This post has been copied with permission from Gary Vlaeminck, Hexacon-AV.
During my 22-years in the lighting and audio-visual industry, there have obviously been several dozen significant changes in technology and its implementation into the AV space. ‘Intelligent’ lighting control moved from an analog platform to digital in the early-to-mid 1990’s, the ability to successfully dim compact fluorescent lamps down to 1% became a reality, wonderful things were happening over Cat5, then Cat5e, then Cat6, then Cat6A. TV screens, it seemed, got flatter and flatter with every new dawn. Speaker manufacturers were able to revolutionize their products and use fundamental physics to make walls and ceilings miraculously become speaker baffles…..and, what’s more, have them sound pretty good!
It boggled the minds of many of us who worked for the manufacturers of these technologies, let alone those who then had to figure out what it all meant in the field and to their customers. The analog sunset became a conversation amongst only the veterans in our industry, as these mystical “1’s” and “0’s” took over and quickly taught us all a new language. Very quickly, these “1’s” and “0’s” have become so prevalent in our industry that they’ve started to overwhelm some of our most loyal friends, like category cable and gigabit Ethernet switches.
While all this has been happening, there’s been a sleeping giant, just waiting to be needed. Many of its cousins are already out there and have been active in other industries for decades, but the AV industry hasn’t really had any need for this 60-year-old sleeping giant, so it’s practically been ignored.
As we enter January 2017, we are hearing about how the HDMI™ forum is preparing to write the specs. for version 2.1 of its globally adopted protocol. This newest release in our industry has left us all with no choice, but to awaken the sleeping giant! With HDMI™ 2.1 boasting a demand for 48Gbps bandwidth, the only way to manage it will be with a “giant”.
Fiber Optics (our “sleeping giant”), is not only capable of managing the demands of the alleged HDMI™ 2.1 48Gbps bandwidth requirements, but it is a tried and true medium that has proven reliable for a long, long time.
With the advent of technologies such as Cleerline’s SSF™, handling, pulling, preparing and terminating fiber optic cable has never been easier (or safer). In fact, the consideration that Cleerline put into the practical applications AV dealers face on site, led them to develop a proprietary technology that makes their fiber more robust and faster to terminate than our old friend CatX.
Coupled with the genius minds behind the likes of TechLogix Networx and their release of the first in a series of mega-bandwidth AV-over-fiber solutions, I believe we are well prepared for the ongoing procreation of “1’s” and “0’s” for generations to come.