Demand for active optical cables is expected to grow rapidly in both consumer and vertical applications, according to the findings of the first quarterly Active Optical Cables Trends report, released by VIA.
The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by VIA to gain first-hand perspectives on active optical cable applications. From the survey, there emerged three core optical cable applications: home theater, home surveillance, and studio production.
Key findings include:
- Home theater and audio and video production are the two most popular applications
- HDMI & USB 3.0 are the two most preferred connectors
- Price and durability are the most important buying considerations
A detailed explanation of these results follows.
A clear majority of 67% of participants, who had previously used an active optical cable, answered the cable had been incorporated into a home theater system. Among respondents who claimed to be prospective optical cable buyers, home theater was again the most popular application, with 57% of participants admitting to this fact. This finding corresponds to the growing number of HD screens appearing in home environments. Consumers are purchasing more and more 4K TVs in 55- and 65-inch sizes. Transporting this bandwidth-intensive data in the fastest and most efficient way requires a high-speed active optical cable. With the availability of 8K screens on the horizon, the need for active optical cables can only multiply.
Video surveillance is the second-most popular application for active optical cables for those who are considering making an optical cable purchase. The simultaneous fast growth in the video surveillance market explains this result. According to IHS Markit forecasts, over 130 million video surveillance cameras will be shipped globally in 2018. Streaming high-quality video content from a security camera to a screen is achieved most smoothly with a cable that supports these large amounts of data. Active optical cables offer this advantage, as well as the robustness to withstand indoor and outdoor environments.
45% of survey participants answered an active optical cable would be valuable in audio and video production. As well as effortlessly transporting huge amounts of audio and visual data from recording equipment to a computer or screen, active optical cables are pa prime choice as they bar interference from external devices. The possibility of longer lengths of optical cables allows this data to be transmitted across the studio to distance recording equipment from machine noise.