A Fiber Primer
An Introduction to Fiber Optic Technology
Most of us in the Broadcast industry are familiar with fiber optic transmission systems and the solutions widely used for broadcast applications. These are typically external applications for moving video signals between distant locations, or hauling distant camera feeds into outside broadcast units. Signal distribution within a facility is typically copper coaxial cable, which has been used in one form or another since the inception of television. However, with the transition to HDTV, video bandwidth increased nearly seven fold from 270Mbit to 1.5Gbit. With the further migration to 1080P, video bandwidth has increased even further to 3Gbit. As bandwidth increases, the reach of copper cable reduces and our copper connected world is shrinking rapidly. Cable lengths have been reduced from 350m (1149 feet) at 270Mbit to 140m (460 feet) at 1.5Gbit, and now it’s down to approximately 70m (230 feet) at 3Gbit. If you allow some overhead for cable routing and emergency patch panels etc. then 70m (230 feet) maximum cable lengths imposes serious issues for facility design and expansion….