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Thread: Coaxial Digital VS Optical Digital

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Coaxial Digital VS Optical Digital

    Ok .. I plan on getting a nano-itx board to use for my car pc. All these years I've been planning to have a fibre-optic connection between the car pc and the amplifier so as to get the best audio signal possible without losing much quality. I know this is probably going a bit far, but I was hoping for VIA to include an optical digital output on the board, but instead they've included a coaxial digital output.

    I understand you can buy a converter that converts coaxial digital to optical digital, and you can get one to do the reverse.

    My questions: is it really worth having an optical connection between the source and the amp? And will it be better (a whole lot better?) for surround sound, given that I intend to buy a 5.1ch car amplifier that has an optical input (I had the links to some of these ... but I can't find them now ..)

    I also understand that optical cables are less susceptible to electrical interference from other cables/devices, and car pc installations are notorious for interference problems if cables are not run correctly.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Note: my current motherboard in my desktop, an MSI Neo4-Platinum has coaxial digital output AND optical digital output on the back panel .... very very nifty! For my car pc, I would ideally like to use a nano-itx. If there are any mini-itx mobos that have optical output, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I don't imagine that you would notice a difference between digital coaxial and optical digital. There just isn't enough information going over the line or enough interference in the car enviroment, maybe if you ran your power wires right next to it I could see some interference but even that I doubt. That's the beauty of digital, it's less susceptible to interference.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate 3onDubs's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Anaheim Hills, Ca
    They have "coaxial to optical converters" and "optical to coaxial converters".....both ways....check ebay. It really depends on what you need...I don't think that you would need an optical to coaxial converter unless all of your optical inputs were being used and u had a free coaxial input just sitting there. There is no sound difference between coax and optical.

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    optical is not less susceptible, it is impossible for optical to pick up electrical interferance period.

    coax digital will ignore interferance to a certain point.... more than likely you'll be fine, but what amp or processor is going to have a digital coax in? if you must convert anyway, then of course do it as close as practical to the motherboard, but only if you have to...

  5. #5
    Newbie jazz13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Canberra, AU
    Quote Originally Posted by turbocad6
    optical is not less susceptible, it is impossible for optical to pick up electrical interferance period.
    Umm..... Light actually bends with enough electromagnetic interference ya know. How do you think CRT's work? So 'impossible' is the wrong word to use there.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate BarryWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    There's no light till the electron beam hits the phosphors. You need a huge gravity well to bend light, like planets and stars. An electromagnet won't do it.
    Failure is not an option....

    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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