SPDIF Cables are used to transfer data from players to stereo speakers. This kind of cable was manufactured by Sony and Philips. SPDIF actually represents both the physical cable specifications and the protocol for the data link layer. SPDIF or S/PDIF stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format or Sony Philips Digital InterFace.

The cable is often used to send compressed data interpreted as a digital audio signal by speakers. It is also used to connect DVD players to speakers capable of DTS or Dolby surround sound. It can carry uncompressed audio signals from CD players to speakers. It can connect personal computers to speakers as well.

There are a number of SPDIF Cable models currently available in the market. They can direct digital audio signal transfers between devices and components without losing quality. They can also protect the signals from outside electromagnetic interferences.

The RCA Jack Cable

The RCA Jack is a type of electrical cable commonly used in the audio/video market.

The cables are usually color coded to differentiate their uses. Yellow cables are for composite video, white or black for the left channel of stereo audio, and red for the right channel of a stereo audio.

The cable has a standard plug at each end, known as the RCA plug or Phono plug. It consists of a central male connector enclosed by a ring. This ring is usually segmented to allow flexibility. The center pin is of 3.70 mm in diameter and the outer shell has a diameter of 8.25 mm. The ring of metal around the jack’s central hole is longer than the ring on the plug and is slightly smaller in diameter. This enables the plug’s ring to fit tightly over the jack’s ring. The plug also contains an insulator (plastic) between the outer and inner rings.

Its name was derived from Radio Corporation of America, which is responsible for introducing the design that permits mono phonograph players to be connected to amplifiers. It is also known as the CINCH/AV connector or Phono connector.

The RCA Jack cable may be used as a power connector or a loud speaker cable. It is also able to send composite video signals. However, it has a poor impedance matching. This cable is also used to carry SPDIF-formatted digital audio.

BNC (Bayonet Neill-Concelman) Connector

The BNC Connector uses digital recording. It sends and receives a signal that is meant for both the “left” and “right” channels. It resembles an analog RCA cable, but only has one RCA connector instead of two.

It is a connector commonly used for terminating the coaxial cable. It comes in 50 and 75 ohm versions and is usually specified for use at frequencies of up to 4 and 2 GHz, respectively.

The connector is used for RF signal connections and to connect amateur radio antenna. It may also be employed for analog and Serial Digital Interface video signals, for aviation electronics (avionics), as electronic test equipment, and as an alternative to the RCA connector when utilized for composite videos on commercial devices.

TOSLINK or Optical Cable

TOSLINK is an optical fiber connection system commonly used through a digital optical socket in consumer audio equipment. It can carry digital audio streams between devices such as CD players, DAT recorders, and MiniDiscs.

It is used to connect CD players to receivers for Pulse-code modulation audio streams. It may also be utilized to connect digital audio stream to Dolby Digital/DTS decoders in some DVD players and game consoles.

The cable can be composed of either higher quality multi-strand plastic optical fibers, quartz glass optical fibers, or economical 1 mm plastic optical fibers, depending on the desired application and bandwidth. The optical fiber helps in eliminating line noise or other electromagnetic phenomena.

It was created by Toshiba Corporation and was formerly called Toshiba-LINK. It has a limited length of 5 meters, with a maximum of 10 meters for consistent transmission unless one is using a signal booster.

Additional Reading on SPDIF