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Questions about 5.1 signal

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RichN, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. RichN

    RichN Stunt Coordinator

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    My DVD has both Toslink (optical) and 6 RCA jacks for 5.1 output. My question is: Does the 5.1 signal go out of the optical output as well as the 6 RCA connectors? If so, are the RCA connections analog vs the digital output of the Toslink? The reason I ask is because it seems that if you don't have a 5.1 receiver, you use only the front left/right RCA connections as your inputs to your "stereo" receiver/TV etc. That seems to indicate that the RCA connections are analog and (even I know this much), the optical connection is strictly digital.
    I have optical as well as 5.1 RCA connections on my receiver and I am currently using the RCA inputs rather than the Toslink. Will I get better sound quality by swtching to the Toslink?
    Thanks in advance for your input on this.
    RichN
     
  2. Richard Bell

    Richard Bell Auditioning

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    The 5.1 rca outputs from your dvd player are analog. You would use this when you want the dvd player to do the dolby digital or dts decoding (depending on which formats the player can decode), the analog signal is then sent to the reciever for amplification and routing to the correct speakers. The toslink output is digital and sends out the undecoded signal for the processor in the reciever to decode. In my opinion, the optical output is superior since it uses light to convey signals and is not as affected by interference as the analog rca cables would be. On a side note, most dvd audio players MUST use the 5.1 outputs for dvd audio discs (paranoia by the record companies I think).

    You can get 5.1 audio going either route, but the sound quality should be better by allowing the reciever to do the decoding coupled with a toslink cable.
     
  3. RichN

    RichN Stunt Coordinator

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    My DVD can also play DVD-audio disks, so you are saying that the only way I can hear THEM is through the analog outputs. Since I can't (shouldn't) connect BOTH analog and digital signals to my receiver, it looks like I'm stuck with the analog, if I want to listen to DVD-audio disks (which I do). Those are the only other disks I play in this DVD, since I also have a CD-RW connected to my receiver.
    RichN
     
  4. Richard Bell

    Richard Bell Auditioning

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    That is correct, most recievers CANNOT decode dvd audio, it must be done by the player. I don't really think you are missing much by going that route. Your player may have higher quality decoding DAC's then your receiver anyway. Just use high quality interconnects and you are set.
     

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