Pioneer Corporation has developed a signal converter that can bi-directionally transmit not only HDMI and DVI signals but also USB, RS-232C and analog audio signals through a single optical fiber by multiplexing the signals, which is demonstrated at CEATEC JAPAN 2007.
The company is demonstrating the bidirectional transmission, in which video signals are transmitted from a recorder or a computer to a display equipped with a touch panel function, and then the signals (USB) generated by the touch panel operation are transmitted to the computer.
The developed signal converter is mounted with terminals for USB, analog audio signals and RS-232C, as well as the HDMI/DVI terminal and the optical fiber connector. The light source is infrared laser and the optical fiber for transmission is made of normal glass.
A-D converted audio signals are digitalized and multiplexed before transmitted to the receiving end. A new protocol was developed to realize this process. The wavelength of the infrared laser used for bidirectional transmission of USB and RS-232C signals are different from that used for transmission of HDMI signals, according to the company.
The maximum transmission distance of HDMI is roughly 10 m. There are needs for longer transmission distance, especially for the commercial use, and signal converters equipped with a LAN cable supporting optical fibers or high-speed transmitters have already been released.
However, at places such as events sites where a display device is physically far from a video source device, multiple cables were required because USB and RS-232C signals for control had to be transmitted in addition to video signals.
The newly developed product has solved this problem. Actually, in the Pioneer booth at CEATEC JAPAN, this transmission system is used in various areas, realizing deterioration-free video signal transmission and simple cabling.
Significant consideration being given to practical use. Connectors for optical fiber are generally designed with a claw that prevents the removal of inserted connectors. But the connector developed for this purpose was designed so that it will be disconnected when pulled, because "the small converter could be broken" if someone trips over the cable, according to the spokesman.
Marketing schedule is yet to be determined, but the company anticipates demands from the domestic market for commercial use and the North American market for installers of home theater systems, who are called custom installers.