An Extra-Terrestrial’s Take on Video Interconnects

Sometimes an outsider’s perspective helps us see things in a different light

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An Extra-Terrestrial’s Take on Video Interconnects

If aliens were to land tomorrow, surely there would be alien AV professionals among them. The following could be the “first contact” dialogue between AV professionals.

Alien AV Pro: Greetings Earthling. Let us bond over our shared experiences deploying AV solutions. How do you connect your video sources to your displays?

Earth Pro: Our standards have changed over time. We started with coax, then composite, S-Video, and now it’s mostly HDMI.

Alien AV Pro: These standards, were they “IF”?

Earth Pro: What is “IF”?

Alien AV Pro: Oh sorry, it’s an acronym. It stands for Installer Friendly. It means the technology was designed by people who understand what really happens out in the field.

Earth Pro: I wouldn’t call them “Installer Friendly”. Our cables are fixed length and pre-terminated in the factory. We must choose the length before we buy them. We can’t cut them, and we can’t repair them in the field. Once in the wall, if we need to fix or upgrade, the whole thing comes out and an entirely new cable is installed.

Alien AV Pro: Wow. So, you can’t just swap the electronics on the ends of your cabling?

Earth Pro: No. The ends are affixed, and the cables are proprietary except for the connector.

Alien AV Pro: I see. So, how is your transition to 4K video going?

Earth Pro: We’re in a pickle. 4K video with all its features requires 18Gbps of bandwidth. Our old cables don’t work except for short distances and the best new copper cables only work for ~20 feet.

Alien AV Pro: Did you say you are using copper cables?   I thought Earth had developed optical technology more than 40 years ago?

Earth Pro: Yes, but the AV industry hasn’t been ready for it. Up to now, cabling was an afterthought and these copper cables have always been “good enough”. Our Datacom industry has been using optical technology.

Alien AV Pro: Can’t you borrow technology from your datacom industry?

Earth Pro: We can but it’s not exactly what we need. Their optical products come in 10, 25, 40 and 100 Gbps. We have started packetizing video and using networking gear to distribute it, but every supplier has a different implementation and there are performance trade-offs when we use Cat5 cabling.

Alien AV Pro: I assume this “Cat5” is an optical cabling technology?

Earth Pro: No. It’s copper, but we’ve gotten much better at lowering expectations about new features and explaining the compression trade-offs. Most people can’t really see the difference!

Alien AV Pro: I see. But what will you do to support 8K video at 48Gbps?

Earth Pro: Well…Enough about us, how do you connect high bandwidth video?

Alien AV Pro: It’s quite simple.

  1. First of all, we never compromise on performance. That’s not what we’re about.
  2. We use standard fiber with many times the bandwidth required by our current video standard, so it stays in the wall for generations to come.
  3. Our Installers take bulk fiber to new jobs, pull what they need, cut and terminate it on the spot.
  4. If an Installer doesn’t know how to terminate fiber, we have them pull pre-terminated fiber. It’s as easy as pulling proprietary cables and it has the benefits of being industry standard.
  5. We use several types of fiber for different applications. For instance, we use “invisible” fiber for inside rooms, commercial fiber for pulling through walls, and armored fiber for outdoor and industrial applications. Standard fiber, connectors and wall plates makes it easy to snap everything together.

Earth Pro: That’s amazing. How did you get your whole AV industry to agree to this?

Alien AV Pro: I left out the most important part. On our planet, Installers make the rules.

The Truth is Out There.

About Inneos
Inneos makes optical products specifically designed for video. Our unique technology uses multiple wavelengths of light to merge signals onto a single industry-standard fiber. This “one fiber” approach allows installers to use a single fiber to connect sources and displays bi-directionally up to 1000 meters away. Our award winning Real4K™ Optical Adapters and InvisiCable™ kits include pre-terminated lengths of fiber making it easy for installers to transition from proprietary cables to standard fiber. Inneos designs and manufacturers our products in the USA (Planet Earth).

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