Tributaries launches first DPL Labs-certified fiber optic HDMI cable to pass 18Gbps
Tributaries, a manufacturer of high-quality audio and video interconnect cables, speaker wires, and power products, has unveiled its new Aurora cable—an active fiber optic HDMI cable certified by DPL Labs to transport HDMI signals at data rates of up to 18Gbps over cable lengths of 10 to 30 meters (32 to 98 feet).
With the arrival of UHD Premium content, 4K/60, and 10-bit color with HDR, it’s become necessary for consumers to have a cable that is capable of carrying data at rates that high, Tributaries said. This year already, consumers have seen 4K Blu-ray players become a reality, and UHD Blu-ray discs are being sold through multiple retail channels; Kaleidescape has made available UHD Blu-ray movies; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“To successfully play this content requires cables capable of transporting data rates of 18Gbps,” Tributaries said in a statement. “The days of good'nuf cables are coming to an end. Only cables that are designed, engineered and manufactured to the highest standards using the best components will work in this new world of UHD Premium content.”
Engineered as a hybrid fiber optic cable, Tributaries said the Aurora cable is “a marvel of electro-optical engineering combining the best of worlds, glass and copper.” Glass transports the video/audio/clock and controls signals, while the copper carries the Digital Display Channel responsible for the 2-way communication of EDID and HDCP.
Tributaries explained the Aurora cable’s functionality further in its statement:
The brain of the cable, originally designed for military applications, is an optical microchip encased in the HDMI source-connector. Embedded in the microchip are 4 vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, VCSELs, semiconductor-based laser diodes that emit a highly efficient optical beam perpendicular to the fiber surface. Each TMDS modulated beam is reflected off a mirror and injected into a multi-mode fiber optic glass material producing 4 TMDS optic channels. The optical glass fibers are surrounded by highly reflective OM3 (10Gig) cladding. The sink-end connector houses Photo Diode receptors that decode the TMDS modulated light beams and convert them back to an electrical HDMI signal.
"Over the last year DPL has had the privilege of testing several types of fiber optic cable products designed to support 18Gbps of throughput. Unfortunately none of them were able to pass DPL minimums", Jeff Boccaccio, president of DPL Labs, said in the statement. "Finally a new Hybrid AOC fiber product was submitted for testing that had outstanding performance up to and including 30 meters."
Breakdown in pricing for the Aurora cable looks like this: a 10m/33ft cable will retail for $1,350, 15m/49ft will go for $1,500, 20m/66ft is $1,650, 25m/82ft is $1,800, and 30m/98ft is $1,950. For more information visit the Tributaries website.