Let’s be clear. We’re not suggesting the complete and total replacement of Category 5 and Category 6 cables from all AV systems. We are insisting, however, that most AV system designers and technology folks can benefit from learning more about the benefits of optical fiber connectivity.
The AV integration industry is just starting the realize those benefits of fiber versus that of Category cables. They’re understanding that for long runs between equipment headends – think large residential projects and so many commercial applications – fiber just makes more sense.
It’s not just about the distance though.
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A strong case can be made that fiber is more durable, easier to work with, more reliable, and provides an infrastructure that works today and is positioned to work for multiple generations of tomorrow’s technology.
Richard Glikes, president of consumer electronics buying group Azione Unlimited, points out that optical fiber is often more forward-compatible than Category cable alternatives.
“The advancements in high-speed data and AV over IP have stretched the limits of what copper Category 5, 6, and 7 can support. Now that HDMI licensing has defined the HDMI 2.1 spec, Azione Members are searching for solutions that will allow their customers’ projects to be ready for 8K and beyond,” he says.
“Fiber is the only medium that will support 18gb – 48gb+ and every residential integrator should be including fiber in their prewires. Its cost is reasonable, and I understand that it’s rugged, safe to work with, easy to terminate. At our [recent] conference, dealers discussed only doing fiber to ensure future proofing their installations and protecting their clients.”
So why haven’t more residential and commercial integrators embraced optical fiber over Category cable? It’s likely an information gap.
Take this 4-question quiz to help you better understand the key differences between fiber and copper Category cable. We think you’ll be surprised at the results.