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QUESTION: Dear ZZ

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaxial_cable
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_fiber_cable


Can we alternatively use Fiber Optic and Cat5 Cable in Cable Television and Telephone Systems as a replacement to Coaxial Cable ?.


Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Television has gone digital throughout most of the world.  This means the connecting cables are now geared for digital transmission.  And many of the tv now connect with HDMI from the cable set top box.  HDMI is a special cable used for transmitting digital tv and audio specifically for television and video signals.

For antenna received signals for off air program a coax is used that will properly pass the signal and match its impedance to the input characteristics of the tv.

Fiber optics could be used if the tv were to have an optics receiver built in to convert the signal to a digital tv format.  Cat5 does not have the right impedance characteristic and is prone to interference for tv formatted signals.  Therefore, the un-shielded cable is not a good idea.  Further it would need a special connector to be built into the tv.

And, finally, optic fiber and cat5 cables are more expensive than coax - which has been used for so many years.

(I don't know the details of all the countries of the world but some differences in interfacing into tv receivers varies around.  UK uses scart connectors, for example.)



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear ZZ

Thank you.

Can the cable TV provider provide a
fiber optic cable which will interface
with both the TV Setup Box and TV receiver circuit modified to work ?.

Will this have advantages over coax or HDMI cable in terms of Quality video transmission,more channel bandwidth etc apart from cost factor incurred in implementation of the above ?.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Fiber optics can easily be added, theoretically, but would require front end circuit changes.

Quality is no better, at least for short runs, than HDMI or coax as the full set of digital data is transmitted according to the digital standards that abound.  However, some cable companies reduce bandwidth in their transmissions in order to get more channels within a give spectrum; which leads them to have an inferior video quality compared to full advanced television standards.  At least this is according to US activities.  Other countries have different standards and practices for television transmissions.

But,generally speaking, for short distances, such as used between devices and the wall connections it probably doesn't make big differences, practically speaking, between the cables used.  If you are thinking for 4k sets that may be a matter of concern, but not yet as I have seen in the marketplace.

It is a good question though and I'll keep watching movement in this area.

Hope this helps.  

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Expertise

Electronics questions about AC, DC and digital theory.

Experience

Graduate electrical engineer with over 40 years in electronic design, manufacturing, project organization and patent review. Experience in fields of industrial and consumer electronics (audio, video, acoustics, etc.)

Organizations
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); Senior Life member AES (Audio Engineering Society), Fellow Life member

Education/Credentials
BSEE University of North Dakota

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