USB-C for multimedia networking

Neutrik mediaCON

Neutrik is a company that prides itself on creating innovative products in the electrical and electronic interconnect arenas that are unsurpassed in quality and cost-effectiveness. With the introduction of USB-C, Neutrix has designed a rugged USB-C locking connector and a rugged USB-C cable with flexible relief. They offer a space-saving flush mount socket that uses a push-pull locking mechanism to keep the USB-C cable safely engaged in the socket. Neutrik launched in 2018 the “mediaCON” new family of USB Type-C connectors. The mediaCON product family includes robust, lockable USB Type-C cables and panel sockets. All components are designed for data rates up to 10 GB/s (USB 3.1), 100 W power and 10,000 mating cycles. These connectors can be used for flush-mount panel socket with push-pull locking mechanism:

USB-C for my multimedia networks?

Most USB-C applications to date have been limited to computers and electronics. USB-C is now starting to make inroads into the charging and power delivery arena. The biggest limiting factor USB-C faces is that even active cables can only be about 3 meters long (10 feet). For this article let us assume that some way has been found to extend that. Now, what could USB-C do?


USB-C could replace XLR. XLR cables are used for carrying signals from mics and to speakers. USB-C has built-in support for audio and mic signals so it would be ideal for carrying the signals typically handled by XLR cables. In fact, the conversion has begun as there are already USB-C to XLR conversion cables available on the market.

USB-C vs Ethernet/WiFi

USB-C could replace home networking. Wired home networking uses gigabit ethernet which has a data transfer speed of 1gps. USB-C has a data transfer speed of 10gps. This means USB-C can carry data between compute nodes ten times faster than a common network. Also, how many times have those flimsy RJ45 plastic tabs busted leaving the cables insecure in their sockets? This would not be a problem with USB-C.


USB-C could replace home theater connections. In a current home theater configuration, there are RCA cables or ¼ or ½ jacks for audio, HDMI or DisplayPort cables for video, and network cables. The sections above have already shown how USB-C can handle audio and data for networking. However, USB-C also has HDMI, Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, and Super Mobile High Definition Link built-in for video. A single USB-C cable can carry all of your home theater signals in one cable. No confusion as to which cable goes where. It is just USB-C everywhere connecting your television, your computer monitors, your game console, your set-top box, your stereo, and your speakers. You will still have the digital content protection you require but you will have it via the royalty-free USB medium.

USB-C limitations

Now, before we get overly excited please remember that USB-C does have a length limitation that must be overcome before this can be a real dream come true. Also, USB is not a network it is a bus so it requires a host. Something has to drive it. It could be one central host or a bunch of small hosts at each location where USB-C ports are located, but some sort of host would be required. Still, these are intriguing possibilities to consider for the future.

USB-C NMC-C ruggedized

After these general considerations, let’s take a closer look at the new Neutrik product line. Four Neutrik products are available in the mediaCON family:

Part number Type Description
NMC-C connector USB Connectors Lockable USB-C Chassis receptacle
NMC-C-HR connector USB Connectors Lockable USB-C Chassis w/USB receptacle
NMK-20U-1 cable 1 meter USB Type-C cable with over molded flex relief and rugged cable fit and lock with NMC
NMK-20U-0.5 cable 0.5 meter USB Type-C cable with over molded flex relief and rugged cable fit and lock with NMC


USB-C for multimedia networking © Neutrik
USB-C for multimedia networking © Neutrik

Durability test

mediaCON parts are compatible with the durability test procedure for Electrical Connectors and Contacts: EIA364-09. The durability test shall be done at a maximum rate of 200 cycles per hour and no physical damage to any part of the connector and cable assembly shall occur.

USB Type-C 10’000 cycles: - Insertion Force: 20 N Max. - Extraction Force: 6 N to 20 N.

Flexing test

mediaCON parts are compatible with the test procedure for Electrical Connectors and Contacts: EIA 364-41 (Condition 1): - No physical damage. - No discontinuity over 1 microsecond during flexing.

Pull-out test

mediaCON parts are compatible with the test procedure for Electrical Connectors and Contacts EIA 364-38 (test Condition: A): - No physical damage. - No electrical discontinuity over 1 microsecond to the cable assembly.

4-Axis continuity test

The USB Type-C connector is tested for continuity under stress using the test with different directions (left, right, up, down). Fixture device at 90 degree angle 8 N tensile force is applied to the cable in a downward direction, perpendicular to the axis of insertion, for a period of at least 10 seconds.


Rated current per contact 5 A
Rated voltage 20 V
Insulation resistance 10 MΩ
Conductor resistance 3 Ω
Transmission Performance 100 Watt

Power transmission

mediaCON USB can support power transmission from USB 2.0 to USB PD 3.0:

Version Maximum voltage Maximum current Maximum lenght
USB 2.0 5 V 500 mA 2.5 W
USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 5 V 900 mA 4.5 W
USB Type-C 1.2 5 V 3 A 15 W
USB PD 3.0 20 V 5 A 100 W

USB Type-C pin layout

The pin layouts of NMC-C the USB-C connector is divided into standardised plug and receptacle.

NMC-C Plug configuration:

USB-C for multimedia networking © Neutrik
USB-C for multimedia networking © Neutrik

NMC-C Receptacle configuration:

NMC-C Plug configuration
NMC-C Plug configuration

Data transmission

Here are the USB specifications supported:

Version Speed Bits/sec Max legnth
USB 1.0 Lows Speed (LS) 1.5 Mbps -
USB 1.1 Full Speed (FS) 1.2 Mbps -
USB 2.0 High Speed (HS) 480 Mbps ≤ 4 m
USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen. I) Super Speed (SS) 5 Gbps ≤ 2 m
USB 3.1 (USB 3.1 Gen. II) Spuer Speed+ (SS) 10 Gbps ≤ 1m
USB 3.2 - 20 Gbps ≤ 1 m

In addition to the common USB Protocols, several other protocols work with mediaCON: - DisplayPort 1.4 - MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) - Super MHL - Thunderbolt - HDMI 1.4b


The cables are available in 0.5 m and 1 m:

Contact plating Au
Contacts Brass (CuZn37)
Cable Jacket Type PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride
Shell TPE - Thermoplastic Elastomer


Flammability UL 94 HB
Standard compliance USB 3.1 Gen II; USB 3.2
Temperature range -25 °C to +85 °C
Environmentally Compliant RoHS and Halogen Free


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