Digitial Coxial or Toslink

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Louisp, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Louisp

    Louisp Stunt Coordinator

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    In order of preference, Harman Kardon suggests using a Digitial Coxial cable for DVD audio. Their second preferred type of cable is the Optical Digital. I find this to be just opposite of most recommendations.

    Your comments and personal recommendations will be appreciated.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  3. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I agree with HK. Always go coax if you have the choice first. Optical is good, too, but it's generally more vulnerable to interference and other quirks, especially when you start getting past 3 meters or so. At 2 meters or less, it's largely irrelevant.

    Go coax. Awesome stuff, Neil!
     
  4. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    Optical is immune to electrical interference and ground loops, but there's not likely to be an audible difference between optical and coaxial SPDIF.
     
  5. matt-f

    matt-f Second Unit

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    Personally I use coax myself.

    Hmm, maybe CRC/ECC should be implemented to make sure sound is perfect ! =)
     
  6. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i think you've got that backwards
     
  7. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Well, everytime I've used coaxial, I've gotten GROUND INTERFERENCE. Audio is low, and fuzzy. Optical audio, only, for me.

    -ELmO
     
  8. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    Digital Coax gave my system much more clarity over optical.
     
  9. Steven_Lazarus

    Steven_Lazarus Stunt Coordinator

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    Just switch between coax and optical every now and then and call it good !!! best of both worlds !! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    There can be tons of data in regards to the difference between coax and optical. Yes they send the same digital signal as enumerated (quite well I might add) in Neil Josephs linked response, but it boils down to the subjective nature of the brain. If your brain tells you that coax has more robust sound than optical and optical is dependant on a beam of light to send the sound as oppose to a flow of sound through the wires of a coax. Then you would pick coax, it's all up to you. Listen to both, see what your mind tells you and make the final choice. By the way Coax is my preference for movies via DVD, but for satellite I tend to lean towards optical.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I use coax whenever it is available. A quality coax cable costs less than a quality optical cable.
     
  12. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I prefer Optical over coax for DVD's and coax over optical for cable. Course, my DVD has only optical and my cable only coax. YMMV![​IMG]
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    I choose optical because I love to little light beam that emitts from it. lol
     
  14. Richard_B

    Richard_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always used Optical cables. I've been happy with the results so I have never bothered to try the Digital Coax to compare.
     
  15. Tim_Stack

    Tim_Stack Second Unit

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    I used to use Optical - when I switched to Coax, I got a warmer and fuller sound.
     
  16. matt-f

    matt-f Second Unit

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    I would have to agree with Tim, I noticed that too with my HK reciever.
     
  17. John S

    John S Producer

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    I have used both on my system. heck, for all I know I am using both right now. lol Never really seen anything like in improvement one over the other on my system.

    So once again results may vary.
     
  18. MikeSHU

    MikeSHU Agent

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    Ehm, I'm a little confused. Don't both the optical and coaxal send DIGITAL (1010100111011) signals - which are then converted to an analog signal by the DAC? There sould be no difference since BOTH optical and coaxal should be immune to distortion and interference. It's like saying when you transfer pictures from your digital camera to your PC, the pictures are of better quality if you use FireWire instead of USB. Digital data is digital data. I don't seen any reason why a coaxal cable can do a better job at telling the DAC 101010101010111010101001010010111010 than an optical cable, and vice versa.
     
  19. MikeSHU

    MikeSHU Agent

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    Even if the digital signal on the coaxial cable would be distorted (maybe by a gamma ray burst from space or a nuclear holocaust - because it is HIGHLY unlikely) the hardware has error correction mechanisms. So if it gets 1010011X101 it can figure out what X is.

    The only reason why one might experience distortion with a digital coaxial cable is if the cable is poorly shielded and EMMITS rf frequencies. Due to the speed of the signal going through the copper in such an instance a digital coaxial cable would emit a TON of rf which can be picked up by analog cables and distort the audio signal.

    So in theory optical has the edge over coaxial. Neither are susceptible to interference, but coaxial can emit rf and optical can't.
     
  20. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    No - 1s and 0s are not transmitted along the cable. The signal is analog and subject to the same kinds of problems that can plague any analog signal. Here are the positives and negatives of each:

    1 - Optical is not subject to EMI or RFI so if this is a problem it could be of better use to someone with those problems.

    2 - Optical is much more subject to picking up jitter. It is not as critical for DD which basically carries the signal in packets. It is a big issue for music playback.

    3 - Many RCA connectors make a better electrical connection. The really expensive (e.g. more than $75) optical cables usually have ends that are machined several times to make a better connection and use real glass.

    4- Balanced (XLR) which fewer consumer products have is kind of the best of both worlds in being less subject to stuff that can leak into RCAs and is a good electrical connection too.

    5 - Many mass market rec'rs have more optical than coax or RCA digital jacks. Simple reason, it is cheaper. The more expensive receiver and pre/pros usually have more RCAs vs. the entry level stuff.


    I don't have any interference problems and where possible always use coax. It is easy for me since I make my own cables. I doubt the vast majority here on a DD signal could notice a difference with a movie due to the way the signal is carried. For someone who listens to 2-channel music on a somewhat critical basis on a decent system, differences with be more apparent.
     

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