When installing a new surveillance system, whether at home or for your business, there are many factors that need to be considered. Aside from choosing the proper security cameras, devices, and management software, security camera cables are important and often overlooked.

Most closed-circuit TV (CCTV) systems use coaxial cable to transport the cameras’ signals to the monitor. However, fiber-optic cable is quickly becoming a popular choice among CCTV installers.  Fiber optic cables use light to send digital data along flexible, optically pure glass or plastic fibers that are about the width of a human hair, therefore, enabling rapid movement of data.

There are two types of fiber optic cabling options which determine the speed and length of data transmission. The differences between the two types are significant and dictate how each is used.

  1. Single-Mode Fiber
    Because it has a narrow core of optical glass surrounded by highly reflective cladding, single-mode fiber only carries data via a single mode of light which is typically transmitted by laser. This option allows for lower data loss over longer distances. Single-mode fiber is ideal for use in high bandwidth runs such as telecom and communications companies, colleges, and university campuses.
  2. Multi-mode Fiber
    Multi-mode fiber has a larger core, allowing several different light signals to pass through simultaneously. With a larger core comes narrower cladding, which results in more data loss over longer distances. With that said, multi-mode fiber is better suited for shorter distances such as transmitting data and signals across a local area network.

Fiber optic cables have strengths and weaknesses but it is generally the option chosen when there is a high likelihood of off-air interference such as power lines or nearby Radio Frequency (RF) transmitters, or for very long CCTV transmission links of more than 300 feet.

If you want to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs, choose fiber optics for your CCTV needs. However, remember that CCTV cameras and monitors are typically looking for RF signals, so in order to use fiber-optic  signals, your CCTV system must have fiber-optic cable and connectors, a fiber-optic transmitter, and a matching receiver. If you want one installed today, call our team of professionals today.