About Fiber HDMI Cable, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is highly used in a number of electronic setups.
You can find them for video game setups, conference rooms, and home theater systems.
Although there are several variations of HDMI cables, very few can compete against the performance and versatility levels of fiber HDMI cables.
The article below will discuss all about fiber HDMI cables, from what they are to how they function.
Table of Contents
- What is a Fiber Optic Cable?
- Why Would You Choose a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable?
- Why You Wouldn’t Want a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable
- Standard HDMI Cable vs. Fiber Optic HDMI Cable
What is a Fiber Optic Cable?
A fiber optic cable is the most advanced version of HDMI cables as it employs both HDMI standard and fiber optic technology. They are flexible, light, and slim.
A fiber optic HDMI cable is designed with a detachable connector that attaches the interface to the HDMI port of your device.
Fiber optic HDMI cables transfer data via lasers.
As they transmit data, light pulses through small glass filaments.
Thanks to their slimness, the strands are able to send multiple impulses.
They employ converters at both ends to signal into light and vice versa.
Normal HDMI cables are constructed of copper, a rather cheap material; therefore, the chances of interference are high.
Regarding the cable’s quality, there is a maximum distance limit of meters.
In some cases, you might experience some issues if the distance reaches 15 meters.
However, fiber optic HDMI cables are the best fit for transferring data over lengths of about 20, 30 meters, or more.
Why Would You Choose a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable?
HDMI cables made of copper experience issues with length and interference.
For instance, if you’re looking to transmit 4K video quality via a copper HDMI cable, surpassing a distance of 30 feet will likely result in some issues.
To use a copper HDMI cable across a distance of over 30 feet, you’ll need a repeater.
Therefore, if you’re looking to run an HDMI cable over 30 feet, it’s best to go with a fiber optic HDMI cable.
With a fiber optic HDMI cable, the maximum distance limit is much higher, as you can transmit data across up to 1000 feet.
For most homes, this is overkill, hence the reason why standard HDMI cables are the popular choice.
However, with stadium screens and big LED billboards, it is normally too far away to be on standard HDMI cables.
Why You Wouldn’t Want a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable
Before you rush into changing all the HDMI cables in your home, you should know there are disadvantages to using fiber optic HDMI cables.
The first aspect to consider is the image quality of the two cables.
Straight up both fiber optic HDMI cables and standard HDMI cables will give you similar video quality.
Therefore, if you were looking to transfer 4K quality, both cables are capable of handling the job.
This is to the point that if you were to compare two screens, each using a different cable, you wouldn’t be able to notice a difference.
The only difference is regarding distance because if the distance is over 30 feet, you’ll experience some issues with the standard HDMI cable.
However, fiber optic HDMI cables cost way more than your standard HDMI cable, not to mention you need such a long one to support your connection.
Caption: Standard HDMI cable
Another important aspect to consider is durability.
While a fiber optic HDMI cable is fairly durable, it is fair to accept that fiber optic filaments are fragile.
Although manufacturers try their best to ensure that all components are protected, you risk damaging the fibers if you bend the cable.
If you damage the fibers, you’ll likely experience blackouts because the cable requires a clear path from end to end. Even the slightest of breaks might result in outages.
Furthermore, fiber optic HDMI cables are only one way.
You can’t flip the cable around as one end is for the source and the other your screen. Such a configuration means something like HDMI ARC is right out.
Standard HDMI Cable vs. Fiber Optic HDMI Cable
|Key differences||Standard Copper HDMI Cable||Fiber Optic HDMI Cable|
|Function||The electrical signals that undergo transmission via standard copper HDMI cables are more likely to suffer from radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference. |
A big electrical machine or powerful radio may act as the source of interference to electrical signals.
|As opposed to the standard copper HDMI cables, the light pulses traveling through fiber optic cables don’t suffer from electromagnetic interference. |
This ensures you get better quality video and audio signals delivered via fiber optic HDMI cables.
|Pros||They cost less compared to fiber optic HDMI cables.|
A standard copper HDMI cable serves just fine, especially if you aren’t too picky regarding getting the best display quality over long-distance transmission.
|Even over long-distance transmission, there is no signal degradation, and you are guaranteed to receive top performance.|
In some cases, you’ll discover that the lower end of the fiber optic HDMI cable detaches from the source to reveal a shorter HDMI connector. This means you can create a connection between smaller devices such as mobile phones, monitors, and tablets.
Although, at the moment, a standard copper HDMI cable will do the job, display technology keeps rapidly advancing, especially with the advent of HDMI 2.1. Therefore, opting for a fiber optic HDMI cable means you are less likely to require a replacement soon.
|Cons||Highly affected by RFI/EMI.|
Attenuation begins at a distance of about 25 feet. Over 50 feet, you will encounter quality loss.
|Fragile and easily broken.|
Only operate in one direction.
|Application||Perfect for connecting a game console to a screen that’s in close range.||A standard copper HDMI cable will help you save on the unnecessary high cost of a fiber optic cable.|
Caption: HDMI Cable Connecting To A Screen
Fiber optic HDMI cables are ideal for someone looking to transfer signals over long distances.
Also, they serve you well if you don’t have a problem with spending extra to future-proof your setup.
However, although fiber optic HDMI cables provide better performance, it is difficult to overlook the fact that they could cost up to ten times more the cost of a standard copper HDMI cable.
With that in mind, your decision should depend mainly on your intended application. In case of any queries, feel free to contact Cloom Tech.