Why not go optical? Why still electronic? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-05-2007, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Why are the connection methods for HD sources just becoming fatter and fatter "copper"-style cables? Why aren't we using fiber optic connections for the data? Even though current fiber optic connections only have 1 stream (1 pin connection), they could very easily make multi-pin fiber optics, and then the issue of loss would be less of a problem, as long as the material used was good quality glass for the fiber. You wouldn't be talking about sparkly signals after 15feet of HDMI cable.

I'm making the assumption that the signals, are low-voltage and thus can be replaced with an optical digital signal, i'm not 100% positive if the signal can be transmitted without high power, but i'm pretty sure digital video signals can be sent to your tv at low power. If power needs to be transmitted along with the signal (for some reason), there can be a multi-pin connector with a couple of its pins being power (copper wires) and the rest being optical. The data tranfer rates over fiber optics are INSANE, and they wouldn't need so much magnetic sheilding so they wouldn't be as bulky as HDMI cables. If they were as thick as hdmi cables, they would have a TON of fibers in them, and be capable of VERY large bandwith. I mean, there's nothing about copper connections that is better for digital signals, in fact i think that optical digital signals are the most reliable (strictly speaking physics here), and can be used more effectively than wire.

Think about it, there's a reason (actually many reasons) why all of the cables for phone, tv, and internet that are laid accross the bottom of oceans are being replaced with fiber optics. (Please, nobody bring up the sharks and EMF issue, i'm talking about the other, bigger reasons).

I think HDMI, DVI, and whatever connectors come in the future, are misdirected. HDMI cable is HUGE! How can a cable that's an inch fat, and can barely flex and bend, not tranfer enough data for a 1080p signal? The fact that people are talking about loss over a matter of feet using a cable the size of a garden hose perplexes me.

Someone PLEASE correct me, and tell me what i don't know. I would really like someone to counter my argument and show me why i'm wrong, because i'm sure there's something i'm missing as to why we need cable so big, and why it can barely handle 1080p signal.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-05-2007, 08:28 PM
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they could very easily make multi-pin fiber optics

The fiber optics used for S/PDIF is not very high bandwidth, compared to HDMI copper wires. To get high enough bandwidth you actually need a multi-mode fiber, which is a lot more expensive than what we use now.

If you look at optical 10 Gb Ethernet technology, it has the capacity, and the distance, but I believe it was significantly more expensive (to the point of not being commercially available) back when HDMI was created. Also, the transmitters/receivers, and the multi-mode cables, have been very expensive up to recently.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-18-2007, 04:53 PM
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HDMI does not require the cable to be a thick gauge- these are design implementation choices by the manufacturers. We have seen compliant cables that use a thinner gauge, where the overall cable thickness is quite thin & flexible.

We have indeed seen growing interest and demonstrations of HDMI fiber optic solutions which can run very long distances. At a show this week, we saw a 400m 1080p fiber optic solution that was quite interesting.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-18-2007, 04:57 PM
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The fiber optics used for S/PDIF is not very high bandwidth,

HD doesnt require too much bandwidth and fibre has more then enough for any HD applications. Heck we send HD over cat5e already easily.

Bandwidth isnt the issue here at all but I could be completely wrong.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-18-2007, 08:30 PM
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we saw a 400m 1080p fiber optic solution that was quite interesting

Nice. Any word on cost?
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-18-2007, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI_Org View Post

... At a show this week, we saw a 400m 1080p fiber optic solution that was quite interesting.

Was that a shipping product, about to ship product or a proof of concept prototype? Did they use a standard 50/125 multimode fiber or something else? Target price?

Inquiring minds want to know!!!

"I'm a fanatic without a cause and I believe in it!" - B. D. G.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-23-2007, 05:29 PM
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Luxtera builds optics on a chip. No bulky expensive lasers. Imagine a hybrid optic cable for DisplayPort. Plug it into the DP connector and go. That sort of technology is easily portable to HDMI. Of course, there is nothing on the market like that yet, it's only a concept.

Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) Endorses Alternative to Copper Cables - Enables Optical Video Interconnect in DisplayPort Standard
Hybrid Device Subgroup led by Luxtera

Carlsbad, CA, April 17, 2007 - Luxtera Inc., the world leader in CMOS Photonics, today announced the results of its efforts with the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) DisplayPort Task Force. The new DisplayPort 1.1 standard has achieved an industry first by enabling Hybrid Devices, such as fiberoptic transceivers, to be recognized and utilized as an endorsed alternative to copper cables to connect PCs to flat panel displays and other applications.

The DisplayPort task force and subgroups, led by Luxtera and other member companies, unanimously approved the addition of Hybrid Devices to the specification as a standard alternative solution to copper cables. High performance optical video interconnect based on Luxtera's CMOS Photonics technology is now possible with the addition of Hybrid Devices to the standard resulting in an improved visual user experience.

This addition is another technical advantage of the DisplayPort standard. It opens new opportunities for the industry to standardize and certify optical video interconnect solutions for longer reach display applications such as digital signage and projection systems, said Earl Joseph, Program Vice President of IDC's High-Performance Systems.

This is the first time the industry has recognized and approved high performance optical video interconnect technology, with the broad based support of the PC industry. For major PC and display manufacturers, a product must have a logo in order to be considered for sale. Now one of the biggest barriers to widespread adoption of optical video interconnect technology, such as Luxtera's CMOS Photonics, has been removed.

No other digital video standard provides power to enable this kind of technology nor do any other video standards bodies allow optical based solutions to obtain a logo. Without Luxtera as a driving force, the standard would still allow only copper, said Eileen Robarge, Group Leader, DisplayPort Hybrid Device Subgroup. Optical technology, particularly single mode technology, can most effectively address the longer reach market needs for digital signage, projectors, imaging, quiet office and digital home and support much higher performance picture quality for the end user at both short and longer distances. Luxtera is leading the charge in optical standards development for PC and CE industries, and will continue to work with VESA in future video standard development.

Press Contact:
Catriona Harris
PR@vantage for Luxtera
407-767-0527
charris@pr-vantage.com
www.pr-vantage.com

http://www.luxtera.com/news_press_2007_0417.html
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-24-2007, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I checked out the luxtera website, and i'm impressed. It kind of pissed me off though, because i've been pondering with a similar design for another device (i'm an inventor/hobbyist), and it seems like they took it a step further and had integrated IO for chips. Very impressive. This solution seems to be very viable if the limitations can be solved, and the infrastructure is made to lower the price. I like the idea of optical communication very much, it has much potential. The physical properties of that method of data transfer seem to be much more promising for high bandwidth and long distance.

I'm glad to see some very informed people are paying attention to this post , i think that this topic should be more in the public eye.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-04-2007, 03:40 PM
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Unfortunately I don't have price and availability info. Our policy in participation of this forum is to avoid any endorsements or criticisms of specific companies or products.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-09-2007, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I just found this: it's a fiber optic extender for HDMI. I think it's worth talking about. It's not exactly what we've been talking about, but it does solve the problem we've been discussing. I'd like to know more about this type of product, and where its place in the industry is right now.

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/cables.jsp

There's different cables on that page, and there a couple catagories of HDMI or DVI over fiber optics.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-10-2007, 07:57 AM
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For less than $1000, you can go 300 feet!

However, I think HDMI wouldn't have taken off if each receiver and TV would have been straddled with that same hardware cost.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-11-2007, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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This isn't something you'd use as standard equipment, it's a modification to HDMI. If the connection was optical in the first place, and being manufactured on the same level as hdmi, then it would be as cheap as hdmi.
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