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Windows 7: HDMI vs Optical for Audio?

05 Aug 2014   #1
Jemjem787

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 
HDMI vs Optical for Audio?

I am hooking up a computer to my TV area and i can choose between the HDMI and Optical for Audio. I was reading different answers everywhere so i thought i would ask here. I know the quality between cables might change the answer but i am looking for a more general answer.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2014   #2
computergeekguy

7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Well my answer is this. I use optical (SPDIF) as that is the only connection that my stereo accepts other than rca jacks. (My stereo is before HDMI.)

For movies it is great. 7.1 dts is wonderful. For games not so much. Games just can not seem to see spdif so it always defaults to 2.0 stereo speaker configuration. That sucks.

I don't know if it is the same for HDMI. You might try that and see if you can get 7.1 out of your games but i am pretty sure you can't get 7.1 out of optical unless your watching a movie.

Just some things to consider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2014   #3
Lava King

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I prefer the optical because it is NOT an electrical connection between the PC and audio receiver and therefore there's a much lesser chance of getting PC noise (buzz, hum, hash etc.) out of your receiver.

It also prevents that annoying speaker thump or pop if you should power on or power off your PC with the receiver powered on.
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07 Aug 2014   #4
computergeekguy

7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

That is a good point. Optical is well optical so if this is going to be for movies only then that is the way you want to go. So what is your sound system going to be used for. Movies or high end video games. That will pretty much decide for you lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2014   #5
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there

Anything to do with AUDIO -- you need to ask THREE questions first.

1) Quality of original Source --if it's a highly compressed 192 kbs or worse a 128 kbs mp3 file then it really doesn't matter --in fact probably wil sound better on basic ANALOG and really el-cheapo speakers -- high end gear will amplify any defects in the original sound source such as "Artifacts" etc.

2) Quality of the Speakers used for listening -- if these are rubbish then the best sound on the planet will sound excruciatingly HIDEOUS.

3) Quality of the DAC's used -- If using HDMI / or optical -- since our ears only hear ANALOG you need at least one DAC (Digital to Analog converter) to convert the Digital signal into Analog for the speaker system (and hence our Ears) to be able to hear the sound.

If as is usually the case the DAC in TV's or most el cheapo sound systems is pretty horrible - I'd suspect that a plain old analog stereo cable system might give the best result of all. You can get decent results with expensive 5.1 etc cinema amps but most computer sound is pretty terrible --I only use the HDMI cable connection as it minimizes the number of cables. If I want to listen to music in high quality I listen to FLAC (uncompressed) on a dedicated "Hi Fi" system with a set of expensive studio grade Mission reference speakers (around 2,000 USD the pair !!).

Most computer sound components - especially those used for "Gaming effects" sound WORSE to me than some ordinary STREET ROAD DRILLS !!!.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2014   #6
computergeekguy

7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

I agree on the FLAC. If your going to invest in a sound system don't waste your time with MP3. Always get uncompressed when possible. You will loose all your bass and and it wont sound as rich if you compress it with mp3 or the likes.

P.S. I heard WAV is uncompressed so If you can get wav that is pretty good although I still prefer FLAC if you can find it.
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 HDMI vs Optical for Audio?




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