No Hands for 4K

Last week I was in Hollywood at the SMPTE yearly shindig. I gave my ultimate paper (so far) on 4K Video over Coax. With 500 people in the room, it occurred to me as I began that I had the perfect group to find out some things. So I began by asking my audience a question. “If I could make a single coax that would run 4K video as far as you want, how many people would put that in?” I waited for a couple of seconds. Nothing happened. No hands went up. None! An article in the TV Technology website by Deborah McAdams the next day said there were hands that were ‘tentatively’ going up, but I couldn’t see them.

Tentative-Hand-Raising

I pointed out to my audience that I could save Belden a lot of money right here, and not bring out any 4K single-link coax, and save us a bundle in connectors as well. I suppose I broke a cardinal rule about public speaking, “Never ask the audience a question to which you do not already know the answer.” Well, clearly there was something I didn’t know. It was left up to me to interpret my audience’s answer. What did it mean? Read more »

Technical Terms

Be-certainWhile I was recently in Amsterdam, the home of IBC, the European version of NAB, someone handed me one of our European competitor’s catalogs. It showed the distance their cables can go at HD and 3G (2K). Funny thing though, they didn’t mention anywhere about the SMPTE formula (-20 dB at half the clock) which is the formula by which we at Belden determine the recommended distance of our cables. In fact, we can generate these numbers before we even make the cable. These are “safe distances” and are about half way to the digital cliff. I say “about” because, as chips improve, the effective distance keeps getting longer and longer. It is a common complaint we get, that you can go twice (even close to three times) the distances we show. Yes, those “recommended” distances are intended to keep you safe. Slap on connectors with the same bandwidth and return loss and you’re good to go.

We constantly hear stories about other manufacturers saying they go “much farther than the Belden cable”. Are those numbers based on the SMPTE formula? If not, then they better be at least twice as far as our numbers. Then there are those manufacturers who simply add 2 meters (meters in Europe) to each of the numbers in our chart that just proves they didn’t know where those numbers came from.

Read more »

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