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What Is a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable and Is It Worth Getting?

Find out what a fiber optic HDMI cable is, and it's worth getting for your setup.

What Is a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable and Is It Worth Getting? Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: March 18, 2023

Written by Brandon Jones

What Are Fiber Optic HDMI Cables?

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Fiber optic HDMI cables are a great way to extend the connection between devices, like if you're connecting a PC to a TV across a large room or house.

Fiber optic HDMI cables are like standard HDMI cables but are made with optical fiber inside the cable. Since the connection is instead made of optical fiber, they can reach further distances while keeping a high data transfer speed. These cables can reach similar distances as HDMI repeaters, but it's a more compact and cleaner solution. No extra devices are needed, just the cable.

Fiber optic HDMI cables can support 18 Gb/s speeds without signal loss and are meant for distances up to 164 ft (50 m) for 4K resolution @ 60 Hz.

Best Fiber Optic HDMI Cable

Fiber optic HDMI cables should be used alone and aren't meant to be used with an extender, repeater, switch, or A/V receivers. They also must be installed in the correct direction, with the output/display label connecting to the side with the display.

Unlike fiber optic HDMI cables, standard HDMI cables are made of copper and have limited ranges and speeds, which you can learn about in my other article: Max Length of an HDMI Cable.

Do Fiber Optic HDMI Cables Support Audio?

Fiber optic HDMI cables can send video and audio to a display like most standard HDMI cables. These optical HDMI cables can support up to 32 uncompressed audio channels.

Most fiber optic HDMI cables also support an Audio Return Channel (ARC), allowing TVs with a built-in tuner to send audio upstream to a surround sound audio receiver. Since every cable and manufacturer is different, it's best to confirm the cable has these features before getting it.

Are Fiber Optic HDMI Cables Worth Getting?

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Fiber optic HDMI cables are worth getting if you want to extend the range to connect a device to a display while keeping it as simple as a standard HDMI cable.

These optical HDMI cables are also suitable for higher resolution displays since standard HDMI cables are limited to 10 feet (3 m). For example, using a standard HDMI cable with a 4K TV farther than 10 to 15 ft would most likely result in HDMI signal loss and distortion of the picture or not work at all.

If you want to find out about other ways to extend an HDMI connection, check out my other article: How to Extend HDMI Cables Beyond Their Limits

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Learn About TVs

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Want to learn more about TVs? Check out the articles in my TV series: