meters and beyond, you will be requiring an Optic HDMI cable.
What is a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable?
A Fiber optic HDMI cable is a new and cutting edge version of HDMI cables. They have converters attached to both ends to convert signals into HDMI signals and subsequently transmitting them. The biggest advantage of using these cables is that there is no degradation of signals over large distances of transmission. These cables are slim, easy to install, and support 18GBPS bandwidth up to a flabbergasting distance of 1000ft. It is important to note that there is no major or noticeable difference in the quality of the image that you receive through fiber optic HDMI cables.
Another advantage offered by fiber optic HDMI cables is their versatility. Being the newest and the latest entrant in the world of cables, these are designed to cater to modern technology. In some variants, you may find that the lower end of the cable detaches from the source to reveal a much shorter HDMI connector. This allows you to establish a connection between small devices such as mobiles and tablets and display devices such as monitors.
Copper vs. Fiber – Which One's Better?
Copper is a material that has been used to create networking communications cables for decades. Copper is highly conductive, a characteristic that makes it suitable for transmission. Copper wires use the movement of electrons to modulate a waveform. This waveform is then transmitted and demodulated at the final end. This process of modulation and demodulation creates and converts the patterns in the waveforms into digital and analog signals.
Copper tends to carry only a limited number of waveforms. This is the primary reason for a limited data capacity that defines copper lines. Also, these waveforms degrade at a much faster pace as the distance of transmission increases. Copper still remains the most commonly deployed material of transmission, thanks to objects like telephone and television. The signals transmitted through copper are prone to EMI interference, which can take a toll on the quality.
The invention of Fiber optics in the 1970s by Corning was a game-changer in the world of connections. It allowed for light bursts to carry signals instead of vintage waveforms. These cables are composed of a highly transplant flexible glass core wrapped in a series of layers. These layers protect the cable from outside interference. Also, they ensure the integrity of the signal inside.
Because of the element of light actually helping in transmission, the speed with which the signals travel differs by a considerably large margin. The quality of the signal is much easier to maintain over long distances. The cost of fiber optic cables is much more as compared to their counterparts.
Audio Visual Transmissions
The introduction of fiber optic HDMI cables has removed all the anomalies that surrounded audiovisual transmissions in normal HDMI. Now with the help of these cables, you can easily connect your projector across a big hall and enjoy a superlative quality of 4K output. Earlier, the need to arrange one or multiple repeaters for conventional HDMIs to increase the coverage would only add up to your costs.
You would never want your gaming experience to be subjected to snags and slowdowns. To optimize your gaming experience, use optic fiber HDMI cables. The reason is that optic fiber cables leverage photons to carry signals from one end to the other. This means that signals actually travel with a speed equivalent to 31% slower than the actual speed of light. On the contrary, normal HDMI cables transmit data at a speed equal to 1% of the speed of light. Also, because of their high carrying capacity, fiber optic HDMI cables are best when it comes to transmitting ultra HD data. Therefore, you can expect your gameplay to be as smooth and as seamless as possible.
With so much to offer, it is certain that the advantages of installing fiber optic HDMI cable clearly outweigh the limitations. However, there are a few of them that need to be pointed out.
One, they are only one-directional. This implies that their specific ends are marked for source and receivers and need to be placed at their respective positions. Unless you connect them properly, the connection simply would not start.
The cable may sometimes cause a blackout. This usually happens because of manufacturing compromises made in the cable. This results in your receiver (say a projector) not receiving signals from the source and thereby causing a blackout.
Though these cables are highly flexible and resistant, there is still a need to use them very carefully. Do not bend these cables more than a limit. Doing so will cause the fiber optics to present inside to break. That, in turn, will take a toll on the overall working of the cable. Also, consider the fact that these cables are expensive. Their per meter cost is way more than normal HDMI cables. Any damage or replacement would be like burning a hole in your pocket.
Purposes largely determine the type of cable that you require. If you want to connect your Personal computer with your television that is right next to it, go for a conventional HDMI cable instead of an Optical HDMI cable. Doing so would save you from unnecessary costs. Also, there is no major difference between the quality of output delivered.
Are you looking to transmit data over a distance of say 10 to 20 meters or beyond that? Go for an optical HDMI cable. Because in the coming days, higher bandwidths and integral connectivity will be the two powerful forces defining connections, optical HDMI will be the lifeline.