Content from impressive rack of audio and video components deserves to be appreciated everywhere in the house, distributed to all TVs and speakers, even ones you might have outside. The notion of spreading music and video from one main equipment hub to multiple entertainment areas isn’t new, but the type of content that’s being distributed seems to change and shift every year. It used to be music from CDs in a carousel that went housewide; now it’s streaming music from the Internet. With each new type of A/V source and with homeowners’ increasing desire for better, higher-quality listening and viewing experiences, bandwidth starts to become a big issue.
Extron Fiber Optic Cables
For this reason, fiber optic cabling has become the transmission medium of choice among a growing number of custom electronics (CE) professionals … and A/V loving homeowners. In a project that involved extending a homeowners’ A/V system to the back yard, CE pro Derek Goldstein of Casaplex, Kensignton, Md., went exclusively with fiber. Considering finicky outdoor conditions, the size of the yard and the distance between the house and the outdoor speakers and TV (at least 300 feet), fiber optic cabling was the way to go, says Goldstein. “Plus the transmission speed of fiber is at least 10 times faster than coax and picks up no interference,” so music and video signals remain strong and pure, and would let the professional-grade JBL speakers (installed outside) perform to their full potential.
Gefen Fiber Optic HDMI Extender
The benefits of fiber play out inside the house, too, adds Justin Dohman of Smart Homes of Texas, McKinney, Texas. “I think every home should be run with fiber optic cabling because it can handle more data than Category 5 or 6 cabling.” This larger bandwidth capacity will be particularly important, he says, as 4K video becomes more commonplace. The higher resolution of 4K video will require cabling with better bandwidth, he says, so even if you don’t use fiber now, at least have it run to all potential entertainment area for the future, he recommends.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.