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digital link

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by DonMaico, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. DonMaico

    DonMaico
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    Just bought a Pace sky plus digibox and was wondering whether its worth using an optical link to my amp and which cable you guys would recommend? Thanks!
     
  2. morphy

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    only if youre subscribing to sky movies, plus youll have to turn it on from sound settings
     
  3. StooMonster

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    Just in regular sound it's a fantastic improvement over analogue. Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital ProLogic for most programmes are clearer and better than their analogue versions.

    StooMonster
     
  4. DonMaico

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    Thanks guys , I guess the better the cable the better the sound?
     
  5. idhutt

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    As long as the cable is half decent quality, with a DD/DTS signal, unlike analogue (or PCM with a high quality jitter free source), your not going to get any audible sound benefit from spending loads on a cable. Just make sure you buy the cable from someone who will exchange it if you get dropouts - these are equally likely to happen with expensive as with cheap varieties.

    -Ian
     
  6. DonMaico

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    Ian , what do you mean by dropouts? Is it a fault commonly found in these cables?
     
  7. Starburst

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    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the subject but the dropouts he might mean are those that were introduced on some SKY+ units and some DD enabled movies due to software issues.
    Never had a problem with any Toslink (optical) cables either with SKY+ or a DVD player connected to an amp.
     
  8. DonMaico

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    its just not a term I have heard used before thats why I ask . Then again I am not exactly technically minded.
     
  9. idhutt

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    Its nothing to do with the Sky DD issues. What I am saying is that you may find that the cable that you buy may not suit the equipment that you are using it with.

    This may show a a small random and infrequently dropouts causing sync loss. This may show as possibly a small pop, squeak or your decoder changing its preset. Changing the cable normally sorts the problem out. Its caused by the quality of the transmitted signal or the tolerance or the receiving equipment resulting in it being difficult to differentiate between a 0 and 1. Sometimes they can be resolved by simply straightening out the cable or dusting the ends.

    Its not a great problem. Just don't let the salesman trick you into buying a more expensive cable which will not provide anything extra for your money. Ofcourse, if it was a higher quality source, like a DVD player, then there may be some beneift in paying more. But then you would be using coax rather than optical if you were that bothered in sound quality.

    -Ian
     
  10. DonMaico

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    Ok Ian I 'll take your advice. still not entirely clear what you mean syn c loss ?? but never mind. Us technophobes will never " get it" the jargon that is . But appreciate the advice Thanks!
     
  11. DonMaico

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    just wenr into my local hifi shop and they wanted £40 for a 2 mtr length of cable. I can buy it on the net for a tenner. Ok cant exactly take it back if they if it has these dropouts but then again I probably wouldnt know different anyway and a tenner is not exactly a lot of money.
     
  12. idhutt

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    Thats the attitude! BTW, If you buy it on the internet from UK, you have 7 days to return (even if you just change your mind) under distance selling regulations. Im sure it will be fine anyway.
     
  13. DonMaico

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  14. DonMaico

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    Just received my cable ,connected it and set the sound to D/D. Will all the sky movies sound be channelled thro this cable?I stll have the analogue connection.
     
  15. Starburst

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    You may have to tell the amp when you select the input that corresponds to the SKY+ to look at the optical connection not the analogue phonos.
    Some amps may do this automatically when given the choice between the two signals, others may not.
     
  16. DonMaico

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    I disconnected my analogue and am getting no sound. Unfortunately my receiver guide book isnt all too clear as to which selector button to use. I have but one button for digital and all the rest are analogue and do nothing and I have also set my diugibox to optical output D/D, so I am rather perplexed.
    My Dvd is connected via coax and works fine.
     
  17. DonMaico

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    I ahev two buttons for digital: one marked dvd and the other marked "digital " ( duh!) , press that and then arrows up or down until optical 2 appears and Robert is your father's sibling. trial and error the guide book is rather longwinded and confusing!
     
  18. Adam M

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    I cannot seem to get any sound from mine either.

    I have also found that the stereo analogue pair are giving massively uneven signal levels and have no way of knowing if they are mono or not.

    I have been forced to reallocate my optical inputs on the pioneer ax10is but still cant get any sound.

    I have installed a pioneer free to view box at the same time and managed to get sound succesfully from that, but for some eason the sky plus will not work.

    Any suggestions?

    I have enabled it on the sound set up menu.
     
  19. DonMaico

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    Have you tried getting in touch with Pioneer tech dept.? I usually email HK who are quite helpful although rather slow to respond . In fact I am waiting for a response from them.
    All I did was press the digital button then pressed the up or down arrows till I reached OPtical 2 ( I had connected the lead to that socket and hey presto it worked). The arrow went analogue, coax 1, coax 2, opt 1 and, lastly, opt2. hope that helps.
     
  20. Starburst

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    You should be getting audio via the optical connection regardless of any analogue connection or if the SKY menu is set for Dolby or Normal.
    I have the D2011 and have the SKY+ optical output connected to the Digital 2 input on the amp which is then assigned to the VCR2
    button. When SKY+ is on and the amp is set to VCR2 it takes the audio from the SKY+ optical feed and ignores any analogue feed from the SKY+.
     
  21. Adam M

    Adam M
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    thanks for the replies.

    I know that I have correctly designated which optical input relates to which selected iput. input. Just in case I had it wrong, I set it up with the free to view box and then switched the toslink into that input without reselecting the source.

    Again no sound.

    What I did notice is that the laser light through disconnected free to view box was very bright and prominent and could be used as a laser pointer if necessary.

    There was light from the sky plus sourced cable but even when placed adjacent my finger, it was not bright enough to illuminate it at all.
     
  22. DonMaico

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    Again why dont you get in touch with customer services , they should be able to help. I cant offer anymore suggestions .
     
  23. Starburst

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    If you are still under warranty then get them out to fix/replace the box. It does seem that the problem originates from the SKY+ optical output and not with the cable or the amp.
     
  24. Adam M

    Adam M
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    Box wasn't supplied by sky.

    does that matter?

    I have contacted the guy who supplied it and he is sorting out a replacement but has advised I doa full reset in the meantime but warned me I will lose all my saved stuff.
     
  25. MatthewS

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    Just a quick note about digital connections and cables.

    Dolby Digital data streams include basic crc error checking. So, if the packets get through from source to amp in tact, the signal will be 100%. If there is disruption in transit and a packet is corrupted, that packet will be lost and you will get no sound.

    What does this mean in terms of interconnecting equipment? Well, is you make a digital electrical connection (coaxial phono type) using a coat-hanger, and you get sound, then great, you have your connection. You will not get any better sound by using some fancy 75ohm super monster ultra whizz cable. The same goes for optical bitstreams. You could try using a length of hose lined with tin foil and filled with jelly. If the signal got though (which is admittedly quite unlikely ;)), then bingo!

    One thing that can happen with coaxial leads (or that old coat hanger), is rf interference can degrade the signal as it travels through the cable. When this happens, you may get corrupt packets, and some drop-outs in the sound. At this point, using a shielded cable, or moving to optical may be needed (especially for lengthy cable runs). But still bare in mind that the only cable you need is the most basic one that gives a constant signal. Unlike analogue interconnects, better cables doesn't equal better sound transmission.

    This may, or may not, be of any use to anyone....

    Matt. :)
     
  26. Starburst

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    SKY aren't responsible for SKY+ if bought from a non-approved third party so they wouldn't honour any warranty. I suspect they would still offer a £65 call out service though.
    A full system reset won't do any harm but as you are aware all the recordings would be wiped including series link data.
    It might also be useful to download the SKY+ OS again, imperfect software is the root cause of the vast majority of STB issues.
     
  27. idhutt

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    Matt

    If things were only that simple. Whilst the format of the data is digital, jitter still plays a part in the sound quality. In addition, reflected signals in poorly terminated coax cable or internal reflection and the optical/digital conversion in optical cables can also blur the digital signal causing errors.

    Apart from the digital source, jitter can be introduced throughout the digital process, however it only plays a part at the point of D/A conversion where decent kit can all but eliminate it, reclocking or buffering the signal. However in kit that cannot handle jitter, it can make the sound quality goes through the floor, or even cause dropouts. Jitter causes the sound stage to become compressed, and sound placement becomes muddled.

    -Ian
     
  28. MatthewS

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    While I agree that the transfer of digital PCM audio is susceptible to the problems you outline, jitter cannot cause loss of sound quality for a Dolby Digital or DTS bitstream due to the error checking.* If the packets don't verify, you just get sound drop-out, there is no 'middle ground' degredation.

    Matt.

    *unless by some miracle the packets get scrambled, but by chance still crc correctly.
     
  29. MatthewS

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    Just to clarify, this is in relation to jitter in transmission, nothing to do with word-clock jitter in the DAC.
     
  30. Adam M

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    thanks guys.

    It looks like the supplier is going to sort it, but I still suspect a hardware fault given that I can see a very faint red light from the otical port which I would normally expect to be far brighter.

    I am not really concerned about the quality of signal tranfer at this stage, I just want it to work at all, so that I Don't need to share cables anymore, that way people watching tv via sky on the projector in the lounge won't dictate the sky channel in the rest of the house. (house mates not family, more of a democracy than a dictatorship :()

    I don't worry about the issues you discuss with regard to digital data stream as my dvd player (the only important source afaic) is connected via i link.
     

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