Review: RU Connected optical HDMI cable for long distances

The company RU has a new HDMI cable in the range, also for long distances but now based on an optical fiber. This must maintain image quality over distances up to 100 meters.
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A few weeks ago we tested the HDMI cables for long distances from RU Connected . Meanwhile, the company again has a new HDMI cable in the range, also for long distances but now based on an optical fiber. This must maintain image quality over distances up to 100 meters.

RU Connected optical HDMI cable for long distances

We do not believe in differences in image quality between a very expensive and affordable HDMI cable, but as soon as you start working with long lengths there are limits to a cable. As soon as you want to send 4K Ultra HD signals with 60Hz and HDR over an HDMI cable, you get close to the 18 Gbps, the maximum of the HDMI 2.0 specification. With a longer cable, it becomes more difficult to hold the signal without loss and so there is a chance that you will be limited from a meter or 5 to a lower resolution or a lower number of Hertz.

The quality and structure of the cable plays an important role in preventing this problem, and that is precisely the reason why RU Connected introduces HDMI cables for longer distances that maintain the quality of the signal in different ways. Earlier we looked at the standard HDMI cable for distances up to 7.5 meters, but for those who want even longer, there is the optical HDMI cable for distances up to 100 meters. The new cable also complies with the HDMI 2.0a and HDMI 2.0b specs, and is therefore a High Speed ​​HDMI cable.

The HDMI optical cables have higher bandwidth and faster transfer than the copper cores of ordinary HDMI cables. They are less susceptible to malfunctions, so longer distances should not be a problem.

This active cable has a chip on the sending side that converts the electrical HDMI signal into a light signal. This signal is sent over an optical fiber between 15 meters and 100 meters. Until it arrives at the lens in the receiving HDMI connector. Here the optical signal is converted back to a ‘normal’ HDMI signal. Because it is an active cable, it has a transmitting side that has to be connected to the source and a receiving side that is connected to your TV or beamer.

The test

We received from RU Connected the 20 meter version of the optical HDMI cable for a test. The first thing you notice when we remove the cable from its packaging is that it is a lot more compact than the normal HDMI cables that we all have in our house. The cable itself is only a few millimeters thick and a lot more flexible than a standard HDMI cable. Especially the latter ensures that you can easily lay the HDMI cable around corners and can also easily roll up if it is too long. Although the cable feels less stiff than a normal HDMI cable, this does not result in a feeling of less quality. In terms of appearance, the cable itself is not very special; completely black. The gold-plated connectors feature a chic and blue-colored casing, which gives a premium look and feel to the product.

For the test we once again connected our Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player to our LG E6V oled TV using the 20-meter optical HDMI cable. For the short distance and the control we used a 1.5 meter standard RU Connected HDMI cable. The goal is fairly simple; we want to see the maximum that the HDMI 2.0b specification has to offer forwarded to our TV, without any issues with the image. With the short cable this is no problem and the 20-meter optical HDMI cable should work exactly like this. For the record; we do not expect better or poorer image quality, just transmitting the right signal as the short cable does.

To subject an HDMI cable to the maximum of the HDMI 2.0b specification we have chosen various settings with the full 4K Ultra HD resolution, including (60Hz, 4: 2: 2, 10-bit color and HDR), 60Hz, 4: 4: 4, 8-bit, HDR) and (24Hz, 4: 4: 4, 10-bit and HDR). Anything that is less, for example without HDR or 24Hz with 8-bits, will naturally also be supported.

It is a fairly simple test where we first place the standard short (1.5 meter) HDMI cable between the TV and the player. Then we send a signal to the TV via the player, we check the chosen settings and we can see if the signal is displayed without problems. The TV automatically indicates the incoming signal and the player indicates exactly what is being sent, regardless of the cable. The short cable does its job perfectly and sends the signal without problems. Then the optical HDMI cable of 20 meters is next. Fortunately, it is also immediately clear that this long cable does not have any trouble to hold the signal in high quality over 20 meters. Both the 4K 60Hz signal (4: 2: 2, 10-bit and HDR) and the 4K 24Hz signal (4: 4: 4, 10-bit and HDR) are sent to the TV completely over 20 meters, with no problems with lower resolutions, lower refresh rates or dropped images. Also the 4K signal with 60Hz, 8-bit, 4: 4: 4 and HDR, which is especially interesting for the gamers among us, is transmitted without problems.

The optical HDMI cable from RU Connected does what is promised and that is exactly what it is all about. A cable has to work, and it has to transmit the signal as the source sends it to the TV or the beamer in perfect condition. We do not expect miracles as a better image quality; purely a tight signal without interference. This is what the optical HDMI cable brings you, combined with a flexible cable that is easy to install and connectors that look sleek and stay tight in your equipment. For those who want to lay an HDMI cable over 10 meters and want to maintain the quality of the signal, the optical HDMI cables from RU Connected are, in our opinion, an absolute must.