8K displays are getting prepped for the holiday season, and 8K with all its pixel-popping glory requires up to 4x the bandwidth of traditional twisted pair cabling. That means Cat 5 and Cat 6 won't deliver the signals your customers expect.
8K was designed for fiber optics. Fiber supports virtually unlimited bandwidth, it terminates in half the time of twisted pair, and it's incredibly affordable. Plus, fiber is the only way to truly future-proof your installation.
Traditional twisted pair cables work great for 480i, 1080p and even 4K30 signals -- all of which require less than 10G of bandwidth. That's why twisted pair cable and twisted pair extenders (such as HDBaseT product) have worked great for years.
4K60 HDR and 8K are a different story. 4K60 HDR requires up to 18G of bandwidth and 8K requires up to 48G of bandwidth -- both exceed the physical ability of Cat 5, Cat 6 and even Cat 6A.
It is possible to transmit signals larger than 10G over a twisted pair cable by using VLC (visually lossless compression) technology, such as TechLogix TL-TP40-HDC2 and TL-TP100-HDC2 extenders. However, these products max out at 18G (essentially 4K60 4:4:4) due to the compression algorithm required to process the color space. Simply put, manufacturers can get away with compressing an 18G signal because the latency and affect on image quality is imperceivable in most applications, but compressing a 48G signal will destroy the integrity, quality, and delivery time. That leaves fiber and fiber-based electronics as the only effective solution.
But is 8K worth changing your installation practice? In short, yes. 8K (or more appropriately HDMI 2.1) offers a host of features not available in previous signal generations, from dynamic HDR to eARC. Earlier this year TechLogix published a white paper outlining the benefits and updates.
Most importantly, however, 8K offers integrators an opportunity to differentiate their projects, sell more profitable hardware, and create a future-revenue stream by leveraging HDMI 2.1 updates and feature-adds. TechLogix will be covering more on this in future blog releases....
If you're new to fiber, TechLogix can help you navigate the upstart process. We offer a variety of videos overviewing the "what, why, where and how" of fiber, as well as a concise Fiber Optic Pocket Guide designed for integrators.