Recently I bought three Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera’s 6K and a Blackmagic Design ATEM mini pro ISO. I really like the feature to control the pocket cinema camera’s over HDMI.
Using Blackmagic Design ATEM Software Control, the pockets ISO, shutter speed and white balance can be changed. In addition, basic real-time colour correction is possible and even some lens control on digital lenses. Lastly a tally light is present on the camera that colours green or red, depending on preview or program mode.
Traditional HDMI cables can only be up to 15 or 20 metres in length. Those cables are expensive and thick. In addition, some longer HDMI cables don’t work with certain devices, presumably because the signal is not strong enough. Not ideal in a mobile livestreaming set-up. I’d like slim cables that can go much longer.
I came across a blogpost on the Blackmagic forum about Fiber HDMI cables: https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=111606
One solution that definitely works is the Procab CLV220A / PRX220A (100m Reel), but that cable is almost €1.000!
In that thread, a YouTube video is mentioned where a cheaper HDMI Fiber cable is used that can control the camera.
The cable used is: “Monoprice SlimRun AV HDR High Speed Cable for HDMI-Enabled Devices”. However, I couldn’t find that one online.
The closest match for that cable (by eye) on Amazon.de is the Ruipro HDMI cable: https://www.amazon.de/50-Feet-18-2-Gbps-2-0-High-Support-Subsampling/dp/B07287LTRZ it costs €166 for 30 m at the time of writing.
I still think that €166 is quite expensive for a single cable, and I need at least three of them.
Then, I found the LinkinPerk HDMI cable on Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07MF199PH
And here is the AliExpress link:
The Fiber HDMI cable is only €48 for 30 m (at the time of writing). So I ordered one to test is with the camera’s. If it didn’t work, I could always return it, or use it for some other project.
Now I can say the cable works perfectly! The cable is really thin and easy to tape to the ground. Video signal and camera control work as intended! The cable has a diameter of only 4.7 mm!
However, I find it quite difficult to roll and unroll these cables, so I ordered an empty storage drum for €12. I found one from Brennenstuhl, also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B003A6C4H8
This brings the total for a single 30 m Fiber HDMI cable to only €60!
The acual brand of the cable is called ANNNWZZD. Here is the AliExpress official store:
They make Fiber HDMI cables up to 100 m.
Note that with every HDMI Fiber cable, the direction matters. The “Source”-side goes into the camera and the “Display”-side into the ATEM switcher. The other way doesn’t work.
This cable supports HDCP2.2, CEC, and EDID, but no ARC. So I think the camera control uses the CEC or EDID protocol.
I guess that every HDMI Fiber cable that supports 18 Gbps and CEC/EDID will work with the Blackmagic set-up. However, I haven’t tested other brands of cables, so I cannot yet confirm.
A short note about durability. I used the cables for a handful productions, and they still work. Someone stepped on a cable, but it still works just fine!
I hope you found this helpful and can enjoy a cheap Fiber HDMI cable for your Blackmagic Design livestreaming or multi camera set-up!