If i transmit my audio through a laser beam does it affacts its quality in any form?

  • 1
    A laser beam is an electromagnetic wave just like a radio wave. The medium is not nearly as important as the signaling and the decoding of the signal in terms of transmission quality. – Todd Wilcox Sep 11 '15 at 1:51
  • Even if laser beam is direct to receiver and transmits From some distance. But my doubt is that can a laser beam is enough to transmit such digital/analog data at sufficient speed to maintain quality. – user16327 Sep 11 '15 at 6:44
  • What do you mean by "speed"? Let's look at it this way: did you ever listen to a compact disc? Or watch a DVD or blu-Ray? If so, you already know what quality is possibly when transmitting audio (and video) information by laser beam. – Todd Wilcox Sep 11 '15 at 10:14
  • "my doubt is that can a laser beam is enough to transmit such digital/analog data at sufficient speed to maintain quality" - Clearly you have never heard of fiberoptics. – AJ Henderson Sep 14 '15 at 14:01

Is it possible to do so? Absolutely. Lasers are one of the fastest and most versatile transmitters around. Fiber optics, which works by shooting a laser down an optical fiber, is the bread and butter of modern data communications and literally makes the modern Internet possible. Almost all of the fastest connections (internet backbones and residential ISPs alike) rely on lasers. Even most cable networks are actually passively distributed fiber networks to the neighborhood, street or premise.

That said, there are lots of caveats and limitations with lasers as well. Since they rely on light transmission, they are highly sensitive to the environment in which they are operating. The use of optical fiber is commonly used to avoid a lot of this limitation, allowing the beam a clear transmission path that can be routed around obstructions (fiberoptic cable is able to go around bends and obstructions).

Using a naked laserbeam in a room is going to have a variety of factors that can obstruct the beam. Dust and humidity will have a mild impact that can have a significant enough impact on analog signaling, but wouldn't be likely to cause significant (or possibly even noticeable) issues for a digital signaling system, provided the laser is sufficiently powerful. The much larger concern is actual obstructions. If anything were to fully interrupt the beam, no signal transmission would be possible, as direct line of site needs to be maintained for a naked laser to work. That also means that if either transmitter or receiver is bumped, the signal stops as it no longer connects the two ends.

It's possible to use a naked laser, but these disadvantages make it a rare selection. Better options exist, whether running a fiberoptic line, using a microwave transmitter (similar style of focused distance transmission but less critically tied to line of site, you still need line of site broadly, but the signal hits a bigger area, so transmission is a bit more reliable in exchange for a large, but mostly meaningless reduction in transmission distance, due to practical limitations of line of site due to curvature of the earth and such.) or simply using digital rf transmission in smaller environments, which has no line of site limitation at all and is just as capable of handling a full quality audio/video stream, particularly over relatively short distances.

| improve this answer | |

If the signal is digital and the receiver reconstructs the signal without error then there is no quality degradation

| improve this answer | |
  • Why 'if the signal is digital'? – Marc W Sep 13 '15 at 5:35
  • I suppose if it is analogue some information may be lost or change in the process i.e in radio transmission. Also accuracy for transmitting and receiving analogue signals depends on several factors like distance, strength of signal etc and the error is difficult to be calculated for every possible situation. i.e. noise, interference etc. With digital you can always compare the source and the received signal and test accurately for any error and repeat the process until transmission is error prone. Isn't that so? – user16328 Sep 13 '15 at 6:16
  • Yeh, but I'm thinking standard radio transmission uses frequency and amplitude modulation using an (EM) analogue carrier. But surely using a off/on laser beam is inherently digital. – Marc W Sep 13 '15 at 21:02
  • @n00dles - laser beams are not always simply on or off. They can have their power level varied as well. It is possible to transmit an analog signal via laser. – AJ Henderson Sep 14 '15 at 13:59
  • Yeah, I suppose your right. And I suppose the frequency(colour) can could also be varied. – Marc W Sep 16 '15 at 0:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.