SPDIF Connection? What is that?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RodNoble, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. RodNoble

    RodNoble Agent

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    Its me the new guy again.. so anyway.. as some of you might have seen i needed to get a new Digital cable box with s video.. anyway, I have it and its working great, but my question now is, this new box has a SPDIF connection which i heard was an audio connection.. but there is only one plug, so i cant see how that works for audio, unless its a mono audio channel.. what exactly is it..


    My next question.. the box says its dolby digital, but there is only a 2 channel audio.. I was under the impression that dolby was suround? or is it just the quality of dolby?
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    SPDIF is a coaxial-digital connection. If your CATV box really DOES provide this, run it to a coaxial-digital input on your receiver.

    SPDIF stands for Sony Phillips Digital Interface Format - This was created for DVD players in 95.
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Stunt Coordinator

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    If the box supports dolby digital, you'll need to use the SPDIF digital-coax to get surround sound. The reason why there's only one cable is because all 6 discrete channels are decoded from one continuous bitstream. Obviously you've got to have an appropriate surround set-up as well.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Note: that connection can give you all the flavors of sound from 1.0 up to 6.1. Some stations will be in mono, some cable stations will be in pro-logic, some HBO/SHOWTIME stations will be full 5.1.

    ONE BIG PROBLEM: These ports tend to only provide sound for channels that are part of the "Digital" service. In many cable systems, the lower channel numbers are still analog and this connection will go silent. This makes channel-surfing a real pain. You have to have the TV speakers on for the channels below 100, then the receiver will kick in for channels above. If you hook it up, watch for this.
     
  5. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  7. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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  8. RodNoble

    RodNoble Agent

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    sounds good, thanks guys. going to give it a shot when i get home..

    One last question.. can i use a normal audio rca cable to connect it?
     
  9. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Rod,

    Standard audio RCA cables are 50 ohms. Digital S/PDIF RCA cables are 75 ohms. You should go out and get the proper impedance cable. Try Monster or even RatShack.
     
  10. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Correctly made, a composite video cable impedance is also 75 ohms.

    Regards,
     
  11. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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