A Question of Cables...


Hi, I'm a newbie with a quick question. I'm looking for some good digital audio cables. At least one has to be optical because I want hook up an Xbox (which only uses Toslink) to a DD/DTS-ready receiver. What's the best cable? What brand, length, etc.? Is Monster really better? Or will the Acoustic Research stuff work? If so, what's the difference between AR's Performance, Pro, and ProII lines? While we're at it, what's the difference between Monster's Lightspeed 200 and 100 opticals?

Also, I need to clear up a dispute with a family member. So my dad goes and spends a whole pile of cash on our new house by installing in-wall speakers, a huge Polk powered sub, and a decent Onkyo TX-DS575X receiver. Then what does he do? He goes and hooks up the DVD player to the receiver with straight up RCA cables! For my own piece of mind, someone please tell me that he's not getting true 5.1 sound. Or is the old man smarter than me as usual... I've been wrong for the last 22 years, maybe my luck's changing....

If he's just using the 2 L/R RCA outputs from the DVD then no he's not get 5.1 sound. He's getting 2.0 sound probably sent to the 5.1 speakers using Dolby Pro Logic II which is cruddy compared with true 5.1. It should be pretty darn obvious just by watching any movie if he's getting 5.1 sound. He won't get the killer sound stage that 5.1 delivers.

If he's using a single coax audio out (looks like a plain RCA cable) and connecting it to his coax in (digital input) on the receiver, then he is indeed getting 5.1. I can't tell from your description of what your dad's doing as to what is hooked up to what.

Basically, he should be connecting the DVD to the receiver using one of the digital connectors (either coax or optical) to get 5.1 sound. Don't use analog connections because he'll only degrade the signal. Audio into the the receiver should be digital if possible to have the least distortion.

As for connectors, just get the entry level monster or acoustic research (or radio shack for that matter) and you'll be fine. Unless you're a major audiophile, you can't tell the difference. They all work well.

Save your money for other things.

hi, i just got a new 5.1 sound system but no instructions it has the speaker connections at the back which i have connected my speaker to and it also has 6 coaxial 5.1 inputs and i can only connect the 2 inputs from my x-box to the amp so i only get sound coming out of the centre speker, is there anyway i can fix this? many thanks rory

Unregistered guest
hi there
does anyone know a way of connecting 2 channel dvd output to 5.1 (6 channel) in order to get full 5.1 experience? Is there an optical cable solution?


Silver Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 608
Registered: Dec-03
Andrew V
I haven't heard of a device that will turn the analog output into digital. Doesn't your player have any digital outputs?
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