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Got a new laptop a couple of months ago.  HP Pavillion forget the exact
model number.  It has on the right hand side a combination headphone "SPDIF"
jack.  Now i know that SPDIF is some sort of a digital audio connection, a
venture between Sony and Phillips, but for the life of me can't find any
decent use for it.   I would love to be able to use it as a digital out
source to coax digital input on my stereo system, but don't see any calbles
or adapters out there for it.  Had a similar port on an old desktop.  Brings
up the question.... What is this darn port supposed to do, and where do you
find gadgets that can make use of it???


Re: SPDIF ???

There are two variants of SPDIF, electrical and optical (fibre optic).
The electrical variant uses an RCA jack, and it's a digital audio
signal.  The optical version uses a fibre optic "light cable".  The only
time I've ever used SPDIF was to connect the output of an XM satellite
receiver (via fibre optic) to the optical digital input on my
Soundblaster Audigy Platinum's "live drive".  It worked fine, but I
can't tell you that it was any better than good analog audio.  But
modern audio equipment, and computer sound cards, all have such inputs.

nooneimportant wrote:

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Re: SPDIF ???

Yes and that output of the PC can be adapted, with inexpensive cable
adapters from RS or MCM or PartsExpress, to connect to any audio
system with a digital input.  If one has no digital input, one can
either connect with the analog (headphone) output or get an
inexpensive DAC to convert the digital to analog.


On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 00:34:09 -0400, Barry Watzman

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Re: SPDIF ???

Barry Watzman wrote:
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Many computers do not have "good" analog audio.  I tested several around
the office and most had humming noises or just sounded awful, and I
don't have great ears.  Others were fine, but of course it's impossible
to know before buying a new laptop.

Also with digital is there are no settings to mess up.  If you use
headphone jack, you'll get bad sound quality unless you correctly set
the various sound levels on your card and the headphone volume on your

Re: SPDIF ???

Most surround speaker sets will have a optical input which you can use
with the spdif on your laptop.

nooneimportant wrote:
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