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Audio Out vs. Digital Out

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Greg Bax, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Greg Bax

    Greg Bax Extra

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    Can anyone tell me the difference between Audio Out and Digital Out and what are the benefits of one over the other if any?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    There's no precise answer without reference to a specific piece of equipment, because the term "Audio Out" doesn't have an established technical meaning. Generally, though, it's used to indicate an analog output as opposed to a digital output.

    There's no inherent advantage of one over the other, but a lot depends on the specific components and source materials.

    M.
     
  3. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    yes, that is a tough question to answer without more information. What pieces of equipment are you referring too? What else is connected?

    -Tim
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You may want to start out by taking a look at the FAQ in the link in Michael's signature.
     
  5. Greg Bax

    Greg Bax Extra

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    The equipment I am referring to is the higher-end DVD players for example the Denon DVD-2200 or the Sony ES DVP-NS999ES which appear to have an Audio Out for Front L-R, Center, Surround L-R, and Subwoofer as well as the Digital Out for the Coaxial and Optical.
     
  6. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    ahh.

    Many DVD players have built in decoders that decode the Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 channel soundtrack. This is for people whose Receivers or amplifiers do not have their own decoders. The player will seperate the signal into the Front Left, Right and Center, Rear Left and Right, and Subwoofer signal and output each seperately.

    The Digital Coaxial or Optical output transmits the digital bitstream undecoded to a receiver or preamp. The receiver or preamp then decodes the digital signal into the 5 speakers and subwoofer.

    The advantage of the digital...well, its fewer cables first, and typically, the decoder thrown in a DVD player is typically much cheaper than the one in a receiver or preamp. Better decoders mean better audio signals, so most people prefer to have their receivers or preamps do the decoding.

    Hope that clarifies it for you...if not, ask more.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Multi-channel analog audio output is not limited to the "high" end players, there are plenty of $100 players that have this feature.

    The 999 and 2200, 2900 have analog outputs because this is the only way you can get SACD or DVD-A signal, which cannot be passed via digital connections (with a few exceptions).
     
  8. Greg Bax

    Greg Bax Extra

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    Thank for the info. That was a big help.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    So to summarize what's just been said, it's generally better to use digital outs for movies, as a receiver is usually better, or more flexible, in decoding Dolby Digital and DTS.

    For DVD-A and SACD, you MUST use the analog outputs, as the MLP and DSD on those formats cann't be passed via digital connection. (with the exception of some proprietary methods that at this point stay within the same brand.)

    So usually, people with such setups have both connected, and use whichever is necessary whether viewing a movie, or listening to an SACD, or a DVD-A.

    Hope that makes everything extra-clear. [​IMG]
     
  11. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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