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Is Optical Better?

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Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:36 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
optical costs an arm and a leg.

More about : optical

Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Scribner wrote:
> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
> optical costs an arm and a leg.

The digital fiber optic connection will provide Dolby Digital 5.1 (or
better) and/or DTS audio, but no video. There may be two different sets
of RCA-type connections. One would be the standard composite video with
left and right stereo audio; the audio will give you Dolby Pro Logic
stereo with a center channel. You may also have component video provided
via three RCA-type connectors. Component video can handle
high-definition video (1080i) and/or the full resolution output of a DVD
player (480i or 480p). What are the RCA-type jacks labeled? That'll tell
you whether they're composite video w/ stereo audio or component video.

Assuming that your hardware supports it, you best connections are via
the fiber optic w/ Dolby Digital or DTS and component video. If you
don't have a DVD player with a fiber optic audio output and/or an HD
receiver, you won't have any A/V source for those connections.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Scribner" <walter3ca@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mpvh111m0022m104a3hu8opbvusq6sjvln@4ax.com...
> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
> optical costs an arm and a leg.

If you are talking about the Audio then the optical (Toslink) is by far the
better connection. Its digital vs analog. The cable itself only cost about
$18 at Wal-Mart. I got much cleaner sound with the optical connection.



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Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Scribner wrote:
> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
> optical costs an arm and a leg.


You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they call
it coax is beyond me.

Personally I use the RCA Coax for digital output because the optical is
so ridiculously expensive..
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:38 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

They call it 'coax' (the RCA type plug), because the two leads, the
center conductor and the surrounding ground conductor, have a common,
center axis, i.e., - co-axial!

Larry Bud wrote:
> Scribner wrote:
>
>>I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
>>plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
>>optical costs an arm and a leg.
>
>
>
> You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
> connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
> components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
> Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they call
> it coax is beyond me.
>
> Personally I use the RCA Coax for digital output because the optical is
> so ridiculously expensive..
>
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:38 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On 20 Feb 2005 14:30:48 -0800, "Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>
>Scribner wrote:
>> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
>> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
>> optical costs an arm and a leg.
>
>
>You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
>connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
>components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
>Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they call
>it coax is beyond me.
>
>Personally I use the RCA Coax for digital output because the optical is
>so ridiculously expensive..

I bought a Sony widescreen a few months back. I called the Service
Center and lucky a Tech answered in Florida and not India.

I asked that same question which is best, component or optical. He
said they had seen sets connected both ways. The optical is only a
touch better and you can only see the difference if you up within a
few feet of the screen. I'm stuck with the component I had already
connected with.

I also found places like Walmart, Best Buy and Computer City also
used the Component hookup as it look great and don't cost that much.
Im using Philips from walmart. I wonder if a better brand of cables
would look any better.

hdtvfan
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:19:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 17:42:01 -0700, hdtvfan <hdtvfan@echolink.com>
wrote:

>I bought a Sony widescreen a few months back. I called the Service
>Center and lucky a Tech answered in Florida and not India.
>
>I asked that same question which is best, component or optical. He
>said they had seen sets connected both ways. The optical is only a
>touch better and you can only see the difference if you up within a
>few feet of the screen.

Remarkable since the optical cable is only for audio.

Kal
February 21, 2005 12:19:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 19:44:33 -0500, Kalman Rubinson <kr4@nyu.edu>
wrote:

>On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 17:42:01 -0700, hdtvfan <hdtvfan@echolink.com>
>wrote:
>
>>I bought a Sony widescreen a few months back. I called the Service
>>Center and lucky a Tech answered in Florida and not India.
>>
>>I asked that same question which is best, component or optical. He
>>said they had seen sets connected both ways. The optical is only a
>>touch better and you can only see the difference if you up within a
>>few feet of the screen.
>
>Remarkable since the optical cable is only for audio.
>
>Kal
And is no better than the coax for home Theater or TV use.
Thumper
To reply drop XYZ in address
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:53:34 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

LOL

Don

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:6lbi1196sfpue27qg4k6o8v6ni30loq637@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 17:42:01 -0700, hdtvfan <hdtvfan@echolink.com>
> wrote:
>
>>I bought a Sony widescreen a few months back. I called the Service
>>Center and lucky a Tech answered in Florida and not India.
>>
>>I asked that same question which is best, component or optical. He
>>said they had seen sets connected both ways. The optical is only a
>>touch better and you can only see the difference if you up within a
>>few feet of the screen.
>
> Remarkable since the optical cable is only for audio.
>
> Kal
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 6:32:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1108938648.650294.83930@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
> connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
> components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
> Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they call
> it coax is beyond me.

S/PDIF (IEC-958) uses 75 ohm coaxial cable and RCA connectors. 75 ohm
coaxial cable is inexpensive, because it is the same cable as used in video
transmission (you can buy a video cable with RCA connectors to connect you
S/PDIF equipments together). Coaxial S/PDIF connections work typically at
least to 10-15 meter distances with good 75 ohm coaxial cable.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 6:34:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"wbertram" <wbertram@aol.com> wrote in message
news:jbydnd4owp0Fj4TfRVn-oQ@rcn.net...
> They call it 'coax' (the RCA type plug), because the two leads, the center
> conductor and the surrounding ground conductor, have a common, center
> axis, i.e., - co-axial!

It's the cable that is "coaxial", not the connectors on the end.

Steve
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 8:12:23 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

hdtvfan wrote:
> On 20 Feb 2005 14:30:48 -0800, "Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
> >
> >Scribner wrote:
> >> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three
RCA
> >> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that
the
> >> optical costs an arm and a leg.
> >
> >
> >You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
> >connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
> >components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
> >Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they
call
> >it coax is beyond me.
> >
> >Personally I use the RCA Coax for digital output because the optical
is
> >so ridiculously expensive..
>
> I bought a Sony widescreen a few months back. I called the Service
> Center and lucky a Tech answered in Florida and not India.
>
> I asked that same question which is best, component or optical. He
> said they had seen sets connected both ways. The optical is only a
> touch better and you can only see the difference if you up within a
> few feet of the screen. I'm stuck with the component I had already
> connected with.
>
> I also found places like Walmart, Best Buy and Computer City also
> used the Component hookup as it look great and don't cost that much.
> Im using Philips from walmart. I wonder if a better brand of cables
> would look any better.

Please read again: WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DIGITAL AUDIO ONLY. It has
nothing to do with video!

Coax and Optical are BOTH DIGITAL. The quality is exactly the same.
February 21, 2005 9:47:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 03:34:48 -0800, "Steven de Mena"
<demenas@comcast.net> wrote:

>
>"wbertram" <wbertram@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:jbydnd4owp0Fj4TfRVn-oQ@rcn.net...
>> They call it 'coax' (the RCA type plug), because the two leads, the center
>> conductor and the surrounding ground conductor, have a common, center
>> axis, i.e., - co-axial!
>
>It's the cable that is "coaxial", not the connectors on the end.
>
>Steve
>
The connectors for coaxial cable are commonly known as coaxial
connectors in this application.
Thumper

To reply drop XYZ in address
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 10:54:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 16:45:55 -0500, "Jim Waggener"
<jimw@nospam.visi.net> wrote:

>
>"Scribner" <walter3ca@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:mpvh111m0022m104a3hu8opbvusq6sjvln@4ax.com...
>> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
>> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
>> optical costs an arm and a leg.
>
>If you are talking about the Audio then the optical (Toslink) is by far the
>better connection. Its digital vs analog. The cable itself only cost about
>$18 at Wal-Mart. I got much cleaner sound with the optical connection.
>
>
>
>----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
>http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
>----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
Great advice and source. Thanks.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 10:58:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1108991543.747879.206640@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Coax and Optical are BOTH DIGITAL. The quality is exactly the same.

This is true, assuming it works. We have done many more service calls that
involved no audio that were caused by bad optical cables or connections than
we have for bad coaxial connections for digital audio. My preference for
reliability is clearly coaxial.

Leonard
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 11:53:27 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

An RCA jack is an RCA jack, even if soldered to your front bumper. Even
if connected to a coax cable. :\
winf

Thumper wrote:

>
> The connectors for coaxial cable are commonly known as coaxial
> connectors in this application.
> Thumper
February 21, 2005 12:09:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Scribner" <walter3ca@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mpvh111m0022m104a3hu8opbvusq6sjvln@4ax.com...
> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
> optical costs an arm and a leg.


Ratshack has surprisingly okay [and cheap] optical toslink cables, like this
one (only $5):

http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CT...

I just strip the composite cable off to use somewhere else.

Also, using the optical audio connection can be a godsend for a cable box
hookup. Some systems have a hum [groundloop] problem when using any type of
hardwired audio connector.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 2:03:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 08:53:27 -0700, WinField <doghouse@operamail.com>
wrote:

>An RCA jack is an RCA jack, even if soldered to your front bumper. Even
> if connected to a coax cable.

An RCA connector is COAXIAL by physical configuration as are the
cables connected to it. Many people misuse the term to stand for RF
connectors, also coaxial, such as F-connectors (or BNC or etc.)
which, of course, can be interconnected by the same cables as RCA
connectors, depending on the application. For example, the same 75ohm
video cables can be obtained with either F or RCAs from your local
RadioShack.

Thus, the term COAX is the cause of misunderstanding as different
people use it for different intents.

Kal
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 2:03:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Kalman Rubinson wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 08:53:27 -0700, WinField <doghouse@operamail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>>An RCA jack is an RCA jack, even if soldered to your front bumper. Even
>> if connected to a coax cable.
>
>
> An RCA connector is COAXIAL by physical configuration as are the
> cables connected to it. Many people misuse the term to stand for RF
> connectors, also coaxial, such as F-connectors (or BNC or etc.)
> which, of course, can be interconnected by the same cables as RCA
> connectors, depending on the application. For example, the same 75ohm
> video cables can be obtained with either F or RCAs from your local
> RadioShack.
>
> Thus, the term COAX is the cause of misunderstanding as different
> people use it for different intents.
>
> Kal

I agree with your post. Your point is well taken.

Most fields of endeavor develop a common language. Back in my days, if
I walked into an electronics supply house and asked for a 75-ohm male
COAX CONNECTOR, chances are the clerk would hand me a plain F-connector
package.

Not an RCA connector, your correct physical description notwithstanding.

Maybe Thumper should lose the Thumper-coax-connector-speak, and ask for
the connector by it's actual name. For the specific connection he
actually needs? :~P

Winfield

--
working on my shielded layer-cake ...
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 3:45:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Scribner" <walter3ca@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mpvh111m0022m104a3hu8opbvusq6sjvln@4ax.com...
> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
> optical costs an arm and a leg.

What do you mean? Audio? Video?

By three RCA plugs, do you mean component video?
The digital video equivalent is either DVI or HDMI - both of which use
copper wires for video.
There is no optical video standard of which I am aware.

There is digital audio via a single coax or optical cable - these are
equivalent from a quality perspective.
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 12:17:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

David (davey@whom-body.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> With analog audio connection (L +R), the good-quality coax is the actual
> cause of the hum (the shield is completing the circuit), like Matthew said..
> With hardwired SPDIF however, the connection really shouldn't result in
> hum (I would guess, because it's a digital signal), but on my
> way-overy-complicated system, it did result in more hum when connecting it.

Basically, the ground loop isn't bad enough to affect the SP/DIF signal
(which makes sense because it is a voltage differential signal, not an
absolute voltage signal), but it is picked up by the amplifier circuitry.

--
Jeff Rife |
| http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/RhymesWithOrange/Recycling...
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 2:29:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

My goof, I saw the word Optical and thought of HDMI. Your right, the
RCA jacks would be analog. A Coaxial cable (digital) is much better
and not that expensive. That's only if your home theater has the
jacks for it. Otherwise go Optical it's best.

The Sony Tech was referring to HDMI vs Component for best video.
He said you have to get close to the screen to see the improvement.

hdtvfan


On 21 Feb 2005 05:12:23 -0800, "Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>
>hdtvfan wrote:
>> On 20 Feb 2005 14:30:48 -0800, "Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >Scribner wrote:
>> >> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three
>RCA
>> >> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that
>the
>> >> optical costs an arm and a leg.
>> >
>> >
>> >You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
>> >connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
>> >components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
>> >Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they
>call
>> >it coax is beyond me.
>> >
>> >Personally I use the RCA Coax for digital output because the optical
>is
>> >so ridiculously expensive..
>>
>> I bought a Sony widescreen a few months back. I called the Service
>> Center and lucky a Tech answered in Florida and not India.
>>
>> I asked that same question which is best, component or optical. He
>> said they had seen sets connected both ways. The optical is only a
>> touch better and you can only see the difference if you up within a
>> few feet of the screen. I'm stuck with the component I had already
>> connected with.
>>
>> I also found places like Walmart, Best Buy and Computer City also
>> used the Component hookup as it look great and don't cost that much.
>> Im using Philips from walmart. I wonder if a better brand of cables
>> would look any better.
>
>Please read again: WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DIGITAL AUDIO ONLY. It has
>nothing to do with video!
>
>Coax and Optical are BOTH DIGITAL. The quality is exactly the same.
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 1:29:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thumper wrote:
>>
>>Do you really intend to continue to demonstrate your ignorance on
>>usenet? As long as there are more than one ground available there are
>>ground loops. Look it up.
>>
>>Matthew
>
> How often is ground loop a problem in consumer electronics where the
> cable run is 6 feet?

The length of the run is irrelevent. Just putting a ground to ground
conductor between the two signal grounds may be all that is required to
show that the two components have different reference grounds (different
degrees of isolation). All of the equipment can be plugged into the same
ground and ground loops can still occur. When I've had to deal with this
case the only thing that worked was to tie all of the chassis grounds
together. This effectively gave all of the components the same reference
ground.

The point is that in a situation where a coaxial cable would enable a
ground loop, an optical cable will not because an optical cable doesn't
connect the two signal grounds.

--
Matthew

I'm a contractor. If you want an opinion, I'll sell you one.
Which one do you want?
February 22, 2005 10:26:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Somewhere around 20 Feb 2005 14:30:48 -0800, while reading alt.tv.tech.hdtv,
I think I thought I saw this post from "Larry Bud" <larrybud2002@yahoo.com>:

>
>Scribner wrote:
>> I'm looking al my home theatre setup. Which is best: the three RCA
>> plug connections or the digital optical connection? I know that the
>> optical costs an arm and a leg.
>
>
>You're mixing two signals. Optical is digital audio only, the 3 RCA
>connectors are probably the Component Video out... However, many
>components have both Optical Digital out, and what they call "Coax"
>Digital out, which looks like and IS an RCA type plug. Why they call
>it coax is beyond me.
So they can charge more for it. People know RCA cables are fairly cheap,
even the 75 ohm video cables. God forbid someone might use their old video
cable for the digital audio, and not spend the money for a big, fancy one.
:-)

>Personally I use the RCA Coax for digital output because the optical is
>so ridiculously expensive..
I think it's supposed to be 75 ohm, but it may not matter that much, since
it's digital. It probably either works or doesn't, with no in between.

By the way, I paid about $10 or less for a nice optical cable, that even
came with the adapters for the smaller connections used for some portable
devices. I think it may have been Philips, from Sears of all places.

--
Marty - mjf at leftcoast-usa.com
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...
well, I have others." - Groucho Marx
!