Black Box active optical cables simplify extension of UHD video and audio

March 21, 2019

AV connectivity and signal distribution systems specialist Black Box Corporation has introduced its Active Optical Cable product range, which it says enables flawless transmission of ultra-high-bandwidth video and audio. Per the company, "With just one easy-to-install cable, users can extend HDMI signals with resolutions up to 4K at 60 Hz 4:4:4 and DisplayPort signals with resolutions up to 8K @ 60 Hz 4:4:4 for more than 200 meters."

“Our new Active Optical Cable range provides a simple, time-saving alternative to bulky HDMI/DP cables or costly AV extender kits that add another level of complexity in deployment and maintenance in high-density installations,” comments David Muzinic, product manager in the Technology Products Solutions business at Black Box. “With this addition to our pro AV solution offerings, users can guarantee UHD video and the highest quality digital audio at an attractive price point.”

Designed to ensure ultra-high video quality without compromise, the new cables are targeted for digital signage, control room, surveillance system, medical optical imaging, and video wall applications, as well as for video extension for meeting rooms, home cinemas, and VR systems. Specifically, the Black Box Active Optical Cables support HDMI: full 4K UHD resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 Hz, chroma 4:4:4 with up to 18 Gbps bandwidth; and DisplayPort: full 8K UHD resolutions up to 7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz or 32.4 Gbps.

In addition, supporting the full feature set of the HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 specifications, the cables provide immersive audio, including PCM 8-channel, DTS-HD, and Dolby Digital True HD surround sound along with the video signals. The cables’ hybrid fiber/copper design allows power to be pulled from the source and transmitted over copper to the display side, with no external power required.

“With video resolutions increasing to 8K and beyond, copper cables will become bulkier and extenders more expensive,” adds Muzinic. “In many environments, our Active Optical Cable range will be the preferred choice.”

Easy to install and engineered for reliability, the new Active Optical Cables from Black Box are an optimal choice for installers working in the transportation, retail, government, broadcast, healthcare, corporate, and education sectors, says the company. The cables’ lightweight, ultra-thin (0.48-millimeter) fiber optic design is easy to pull through tight spaces, and their impressive bend radius allows for easy navigation around corners. The fiber optic design and triple shielding of the fiber together ensure flawless transmission with ultra-high immunity to EMI and RFI.

Available in standard lengths of 10, 15, and 30 meters (box) and 50 or 100 meters (spool), the hot-swappable Active Optical Cables from Black Box require no software and are compatible with third-party equipment, including displays and video switches, as well as with Black Box video wall controllers, media players, and high-performance KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) systems, AV switches, and AV splitters.

More information about the Black Box Active Optical Cables is available at

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