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Cables and Connectors Technology Showcase

The rapidly changing landscape in digital AV signals has made cable choice as critical to future.

Cables and Connectors Technology Showcase

May 31, 2011 8:21 AM,
by Bennett Liles

Tech people have long known that the weak links in any cable assembly are at the ends in the connectors, and conventional wisdom has it that the solidity of the connector attachment counts a great deal for the quality of the whole cable assembly. However, the introduction of high-definition digital video formats and the requirements for carrying their high-speed signals has ushered in a higher demand for quality cable construction all the way down the line. The rapidly changing landscape in digital AV signals and the coming analog sunset has also made cable choice as critical to future-proofing as the selection of the connected components. A new level of care and expertise in installation is required to avoid damage and accompanying loss of bandwidth. Here we take a look at the current field of cables, connectors, and related accessories being offered to meet these new challenges.

Atlona Model AT80HDMI-2

The best way to protect HDMI connections in public areas is to rigidly mount them into wall plates and Atlona offers such a solution with the Model AT80HDMI-2. Behind the plate is a 4in. strain-relief cable with 24k gold connector ends for each of the two HDMI ports. The strain relief avoids bending the HDMI cable, while the gold contacts protect the signal. The cosmetic cover plate is paintable, and the whole unit fits onto a standard single-gang electrical box. To accommodate extension of computer signals at 10.8Gbps with color depth up to 16-bit at resolutions up to WQXGA, Atlona also offers the AT-F13044L-10
Mini DisplayPort fiber-optic cable.

BTX ProBlox-D

BTX Technologies’ patent-pending ProBlox-Dall-in-one connector system contains two Cat-5e connectors along with 16 HD video and 18 audio and control contacts, all for field termination. The Cat-5e components allow HDMI, DVI, and VGA to be run over one or two Cat-5e cables. The ProBlox-D connector system simplifies setup for AV applications in any setting where multiple signals of different formats need to be delivered to a single connection point. In addition to saving installation time, it also provides nontechnical users with the ability to connect to a podium without the need for technical assistance.

Belden FiberExpress Briiliance

A component part of Belden’s Total Enterprise Networks (TENs) networking approach, the FiberExpress Brilliance field-installable connector can be used as a backbone, horizontal, or fiber-to-the-desk component in commercial buildings and data centers. Designed to speed the process of fiber installation, it provides a reliable termination in as little as five seconds with no termination tools needed. According to Belden, the contractor is able to re-terminate the connector up to five times to improve fiber termination yields and lower materials/installation costs. A number of connector types in the line have also been introduced.

Black Box Network Services has cables and adapters for DisplayPort v1.1 with data speeds up to 10.8Gbps and color depths of six, eight, 10, 12, and 16 bits with two-way connectivity. The EVNDP01 series cables feature 28 AWG conductors and male/male connectors. For HDMI applications, the EVHDMI01T series cables handle standard HDMI signals, while the EVHDMI06 series cables are designed for high-speed HDMI 1080p displays, as well as 4K, 3D, and Deep Color. The EVHDMI05 series cables are coiled HDMI cables that resist knots and tangling. The EVHDMI04 series HDMI cables feature one or two swiveling connectors that rotate 90 degrees up and down.

Cable Wholesale Premium Grade Digital Toslink

Among its huge product selection, Cable Wholesalehas a Premium Grade Digital Toslink fiber-optic cable with a universal head that allows it to plug into another Toslink connection from virtually any angle. Also helpful in tight places is a lighted head when the connection has been made. The cable comes in 12ft., 25ft., and 75ft. lengths, and the company will be adding more versions of this cable soon. Also available is an extremely thin speaker cable that can easily be attached to walls or other surfaces. The cable includes a clear outer jacket with a white, peel-able guard over an adhesive strip. Once the guard is removed, the cable can stick to walls. Also from Cable Wholesale is its 10ft. IR emitter for AV control systems.

Cables to Go RapidRun

Among the wide variety of products from Cables to Go, the RapidRun modular cabling system supports multiple signals over a single cable. Only the breakaway flying lead or wall plate need be changed to accommodate new gear. Supporting resolutions up to 1080p for HDTVs and up to 1920×1200 for computer monitors, the Pro series commercial-grade digital plenum cables provide 24 AWG copper conductors in lengths from 6ft. to 50ft. The Velocity rotating HDMI connectors cover 180 degrees for placement in tough spots, and the VGA270 is a monitor cable that can rotate 270 degrees side to side with click stops every 90 degrees. The company’s Classic series of integrated aluminum wall plates offers various combinations of audio, video, and pass-through connectors. The CMG-rated line of low-profile VGA cable saves space in gang boxes and is easily hidden.

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Cables and Connectors Technology Showcase

May 31, 2011 8:21 AM,
by Bennett Liles

One of the primary time savers in permanent installation and remote setups is AV composite cable and among its extensive cable line, Canare offers a variety of AV composite cable types for OB vans, ENG/EFP applications, and AV combo snakes. A2V1 provides two 25 AWG balanced audio lines in twisted pair with a foil shield and drain wire along with a single 75Ω video coax channel. Also available is the A2V2-L with two audio, two video, and four lines for intercom or tally triggering. In addition there are cables with various multiples of audio and video lines. Also from Canare is the LF series hybrid fiber/copper camera cable combining fiber with separate conductors for power and control.

Crestron MP-WP125

Crestron’s CBL-HD-certified HDMI interface cable is a Category 2 HDMI cable with 24k gold-plated Type A connectors to support 1080p60 HDTV with 16-bit color depth. Capable of handling resolutions up to WQXGA, the cable is sheathed in a High-flex CL3-rated jacket and is available in popular lengths up to 30ft. The MP-WP125 wall plate is typical of Crestron’s Media Presentation wall plates and provides eight gold-plated RCA connectors color-coded for component and composite video along with stereo sound. No stranger to the fiber realm, Crestron also offers the high-performance CresFiber 8G, a gradedindex multimode fiber cable tested to wavelengths up to 1550nm.


Designed to transport high-speed digital DVI and HDMI signals with bit rates up to 2.25Gbps over long distances, the Super High Resolution (SHR) cables from DVIGear maintain high signal integrity. The SHR cables form active cable assemblies when used with DVIGear’s Active Cable Extenders (ACE) for fully DVI and HDMI compliant transport up to 197ft. The DVI-2300-FO series series provides optical transport for DVI with resolutions up to 1080p and PC resolution up to 1920×1200 in a hybrid copper/fiber cable supporting bidirectional DDC communication. The DVI-2500-FO series series consists of four high-speed glass fibers and six copper wires and carries HDMI signals over 300ft.

Extron LockIt

Extron Electronics has introduced its new OM4 MM P laser-optimized multimode fiber cable for signal distances up to 2km with OM4 performance. Also new is the LockIt HDMI cable-lacing bracket. This is used to secure HDMI cables to a product’s connectors, reducing stress on the connector and reducing intermittent signal loss. Extron’s new Captive Screw Connectors for DC power, audio, and control connections have a strain-relief tab that provides a tie-down point for a securing a zip tie. They also feature an extended barrier between the two-wire openings to prevent shorts. In addition, DC power connectors feature a lock-out tab that prevents the connector from being inserted into a blue signal port on the back of an Extron product.

Gefen Extreme

The HDMI Extreme cables from Gefen offer an integrated HDMI cable solution composed of fiber-optic cable and electro-optical components built into the HDMI connector at the endpoints. These cables come in several lengths and are HDCP-compliant. A single power supply is included for use on the display end of the cable in case the video source signal is too weak to power the entire extension distance. Also from Gefen is the DisplayPort fiber-optic extender cable, which runs USB 2.0 up to 1000ft. on single-mode cable. Offering plug-and-play connectivity between DisplayPort computers and Apple’s new 27in. LED Cinema Displays, the DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort adapter adapter is another recent addition.

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Cables and Connectors Technology Showcase

May 31, 2011 8:21 AM,
by Bennett Liles

Gepco VHD1100F, VHD1300, and VDM230TS coax

Recently introduced by Gepco, the V-Light active fiber cable system provides the transmission distance of single-mode fiber with connectors sealed in a weather-tight shell. The familiar Gepco V-Con connector system is used for exterior termination, eliminating the concern for contaminated fiber connectors. Introduced at this year’s NAB were Gepco’s new VHD1100F flexible RG-11 coax and VHD1300 extended distance coax, designed for transmission of uncompressed HD video in patching or remote locations. The new miniature plenum VDM230TS coax for transmission of HD video in permanent installations was also featured at the show.

Kramer WAV-6H

New from Kramer Electronics is the plenum-rated CP-HM/HM HDMI cable with molded HDMI connectors. Constructed with 26 AWG conductors in 15ft. and 25ft. lengths and 24 AWG in 25ft. and 50ft. lengths, the cables have gold-plated connectors for handling 1080p60 and are compatible with 30-bit and 36-bit Deep Color. Another recent addition is the WAV-6H, a single gang wall plate insert with a pass-through female connector for HDMI at the front and a cable and female HDMI connector at the rear. The plate includes a 15-pin computer connection and a yellow RCA for composite video, along with unbalanced stereo sound on RCAs and a 3.5mm mini jack.

The M-Link connector family from MultiDyne is available as a fiber-optic or hybrid model featuring a connector platform with configurable pin or socket insert caps that can be added to the plug or receptacle. A series of modules fit into male or female cavities to form an active channel for fiber pins, fiber-optic sockets, electrical pins, electrical sockets, or dummy modules to seal unwanted cavities.

Neutrik opticalCon Quad

Since its launch in 2005, the opticalCon line of fiber-optic connectors from Neutrik has rapidly spread through the AV, broadcast, and lighting industry offering dust-protected, ruggedized connection. The opticalCon Duo models led the way, closely followed by the opticalCon Quad series, which doubled the fiber count to four per cable. The selection later broadened to the opticalCon Triple Split providing 12 fiber channels in three groups of four.

Opticis designed its M1-1000 express allfiber DVI cable with active opto-electronic components inside to provide WUXGA resolution at 60Hz for distances up to 326ft. The cable is embedded with eight strands of multimode fiber to support DDC2B/HDCP in addition to the TDMS video interface. The M1-1POE is a hybrid fiber/copper cable with male DVI-D connectors at each end. Its four H-PCD fibers provide the TDMS interface, while the embedded copper conductors support DDC2B/HDCP for 326ft.


In the RCX line from Radio Design Labs there is a model to fit just about any conceivable wiring scenario. The RCX-J3 provides two RCA connectors with gold contacts. The connectors are tied through hum-rejecting transformers to a rear-panel barrier block. The XLR connection is directly tied to the barrier block. The panel covers come in several styles including the RCX-J3 brass model. Among the Decora Style connector plates is the DS-AVM4 with a pass-through female/female DB-15 video monitor connector teamed with twin gold-contact RCA connectors for stereo sound. Below the RCA ports is a stereo mini jack.

Snap AV 1EndZ RG6

Available in a variety of lengths, the new Binary B7 series high-speed HDMI-licensed cable with Ethernet from SnapAV provides 1440p tested video quality. It’s HDMI licensed for speeds up to 340MHz and capable of 16-bit deep color. SnapAV’s new Binary 1EndZ RG6 cable with tool-free RCA reduces rack dressing time by half. By combining tool-free RCA connectors and a precut coaxial cable with one end already assembled, installers simply grab the right length 1EndZ, connect the pre-assembled end to the equipment, dress the cable through the rack, cut/ trim to the desired length, assemble the other end with the included tool-free connector, and plug it in.

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Cables and Connectors Technology Showcase

May 31, 2011 8:21 AM,
by Bennett Liles

Switchcraft HDMI connectors

A bedrock name in the connector business, Switchcraft markets a huge range of connector and adapter products including analog and digital audio and video, data, power, and control. Also offered are harsh environment connectors including the Micro-Con-X, EN-3 series , and the Mega-Con-X multi-pin selections. Newer additions include the EH series panel-mount connectors. Switchcraft’s HDMI feed-through connector comes in nickel or black finish and features a grounding mechanism, making it simple to connect or isolate chassis ground. All EH series connectors are built into a standard XLR housing.

Originally designed for Disney theme parks but now catching the attention of consultants and engineers for other line-array speaker applications as well, the West Penn WireWP128P has eight pairs of 12 AWG stranded copper conductors and an overall PVC jacket. Indoor applications include intercom, security, sound, and power limited-control circuits.

The newest member of the Medusa series of audio snakes from Whirlwind, the Medusa Data Snake adds two lines of certified Cat-6 twisted pair to the standard multi-pair audio lines and features protective SnakeSkin on the fanouts. Available in a variety of lengths, the snake features metal chassis mount XLRs, Neutrik Ethercon inline and chassis connectors, and a Pig Bag to protect the fanouts in storage. Each audio pair contains two twisted 24GA 7×32 polyethylene insulated conductors with 100 percent foil shield and 24GA drain wire.

Wireworks MCat524

To reduce wear and tear on equipment connectors, Wireworks has introduced the MCat524 multichannel multipin-disconnect Cat-5e cable, which provides a breakout of six or 12 RJ-45 connections from the single rugged Wireworks G-Block connector. To reduce EMI, the main cable consists of double-jacketed conductors with a separating foil shield. The truck cable is available in lengths up to 250ft., and the breakouts have color-coded boots on all twisted-pair tails.

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