Digital Coaxial Audio "splitter"?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brian.L, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Brian.L

    Brian.L Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, so here's my situation. I currently have one of those Sony "home theater in a box" systems with a low end digital receiver with only one digital coaxial audio input. Right now, as you would expect, the wire plugged into it is the audio from my DVD player. But I also want to plug the S/PDIF audio out from my old computer into the receiver as well.

    Is there a way I could have them both going into the receiver at the same time without losing the "digital-ness" of it all? That is, I've heard that if I just use a regular RCA splitter that I will be turning the signal into analog or something. A switch would also be fine as well, though all the ones I've seen are for 4+ inputs and are way pricey. I'm just looking for a way to avoid having to change the connection every time I switch between PC and DVD player.

    (One other alternative is to use an optical cable to from my DVD player and the coaxial from my PC, though I've heard optical is inferior...is this true?)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Carl III
    Optical cable is not inferior, that would be your best bet. A coaxial switch box could do the job equally well but but given the choice I would use the optical cable.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    An optical cable would be your best choice.

    Remember that the coaxial-digital spec wants a uniform 75-ohm impedence from the source to the destination. Putting in a "Y" splitter would mess this up.

    It will appear to work, but every so often (perhaps every few seconds) the sound will drop out as the impedence mis-match trashes the audio packets.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil
    If you don't need them both playing at the same time you can get an A/B video switcher for under $10 and some adapters to convert RCAs to 'F' connections. Dolby Digital signals are delivered in packets, similar to internet protocol, and I doubt anyone would notice a difference on movie sound. An optical cable can be more fragile.
     
  5. Brian.L

    Brian.L Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, thanks for the advice guys. I went out and bought an optical cable, it seems to be working fine. And when I get that video card w/DVI-out, I'll be set to go and hook up the HTPC through the coax. Woo! [​IMG]
     

Share This Page