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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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I was unable to find any concrete info on the bandwidth limitations of the S/PDIF standard. Maybe it could handle what HDMI handles, maybe not.
What HDMI did was take DVI and add audio to it. This apparently met all their needs.
As to why no one thought to expand the S/DIF standard to allow for more than two channel PCM, is not clear. Seems manufacturers saw value in the unified audio/video of HDMI, and they expected the average consumer to like that decision.
Things always evolve, so it's still possible S/PDIF will be used as the basis for a higher bandwidth audio pipeline.
In the mean time, S/PDIF is limited to Dolby Digital, DTS or two channel PCM. For lossless bitstream or multi-channel PCM, you need HDMI.
"But this one goes up to 11"