Optical and AV history explained

Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,008 2 2
#1
Being an old phone man (telecommunications) I found this video fascinating. Back in the mid-80's and on, when fiber optics hit the scene, our whole industry was turned on its head, in a good way.

Instead of bringing in all this bulky cables from the pole for each individual phone line, now a single fiber optic cable, known as a T-1 circuit/cable, would connect to our PBX's, which in turn could decode in into 23 lines. And later on that same T-1 cable could be further sliced & diced into 3 PRI circuits, giving us 69 lines (the 24th line on each T-1/PRI was the data channel, to direct traffic).

All along I figured it was only a matter of time till fiber optic technology would be used in the AV field and Toslink looked to be the future. Or so I thought. :p
 
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BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,075 2
#2
There is nothing that would have been better than HDMI developing around a fiber format instead of a copper one. Toslink got pricing down so low as to be completely a non-issue. If HDMI had started out as a dual fiber connection, then the bandwidth could potentially have been unlimited with Ethernet support, dozens of channels of audio, and a 100GB+ connection as electronics allowed for such support with zero future cable changes.

Right now, the 18Gb/s HDMI standard is difficult to reach on longer cable runs, except for those few cables that utilize fiber to make the connection. Go figure.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,008 2 2
#3
There is nothing that would have been better than HDMI developing around a fiber format instead of a copper one. Toslink got pricing down so low as to be completely a non-issue. If HDMI had started out as a dual fiber connection, then the bandwidth could potentially have been unlimited with Ethernet support, dozens of channels of audio, and a 100GB+ connection as electronics allowed for such support with zero future cable changes.

Right now, the 18Gb/s HDMI standard is difficult to reach on longer cable runs, except for those few cables that utilize fiber to make the connection. Go figure.
Exactly, my thoughts at the time and after HDMI came out. Missed opportunity.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,075 2
#5
His videos are really good and extremely informative. They are long, but packed with information.

I think one of the biggest headaches for many consumers is the last thing he pointed out... 'Wireless'

Wireless is absolutely abysmal for point to point video. Like, from your phone to the TV. Airplay and Chromecast can both do it, but frame rates suffer and often quality takes a serious nosedive. We use wireless solutions regularly in commercial work so that people can avoid plugging in the HDMI cable sitting right next to them. No, I can't hope to explain why that is the case. But, they use fairly high dollar wi-fi audio/video extenders. My favorite, to this point, is the Barco Clickshare, which is crazy expensive, but also the most reliable and highest quality that I've seen. It still isn't perfect, but it is 'best I've seen' for all that counts for.

But, the reality is that his point about HDMI hybrid fiber/copper cables already existing, was slightly downplayed on distance and reliability. For 20'+ runs of HDMI, which is common for projectors, and coming into greater play in 'over the fireplace' television installations, the use of an active HDMI cable is nearly an absolute requirement. Active meaning that either a all copper cable uses equalizers on both ends to boost signal performance and maintain 18Gb/s HDMI speeds, or a fiber/copper cable is used with active converters at both ends to maintain that high data rate.

The cost of these cables is more than typical all-copper solutions, by a mile. It truly is a shame that a hybrid cable wasn't standard from day one.
We are seeing HDBT built into some professional products, which is awesome. About half a decade too late of course, but still awesome. So, when you buy an outdoor TV you can get it with built in HDBT. So, you run a HDBT transmitter from inside the house, then run 100 feet of cat-5 out to the TV and just plug the cat-5 right into the TV and you have both audio and video right there at the TV without a problem. It's weather sealed and designed for the environment.

I also use it regularly with projectors. Just run one cat cable up to the projector, terminate it to the exact length you need, then I can control the projector and send it video from a transmitter without any problem at all. Yes, it's freakin' cool. No, it can't do 4K. WTF???

This whole AV 4K HDMI 2.0 (ignoring 2.1) thing is just crap.
 

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