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View Full Version : Xbox and Surround Soun-Coax yet?



tpietro
09-17-2002, 11:34 PM
Greetings.

I have a Toshiba TV, VCR, DVD and a Harmon Receiver. THe DVD is currently using the "optical" cable. I'm wondering if Xbox has an adapter for the "coax" input for my receiver.

What products should I get?

Thanks.

Tim

Zion
09-17-2002, 11:53 PM
There won't be any coax...optical is the future. Manufacturers rarely use coax inputs/outputs anymore.

Fred Gasman
09-18-2002, 12:39 AM
Hey Zion, nice sig.
I bet you jerk off alot, eh?;)

Zion
09-18-2002, 08:14 AM
Nah, not really. Anytime I get the urge, she is right there!

MidniteArrow
09-18-2002, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by Zion
There won't be any coax...optical is the future. Manufacturers rarely use coax inputs/outputs anymore.

Actually, not to burst your bubble... but...

Coax is actually better than optical. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but it's true. The optical cables tend to introduce a problem known as jitter. Check out http://www.avsforum.com for details. The only time optical is better is if you need to run a digital audio signal a long distance - and then I think the benefit is merely a financial one. Having said that, you'd need some really nice coax cables to beat out an optical one - the big fat coax cables that are laballed as "digital coax".

Now for most audio equipment, you won't be able to notice a difference. If you didn't spend over $1500 on speakers, then you probably will be OK with optical cables.

As for the question, there is currently no A/V adapter for the Xbox with coax output. It would be nice to have one eventually, but the fidelity of sound in the games would need to improve significantly for this to be a real issue (which given the DVD storage medium, is a technical possibility).

Zion
09-18-2002, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by MidniteArrow


Actually, not to burst your bubble... but...

Coax is actually better than optical. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but it's true. The optical cables tend to introduce a problem known as jitter. Check out http://www.avsforum.com for details. The only time optical is better is if you need to run a digital audio signal a long distance - and then I think the benefit is merely a financial one. Having said that, you'd need some really nice coax cables to beat out an optical one - the big fat coax cables that are laballed as "digital coax".

Now for most audio equipment, you won't be able to notice a difference. If you didn't spend over $1500 on speakers, then you probably will be OK with optical cables.

As for the question, there is currently no A/V adapter for the Xbox with coax output. It would be nice to have one eventually, but the fidelity of sound in the games would need to improve significantly for this to be a real issue (which given the DVD storage medium, is a technical possibility).




Actually, there is NO difference in the sound quality of the cables. It's digital..either on or off. No in between. Either the signal gets there, or it does not. That's why a $6 optical cable does the same exact thing as a $75 optical cable. It might not look as nice, but it does the same job.

Now, I have to disagree with coax being better than optical. Yes, optical is more prone to breakage, but you usually don't swing your cables around your head once you have them installed, so that shouldn't matter.

Also, optical is not prone to interference...unlike coax. This is the reason few manufacturers use coax anymore...they're all going optical. Most DVD players don't even have coax connectors any more.

MidniteArrow
09-18-2002, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by Zion
Actually, there is NO difference in the sound quality of the cables. It's digital..either on or off. No in between. Either the signal gets there, or it does not. That's why a $6 optical cable does the same exact thing as a $75 optical cable. It might not look as nice, but it does the same job.

Now, I have to disagree with coax being better than optical. Yes, optical is more prone to breakage, but you usually don't swing your cables around your head once you have them installed, so that shouldn't matter.

Also, optical is not prone to interference...unlike coax. This is the reason few manufacturers use coax anymore...they're all going optical. Most DVD players don't even have coax connectors any more.

Actually, there is a difference in the two. I will grant you that a digital signal is 1 or 0, on or off. I will also grant you that either an optical or a digital coax cable will both perfectly transmit the on or off state of the signal. The problem, however, does not lie with the cable itself, but rather it lies with the electronics at either end of the cable that are responsible for encoding and decoding the signal (whether it be electrical or optical) into/out of the bitstream. The coax electronics is older and more robust, and in practice, does a near perfect job. The optical electronics does not do as good a job. It introduces something called jitter.

Did you notice that from my previous post? That word jitter. Do you know what it is? I also provided something called a URL: http://www.avsforum.com. Did you go there? I doubt it, you couldn't have possibly read the jitter threads in the amount of time it took you to reply. Go there. Do a search for jitter and you'll see what I mean. I'm not trying to be rude here. You were. I provided a link where you could do some research to speak educatedly on the subject. Next time, do some research before you reply when someone has offered some free advice (with supporting links) that is in your best interest to know.

Now if you know what jitter is and have knowledge that I don't have, please, by all means, post it (I'll even apologize if my assumption above is not true...).

Zion
09-18-2002, 03:03 PM
Yes, I know what jitter is. I actually thought you were joking though. You don't actually think that's true, right? Please tell me you have more sense than that!??! :confused:

WOWSY
09-18-2002, 04:10 PM
That "jitter" thing has been proven just a myth for a long time. It was just a ploy the people that don't like optical use because they think optical is evil. :rolleyes:

I think it's just the opposite because no matter what, you'll always have inherent resistance and noise with coax. Unlike Optical where you have no noise and no electrical resistance.

Optical will always be better than wire. It's just a fact of science.

MidniteArrow
09-18-2002, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by Zion
Yes, I know what jitter is. I actually thought you were joking though. You don't actually think that's true, right? Please tell me you have more sense than that!??! :confused:

Wow. What an amazing counter point. How could I possibly argue with that? No, I don't have more sense than to listen to industry professionals about their observations in their field. I guess I'm just stupid that way.

I understand where you are coming from since I was once on your side of the fence with the same arguements. It's just that there ARE differences in the two. Again - go read the threads on jitter there - or just keep living in the dark. Either is fine with me.

MidniteArrow
09-18-2002, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by WOWSY
That "jitter" thing has been proven just a myth for a long time. It was just a ploy the people that don't like optical use because they think optical is evil. :rolleyes:

I think it's just the opposite because no matter what, you'll always have inherent resistance and noise with coax. Unlike Optical where you have no noise and no electrical resistance.

Optical will always be better than wire. It's just a fact of science.

The "jitter" thing, which has been "proven" a myth, seems to be an observable phenomenon. I'm not sure how something that is observable can be a myth. Maybe enough persons believe in so that it has now manifested itself.

I agree that the optical cables themselves are better than the digital coax. But that doesn't matter. If you perfectly transmit a bad signal, you're going to get bad sound. If the electronics that encodes the bitstream into the optical signal does not do as good a job as the electronics that encodes the bitstream into an electrical signal, then you're likely going to get better sound with the electric cable. Also note that the "on/off" arguement bites you in the ass here. Yes, resistance reduces the quality of the transmission in the electrical cable, but all that needs to get transmitted is on or off - which the digital coax is more than adequate to transmit. So the real question of quality is which set of electronics yield a better encoding/decoding of the bitstream? According to user observations on high end audio equipment, the digital coax electronics does a better job of this.

There are no "facts" of science. Science predicts outcome based on observations. Jitter is observable. I'm not an observer, I merely am relaying the observation. If you think the observations are in error, go over to http://www.avsforum.com and tell the observers.

LynxFX
09-18-2002, 06:07 PM
There have been numerous blind tests between optical and digital audio connections, even at avsforum and not a SINGLE person could tell the difference. They are equal in quality in terms of the sound they carry.

Now they do have their pros and cons as well. Like midnite said, long runs of optical gets pretty pricey. Optical also has to have a strong connection or you will lose your signal (ie loose connector). No crimps of course either. $7 cable is just as good as a $100 cable. Sheilding isn't a problem.

Digital Coax also needs a good connection but the nature of the beast means that isn't as picky as optical. Longer runs are cheaper. There is a difference between the $7 cable and the $100 cable. Sheilding can be a problem.

I personally don't have a preference one way or another. I use a mix of the two. Coax from my stand alone dvd player and my gaming PC, optical from my HTPC and Xbox and CD changer.

I don't see either connection disappearing.

WOWSY
09-18-2002, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by MidniteArrow


If you perfectly transmit a bad signal, you're going to get bad sound.

That makes sense. If the source is bad then of course the sound is gonna be bad also.

My A/V reciever supports both Dcoax and Optical. I'll only run Dcoax if I run out of optical inputs. My A/V Mentor has said that he's actually seen the noise that is transmitted through coax on a scope and that optical is the purest way to transmit data.

Makes sense to me. That's why the phone and cable companies have switched to fiber-optic.

To each his own, if you like coax that's fine with me.

MidniteArrow
09-19-2002, 01:10 AM
Originally posted by Lynxfx
There have been numerous blind tests between optical and digital audio connections, even at avsforum and not a SINGLE person could tell the difference. They are equal in quality in terms of the sound they carry.

I just spent a few hours reading threads over at AVS. From what I saw, there are no blind tests that show a difference. There are, however, personal tests by users showing differences. However, which is better varies on who did the test. Some say that optical is better. Some say coax.

One conclusion is that there is no difference at all, and these users who claim to hear differences are either lying, biased, or performed an invalid test. I have a theory that can explain these differences though. Most of the persons who claimed that there were differences had medium end systems. Nothing you'd get at Wal-Mart, but also not absolutely top of the line. All of the blind tests that I heard of were top of the line systems. If, on the medium end equipment, the electronics for the optical and coaxial connections was of varying quality, the results are explained. I would imagine that both types of connections would be top notch on the higher end equipment (which was used for the blind tests). Some of the medium end equipment might have a top of the line optical connection and a poor coax connection. On this equipment, the user could likely tell a difference between connections that seemed to imply that the optical cable is better. On some other medium end equipment, the opposite may be so: the electronics for the coax connection could be superior to the optical. A test on this system would show that the coax cable is better.

If this theory is sound, then it carries with it the implication that there really is no difference in the cables, however, one may still be better than the other for your particular equipment. You're probably at risk if you have medium end equipment.

MidniteArrow
09-19-2002, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by WOWSY
To each his own, if you like coax that's fine with me.

Heh - I never said I liked coax. I like optical. It's far sexier than electrical coax. I was just passing along that the audiophiles were leaning towards coax connections. I still hold to this, but it seems to be for financial reasons above technical ones. The audiophiles tend to run long cables, and for long cables, the coax cables are cheaper (according to them - haven't looked into it myself).