Using OMI to Benchmark CATV Systems

Posted by Kevin Miller on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:10 PM

Benchmarking is the evaluation of a performance in contrast to a standard, typically based on best processes and organizations in your industry. Typically bench marking revolves around key factors which are cost, time and quality. When considering communications systems of fiber optics, bench marking refers to the quality of performance of the information that is delivered. It is also a tremendously noteworthy impact on cost as well as time.

What is a CATV system?


In CATV systems, the quality of information which is delivered is dependent on the quality of the system which is delivering the information. The most important component of the CATV system is the laser transmitter, which is used for translating electric signals information in the form of optical signals for transmitting via fiber cables.

Aging, noise sources, and distortions are a factors that affect the quality of signals which have an impact on the viewing experience. Questions that should be routinely be addressed are:

  • Is the life of the laser decreasing or wearing?
  • Is there deterioration in the laser transmitter?
  • Are the RF drive levels too low or too high?
  • Is there a bad splice or RF connector?

These issues can have an adverse effect on the way the public views the operator which distributes their information. It is in the best interest of the system operators that all these issues are addressed and develop standards which always ensure the optimal performance of the system.

What is Optical Modulation Index (OMI)?

Optical Modulation Index of the laser transmitter's is a solution that can be used in order to accomplish better standards. Properly setting the OMI will ensure that the laser is operating at full power and with the minimum distortions. This verifies that the components are secure and working as intended. When the OMI is set up and is optimized for the laser transmitters it is a good practice for the operator to check the OMI on routine basis whether it is meeting their standards or not so that the customers are always getting quality.

This will result in good quality in terms of service for the customers. It will save money and time both as defects can be spotted beforehand

It is difficult for CATV operators to check and set adequate OMI for establishing a standard. The reason behind this is that it is costly and takes a lot of time while using the traditional equipment. FOS 1200A OMI meter has made it easier because it removes all the time-consuming details by internally integrating necessary and calibrated functions and automating  the result with an accurate value of OMI.

Due to this the optimizing, bench marking and setting of OMI for good performance results in a reliable, repeatable and easy task. 

In the present market, the CATV operators which receive maximum recognition from the consumers and peers with regard to their performance are benchmarking with OMI. For the cases, OMI can be used as a standard for several reasons:

  • Before and in between the initial deployment setup of the laser transmitter
  • The periodical upkeep for ensuring the continuing performance levels
  • For quick identification, troubleshooting and resolving the issues of a network when they arise

For achieving the best results, retain customers and efficient operations, bench marking the performance of a system with OMI is important and an easy way of reaching the best standards.

M2 Optics, Inc OMI Guide

Since 2001, M2 Optics has been an established manufacturer and innovator of professional optical fiber platforms for fiber network simulation, latency / optical time delay, fiber training solutions, and demonstration applications. Our customer base includes many of the world's most recognized communications service providers, equipment manufacturers, data centers, web service providers, financial institutions, research institutions, and government agencies.


Topics: omi