HDMI is not friendly towards long cable runs so when going beyond 15 feet you often need some kind of active amplification of the signal to get it reliably delivered. I’ve found fiber optic HDMI cables to be the best and simplest way to do it – especially for gamers who do not want input lag introduced into their games.
This iBirdie cable feels very nicely constructed with solid metal connectors at each end. The cabling also feels decent but you should be careful not to significantly bend fiber optic cables like you would a more traditional copper-based one.
Also in the box is a small power injector that plugs into a USB port to power the fiber optic transmitter and receiver. The injector can be attached to either end of the cable. I did run into some difficulty with this as the cable for the injector’s USB connector sticks out of the side. If you have neighboring cables on your television or output device this could make it difficult to fit.
Once everything is connected the cable feels just as good as a regular HDMI connection. For video formats I successfully drove 4k 60fps video streams including streams with HDR10 or Dolby Vision. Lossless audio formats like TrueHD/ATMOS and DTS-X also passed through to my home theater receiver without issue.
Additionally the cable supports sending remote control commands back up the cable via HDMI CEC. I successfully controlled my Nvidia Shield using my television remote control. HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) also works.
I was surprised that I could not measure any significant gaming input lag on the cable. To test lag I use a specialty retro game console called the Analogue NT Mini that is by far the lowest latency video game console I own. I shoot my tv screen at 240fps and see how long it takes for a button push to register on screen. The results were close to what I get with a traditional HDMI cable with maybe 4-5ms of added lag. I was able to play some Super Mario Bros without any noticeable lag in the game play.
So in short this long fiber optic cable works just as well as a shorter regular one. If I have any long term issues with it I’ll come back and update but so far so good.