Fiber optics consist of a bundle of thin glass or plastic strands. This is coated or surrounded in material that allows light to pass through the fibers without escaping out the sides. Signals can pass through them at very high speeds from the point of origin to the destination, with minimal loss in quality or data. Companies use fiber-optics to transmit Internet data, audio information for telephones, and images for television or medical cameras.
The concept behind fiber-optics is fairly simple. A user transmits a signal as light, often in the form of a laser beam, through a length of thin strands of glass or plastic. The optical fiber acts as the medium through which the light passes, while a coating on the outside of each strand keeps the light trapped within the fiber. People can send just about any type of digital data through fiber-optics, though conversion for some signals may be necessary.
Fiber-optic TV refers to television programming delivered through a fiber-optic network of cables, rather than antenna, satellite or cable transmissions. Fiber-optic cables consist of strands of glass the breadth of a human hair that carry digital signals along the length of the transmission line. Also known as optical fibers, hundreds of these finely spun glass fibers are bundled together within a protective sheath and transmit television program information through pulses of light. Fiber-optic TV requires the use of a special receiver, similar to cable TV, to interpret the signals from the optical cable and translate them into images on a customer's TV. Advantages of fiber-optic information transmission are many, including less expensive components, faster transmission speeds and clearer reception.
Fiber-optic TV represents a step up from conventional cable TV for minimal additional cost. Fiber optics consists of very thin glass strands bundled together within a protective covering. Light pulses carry data the length of the fiber-optic cable line, with less interference and at a faster rate than conventional copper wire. Glass is less subject to disruption and interference than metal, so the customer's reception is often more consistent and clearer than when using the copper lines of a cable TV provider.