Technology Showcase: Fiber-optic Video Extenders
Mar 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles
Video signals ride the light to far-off places.
With long-term fiber costs going down and copper going up and the new considerations on weight and fuel use for mobile units, the momentum that fiber transmission already possessed has increased. The new ease in field termination and the exploding variety of small throwdown and rackmount fiber transmitter/receiver units has also stoked the fire for fiber. The great news is there is now hardware for fiber video-transmission links available for any scenario and every budget. Let's have a look at what the market currently offers for video on fiber.
The Digital Generation (DG) DVI MTP fiber transmitter and receiver modules from AMX work in pairs or matched with MTP fiber boards in the AMX AutoPatch Distribution Matrix. Operating on 12VDC to 24VDC, the transmitter includes a rear-panel EDID write-protect switch and three video-signal indicators. The green LED shows the DVI path has a valid signal while the red LED indicates that the DVI signal has been lost. A red indicator light shows an optical converter fault. The system supports a pixel bandwidth up to 1.65Gbps for single-link DVI, a resolution of 1600×1200 at 60Hz, and up to 1920×1200 with reduced blanking at a 60Hz vertical scan rate. The units connect with 12-fiber multimode MTP 50/125µm or 62.5/125µm cable and can extend the video signal up to 3000ft.
The Atlona AT-SDI10SR-LC transmitter/receiver pair consists of two tiny units for fiber transmission of SMPTE 259M (270Mbps), 259M (360Mbps), 292M/HDTV (1.485Gbps and 1.485Gbps/1.001Gbps), and DVB-ASI (270Mbps) with automatic reclocking. Through standard LC fiber connectors, video signals can be extended up to 50 miles. There is also an HD-SDI input signal-detection LED. The pair uses a transmission wavelength of 850nm on multimode fiber with optical power better than -7.5dBm. The transmitter's input and receiver's output connectors are 75V BNC for SDI video, and it uses a 5VDC 4A power supply. The units also feature cable EQ up to 1000ft. at SD-SDI or 500ft. for HD-SDI. The product has a one-year manufacturer's warranty on parts and labor, and it weighs 3lbs.
The FO-HDSDI-SET from Avenview consists of small transmitter and receiver units that carry multirate SDI video with embedded audio and metadata over multimode fiber-optic cable. The transmitter module (FO-HDSDI-S) accepts an HD/SDI input on a BNC connector and transmits SMPTE 292M, 159M, 259M, or DVB-ASI on the fiber-optic link. Video signals are automatically reclocked, and there is an optional manual bypass. The transmitter unit also includes a green HD/SDI input signal-detection LED. The pair uses automatic cable EQ up to 1000ft. for SD-SDI and up to 500ft. for HD-SDI. The package includes an operator manual and a 5VDC power supply.
The Black Box AC1020A RGBHV/stereo-audio fiber extender kit sends high-resolution RGB and stereo audio up to 2460ft. on multimode fiber-optic cable or up to 18.6 miles on one single-mode fiber. Supported resolutions include VGA, SVGA, XGA, and WXGA. The unit is intended for applications such as broadcast studios, corporate theaters, stadiums, and airport kiosks. The AC1020A operates in the 1310nm wavelength window, exhibits an optical loss budget of 15dB when used over single-mode fiber cable, and requires no drivers or special software. The audio connects on a 3.5mm stereo jack, and the fiber ports use ST connectors.
If space is a prime consideration, the Mini-3GHD miniature fiber optic 3Gbps HD-SDI digital video transport system from Broadata Communications is the big answer in a small box. Designed to transport a one-channel SMPTE-424M3G HD-SDI, SMPTE-292M HD, or SMPTE-259M serial digital video signal over long distance through single-mode or multimode fiber, the unit requires no user adjustments. The power connector has a latch-locking mechanism to prevent any power disruption due to mishandling. This is especially important in such a small unit. Panel connectors are provided for digital HD-SDI video with a BNC connector while single and multi-mode fiber interfaces with an ST connector.
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