Why More and More People are Using SPDIF

The reason for its popularity is the many advantages of SPDIF. The biggest benefit is a 100% digital connection from your computer to home theatre surround sound system. You can also transmit the surround sound from DVDs and HDTVs to your home theatre. Software decoding is not needed. Third, the receiver comes with superior electrical parts.


Boman Rustom IraniSPDIF means Sony and Phillips digital interconnect format. Sometimes it is spelled as S/PDIF, S/P-DIF or IEC 958 type II. This format has many applications. Chief among them is transmission of digital stereo signals to DVD players, computer audio cards and other audio systems. The format works in other systems that require digital audio signal sending or receiving.


Another one of its benefits is flexibility, making them compact. The format has bi-phase. All the codes have a signal transmission for the codes or the bits. It is this feature that makes the format very flexible. The format’s rates depend on what kind of device that you will use to receive or transmit audio signal.

For DAT (Digital Audio Tape) it is 48 kHz and for stereo CDs it is 44 kHz. The bits are very precise, which is another one of the advantages of SPDIF.

The number of words that will be sent determines the stereo channel. The specs are set by the IEC standard 60958-3. SPDIF uses a twisted pair cable of resistance 75 ohms.

Other Applications

This format is made for digital audio compression. They are also used for audio signal transmission from one player to another. Aside from home theatre systems, you can also use these to link up audio circuits.

Because it is digital audio interconnect cable, SPDIF is best used for audio output over distances that are not too far apart. The signals are sent via a fibre optic cable with TOSLINK connectors or a coaxial cable with RCA connectors. What SPDIF does is link up components in your home theatre system. This digital audio cable is compatible with digital high fidelity systems.

Other Technical Information

The format is set upon the AES3 interconnect standard. It is capable of carrying multi-channel compressed surround sound formats like DTS or Dolby Digital. It can also carry two PCM audio channels. It is a data link layer. Think of it as a layer of physical specifications for digital audio transmission between components and devices.

This was created at the same as AES3, the main standard. At the protocol level, the two are very similar. One difference is that consumer level SPDIF has copy protection while AES3 doesn’t. The SPDIF uses optical fibre or electrical coaxial cable with RCA connectors instead of XLR.

Their RCA connectors are orange to distinguish it from other standard RCA connectors. Instead of 110 O balanced twisted pair, the cable uses 75 O coaxial cable, which is more common and cheaper. In simple terms, SPDIF is the consumer form of AES3. AES3 is used in professional applications, while SPDIF is best known for digital signal transmission. The format doesn’t have a defined data rate so it can support DAT and CD audio.

While there are many advantages of SPDIF>, it is quite complex. You need to be aware of the processes. You should learn as much about the product before buying. The best place to research is the Internet. You can also go to the manufacturer’s website – http://www.spdifcable.com/