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6 Reasons To Use Fiber On Your Next Project

Connecting the right cable in the right place is obviously essential for pro AV systems integrators, but choosing the right type of cabling for the job can be just as important. We've all heard the stereotypes, as the fiber versus copper debate has been raging for more than a decade.

Laiacona says the benefits of fiber show up not on small jobs and short runs but on major installations, such as wiring stadiums. “In a large project like a baseball stadium or something of that magnitude, you can easily spend $750,000 on hanging conduit, pulling wire, and terminating it,” he says.

In many cases, fiber will cost more than copper —and in a significant number of those cases, copper is therefore the better choice. But as Barlow points out, you have to consider the big picture. In a home theater system, for instance, a 50-foot fiber cable might cost $700 versus $200 for the same length of copper cable. But the fiber will be able to handle the higher resolution of future video standards and deliver a better signal. Given the fact that cable is typically three to five percent of the total system cost, he says, why save money on cheaper cabling that becomes “the weakest link in the chain” and prevents you from getting the full benefit of the other components?

Based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Grant Buckler is a freelance writer and editor who has been covering information technology and communications for 25 years. He can be reached at

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