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Old 07-19-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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Cheap is relative, I've got a couple Onkyo TX-SR608's that have SPDIF and they cost about $350 a pop. There are cheaper models as well. Check this guy out, it has two inputs:

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Old 07-21-2011, 09:05 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the explanations, folks!
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:29 PM   #13
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IMO, digital outputs on a PC are useful. They are a simple interface between the PC and a home audio system. Adding it to a PC is simple and cheap, so why not? It will pass both PCM CD audio and surround sound data streams. Some of the mother boards I own are plagued by noise in the analog outputs, likely caused by the very electrically noisy environment inside a PC. Digital outputs are not affected by this.

Audio products that can use a digital data stream are limited in scope. Although the interface is simple, converting it to audio is more complicated. Besides home theater (HT) receivers, HT preamps/processors, and seperate D to A converters with line level outputs, the market and availability of other products using this interface is small and specialized. Such as self-powered speakers with built in DACs and level controls.

An amplifier with a digital input seems to make sense, but then there is the need for a level control. Sure, not difficult, but then users want more inputs and other controls. In the end, you're back to a HT receiver. Without the added features, it becomes a niche product with a small market, unfortunately.

An FYI, PCs will likely have level controls on the digital outputs. Sure they work, but a digital interface does not use varying voltage levels in the connection to control it's level. The only way to do it is manipulate the digital data, by bit shifting and other techniques. When that is done, data is inevitably lost, and the resolution is compromised. Digital outputs on PCs should always have their levels set to maximum, and level adjustment done with analog controls.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:22 AM   #14
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I connect the optical output from my PC to a stand-alone DAC (Cambridge Audio DACmagic IIi) then connect the DAC to the amplifier via RCA cables. The sound is great. You can use your existing amp and upgrade later. My music is stored as .WAV files but I'm sure FLAC would work fine. External DAC's aren't exactly 'cheap', but you might pick up an 'affordable' used one. It would be a sad day when manufacturers cut costs by eliminating the S/PDIF interface, to me it's an essential component.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #15
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Hi Gabriel,

i have read your Tutorial "Everything You Need to Know About the SPDIF Connection" with the hope to get an answer to my problem.

When i connect my DVB-S2 Receiver to my Beamer/TV over HDMI and the SPDIF to my Sound System, i don't get any Sound over SPDIF.
Only if i connect analog video to my Beamer/TV i get sound over SPDIF.
Do you know why?

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Old 06-11-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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Hi Gabriel,

I just started to read your article about S/PDIF, but will have to wait to finish it. I actually found a couple of things on the first page which I personally don't agree with, but feel free to disagree with me.

Digital audio can be transported via a S/PDIF, HDMI, Display Port, and TosLink connection. My desktop support digital audio through all of the previously mentioned connections.

Noise can indeed be induced across, or more accurately environmental noise can be induced when run parallel to a coaxial conductor. Square wave pulses allow noise to be ignored... up to a point. Off topic, consider packet loss from a digital broadcast through a cable transmission. I use TosLink and fiber optic cables to interconnect all my audio components, which completely eliminates environmental noise, but has its own issues. In 2000 S/PDIF or coaxial cables were cheaper than fiber optic cables, but today they are more competitively priced. The only problem that I have today is that with all audio connections enabled, Windows automatically defaults to HDMI audio after every restart. lol
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