2015 NAB Cable & Fiber Review

While Wi-Fi and bonded cellular are all the rage, copper and fiber still fill in the gaps. From HD coax and triax, to mini BNC connectors and audio, there was something for everyone at the show this year. With fiber, I/Os abound and it seemed like every fiber box took advantage of large battery capacity for remote use. Back in the truck or tech core, patch bays are irreplaceable, and there was no shortage of them at the show, which was definitely a place to “get connected.”


Matt Watkins (L) from MultiDyne explains the function of the company’s SilverBack 4K5 cable transmission system to Phuthego Mojabele of Mojapele Productions in South Africa.AVP MFG. & SUPPLY arrived with their Maxxum universal bulkhead panel, a universal I/O panel. Also there, the Micro video jackfield, a 96-position 3 GHz coax device with a modular bulkhead panel, an adapter plate for nearly every camera connector, hybrid electrical and fiber optic breakout modules, and the Delta programmable jackfield.

BELDEN introduced its small diameter Category 6A 10GXS cables, targeting applications that require smaller, high performance cable with a simple design for emerging wireless, security and other application. The cables are the smallest TIA compliant cables on the market and have a 25 percent diameter and weight reduction over standard Category 6A cables.

BITTREE was making the connection with their CVP0115 Mini Triax patchbays, featuring low-profile connections and offering as many as 2x24 positions in just 2RU. The units feature high-bandwidth 3 GHz jacks and straight-through, non-normaling and non-terminating connectivity with low return loss.

CORNING was at the show with its line of Optical Cables, including the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 versions. The cables are 50 percent thinner and up to 80 percent lighter than copper cable and can significantly extend the data transmission range of traditional copper.

LEMO, along with its subsidiary Northwire, introduced new cable that meets or exceeds SMPTE (311-M) and ARIB (BTA S-1005B) standards.

FISCHER CONNECTORS showed their MiniMax 19-pin models. For applications requiring smaller devices, the MiniMax 19-pin combines signal and power in a rugged connection that’s about the size of a pushpin.

LEMO was high and dry with their T Series watertight, small-form connectors. They’re based on LEMO’s B Series and include a special construction inner-sleeve, along with extra sealing, to provide IP68 level water protection. This connector is backwardly compatible with LEMO’s B Series.

NEUTRIK USA introduced a new line of rearTWIST ultra-high-definition BNC connectors, specifically designed for operation at high frequencies, making them a great choice for transmitting UHD signals such as 4K or even 8K video.

ARTEL VIDEO SYSTEMS showcased their DigiLink media transport platform for transporting 3G, HD/SD-SDI, ASI and Ethernet traffic over direct fiber, managed optical, and IP networks. Also at the booth were the DigiLink-Lite products, including the DL5450 HD-SDI video-over-IP gateway and the DL5156, a low-cost 1RU solution for transporting six asynchronous HD/SDSDI or ASI circuits via fiber.

APANTAC had for review its Universal Matrix, which supports a mix of inputs and outputs in a single 3RU chassis. The unit handles HDMI/DVI, remote HDMI/DVI over CAT-5e/6 using HDBaseT technology, SDI, and also HDMI/SDI via fiber.

BLUEBELL OPTICOM showed the ShaxX broadcast camera interface for inserting power to broadcast cameras. Also there, the BC364 multiformat SFP interface for use with broadcast A/V signals, the BN366 4K fiber link for transporting 4K UHD signals and the Caddie-LB 4K fiber transport for UHD cameras and ENG/OB units. CAMPLEX launched its Fiberjuice system, which injects power over Neutrik optical-CON SMPTE DUO cables for powering outside broadcast and field production cameras to eliminate the need for local power and batteries at the camera end. The system delivers enough juice to power cameras, lights, lens control units and more.

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALTIES (CSI) unloaded their Fiberlink line, including the SDI Flex 3394 Series, with bidirectional SDI, DVB-ASI, data/contact closure; the SDI Flex 3390 Series; and the 5200 Series for bidirectional audio, data, and contact closure. Also there, the Fiberlink 3500 Series for transmission of up to four independent 3G/HD/SD-SDI signals or 4K/60.

DAWNCO showed their long-distance extension for four or eight HD/SDSDI digital video signals. It uses single-mode fiber, has built-in mux/demux capability and passes all data on the same fiber.

FISCHER CONNECTORS unveiled their FiberOptic Hybrid connector with two optical channels and two electrical contacts. It’s designed for demanding indoor and outdoor applications where space is limited.

JOSEPH ELECTRONICS demonstrated their Kick Box Fiber Breakouts designed for quick connectivity “fixes” and ideal for managing and maximizing fiber cable runs. Also there, the Shadow Box that is now a part of the “Caddie” line of fiber-optic interfaces. It provides multiple channels of 3G video, IFB, intercom and audio.

Jorge Salazar (L) of Providius in Canada and Joe Zajac of Lemo get wrapped up in a discussion of the Lemo 3K.93C HDTV connector.LAKE CABLE demo-ed their Stealth Special Ops 7.8 mm hybrid fiber camera cable, their new SMPTE 311 camera cable, the company’s latest triax camera cable, and an HDTV video coax that’s rated to 4.5 GHz.

LEMO showed off their HD Z-Link fiberoptic multichannel camera link system, which uses a single hybrid cable with LEMO 3K.93C connectors. Also on the table was the Serbal, a four-channel mux for HD/SDI-to-fiber conversion, and the LEMO Shack, which converts from SMPTE cable to single-mode optical fibers.

MULTIDYNE unboxed their Silver-Back 4K5 fiber system for 4K quad-link 3G camcorders, along with their Mini eXchange Series of compact converters. Also there, the SilverBack 4K camera-mounted fiber transport, SilverBack-II With Juice, 4K-4000 fiber transport system for single-mode fiber, the new SilverbackVideo monitor system, and their highly portable battery backup system.

NEUTRIK USA announced that its opticalCON LITE product line now offers the same two-fiber (DUO), four-fiber (QUAD), and 12-fiber (MTP) channel counts as Neutrik’s opticalCON Advanced product line.

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES brought a new version of their Live-Link Jr. fiber-interconnected camera extender system.

SWITCHCRAFT featured their panel mount, EH Series fiber-optic connectors, as well as the Micro video patchbays that are popular in mobile truck applications.

WISYCOM launched the MFL Fiberbox BX1-4U outdoor RF-Over-Fiber solution, featuring an easy-to-read OLED display of optical power, control of remote sites, internal and external loop out filtering options, and adjustable gain at all points in the signal chain.