By Todd Anderson on Jan 27, 2018 at 3:15 PM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    FIBBR Technologies Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 15-Meter Cable Review

    Manufacturer & Model:
    FIBBR Technologies Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 15-Meter Cable Review
    MSRP:
    $279
    Link:
    http://www.fibbrtech.com
    Highlights:
    Full HDMI 2.0x functionality over 50-feet, quality construction, thin and light as compared to traditional long-run passive HDMI cables, smart LED lights indicate connection status, fiber optic design.
    Summary:
    The FIBBR Ultra Pro is a highly competent, well made, fiber optic HDMI 2.0 cable that provides 4K UHD HDR functionality over 15-meteres (nearly 50-feet) of distance. The cable's omnidirectional connection requirements are confirmed by a series of LED indicator lights on the source end of the cable, in addition to clearly identifiable markings. Our tests demonstrated the cable's ability to reliably pass-through 4K HDR (including Dolby Vision) video and multi-channel audio.
    [​IMG]


    Let’s jump into some hot water and talk cables, specifically: HDMI 2.0. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 15 years, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with HDMI (High Definition Multi-Media Interface) cables. After all, they’re your gateway to sending both HD and 4K UHD HDR video signals (along with multi-channel audio) between components and displays using a simple single connection.


    4K HDR And HDMI 2.0
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    The introduction of 4K HDR video quickly ushered the industry into its current HDMI 2.0a specification, which allows for up to 18Gbps of data transfer. For the most part, any High Speed HDMI cable is compatible with 4K UHD HDR content. A cable’s length, however, can be problematic when 4K HDR signals are sent over relatively long distances (roughly 20-feet or greater). Once a lengthy distance is met or exceeded, signal failure can occur. Of course, I’m choosing generalities because equipment and environmental circumstances all come into play.

    Speaking from experience, my theaters room's conversion from 1080p to 4K UHD led to a momentary cable crisis. My previous 35-foot long HDMI cable couldn’t reliably pass a 4K signal. After evaluating all available options, including a new beefier passive cable paired with a signal booster, I ultimately purchased a 40-foot fiber optic cable. That cable has performed flawlessly. In fact, fiber optic HDMI cables can be used in runs up to 1,000 feet. Impressive, right?


    FIBBR Ultra Pro
    [​IMG]

    Recently, FIBBR Technologies (China) sent me a 15 meter (roughly 50-feet) Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 Cable for review. This particular fiber optic cable isn’t cheap, currently available through Essence Electrostatic LLC for $279, but has a few interesting features that make installation practically dummy-proof.

    The Ultra Pro is 4-core fiber optic cable that’s specified to competently pass 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 video (including 3D) and up to 32 audio channels, which is to say everything required to enjoy the best of current 4K HDR video with a full 7.2.4 Atmos speaker array. Much like all other HDMI cables, it's compatible with any current HD or UHD HDMI device (including projectors, televisions, digital cable boxes, AV receivers, gaming systems and the like). And because its fiber optic, it has a high resistance to external electromagnetic interference.

    Like other fiber optic HDMI cables, the Ultra Pro is unidirectional. And to help prevent frustrations from installing the cable backwards, FIBBR has instituted several visual aids including simple graphics that clearly mark the display end of the cable. The company has also endowed the component end with a “smart status” LED indicator that blinks green when correctly plugged into a source, blinks red when mistakenly inserted into a display, and glows blue when a data connection is established.

    The Ultra Pro does not support either ARC (Audio Return Channel) or Ethernet capabilities.


    Out Of The Box
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    The Ultra Pro is boxed in shelf-quality packaging, internally coiled to fit neatly in a plastic molded container. FIBBR ships the cable secured by three Velcro ties (which can be used for quick bundling during installation) with its connector ends protected by plastic caps. Simple installation instructions are included on the box’s inside lid.

    The cable, itself, boasts rather robust construction with a rugged braided PET sheath covering a pliable LSZH jacket. Overall build quality is noticeably competent. Unlike many passive HDMI cables, the Ultra Pro is extremely thin and flexible (not to mention lightweight).


    Installation and Performance
    [​IMG]

    A blue indicator light signifies a functional connection on the source end of the cable.

    I was initially concerned about the Ultra Pro’s ability to lay straight and flat, largely due to its rugged sheath. That concern was unfounded, however, as the cable was relatively easy to work with and conformed along the edge of a baseboard on a carpeted surface. Once plugged into a device, the cable’s plug to cable bend length accounts for roughly 2.5-inches, meaning you need 2.5-inches of space between a component/display and a wall (assuming the HDMI port isn’t angled or positioned on the side of a device).

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    Despite its rugged exterior, the Ultra Pro lays relatively flat and straight without issue.

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    Once installed, the Ultra Pro cable needs roughly 2.5-inches of space to fit properly.

    The cable’s three component-end lights (as described above) all worked as intended and are clearly visible.

    In terms of playback, the cable worked perfectly, successfully passing a 4K UHD HDR signal (Planet Earth II, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) from an OPPO UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray player directly to a JVC RS520 projector (and, alternatively through a Marantz RS7012 AVR). The projector’s internal menu system confirmed it was receiving a 4K (3840p) signal with 12-Bit color. To the eye, the picture was exquisite, devoid of any visible issues; audio was pristine. Alternatively, the cable also successfully passed a 4K UHD Dolby Vision signal (Fate of the Furious, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) from an OPPO UDP-203 to an LG OLED B6 4K television. Again, picture perfect.


    [​IMG]
    The Ultra Pro delivered a full 4K UHD HDR signal to a JVC RS520 projector.


    [​IMG]
    An LG OLED B6 displaying 4K Dolby Vision received via the Ultra Pro.

    The cable was used in excess of one week without failure.


    Conclusion
    While expensive, FIBBR Technologies' Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 Cable is an excellent choice for 4K UHD HDR duty over long runs. While it’s impossible to ignore that forthcoming HDMI 2.1 standards will require a far more capable (HDMI 2.1 certified) cable, those cables have yet to hit the market. Therefore, cables such as the FIBBR Ultra Pro are perfect for servicing current 4K systems that owners are likely use for years to come. Buy with confidence.

    If you're a North American buyer, you can learn more about the Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 cable by visiting FIBBR's North American Distributor: Essence Electrostatic LLC.

    [​IMG]

    FIBBR Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 Specifications
    • Product model: FIBBR UltraPro HDMI 2.0
    • Product specification:4:4:4 4K@60Hz
    • HDMI cable length: 49.2ft (15 meters)
    • HDMI cord core material: 4-core optical fiber
    • Bandwidth: 18 Gbps
    • Housing: PC material
    • Cable diameter: 4.6 mm
    • Braided coating: PET
    • Supports: 3D Content, resolutions up to Ultra HD 4K 4096×2160 60Hz, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio up to 32 audio channels, Transfer Rates of Up to 18 Gbps, HDCP
    • Compatibility: projector,3D player, Digital Set-Up box, DVR, A/V receiver, Blu-Ray player, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3/4 , HD Cable Box, Personal Computer or any other device with a standard HDMI output interface.
    • Does Not Support: ARC and Ethernet
    • Retail Package Contents: FIBBR Ultra Pro HDMI 2.0 Cable 15 meter *1




     
    #1 Todd Anderson, Jan 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    KLH007 and tripplej like this.

Comments

Discussion in 'AV Equipment Reviews' started by Todd Anderson, Jan 27, 2018.

    1. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Thanks for the review. Looks like a high quality product worth getting that is for sure.
       
    2. Bob Rapoport

      Bob Rapoport New Member

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      Thanks for your insightful reporting on this new HDMI v2.0 Fiber Optic Cable line Todd.
       
      #3 Bob Rapoport, Jan 29, 2018
      Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2018
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    3. Sonnie

      Sonnie Senior Admin
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      It's good to see a quality HDMI that can hold up to HDR... they seem to be rare these days.
       
    4. Bob Rapoport

      Bob Rapoport New Member

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      Thanks Sonnie, these HDMI cables are Fiber Optic, not Copper. Fiber has zero resistance and immunity to EMI, both of which can degrade copper performance. The emergence of 4K with HDR plus hi res audio soundtracks is driving the demand now for solutions that can handle 3 times more data than the old 2K spec at 1080p. Fiber has long been known as a solution for long distance runs like Todd's projector but even a short 4K run of 5 ft reveals fiber's superiority now. Fiber is 100 times faster than copper.
       
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    5. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Hard to argue with those conclusions. There's nothing more frustrating than spotty cable performance!
       
    6. bkeeler10

      bkeeler10 Active Member

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      This is great. I've been wondering what I will use to feed my projector when I get it. This is expensive, but should be good for quite a long time.

      Todd, what fiber optic cable had you been using prior to receiving this one? Is/was it 18 Gbps capable? I know fiber has no problem with this, and shouldn't have any problem with the 50 some-odd Gbps of HDMI 2.1 either, but I've heard that the chips on either end are the bottleneck.
       
    7. Bob Rapoport

      Bob Rapoport New Member

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      Hi BKeeler10, thanks for your interest in the Ultra Pro HDMI Fiber Optic Cables by FIBBR (pronounced "fiber"). Indeed, fiber is 100 times faster than copper, at the speed of light. Its a myth (repeated by people selling copper cables :)) that the opto-electronics slow the process down, the results speak for themselves; a more faithful reproduction of the original content in every way with zero loss from attenuation and also immunity to EMI which I think contributes to the utter smoothness of the image, I know you'll love them. Bookmark my product page for whenever you're ready: http://www.essenceelectrostatic.com...-0b-ultra-pro-active-fiber-optical-cables-v2/
       
    8. mechman

      mechman Senior Admin
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      Define long time! :bigsmile: I know that specs are published for greater than 150Gbs (I want to say 178Gbs but I can't recall off the top of my head), but who knows how long until we hit that wall. To give you an example, in order to future proof his theater Joel Silver ran four fiber optic lines recently in his home. That was prepping for an 8K resolution, 14bit color depth and Rec2020 color space signal.

      The best thing you can do is to run a conduit so that you can easily pull what you'll need in the future. :T
       
    9. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      To be honest, I can't remember the name of the fiber cable I purchase... but price was pretty much in line with the FIBBR. I did have a fiber cable conk-out on me (not the FIBBR brand) in my first few days of use... so paying for quality is important.
       
    10. Bob Rapoport

      Bob Rapoport New Member

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      Todd's right about quality, I've searched for a line like FIBBR for a long time, Joel turned me on to it because of its reliability in the field, he tested it over 6 months of calibration classes around the world, best images any of his students have ever seen wherever he went without a single failure. I've seen a lot of pretenders in this category, its wise to buy a brand that actually meets spec and is certified.
       
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    11. bkeeler10

      bkeeler10 Active Member

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      Thanks Bob. Are you suggesting that this cable will be able to pass 48 Gbps of bandwidth as required by the HDMI 2.1 spec? If so, it's even more compelling.

      That I have definitely done :)
       
    12. Bob Rapoport

      Bob Rapoport New Member

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      No, the Ultra Pro Series meets the HDMI v2.0 spec of 18 Gbps. However FIBBR has a new cable ready for when v2.1 Compliance Testing starts in the Fall, it reaches 48 Gbps, 12 gigs per strand in a 4 strand configuration. IMHO, the reason HDMI issued the v2.1 spec was to enable the rest of us to move on with our lives at v2.0b, it will be with us for at least 5 years, maybe longer. There's considerable debate about whether 8K will remain a ProAV channel enterprise or cross over to consumer applications.
       
    13. bkeeler10

      bkeeler10 Active Member

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      Thanks Bob. I will probably be in touch in the next couple of months, when my build-out is complete. As you say, this cable should hold most people over for many years. Even if 8K comes around to the consumer world, I bet it will be several years at least before it shows up in my home.
       
    14. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      @bkeeler: I agree with Bob on this... after quite a few private conversations with industry insiders at both CEDIA and CES, the equipment and cables we all current have will service our needs for several years to come. Even gear that's spec-ed at HDMI 2.0x might be upgradable for certain higher-level functions that reside in the HDMI 2.1 defined world.

      This situation is quite different from what we experienced during the introduction of 2.0 (jumping from 1.4)...there was a production cycle year that it was nearly impossible to recommend buying any old 1.4 gear. I don't think we're anywhere near that territory...

      It's easy to recommend this FIBBR cable, and since you have your conduits (smart man!!!) it's almost a moot point... aside from a few hundred bucks ;-)
       

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