By Andrew Liszewski
Your regular copper cable-based HDMI cables are probably more than sufficient for most consumers. But for professional applications, and of course those home-theater video/audiophiles, a Chinese company called the Rainbow Fish Corporation will soon have a fiber optic-based alternative available. The advantages to using fiber optics over copper are of course the lack of any electromagnetic interference which also requires less shielding, hence a thinner cable, and dramatically increased transmission distance. A rep from the company claims you can send an HDMI signal down a 900 foot fiber optic cable without any loss in quality. And without the need for a repeater.
But there’s always a trade-off, though thankfully this time it’s a minor one. Unlike standard copper HDMI cables which you can just plug in and have work, fiber optic-based HDMI cables require a power source, which in this case is pulled from a USB port. You’ll find that most modern hi-def TVs have at least one USB port on the back, but if not you can always add an AC to USB adapter to your TV’s power strip. The Rainbow Fish fiber optic HDMI cables will be available in a few months, with pricing info to be announced later.