Application Of Fiber Optics In CATV (1982)

By James C. Herman, Times Fiber Communications, Inc.

The is little doubt that the age of the "wired city" has arrived: CATV trunk and distribution cables are being installed at an ever-increasing rate to provide TV programs as well as security service and other interactive capabilities.

However, as an industry expands into high-rise buildings, the coaxial system becomes more vulnerable to unauthorized taps which escape cable audits. Furthermore, the coaxial system is a potential source of RF ingress and egress. The unanswered question is "Does the high-rise building wired with coax form a large multi-element antenna?"

Fortunately, there is an alternative technical method of TV distribution within a high-rise building.

With the advent of inexpensive fiber optic connectors, large core fiber optic cable, and reliable GaAlAslAs light emitting diodes (LEOs), a fiber optics distribution network is a reality.

A fiber optic network eliminates unauthorized taps, has virtual freedom from RFI ingress and egress and lends itself to cosmetic installation.

Particularly well-suited to the high-rise building, the fiber optic distribution system is relatively free from electrical codes, meets fire safety standards, eliminates ground loops and reduces the risk to CATV operator.

This paper will review some of the advantages available with the Mini-Hub distribution network for CATV high-rise buildings and compare it to perceived problems expected in coaxial high-rise distribution networks.

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