18G Signal Extension & Distribution Technology

18G HDMI (4K@60 4:4:4) has become a necessity in custom install and commercial audio-visual installations. However, routing 4K video can be a challenge—traditional transport mediums (think twisted pair) max out at 10Gbps and HDMI cables are often too short for large, multi-room installations. The below chart overviews four emerging technologies designed for 18G signal distribution over longer distances, including what they are, examples, and their pros and cons. 1

  

Technology Active Optical
Cables
Compressed HDMI
over Twisted Pair
Compressed HDMI
over Fiber
Uncompressed HDMI
over Fiber
Transmission Technology Direct Conversion Visually Lossless Compression Visually Lossless Compression Direct Conversion
Example SKU2 Chromis GigaPOF® Amovilis4K Series TechLogix TL-TP40-HDC2 TechLogix TL-FO2-HDC TechLogix TL-FO2-HDC2
Typical Retail Price 10m: $399 US
30m: $699 US
$599 US per set plus cable $799 US per set plus cable $1,449 US per set plus cable
Transport Medium  All-in-One Cable  Twisted Pair Cable Multi-mode or Single Mode Fiber  Multi-mode Fiber
Number of Cables Required
(Connector Type)
 1
(built-in HDMI connectors)
 1
(RJ45 connectors)
 1
(LC connectors)
 1
(LC connectors)
Max Transfer Rate 18G 10G 10G 30G
Max Signal Bandwidth 18G 18G 18G 18G
Maximum Resolution 4K@60 4:4:4 4K@60 4:4:4 4K@60 4:4:4 4K@60 4:4:4
HDMI Version/
HDCP Version
 HDMI 2.0/
HDCP 2.2
 HDMI 2.0/
HDCP 2.2
 HDMI 2.0/
HDCP 2.2
 HDMI 2.0/
HDCP 2.2
Max Extension Length 50 m (164 ft) 40 m (130 ft) Multi-mode: 300 m (1000 ft)
Single Mode: 30 km (18.5 miles)
300 m (1000 ft)
Integrated Control Signals CEC CEC, bi-directional IR, bi-directional RS232 CEC, bi-directional IR, bi-directional RS232 CEC, bi-directional IR, bi-directional RS232
Audio Return Channel (ARC) No No No Yes
Power Requirements Powered via HDMI connection Powered at send or receive Powered at send and receive Powered at send and receive
EMI & RF Signal Immunity3 Minimal Susceptible Immune Immune
Compression None Yes Yes None
Effect of Compression NA  Minor video artifacts4
 Minor video artifacts4 NA
Overall Pros Single cable design for easy installation Low cost and integrated control signals Low cost and integrated control signals Full uncompressed video transmission
Overall Cons Cannot be re-terminated if damaged or re-used Compression on signals over 10G Compression on signals over 10G Expensive

1Information current as of January 2019.
2Examples are not inclusive of all available options or technologies from all manufacturers.  
3Electromagnetic and radio frequency signal transmission immunity (immune transport mediums are not susceptible to signal interference).
4Artifacts are not typically visually noticeable to the human eye. 

Download a pdf version here: 18G Signal Extension & Distribution Technology

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