Application Note 02

Configuring a Fiber Optic Video Distribution System

When video signals must be distributed over long distances such as in a sports stadium or arena, the use of fiber optic transmission techniques can assure high quality noise-free pictures at each monitor point without the problems normally encountered with coaxial cable. Since the fiber optic interconnecting cable in such a system is virtually immune to electrical interference, it can be routed wherever convenient without regard to the proximity of electrical noise producers. In addition, since the fiber optic cable is non-conducting, ground loops, which usually result in "hum bars" in the picture, are eliminated. Finally, costs need not necessarily be a detriment, especially where high quality performance is critical,

The accompanying figure shows a six-channel video distribution system using relatively inexpensive components. Each transmitter/receiver pair will produce "professional quality" pictures over distances of a mile or two and can be installed quickly and inexpensively. The system will operate from -35 to +75C thereby allowing the use of both indoor and outdoor monitors.

In operation a video signal is first connected to an inexpensive distribution amplifier, available from many video dealers. This device produces six identical outputs from a single input. Each output is then connected to a LuxLink VT-1001-1 fiber optic video transmitter that produces a modulated light signal. This signal is then applied to a fiber optic cable. At the receiving end a matching LuxLink VR-1001-1 fiber optic receiver converts the modulated light back into a replica of the original video signal. Installation only requires a screwdriver and some patch cables and can be accomplished quickly and inexpensively.

List price for such a system (all equipment) is about $2700 and that includes applicable plug-in wall-type power supplies as well. A normal discount schedule is available for distributors, system integrators or installation companies to reduce costs even further. Since standard multi-mode fiber optic cable only costs about 10 to 15 cents per foot, the cost for this portion of the system is no more than for coaxial cable.

Considering the performance of a fiber optic video transmission system, particularly in a critical installation, it is important for the installer to seriously consider this technology.

 Fiber Optic Video Distribution System

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