Coaxial Digital Input vs. Optical Digital Input - Which is Better?? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-03-2000, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there any advantage of one over the other in quality?? My audio/receiver offers both types of inputs and I don't know which I should choose when connecting my DVD player because it has both types of outputs too.

Any experts out there??
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-03-2000, 02:49 PM
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Not an expert but...

I've heard that the only advantage of coax over optical is that it is more durable than the glass.

Performance wise I hear they are the same for most users.

JMHO Joseph
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-03-2000, 02:53 PM
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Coax is the best - Optical cables have optical reflections that are impossible to get rid of. Also, coaxial cables have a wider theoretical bandwidth. The toslink interface was created by toshiba as a way to make cheaper cables and jacks. It is also easier for the components to meet FCC requirements for radiated noise. Electrical signals on an RCA cable throw off alot more RF.

Many folks will tell you there is no difference. Bits are bits, right? Not when you have to re-create the clock signal from the sloppy data.

Either way, logic would say that you are better off using the coax - no one will say its worse!

Rob

PS: optical cables can have a glass or plastic fiber. cheaper ones have plastic. the glass performs better, but you are still better off using coax.

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[This message has been edited by migliore (edited February 03, 2000).]
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-19-2000, 04:52 AM
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Both have their advantages and challenges.

Coax has the possibility of picking up airborne interference and the cable must be a true 75ohm. While it is not too hard to find a cable that meets spec, more often than not, the RCA ends are not 75ohm.

While optical doesn't pickup RF noise, nor can it possibly be a contributor to ground loop in a complex system, it can, as already mentioned, be poorly done with cheep optics at the ends of the cables and in the equipment itself.

Either way, you need to select a good quality cable which in my experience, is not necessarily the most expensive one.

[This message has been edited by Brian Florian (edited February 19, 2000).]

Brian Florian - AV Technical Writer and Consultant.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-24-2000, 05:02 AM
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I would argue that for most people's systems the difference between coax and optical would be inaudible. I have my audio and video components on separate electrical circuits, so I chose optical to keep the systems electrically isolated. I am very happy with the sound of my system using the toslink. However, I will soon be rearranging my system and running coax due to increased distance from my processor and transport. I'll let you know if I hear a difference.

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post #6 of 8 Old 02-24-2000, 08:24 AM
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you could argue that any change in the system is inaudible depending on the listener and the system.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-28-2000, 03:47 PM
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Slightly off topic- but can any of you tell me where to find a long, 6 m, digital coaxial cable? Monster goes to 4 m-- that's it. I really need that distance.

Thank you, in advance.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-28-2000, 03:59 PM
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You can order a longer monster cable if you want one. Give Canare a try, their cables are and connectors are true 75 Ohm. (they are less expensive than monster)

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