Optical cables are comprised of many thin glass or plastic threads as thin as a human hair, called optical fibres, bundled together. As a result, these cables are capable of transmitting at superior bandwidths and are extremely efficient in various telecommunication applications.
Optical cables ensure secure data transmission over the internet, with a minimum amount of loss. Despite the high cost of installing optical audio cable, most of today's telephone lines have been replaced with these because of the safe, smooth and clear transmission.
Optical cable has improved all forms of conventional communication. Telephones, movies, music and television have all been reshaped by the use of optical cables to deliver internet service. Effective web networking allows you to easily watch high definition movies, listen to radio stations from all over the world, have a real time video conference and download huge media files or programs within a few minutes. All of this was unimaginable a decade ago.
In the Beginning
When optical cables first came out they were only capable of transmitting speeds of 3.1 Mbit per second. These cables have evolved greatly since then. They can now handle bandwidths of 125 Mbit per second.
Home theaters typically use optical audio cable. Originally these cables could only deliver 20 bits at 48KHz. This has been greatly improved and they are now capable of handling every type of modern audio format, including Dolby Digital.
Benefits of Optical Cables
Regular audio cable uses electricity to transmit data. Optical audio cables convert data and then transmit it as pulses of red light. The light travels down the fibres, because the optical fibres are so thin, one cable can hold many more fibres than a regular cable. Therefore, it can efficiently send much more data at better quality.
This ability to transmit information as light provides the highest quality of digital output. And by not using electricity the data is not susceptible to interference from other sources. Additionally, the cable is shielded with a plastic coating.
Cables come in various lengths, but to get the best results, it is recommended to use cables less than five meters long.