As homes grow smarter and bandwidth increases, reliable delivery of data grows essential. I met with Joe Zhang, of FIBBR, at CEDIA. FIBBR is a new brand of fiber optic HDMI cables that has just launched in the US.
Maureen Jenson: Hi Joe, you are brand new to the US market. Give our readers a quick introduction to FIBBR.
Joe Zhang: We officially kicked off our US launch, as you know, during CEDIA 2017. While the brand is new in the US, FIBBR’s parent company, YOFC, is well established as the largest supplier of preformed optical fiber and cable. In collaboration with VIA Technologies, one of the largest independent manufacturers of motherboard chipsets, the companies combined their expertises in integrated-circuit chip technology with unique optical fibers for a future-proof HDMI fiber solution.
MJ: While the use of fiber isn’t new in large-scale commercial applications, it’s finally gaining popularity for residential use. Tell our readers, in case they are unaware, what benefits do fiber optic cables offer, and what are their limitations?
JZ: Unlike traditional coaxial copper cabling, fiber is designed to reliably deliver a high bandwidth of data over long distances. As the 4K digital entertainment market rapidly evolves, combined with today’s larger homes, HDMI cables will need to handle the increased bandwidth. With copper reaching its physical limits in terms of length and bandwidth, active fiber optic cable is the smart choice for integrators preparing for HDMI 2.1 and beyond, while providing their customers with the ultimate performance for today’s content. FIBBR cables offer reliably high bandwidth, extremely low signal attenuation, and high resistance to external electromagnetic interference—a common yet troublesome problem in the field. In our opinion, there aren’t any limitations to using fiber—in fact, we strongly encourage all integrators to embrace it.
MJ: Why should integrators embrace fiber optic cables and choose FIBBR as their brand?
JZ: Simply put, reliability and ease of installation. An integrator needs to be confident that customers will have the best possible audio/visual experience when they desire it.
By its nature, fiber is strong but lightweight—60 percent lighter than traditional cabling—and flexible, especially over long distances, causing less wear and tear on hardware sources. And with less weight and physical size to deal with, the logistics of storage, transportation, etc., are more easily managed.
All FIBBR cables feature our proprietary BendRobust technology, an industry first that allows the fiber to be bent 180-degrees, to guarantee flexibility and durability in extreme conditions with uninterrupted transmission of signals.
FIBBR cables provide extra ease of use by regenerating the power received from AC coupling, eliminating the need for an additional power supply at the signal-display end.
As a brand, we are looking to build our distribution network with trusted partners. We are solely focused on cables—that is our business—and our research and development team is world class. We offer a full range of solutions for both commercial and residential markets. We are passionate about pushing the envelope for data transmission with the assurance of durability and reliability. For example, our UltraPro cables are certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF®) for 18Gbps.
MJ: Tell us about FIBBR’s key products, and give us a preview of what’s to come during 2018.
JZ: Our UltraPro HDMI 2.0 cable, certified by the ISF for 18Gbps transmission, is designed to easily, safely, and reliably deliver the 18Gbps bandwidth necessary for today’s 4K and HDR content over distances of up to 50 meters for residential use (up to 200 meters available by special request).
We have many exciting developments planned for 2018, including the addition of Auto Return Channel (ARC) for our UltraPro Series. We are also pleased to announce that we will launch our Ultra 8K 2.1 cable during CES 2018. In preparation for 8K and beyond, our Ultra 8K cable will easily handle the transmission of 56Gbps signals over lengths of up to 50 meters. We previewed this model at CEDIA, and are pleased to be exhibiting with the HDMI Forum to showcase what we believe is an industry first.