Traditional category runs are cheap, easy to use, and can provide Power over Ethernet (PoE) up to 100 Watts. While copper has always been reliable cabling, it suffers from signal interference as well as length and bandwidth limitations. To keep things short, 4K and 8K video signals carry massive amounts of bandwidth, and copper can only carry these signals short distances, even heavily compressed.
Now, more than ever, it makes sense to run fiber alongside traditional category runs. Fear not! Many advancements in fiber production technology have made fiber optic cable safer, more resilient, and more cost-effective. Although currently unable to carry power, fiber optics don’t suffer from EMI or RFI signal interference. Running duplex OM3, allows for 40Gbps Video Signal and 100Gigbit Ethernet up to 100 meters. Traditional 10.2Gbps Video Signals and 10Gigabit Ethernet can be extended further at over 300 meters.
In this battle of infrastructure, both is better. Fiber optics help future proof the install for years to come while category cabling can be repurposed for other uses such as lower network signals and PoE solutions. Mastering running both can reduce truck rolls, simplify upgrades, and increase overall job revenue.
This Tech Tip is brought to you by Sam Metiver. Sam has been apart of AVPro tech support for over 2 years. In this time he has become a crucial member of the team taking a special interest in new and upcoming audio video distribution technologies. In his spare time he enjoys music and is a stand up comedian! Look out for more future Tech Tips from Sam.
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