Last July I completed a 4-day training program in Orlando, FL offered by the Light Brigade which is the training division of AFL, a world leader in fiber optic equipment and technology. The course focused on fiber optic theory and practice as it pertains to the pro AV and broadcast industry.
After it was finished I knew much more about the things I knew something about and still more about things I didn’t know so well. There were also things I didn’t even know existed that I’m sure glad I knew about after the course was finished. My point is that fiber optics for our AV world is much more complex than one would imagine.
Production Toolbox started using fiber optics (single mode mil-tac cable) several years ago to get our HD camera images on the big screen. Although copper coax will works well over short distances it is not immune to EMI, ground loop and timing issues, all of which are eliminated when using fiber optics. Also for less weight and bulk than a single coax cable which carries one video signal, a mil-tac 12 cable will carry at least 12 video and/or data signals with bi-directional capabilities possible. For long range signal transmission we have found HD-SDI transmitted over fiber optic cable to be far more reliable and cost effective than wireless video systems. We regularly utilize cable runs of one mile or more and with our uniform 1000’ mil-tac cable reels deployment is fast and predictable.
To the end-user running video over fiber optics is for the most part plug and play as long as everything works as it should. After using this technology for several years and avoiding some close calls and near misses (connector damage, mil-tac cables damaged and destroyed by vehicles, boats and hungry rodents) I decided that Production Toolbox would be totally self-sufficient when using fiber optics. Good luck trying to find a fiber optic technician willing to make service call on a Sunday, right?
In addition to completing the training class, we have made substantial investments in specialized fiber optic test equipment, termination/maintenance supplies and a portable fusion splicer- the holy grail in fiber optic cable assembly and repair. When we provide fiber optic systems at your event, we are not merely an appliance user but a totally self-contained service. When the whole show depends on the integrity of the system, nothing less
It’s worth mentioning again that when fiber optic cabling is used at your event you also have the option of running multichannel audio, Ethernet and other data down the same cable. If you’d like to find out how our fiber optics systems can work for your event give us a call today for more information.