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· CAT-8 Ethernet?
posted Dec 23, 2018
Patented RJ-45 Plug Claims High Performance
Link to Brochure
Home adoption of Ethernet is on the wane as most people now choose WiFi instead of wired connections, but WiFi still isn't great for audio. It's fine for controlling audio servers, but sketchy for transmitting high resolution audio files. That doesn't bother the typical MP3 streaming home user. It's also barely possible to stream video over WiFi, though not recommended. The problem is video will hog the connection, denying everyone else in the home WiFi. Also, the feed has to be encrypted and then de-encrypted, adding to the bandwidth woes.
Audiophiles should consider CAT-6 at a minimum, CAT-7 is shielded CAT-6, but has no true official spec. Optical/Fiber is now a great deal for home use at 1G speeds, but 10G and 40G are still expensive. The business world adoption of 40G will probably mean a price drop for 10G soon though. By cheap, 1G laser modules are $7 and the Ethernet adapters are $40. This is plenty fast for home use up to about 384K. You would need compatible cards, etc. and you would need all your gear to be 10G compatible to go any faster. Keep in mind that there is very little music available at super high resolution. The real gains are for 4K video, which is why new WiFi specs seems to come out every month.
CAT-8 seems to be a way to get 40G performance by making better RJ-45 connectors. This would necessitate rewiring everything copper and tossing out any audiophile Ethernet cables. However, it might make a good final connection between and optical system and the server and/or computer. With fiber you won't need to rewire, but the end points will need upgrading. Another intriguing possibility is to simply use these better connectors on a slower system. Maybe they improve performance in traditional CAT-6 settings.
Thanks to Phil S. for sending me this link.