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fawlty99

Using Fibre Optic For A/v Around The House

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Saw some gear the other day which uses fibre optic "cable" to link as distinct to copper wire. Basically you have a sender unit connected to source and receiver unit connected to receiver by the optic cable with HD video/audio & RF signals being transmitted. Because the optic cable is transparent and no thicker than fishing line you can thread it around the house with ease and control multiple A/V and remote functions from wherever. None of the problems associated with long runs of copper wire (e.g. HDMI length restrictions plus the thickness of cable) are associated with this technology. I hadn't seen or heard of this before so wonder if there is a reason this technology seems to be a sleeper (or is it just me missing it)?

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..... I hadn't seen or heard of this before so wonder if there is a reason this technology seems to be a sleeper (or is it just me missing it)?

Simple answer...... cost.

The technology has been around for quite some time and whilst it's been employed in a lot of commercial premises (hotels, hospitals, clubs, etc) the cost is high and restricts many domestic users.

The good news is that fibre equipment is continuing to drop in price and it's use is becoming more common, so like most things, I expect it will become the 'standard' for domestic use in the future.

An example would be HD set top boxes...... in their ealy days, they cost in excess of $1000.00 but look how cheap they are now.

You're correct, with fibre, electrical and RF interference is non-existent and cable length can literally be kilometres without any significant attenuation.

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Its benefits (compared to sat CAT5) are also fairly minimal in you're average home. CAT5 handles 100m or so and threading a cable up the wall involves much the same effort as would getting fibre around the home. I'd also be a bit worried about the fragility of a tiny strand of fibre. I'm not sure what the effect on it is if it gets bent. But as mentioned basically fibre costs a whole lot more (the 'caps' you put on each end of the cable cost a feww hundred each I believe)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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CAT5 handles 100m or so and threading a cable up the wall involves much the same effort as would getting fibre around the home. I'd also be a bit worried about the fragility of a tiny strand of fibre. I'm not sure what the effect on it is if it gets bent. Regards

Peter Gillespie

The benefits I see is that the fibre could be routed along ceilings, doors etc without have to get behind the cladding. You would never see it in the creases of plasterboard or architraves etc. Re fragility - yes not as robust as wire. You can see the advantage if one day you wanted to hook up a projector for example & didn't want to thread cables through walls & ceiling.

Price I saw (on special) was $150 for both ends (Sender/receiver) plus 30m of fibre. Almost bought it just to try it out even though don't particularly have an application for it yet.

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I can't imagine running fibre around architraves and cornices. Mainly because the ones I have been running lately are be bright green!

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The benefits I see is that the fibre could be routed along ceilings, doors etc without have to get behind the cladding. You would never see it in the creases of plasterboard or architraves etc.

Bare fibre? No. Fibre in a plastic sheath.....

Would you be game to staple a run of CAT5 as hard as he did that length of fibre? It'd probably cut it. Don't even think about it with coax. Today's fibre out performs wire in many ways.

Edited by DrP

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