As a Christmas present for my parents, my siblings and I plan on building a "new" computer. This computer will be capable of digitally outputting audio either through toslink or coaxial spdif to a 5.1 home theater receiver. We are purchasing a 500gb hard drive to losslessly store my parents entire cd collection(~150 cd's) in the flac audio format - think of this as a htpc that emphasizes on audio.
Now the problem.
I am trying to keep the audio as high quality as possible, this includes while being transmitted to the receiver. As a result, I would like to use toslink or a coaxial spdif cable to connect the sound card to the receiver. The stereo is ~30 feet from the computer, and the wire will be run under the house. However, toslink and coaxial spdif are hard to find in 30 foot lengths, and even then I have read that there can be audio problems when running the cables at that length.
I believe I read somewhere that you don't lose signal strength over long distances with optical as opposed to coaxial. Sorry I can't remember where I read this I'm sure you can google the difference between the 2. Too bad there isn't someway to shorten the distance. I know you can transmit wirelessly to a receiver but don't know what kind of quality loss there is compared to hardwiring.
Cost of coax and optical might be the same aquiring the same performance. You need to find a place that do special cabling. I would chose optical for my installtion which i have in my basement, for that lenght it might cost you over a hundred dollars.
If you chose copper type you should check a wire like the PBJ Interconnect or sowhere along that line.
That's why optical due to interference and less loss in very long runs.
Check for optical patch cable sites that do custom made. If you can find 2 25 feet optical cords and a coupler is most likely cheaper, cost would be around 30 dollars and up depending on material and the seller.