The Truth About the New TechLogix “Gaming Market” Fiber Optic Cables

TechLogix Networx has launched HDMI and DisplayPort video cables that they claim are specifically designed for electronic gaming and esports competition. Huh?

The press announcement said, “Unlike traditional video cables which are limited in length and video-processing speed, TechLogix cables leverage a fiber optic core that supports true, real-time 8K and 4K120 video with bandwidths up to 32.4G. Plus, the fiber design provides complete immunity to RF and electromagnetic interference, which can plague high-capacity installations.”

That is mostly a true (but not a totally true) statement — here’s why: The HDMI version of the series are only HDMI 2.0 compliant and LIKE ALL HDMI 2.0 compliant cables (not just theirs, but also the 22,118 sold on Amazon.com), they handle 8b/10b encoding for video transmission, giving it a maximum video bandwidth of 14.4 Gbit/s. This enables HDMI 2.0 to carry 4K@60Hz video with 24 bit/px color depth. My bet is that marketing wrote this and engineering cringed when they read it — or hasn’t seen the press announcement yet.

Here’s the truth: For the HDMI version of their cables, HDMI 2.0 isn’t the latest spec adopted by the HDMI Forum. HDMI 2.1 was released in December 2017 and it supports higher resolutions and higher refresh rates, including 4K@120Hz and 8K@20Hz — HDMI 2.0 does not. HDMI 2.1 is up to 48G (thus, the reason TechLogix couldn’t spec their cables for HDMI 2.1 — the cable literally sits between the 2.0 and the 2.1 spec. But, the truth is that their cables are not actually future-ready for gaming (or any device, for that matter as the application is not the issue here) that was an HDMI 2.1 signal output.

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For the DisplayPort version, according to their own website, it’s DisplayPort 1.4 compliant. Again, these are not “future-ready” as DisplayPort 2.0 is the latest spec from VESA and was adopted late last month (June 2019). DisplayPort 2.0 is capable of handling signals up to 80G (or 80Gbps) — or nearly 2.5 times the bandwidth of DisplayPort 1.4. This is what you need for 8K — if you use DisplayPort 1.4 for 8K, you’ll limit color bit depth and have slower refresh rates, for example — but color depth and fast refresh rates are exactly what the gaming market needs/wants. For example, for 8K outputs, with DisplayPort 1.4, you can only handle a 60Hz refresh rate.

The TechLogix optical cables have a 5-millimeter (0.2 inch) jacket, 7.5-millimeter (0.3 inch) bend radius, 45-kilogram (100 pounds) pull-rating and are available in stock lengths up to 50 meters (165 feet). They also don’t require secondary power supplies. Go here to see them both.