Active Optical Cable Trends – What we’ve learned

usb 3.0 active optical cable

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been running a survey competition on the subject of active optical cables (which has now closed). Thank you to everyone who filled out responses – your feedback is enormously useful and helps us guide future product development.

As a takeaway, we thought we would summarize our findings, to give a picture of the general active optical cable trends of the moment. Here are our conclusions:

 

1. The future of optical cables is bright

buy optical cable

26% of our participants have bought an active optical cable before and this number promises to rise drastically as a staggering 81% answered they would consider buying one in future.

Clearly, with the increase of higher definition screens, as well as the excitement surrounding the future of VR, consumers are starting to see a greater need for active optical cables in their homes. Not to mention the growing applications in an industrial setting, fueled by the progression and spreading adoption of machine vision.

If you’d like to find out more about the rising popularity of active optical cables, please read our article on “Why is the need for optical cables growing?”

 

2. Consumers want cables for their homes

active optical cable useOut of those who had previously used an active optical cable, 67% responded it was for home theater. Among participants who were considering an active optical cable purchase, following home theater, 45% would use one for video surveillance, 45% for video or audio production, and 31% for gaming.

Previously, we have seen active optical cables mainly being used for data centers and high-resolution digital signage. However, as consumers have grown to expect more from their technology, in terms of fast connection and high-quality content, they are beginning to see the advantage of active optical cables in the home environment.

With the readily available 4K screens for the consumer market and the future transition to 8K screens, it’s logical to see a rise in this market sector. This growing demand also extends to the commercial sector, evidenced by the high proportion of respondents who would use active optical cable for video and audio production applications, as well as for video surveillance systems.

 

3. Cable price and durability is key

active optical cables price durability

Price resulted as the most important factor when considering a cable purchase, followed closely by durability. The significance of durability implies that the purchase decision is not solely dependent on the best price, but also the best value. Customers want a cable that will last and cope with bandwidth-intensive connections and tough conditions.

 

4. A 10m length with an HDMI connector is the winning combination

From a list of connectors, HDMI came out as the clear winner for an active optical cable at 88%. This comes as no surprise, given the current number of HDMI screens in use. Second place went to USB 3.0 at 63%, a result that could be explained by the increasing availability of USB 3.0 peripherals, such as HDDs, camera and medical devices.

In terms of cable length, the most popular was considered to be 10 meters long. 5 and 20 meters came in as the next most preferable lengths. This inclination for shorter lengths further indicates the growing consumer market, as well as the need for active optical cables in more confined environments, such as audio production in the studio.

We hope this active optical cable trends blog post has been useful. If you would like to learn more about this subject, please visit our Vtric Active Optical Cables page.

VIA Technologies, Inc.