Optical vs 75ohm Coax

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by KarlRobinson, Feb 25, 2002.

  1. KarlRobinson

    KarlRobinson
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    Can anyone tell me what's better, optical or the 75ohm Coax connection??
     
  2. Electric Mayhem

    Electric Mayhem
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    Bit of an ongoing thing this.

    Personally, I prefer Coaxial but also have Optical leads as well.

    Coaxial leads can be better shielded, made of better cable etc etc.

    Some people go for optical others coaxial, as I said I prefer coaxial as, to me, it sounds better.
     
  3. andypandy

    andypandy
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    I've heard this too, but I have seen 'better quality' optical cables for sale at prices to match Co-ax high quality cables. I'm talking £100 region for small length !!!
     
  4. bob007

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    The task of sending ones and zeroes through the wire is fairly simple. A coaxial cable sends an electric signal with its voltage or lack there of representing the digital bits. An optical cable (TOSLINK as used by most people) sends pulses of light to represent the same bits. The optical TOSLINK cable uses thin, clear plastic fibers to transmit the pulses of light. The problem with this design is that the light tends to bounce around inside the cable, especially when the cable is turned in fairly tight curves or extends long distances. As the light bounces around, it throws off the timing of the signal. A digital signal''s series of ones and zeroes should arrive in a very exact time frame. When the bits do not arrive at quite the right time we encounter jitter. Jitter is simply a timing error, but this timing error can create audible distortion. So transmitting the bits is not the only job of a cable, minimizing (or not introducing) jitter is another important task.

    Coaxial cables are subject to jitter problems, it is not an issue for TOSLINK cables only, however, coax cables tend to suffer from less jitter problems. Thus is the signal is the same but the coaxial cable introduces less distortion in the form of jitter timing errors the coax connection can produce a more perfect signal. Is there a difference? Yes. Is it audible? It can be. Should you be concerned? Not overly. If you have the option between coaxial and TOSLINK digital connections, go the coaxial route. If you have no option, the differences are subtle and TOSLINK works fine as a transmission format for digital bits.
     
  5. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    I like the bouncing around and reflection for the optical cable, and how this gives jitter and an audible sound difference.

    Lets think about, say 1 or 2 metres of optical cable, and a few bends causing some reflection within the cable. Now at the speed of light, over 1 or 2 metres, just how much timing difference will there be over the "correct" signal and the "reflected" signal for a 44/48/96Khz data stream?

    Considering fibre optic actually works using the princible of the that light bounces around inside the cable to keep it in the fibre (it isn't just beamed down the middle!)so it appears at the other end, this explanation seems somewhat unlikely.

    Sounds like an urban myth generated by the manfacturers of cable (I should know I used to sell it)!

    As long as the signal arrives, be it wired or optical, it makes no difference if it is a cheap fibre optic cable or one coasting several hundred pounds.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  6. infomatique

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    The coax is supposed to be better.
     
  7. zcaps57

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    As you ppl know, this debate won't end.
    There's no point. Just use whichever you feel better.

    Personally, I prefer coax as well. But obviously, this doesn't mean coax is better than toslink.

    have a look at this active thread over at AVS.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=118609

    I say no more.
     
  8. BadAss

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    I have both wired all the time and can switch quickly from one to the other. I use to use optical all the time but that was before I could do this comparison. Now I use the Coax as its sounds more alive than the more subtle optical. Actually I have the analog phonos wired up as well, just in case Im bored.
    [​IMG]
     

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