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Problems with Toslink splitters?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just got 2 toslink splitters from ebay. Both don't seem to work with my optical cables. I don't have any issues with the cables, and I've ensured that only one device is on when plugged into the splitter. I'm wondering if anyone with experience with these splitters has had a similar issue? Could I possibly have 2 defective splitters on my hands, or do I need very high quality toslink cables for this to work?

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Here's what I Tried

1. I have a DVD player and an Xbox, both with optical outputs. Both devices have been tested on my receiver with my optical toslink cables.

2. I first attempt to get only 1 device to work through the splitter, so I test the xbox first.

3. I plug 1 toslink cable into the receiver and the other into the xbox.

4. I turn everything on, and just for kicks, I hold the open ends of the 2 toslink cables together (without the splitter) so that the red beam shines from one open jack into the other. The sound on my receiver for the xbox works.

5. Then I plug the 2 open jacks into each side of the splitter, and then sound doesn't work. However, when I plug the xbox into the splitter, I can see the red dot on the other end of the splitter, so it appears that the signal is passing through the splitter. The only thing that seems odd is that I can actually see 2 very small red dots on the one end of the splitter (not just one dot). I don't understand why there are 2 dots when I'm only passing one signal through?

6. I tried plugging in the DVD player to the splitter (with the xbox as well), thinking that maybe 2 devices had to be pugged in for the splitter to work. I made sure the DVD player was off/unplugged before I tested the xbox again. Still, this didn't work.

7. I then checked the DVD player on the splitter (turned off the xbox), and that didn't work either.

Any help would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 18
Unless you're just using the wrong terminology, a splitter isn't what you need......a splitter takes a signal and sends it to 2 or more devices.

What you need is a toslink switch that will allow you to send the output from more than one device to a single input on your receiver....if this is in fact what you're using than I'm not sure what the problem is.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
You can use a "toslink splitter" to either split a signal or pull 2 signals into 1. The only caveat to linking 2 devices to 1 is that you have to ensure that 1 device is always off. Unfortunately, in my situation, I can't even seem to send the signal through the splitter. I'm wondering if I might have a bad splitter, if some optical signals are just too weak, or if I might need ultra-high quality optical cables...
post #4 of 18
Quote:


You can use a "toslink splitter" to either split a signal or pull 2 signals into 1

no, you can't combine two optical (or coax) SPDIF signals into one, and expect to hear anything.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonSuave View Post

You can use a "toslink splitter" to either split a signal or pull 2 signals into 1. The only caveat to linking 2 devices to 1 is that you have to ensure that 1 device is always off. Unfortunately, in my situation, I can't even seem to send the signal through the splitter. I'm wondering if I might have a bad splitter, if some optical signals are just too weak, or if I might need ultra-high quality optical cables...

This would only be true if you were using a passive device. Toslink splitters or converters have to be active, since they have to produce light to send signal.

Using a "splitter" in reverse wouldn't work in this case - feeding a Toslink signal input into a Toslink signal output wouldn't do anything, and that signal wouldn't output from the input at the other side. Toslink sender and receiver ports are different, and not interchangeable.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
The description for the splitter specifically states that it can be used both ways. But even at that, I can't send a signal through the splitter in either direction.
post #7 of 18
Quote:


Toslink splitters or converters have to be active,

Despite all the passive TOSLINK splitters available?

They're beam splitters, they don't have to be active devices.
post #8 of 18
TOSLink splitters work fine in reverse but you can only have one of the two sources on at a time. If they're both on, neither works.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've figured out the issue here. After much research on the net (and not much luck finding anyone with issues regarding this splitter), I purchased some higher quality Toslink cables. Now the splitter works just fine.

I'm guessing the connectors on my older cables were slightly worn, and the splitter does not provide a perfect pass-through - therefore, the older cables don't accept the signal from the splitter.
post #10 of 18
Can someone recommend a good quality toslink splitter (link). I need to create a feed for the house sound preamp. Jason which cables? Thanks in advance. Doug
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Baisey View Post

Can someone recommend a good quality toslink splitter (link). I need to create a feed for the house sound preamp. Jason which cables? Thanks in advance. Doug

Inday Toslink Distribution Amp
post #12 of 18
Rupert,
Ordered. Thanks much, this is what I was looking for. Doug
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Doug, I believe any cables of medium to high quality should work. Just don't get the cheap of the cheap (I think I purchased the older ones from Radio Shack some 5 years ago, so they were either too cheap, or just really old).

Basically, if you're having the same issues as I was, the problem is likely the cables (not the splitter).
post #14 of 18
Jason,
On this system I wanted something better then just a passive Y so this looks pretty good. I did order new toslink cables after reading your post. A bit of insurance is a good thing. Thanks much. Doug
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ktulu_1 View Post

TOSLink splitters work fine in reverse but you can only have one of the two sources on at a time. If they're both on, neither works.

So does this mean that i wouldnt be able to use my xbox while the the other splitted optical cable is going to my tv's integrated NTSC tuner?

I only have 1 input on my receiver and want my xbox and my tv's optical to go into it.
Any ideas? i guess i could get the toslink to digital coax converter, but that just doesnt seem like the best idea.

Thanks in advance,
DS18
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonSuave View Post

I've figured out the issue here. After much research on the net (and not much luck finding anyone with issues regarding this splitter), I purchased some higher quality Toslink cables. Now the splitter works just fine.

I'm guessing the connectors on my older cables were slightly worn, and the splitter does not provide a perfect pass-through - therefore, the older cables don't accept the signal from the splitter.

I had a similar problem using such a device as a splitter (vs. your reversed use as a passive switch). It turned out that one of my cables wasn't passing a strong enough signal once the splitter was linked in.

One thing to watch out for when using it in reverse as a switch is that some devices pass a signal even when they're off (standby). You can't use such a device with a passive switch since when you try to use the other device then both devices will be passing a signal at the same time - wreaking havoc.

As for weak signals one can also find toslink amps cheap, e.g. Radio Shack part# 15-1588 is often on eBay for around $5.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksoup18 View Post

So does this mean that i wouldnt be able to use my xbox while the the other splitted optical cable is going to my tv's integrated NTSC tuner?

I only have 1 input on my receiver and want my xbox and my tv's optical to go into it. Any ideas? i guess i could get the toslink to digital coax converter, but that just doesnt seem like the best idea.

DS18

A toslink splitter works fine in reverse as a passive toslink switch as long as both input devices don't send an optical signal when they are off (some devices do). You can easily check this by seeing if there is any red light coming from their cables after they are switched off (i.e. on standby). You may also need to upgrade to higher quality cables if the signal degrades too much once the splitter is introduced.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by billwgd View Post

One thing to watch out for when using it in reverse as a switch is that some devices pass a signal even when they're off (standby). You can't use such a device with a passive switch since when you try to use the other device then both devices will be passing a signal at the same time - wreaking havoc.

Exactly! My newly installed Dish Vip211 HD receiver's optical port is on even when the receiver is turned off. I can see the light through the socket door in the back.
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