Tap to unmute

TOSLINK: That one consumer fiber optic standard

  • Published on Jul 18, 2019 veröffentlicht
  • You can support this channel on Patreon! Link below
    Well. Isn’t that strange. Digital data through fiber optics, and in the home no less! Let’s explore this a little, shall we?
    These may not be TOSLINKs but they sure are links!
    Here's that Digital Sound playlist:
    • Digital Sound and...
    Technology Connections on Twitter:
    The TC Subreddit
    Technology Connections 2 (the channel where I sometimes talk about stuff and generally don’t prepare for anything):
    / @technologyconnex...
    You can support this channel on Patreon! It has been amazing what Patreon has done for this channel, but also for me (your dorky host) personally. Through the support of people just like you, Technology Connections has become my job and I am so excited and thankful for it! If you’d like to join the fine folks in a pledge to help the channel grow, please check out my Patreon page. Thank you for your consideration!
    And thank you to the following Patrons!
    Case Tu'ikolovatu, Zimpan, Loïc Esch, Filmmaker IQ, Greg H, Jan Houben, Bren Ehnebuske, T.J. Zientek, AdamPlays, Vernon, Ton Brands, Scott Wright, Jason Ashcroft, Kory Howard, William Lahti, Thanasis Dimas, Marc Grondin, Lisa, Hex, Mark Stradling, Gareth Lucas, Anton Mironov, Peter Sodke, joseph, Kristian Scheibe, Jacob B, McLargehuge 510, Andrew, Nick, Greg Tan, The Masterpiece, Seanvdv, Chris Cody, Chad Fertig, M Shrimptoast, Joseph Houghtaling, Ben Tucci, Seph P, Dave Stares, Josh Braun, Lachy Bell, Joe Johnson, Daniel Dugger, Nathan Back, Christopher Lowell, Oleg, Michael Sacchi, PC Perspective, Allan Parker, Ali Elam, Dan Allen, Trent Crawford, Zhenbang Xiao, Maxime Aubaret, Markus Towara, Zackary E. Jenkins, Barky doggo, Ectra, Dylan Taylor, Reid Fishler, Emmanuel Jaramillo, Daniel Meagher, Joel, Neil Richardson, Clemens, Brian Kerber, Miranda Schwarck, Bill Bates, Centronias, Dennis Walsh, Nuno Silva, Alex Warren, marc lulkin, Christopher Moyer, Christian Schulz, Paul Robins, David Riediger, Les, Keenan Finucan, funcrusher, Ian Clanton-Thuon, Ryan Pratt, Don Nguyen, Gregory Knott, Paul Newton, Greg Golds, Robbert van Rijsewijk, David Jeffares, Theo Keeler, Travis Hagen, Alex Scheidly, Albizu Garcia , Tyler Alberico, Benjamin Ratner, Doug Davenport, John Virts, Paul Sharp, Craig Brickey, Zidy, Justin Trout, Brandon, John Galus, Karl Kornel, Danila Fediashchin, KD, Sound Board, Adam, Zach Rose, Arvin Prasetya Wiranata, Patryk Majewski, Chris & Brigette Rodriguez, Mattis Målbakken, Dirk Lembens, WB, AmbientCyan, Sam Calandra, Wolfgang Gschwendtner, qzb, William Preston, Dave Treadwell, Stuart Stanfield, Howard Longden, Christopher Olson, Kor Nielsen, Adrian Hunziker, Kori Fulgham, Stephen Amar, Bryce, Andy Holzhammer, Patrick van der Rijt, Ethan Mears, Eli Rueda, Jon Clegg, David Jeroslow, Ian Hills, Charles MacDonald, Andrew, Tim Jones, Chris Burger, Paul, AnsulFolf, c sporn, Zachary Kordenbrock, Roy Burns, Ian Spence, Mike A, Brandon Dean, Alex Dodge, Sten, hipp1eguy, Blake Kwasnicki, Mick Carroll, Justin Derleth, El Jefe, mrjoro, NEON725, Bree Asher, Emily Eisenberg, Hunter Scales, Mark Christian, Dylan Leblanc, Samuel, Brad Rustvold
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 6 105

  • OM617YOTA
    OM617YOTA 2 years ago +2441

    I laughed out loud at gold plated connectors on an optical cable. 🤣

    • Titus Law Office
      Titus Law Office Month ago

      @Tomyironmane Garbage. If there's a lot of it, it must be easy to find but ... there's none out there to find.

    • Tomyironmane
      Tomyironmane Month ago

      "audiophile grade" sells a lot of garbage ot a lot of uninformed people.

    • Chris Mayer
      Chris Mayer Month ago

      Gold or no, Gangstahs gotta have their bling! 💰

    • Titus Law Office
      Titus Law Office 2 months ago

      @Mike G Well according to Amazon gold plated TOSLINK is only $1.50 upcharge, depending on the model.

    • Mike G
      Mike G 2 months ago

      @Titus Law Office if *only* it were $5, these cable salesmen will sell you a $1000 cable and try to convince you it’s better than a $5 one that works just as well.

  • veryDave
    veryDave 2 years ago +989

    There’s an advantage to using fibre optic that went unsung here; the ability to entirely sidestep ground loop problems regardless of where things are plugged! This saved me a great deal of headaches when it was possible

    • Chris Davies
      Chris Davies Month ago

      UNshielded low-quality PSUs are probably killing your sound, however.

    • thomerow
      thomerow Month ago

      Two years late here, but in my little home recording setup in 1997 i could reliably produce second long dropouts by turning my desk lamp on or off when I was still using an RCA cable for a SPDIF connection between my digital mixer and the PC. Switching to an optical connection eliminated that problem.

    • Joseph Capra
      Joseph Capra 2 months ago

      He said this in the fact they don’t produce any RF interference

    • Herr Salz
      Herr Salz 2 months ago +1

      I always had a problem with my sound card in my pc. When the graphics card was working even a tiny bit my analog audio got really messed up. Imo it was unusable. I switched to digital optical and no noise and weird hissing anymore. Only problem I encountered was the processing in the amplifier/avr. Because I was using "pair A/pair B" on an old amplifier that only supported anlog in I had to get a new amplifier that supported digital input. It was rather difficult to get one with "zone 2" that could decode the signal from my pc for one pair of speakers and another zone wich could process hmdi(arc) and analog sources for a different pair of speakers. Many devices had a zone 2 but few could do digital inputs in different zones at the same time.

    • Dan
      Dan 6 months ago +1

      The reason I ended up going with optical is because I've always had issues with USB DACs picking up one of two hums. The first is the ground loop hum. The second, strangely enough and I still don't fucking understand it, was a hum that was equivalent to the refresh rate on my main monitor
      It confused me for a while because I know what a mains hum sounds like, and it wasn't that. Then one day after reconnecting my monitor, thus resetting it to 60hz, I heard a lower hum, and I heard it raise in pitch as I set my monitor back to 144hz.
      I decided I didn't even wanna fucking know and bought a sound card that supported optical and never looked back

  • cdstoc
    cdstoc Year ago +19

    Yep, amazing that TOSLINK and S/PDIF are still being used. Even more amazing is that the original MIDI standard from 1982 is still actively used on new musical devices. RCA connectors are still used after being invented around 1937 to connect phonographs to RCA radios. But to me the grand champion longest-running interface is the phone plug (or jack), still used on electric instruments, headphones, mixing consoles, etc., which descends from a telephone switchboard jack first used around 1877.

  • Kyle McGowan
    Kyle McGowan 2 years ago +236

    “Yelling at computers to turn the lights off...” you, sir, have been cracking me up more and more!

    • Bubba Klipp
      Bubba Klipp 7 months ago +1

      He didn't have to call me out so soon in the video🥲

    • Tiscando
      Tiscando Year ago +4

      8:21 "As dark as the future of Windows Phone."

  • Erik Wolken
    Erik Wolken Year ago +139

    My ancient computer motherboard has quite a noticeable noise floor on the headphone out plugs. It also transmits noise over USB to cheap DAC/Amps I've used in the past. Sending TOSLINK to cheap DACs removed all noise floor. This was a useful fix that served me well for many years, and an example of using optical signal to electrically isolate components.
    Another useful "feature" of using a motherboard digital audio out is that you can keep the outputs set as default without them being auto disabled (windows) or having to deal with changing output devices (alsa headaches...).

    • dunxy
      dunxy 7 months ago +1

      @Tanner Brake The cap noise from high end GPU's is insane is it not? My 1080 was(is, still have it, on the shelf) ntb but my 3080ti is insane when it loads up.

    • dananskidolf
      dananskidolf 9 months ago +1

      I have a cheap, nasty external USB soundcard that clicks the speakers loudly when it turns on, indicating a ground loop. But I bought it for the toslink out, which lets me use a better DAC of my choice essentially isolated from the problem.
      That said, I'm still using fairly old hardware for digital audio. Good DACs these days can actually perform better over USB (typically better jitter control plus support for higher-bandwidth formats). Ground loops are nasty but should be solved by the receiving device going forward.

    • Tanner Brake
      Tanner Brake Year ago +7

      Not to mention that GPU coil whine will make speakers would horrible unless you're on TOSlink. I had the noisiest 1080 and it drove me to switch to fibre for my desktop audio, I'll probably never go back to traditional cables for my desktop speakers

  • 404
    404 6 months ago +12

    My old Sony 5.1 surround sound system (circa 2004) makes use of TOSLINK, and it connects to my Chinesium SMART TV (circa 2020) without any issues and provides excellent sound quality. This video did a perfect job of explaining what was going on behind the scenes, and it makes me happy that old standards like these are still applicable and seamlessly integrate with today's technology.

    • T W
      T W 2 months ago

      It’s great to see a homie with a similar setup to me. Mid naughties Yamaha surround sound system with a Kogan smart TV bought in 2019.

  • Technology Connections
    Technology Connections  3 years ago +903

    something something
    ground loops
    Fun fact! I ran across a forum thread where someone was having a ground loop issue with a coax S/PDIF connection, and when someone suggested they switch to an optical connection to avoid that, _another_ entirely helpful and not-at-all pretentious person went off about how terrible optical connections are because of bandwidth and clock jitter.
    *_You simply can't win_*

    • bloepje
      bloepje Month ago

      @Red Overdrive, the unstoppable confused daltonic!! If you can hear it, the software isn't good enough. You should only hear it doing that if it decides it needs a bigger buffer.
      Having said that: I use zita-njbridge to send PCM realtime over udp and the other side locks onto the clock and creates a very low latency audio sink (like 10ms). It syncs between different audio clocks, system clocks and such. It works perfectly. Except those times I forget to turn off the wifi on the source device.

    • bloepje
      bloepje Month ago

      I actually had the same discussion with an "audiophile" that swore he could hear the difference between coax and toslink.
      I told him that if that were really the case, he has a very very shitty amp with a very very shitty PLL that can't lock onto a signal properly.
      The only thing that would make it jitter is if the receiving side is not capable of locking onto the clock signal.
      And that's the best thing to say to an audiophile: "You can hear it jitter because you didn't spend enough money for a real amp".

    • Sirmooses
      Sirmooses 2 months ago

      Ground loop is an actual problem to which TOSlink offers a solution, it is not the same thing as one guy on a random forum complaining about something pedantic.

    • red 2 the electric boogaloo
      red 2 the electric boogaloo 2 years ago

      *oh my god they're eating each other*

    • Graham Cantin
      Graham Cantin 2 years ago

      @Red Overdrive, the unstoppable confused daltonic!! "...needs a precision at least inside 0.25%, unobtainable with just the chip RC clock..." It's not that you're *wrong*, since you specify with "just the chip RC clock" and that excludes the PLLs, but 48Mhz isn't really difficult to achieve from an 8Mhz RC and PLLs. Quite a few of my MCUs can run at 40Mhz, 72Mhz, 80Mhz, 104Mhz, 160Mhz, and 240Mhz with no external oscillator, just the internal RC. Most of the time it's accurate enough to sync at high baud rates from the UART of 4000000 to 9000000. And USB isn't as precise in the real world as it is by spec; especially USB 1.1 fallback support, which absolutely can be bitbanged by an AVR on internal RC. See Also: www.obdev.at/products/vusb/index.html

  • Jeff Card
    Jeff Card 3 months ago +73

    I love your channel so much. Your personality is engaging and unique. Your brand of witty, dry humor and the deep knowledge of the subject matter is as good as any on the platform. I would bet that a persistent desire to satisfy your insatiable natural curiosity has endowed you with a wealth of knowledge. Your intelligent and thoughtful presentation is very much appreciated by many people, I'm sure!

  • Super knullisch
    Super knullisch 2 years ago +37

    It was great for Mini disc recording, since you got an automatic sync and autostart of the recording as soon as you pressed play on your cd-player (after toggling the rec switch on the Mini-disc-player, to ready the Mini-disc for the incoming digital signal). Also all the songs names and track number automatically got transferred as well! Really neat!

  • Phantom Spaceman
    Phantom Spaceman 3 months ago +3

    MIDI was invented in 1983 as well! A rare case of an entire industry deciding there needs to be a single standard, and then making a single standard and sticking to it.

  • Guus Klaas
    Guus Klaas 7 months ago +4

    I like how optical also has a role in AC/DC electronics by means of being optocouplers. Isolating two sides of an electronic circuit avoiding stuff like ground loops in things like regulated power supplies.

  • John Stephens
    John Stephens 2 months ago +40

    Apple adopted Toslink starting on on the PowerMac G5 in 2003, up through the Mac Pro, until 2012. Also mini-Toslink, on the PowerBook G4 in 2005, and it remained in the MacBook Pro line until mid 2015. As well as the original MacBook line from 2005 to 2010. At the time I thought for sure they were going to release an iPod with some kind of Toslink/optical audio based headphones (for just $199 lol).

    • Henry Lajoie
      Henry Lajoie 2 months ago +3

      I noticed this when I had linux on my work laptop (the LED was always on)

    • A L
      A L 2 months ago +3

      Also in the AppleTV!

    • Adam Klopfenstein
      Adam Klopfenstein 2 months ago +1

      What Alex described happening with a combo port happened on my 2009 MacBook; the LED got bumped by a headphone plug, and TOSLink got stuck on perpetually. I never had audio come out the speakers ever again 😔

  • Guillaume Joop
    Guillaume Joop 2 years ago +275

    Imagine if they'd somehow found an overcomplicated way to get the actual laser reflection off the CD directly into the toslink cable

    • FuZZbaLLbee
      FuZZbaLLbee 6 months ago +11

      and have optical wires go to your active speakers, where an optical chip processes the data and only then convert it to electricity to make the speakers move

    • AD Craziness
      AD Craziness 7 months ago +34

      Laser phonograph!

    • InventorZahran
      InventorZahran Year ago +22

      Galaxy Brain moment!

  • Blake D
    Blake D 3 months ago +51

    I loved using the toslink on my ps2 and 3 since the other connector ports on my reciever i had at the time were full with other stuff. Great for good game audio.

    • Chris Davies
      Chris Davies Month ago +1

      Only if you will accept 5.1 - and don't want 7.1 surround.

    • Buck Roger
      Buck Roger Month ago

      Same here. I still use it for my PS4 as well, but I'm sad to see it go with newer systems. I still remember how amazing it was back on PS2.

  • jay%20v
    jay%20v Year ago +2

    Nearly three years later TC is still educating and entertaining me.

  • Hakan Bayındır
    Hakan Bayındır 2 years ago +5

    Sony's higher end CD Walkmans had the capability to read CD-text. Also they had optical outs via mini-TosLink. If you had a mid to high end MD Walkman (called portable MD Deck by Sony), you could copy the CD and the CD-Text via the Toslink cable with amazing sound and all the tags intact. It was amazing at that time. MD still sounds amazing when fed from a good audio source though.

  • Rob
    Rob 2 years ago +2

    Mini TOSLink is incredibly common. Even my $20 RCA in/out audio interfaces have optical outs in the 3.5mm jacks, as do 3/5 of my laptops. Every TOSlink cable I ever bought came with a little clear lightpipe adapter that fits on to make it a 3.5mm form factor.

  • dane94
    dane94 Year ago +4

    Now that I think about it, many laptops and tv-s I've seen over the years had one jack that had light coming out of it and I always assumed it's there to help you find it in the dark and tell it apart as the main audio output.

  • Michael Tipton
    Michael Tipton 3 years ago +288

    As a low voltage system engineer I have to say this video is an absolute delight. The explanation of the transition from the pits in the CD all the way to the RCA line out was just so comprehensive. I'm saving This video to send to future trainees. Thank you for your knowledge.

    • 404 Error Not Found
      404 Error Not Found Year ago

      But what about muh gold plated optical cables??

    • Jack Feder
      Jack Feder 3 years ago +2

      Yes, his videos are great; that is why I am annoyed that he poo-pooed the significance of ground loops and relegated the concept to similar importance as clock jitter.

    • RoterFruchtZwerg
      RoterFruchtZwerg 3 years ago +3

      You should watch his Video about how the CD laser pickup works 😀

    • savage1267
      savage1267 3 years ago +5

      Holy shit, what an endorsement!

    • shadowpod13
      shadowpod13 3 years ago +35

      You ain't seen nothing. No, seriously. Go check out the rest of his vids. They're all just as good and you'll likely find more stuff up your ally.

  • Efreeti
    Efreeti Year ago +11

    That's interesting. For some reason I always thought these transmitted analogue fiberoptic signals. Even my modern X570 chipset PC Motherboard has a TOSLINK Optical S/PDIF port on the rear I/O panel. I know the connector has been around since I was a kid, but I thought there was just.. more to it.

    • brodriguez11000
      brodriguez11000 5 months ago

      I'm thinking USB wouldn't be the mess it is if it was power and optical. Instead of pushing tiny wires beyond their limits.

  • Jorge Letria
    Jorge Letria Month ago

    TOSlink is still alive today (and probably will be for a long time) because it's used on professional audio equipment to transmit digital audio over adat lightpipe instead of spdif, midi and wordclock, often all from the same port. It's extremely useful.

  • thisisnotajoke
    thisisnotajoke Year ago +2

    I've seen quite a few of your videos, but this was certainly a highlight regarding entertainment!
    "as dark as the future of windows phone" had me laugh out loud and your reaction to gold plated toslink connectors was priceless! 😂
    (and of course I've learned a lot that I didn't know before)

  • Christian Joaquin
    Christian Joaquin 2 months ago +1

    Watched this video many times over the last few years. I just today noticed you calling HDMI as "Handy Dandy Movie Input". It tickled me so much that it compelled me to comment and therefore break my 15 year streak of following the Prime Directive on Clip-Share. Love this channel and your work.

  • Bob Bobson
    Bob Bobson Year ago +1

    Been using optical audio for 10 years. I like it despite the very tiny amount of delay that's sometimes noticeable but often times not.

  • dwindeyer
    dwindeyer 2 years ago +143

    Toslink is a godsend for connecting certain types of consumer audio equipment together to avoid ground loops.

    • Matthias Gutjahr
      Matthias Gutjahr 3 months ago

      Nice video, thank you for it😀 Ground Loop could be an issue creating hum, which can be avoided with Toslink. With my band we use Toslink cable to connect 16 Channel musical AD converters to our digital audio workstation and back to DA converters. We use a high quality 4 times Toslink cable, but of course with much higher bandwidth as SPDIF. With this we could eliminate him from ground loops, we had before using copper cable

    • eLNeroDiablo
      eLNeroDiablo 7 months ago +2

      Toslink would be nice to connect my N3DS to my PC when I'm streaming gameplay from the N3DS online, as I need a 3.5mm audio cable going from the headphone out port of the N3DS to the mic in port on my case's front panel to capture audio whilst gameplay video is pumped over WiFi to my PC via the streaming homebrew I have on the N3DS (since there's just about no hardware capture cards made for it nowadays after KatsuKitty closed shop back in like 2016), and to prevent a mid-stream game loss because of the drain on the battery I need to keep the N3DS charging from a USB charger cable.
      The problem is; if I have the N3DS plugged in to the USB ports on my PC to keep it charged, that introduces audible noise on the stream and recording due to a ground loop issue between the USB ports and the front panel 3.5mm audio ports as the grounds of USB and audio ports are connected via the circuitry of the N3DS itself.
      Current solution is to have the N3DS charger cable running off a 60W 5-port tablet/phone charger stand as though the charger stand and PC share a Mains Ground, for whatever reason that doesn't induce a loop through the N3DS unlike if I was charging the N3DS through the PC itself.

  • sixstringedthing
    sixstringedthing 3 months ago

    As an enthusiastic Hi-Fi Nerd in the early 2000's I was already aware of Mini-Toslink thanks to the wonders of Minidisc, but many people I worked with in the audio-visual installation industry first became aware of it thanks to Foxtel, Australia's Murdoch-owned monopoly cable TV provider. That time period saw a big marketing push to increase subscriber numbers which roughly coincided with the introduction of a new low-profile cable box manufactured by Pace. The rear panel featured 2 x SCART sockets mounted side-by-side (an interesting model choice considering that SCART connections on consumer-grade equipment sold in Australia were/are exceedingly rare) along with a composite baseband RCA jack, a SPDIF RCA jack... and a mysterious 3.5mm hole between the SCART sockets which glowed with a red light.
    The Foxtel contractor's SOP was to stick a SCART-to-composite adaptor in the "TV" output socket and hook it up to the TV or AV receiver with a bog-standard 3 x RCA lead, then get out of there as quickly as possible before the client started asking questions about picture/sound quality. Specialist installers like myself would swap this for a SCART-to-Component (Y-Pb-Pr) adaptor and a 75-ohm coax for the SPDIF connection... unless the receiver didn't have a spare digital coax socket available, in which case you'd have to go hunting through the van for that Mini-Toslink to Toslink cable that you know you've got in there somewhere, or else start reconfiguring the cabling/connections to free up a coax socket. The Mini-Toslink was often a huge timesaver!

  • Laundry_Hamper
    Laundry_Hamper Month ago +1

    You can get toslink multi-input selectors and they're 100% mechanical, you just rotate a dial that changes which hole the light goes through.

  • Éliphas Lévi
    Éliphas Lévi 2 years ago +5

    Love toslink. Still then only standard that lets me connect modern devices that you mentioned (TV, Streaming box, Consoles) to my old school stereo amps.

  • chris blanchard
    chris blanchard 2 years ago +2

    I've been a tech nerd for years and have never heard of mini-toslink!!!! I still use toslink on my home equipment today. I love it!

  • Quinnobi 42
    Quinnobi 42 8 months ago

    I recently came across non-toslink S/PIDF when I ran out of digital optical ins on my second-hand early 00s AVR, and realized there was this digital coaxial in that used a normal RCA cable. Needless to say, this video cleared things up greatly.

  • Robert Holt
    Robert Holt 3 years ago +139

    You are throwing some next-level shade here, Alec! Toshiba HD-DVD. Windows Phone.
    - This stuff is my business but I always learn something from your videos.
    - Your shirt.
    - The mirrored screen flips.
    You're killing me here. Thank you!

    • MopedMike
      MopedMike 3 years ago +1

      Robert Holt my dad still uses a windows phone.

  • vonschlesien
    vonschlesien 2 years ago +1

    Coming from the networking world, that maximum cable length thing is super interesting. In networking, range is actually the main advantage of optics. No matter how good your quality control is, losses from resistance and inductance limit practical range to 50-100m (shorter at the higher bitrates), while fiber runs can achieve runs in the 1-10km range in the budget of a small retail chain or school district. (Also super high throughput for trunk connections, but those transceivers are more pricey.)

  • Ion-SHIVs
    Ion-SHIVs 2 years ago +4

    I've been using Toslink to connect my living room PC to my surround sound receiver for years. The advantage is that it is just one cable going to the receiver, which drives a bunch of speakers that I already have set up

  • DoctorLazertron Music

    I’ve vaguely noticed the optical port on some of my stuff and I always just assumed it was something to do with attenuation. But now that I’m actually thinking about it I can’t think of a practical scenario for that…

  • Garry Gemmell
    Garry Gemmell 2 years ago +1

    This is the best description of audio connections I have seen in a long time even learned a few new things - always a good day when you learn something new!

  • Roberto
    Roberto 4 months ago

    I can imagine a digital optical link could still be useful when connecting a whole bunch of audio equipment together without worrying about ground loops

  • Shawn Elliott
    Shawn Elliott 2 years ago +282

    11:17 - Another advantage of TOSlink is it eliminates ground-voltage interference. If you have two devices connected that have slightly different ground-voltages for some reason, that difference will bleed through a copper cable and potentially interfere with anything else connected to the same grounding circuits inside each device. That won't happen with TOSlink.

    • bora mutludoğan
      bora mutludoğan 6 months ago

      @Cassette Walkman also some macbooks has mini toslink

    • Cassette Walkman
      Cassette Walkman 7 months ago

      Best way to avoid audio interference from PC to amplifier is to use an Apple Airport base station (not the extreme) to send the signal wirelessly. The key piece of the puzzle being the often unknown fact: The Airport's mini-jack audio-out is also a mini-Toslink. Output straight to a DAC for hi-fi sound as high quality as your components.

    • kr0tchet (Main)
      kr0tchet (Main) 7 months ago +1

      @Andreas Sjöberg this even happened to me also at some point, beside, when i plugging a laptop into that old (but still works) sound blaster card (both are analog) to capture its audio, its was fine until i plug the HDMI or VGA cable on it, either way, its interfere and causing the same electricity noises like when you touching the plug with ur hands or if the cable is (sometime) loosely connected.

    • dunxy
      dunxy 7 months ago

      @grant s Out of sheer curiosity have you tested spdif vs toslink to see if the interference is present on the spdif? I know the exact noise you speak of, i run toslink to my amp from my main desktop, been so long sine i used spdif i forget if that interference was present. Don't believe ive observed this noise over HDMI or over my USB-BT gaming headset but it could be that these maybe run some kind of noise gate?

    • grant s
      grant s 8 months ago +2

      @Andreas Sjöberg the same happened to me. i went out of my mind multiple weeks before figuring out the solution

  • projectartichoke
    projectartichoke 7 months ago

    You can also buy un-keyed TOSLINK cables now that fit into standard jacks regardless of how they are rotated. They are a lot easier to use on equipment you need to reach behind to make connections.

  • XMR Films
    XMR Films 3 months ago +19

    I wonder if putting monochromatic RGB LEDs and three filtered light sensors could work as a successor to toslink without replacing the cable
    EDIT: oh wait the different colors probably have different dispersions and would be noticeably different under different lengths of cable

    • bloepje
      bloepje Month ago

      @Мышеус using multiple wavelengths is totally possible, but each wavelength has a different delay. The fiber cable is specifically made to bend the light back by having different layers. But it means that short wavelengths might travel a longer path than long wavelengths, or viceversa. So at the end of the cable the different wavelengths have different timing, and hence you should each treat them as a different signal.
      But yeah, you can easily multiplex and de-multiplex different wavelengths by using a passive prism. It's called wavedivisionmultiplexing (wdm). So this way you can have mutliple lasers on different wavelengths and on L2 you can turn that into a LAG. But any lower and you get timing problems.

    • David Jones
      David Jones 2 months ago +2

      Telcom uses many different "colors" (wavelengths) in their high bandwith fiber-optic cable systems

    • Мышеус
      Мышеус 3 months ago +3

      Different wave length (basically speaking, color) light can be used (and is used in other standards) in single fiber optic, but something happens with light in fiber optic, I don't remember what, that makes using fiber optic and using several wave length lights more difficult than it sounds. But it's not the point here. As were spoken in this video, for modifying Toslink new standards need to be developed and manufactures should use them, but HDMI already offers more audio bandwidth, already is a standard and is widely used, making modifying Toslink worthless.

  • Mike Childers
    Mike Childers 2 months ago +11

    The only advantage I can think of for optical vs wired digital cables is that the bandwidth of standard RCA cables did not handle the multiple channel multiplexed optical signals and it would be tempting to use an audio RCA cable in a SPDIF port. Maybe the plan was to have multiple high frequency channels on optical toslink. I am sure that the optical cable was a marketing ploy much like the "gold plated" optical connectors though. I once saw a power strip in Fry's Electronics that said it was "Windows 95 Certified" on the box, obviously at a higher price.. People with more money than brains will buy the most expensive product they can find thinking it must be better. "Monster" cables were just such a marketing ploy.
    EDIT: Another poster mentioned "No Ground Loops" as an advantage to optical cables which is certainly a huge advantage in an entertainment system containing a dozen or more electric components.

  • Patrik Malmgren-Rask
    Patrik Malmgren-Rask 6 months ago

    As a MD user in early 2000 and to this day in local community radio i can say the best feature i found with TOSlink is the ability for MD to change track automatic from source input while doing recordings. That i havent seen RCA line be able to do. But this only comes handy for very specific use-cases.

  • Joe Murray
    Joe Murray Month ago

    I’ve used pro audio equipment including high end AD/DA converters and had no idea optical sent the same signal as SPDIF. Optical sends multi channel audio which is nice but that’s a fun nugget.

  • Andrei-Alexandru Bleorțu
    Andrei-Alexandru Bleorțu 3 years ago +5945

    the fact that there are TOSLINK cables with gold plated connectors just makes me want to die

    • Мышеус
      Мышеус 3 months ago +1

      In this world exists a network switch, that costs way more than a normal one, that claims that it improves quality of sound from streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. Now live with this information.

    • Mom, I forgot to tell you this
      Mom, I forgot to tell you this 3 months ago

      i just found out that honeywell makes them as well. lmao

    • Dallas Herrmann
      Dallas Herrmann 4 months ago

      @Cavey Möth Potentially significant in cables that transmit using electricity, but less so for fiber optics...

    • brodriguez11000
      brodriguez11000 5 months ago

      Considering the gold is on the part that latches it's not that usual.

    • ayesaac
      ayesaac Year ago

      @ilovefunnyamv2nd I know this is old, but no, copper is a better electrical conductor than gold. This is a simple, Googleable fact. The only metal more conductive than copper is silver.
      Also, for electrical, silver plating on your connector is totally irrelevant, because it's still travelling through a copper cable. The only way you're going to beat just a plain old copper cable in conductivity is with a silver cable... Or I guess some bizarre alloy or twisted pairs of silver and copper.
      And so far as corrosion resistance, there are plenty of cheap alternatives which are far superior to gold for the vast majority of use cases. Conductivity is pretty much irrelevant when you're talking about a plating; it's borderline 'does it conduct?' for most scenarios, and where it's not, you don't get the choice (and Platinum would still be better, but for cost).

  • ZipTie
    ZipTie Month ago

    I remember thinking the Mini Toslink was one of the coolest “features” of my first MacBook Pro back in 2007. I was wowed one “headphone” connector could also do optical!

  • The Double K
    The Double K 2 years ago

    The most important thing about light pipe audio is IMO that it can transmit multiple channels in one cable (when using ADAT / sample multiplexing [S-MUX]).

  • GoPro Nomad
    GoPro Nomad 2 years ago +1

    Yup I'm using toslink for my 2 PCs in spite that they both support HDMIs. It's mainly to isolate them electrically. You got the point that they share electrical sources anyway but it's more complicated than that... Just so people know, electrical leaks are quite common in old machines and they can damage sensitive amps (or so I think) or vice versa. I thought about this after getting multiple electrical shock from a cheap old PC I bought (the cause of which I'm too lazy to figure out just yet) Let me know if what I think is wrong...

  • Flash
    Flash 5 months ago

    I've had various sound cards in older PCs that had mini S/PDIF ports. I'd say it was common but not widely known.

  • James Kee
    James Kee 3 months ago +16

    Heh, i bought the very same Amazon basics cable used for this video just last week to run from my computer to my surround speakers. My reasoning for it though is I've apparently lost 2 of my 3 wired jacks on my mother board (Honestly think it's software but I couldn't sort it out). It's very annoying when you lose your center, sub, and rear speakers. The optical cable makes it all good though.

  • Siana Gearz
    Siana Gearz 3 years ago +37

    TOSLINK is the ultimate ground loop killer.
    While SPDIF signal itself is not affected by interference and current loops, the act alone of connecting two devices via an SPDIF or any other cable that happens to connect grounds together is known to make some devices squeal regardless of any specific input, especially if we're talking about cheap shit like consumer HiFi amplifiers/receivers as opposed to studio equipment.
    There's a lot of fibre optic stuff in car entertainment systems, called MOST, because a bit of clear plastic is cheaper than copper and weighs less than copper and i guess resilience to current loops and EMI is nice to have too, i mean you know what happens when you start the engine.

  • Maurice Walker
    Maurice Walker Year ago

    TOSLINK simply being optical S/PDIF also makes it trivial to convert one to the other. Back in the 90s, I used the Mini-TOSLINK input of a MiniDisc portable to record from a digital satellite radio receiver. This only had an electrical S/PDIF output. As far as I remember, the converter I built was not much more than a few connectors, an LED, a transistor and a power supply.

  • pix64
    pix64 5 months ago

    The professional equivalent to S/PDIF (same digital protocol) is AES3 which is typically transmitted over a balanced, twisted pair cable with XLR connectors.

  • aredesuyo
    aredesuyo 2 years ago

    The Sony discman I bought in Osaka in 2001 has a mini-Toslink port. It was most commonly used back then to connect to an MD player to make copies of CDs.

  • brucethen
    brucethen Year ago

    I had a PC sound card with mini toslink, the adapters ( to normal toslink ) were plastic and I broke 1, it was during research into replacements I found how common they were

  • AP May
    AP May Year ago +1

    The mini-Toslinks were fairly common in a couple generations of Apple laptops, at least the Macbook Pros in the era where they had Minidisplay Ports (that didn't pass audio). It was the only way to get video and digital audio to a TV from one of these without using dongles or an external sound processor. I'll have to look, but it's possible the Core 2 Duo era of Mac Minis had these too, and I'm reasonably sure those had DVI video only, not MDP or HDMI.

  • T
    T 3 years ago +39

    There's a benefit to optical cables over copper - you don't get ground loops.
    TOSlink is essentially a stretched opto isolator. So all your audio stuff is electrically isolated. Not much difference for digital signals but if you have a mix of analogue and digital it might be helpful.
    Also LEDs, photodiodes and plastic fibre optic cables are all pretty cheap. Add in the fact it seems like an open standard with no licensing fees and I can see why it took off.

  • Bob Χάνεντ
    Bob Χάνεντ 6 months ago

    When I wanted to connect my TV wired to my internet connection, I found POF (plastic optical fibre) and it works really well. You cut the fibre to length yourself and poke it into the converters. I've since replaced it with classic optical fibre but it was cool to play with.

  • Githane
    Githane Year ago

    Another fun video! A lot of sound cards for PCs supported toslink as well, but weren't allowed (for whatever reason) to output surround sound. Back when Creative had their own sound effects system (EAX) I don't believe it allowed you to send that over toslink either. I've also had numerous problems with PS4 surround being supported on receivers, for whatever reason I cannot fathom. Cheaper TVs with optical out likewise supported stereo only. It was cool that some laptops, including some macbooks in the 00's and early 10's had combined optical/stereo jacks.
    HDMI just ended up being such a simpler and more user friendly solution. And the added benefit of only needing a single cable for both audio and video was such a boon. Especially if you were running a lot of systems to your receiver.
    Just wanted to share some personal input/experiences with toslink. It was cool as hell though.

  • ChillCosmos
    ChillCosmos 2 months ago

    I had a PCMCIA card Soundblaster Audigy that had the hybrid optical and analog headphone jack that doubled as a mini-Toslink jack as well. That was a really sweet feature that I utilized.

  • ZachDxn
    ZachDxn 7 months ago

    I honestly love Toslink. I use it for gaming with my Astro MixAmp and for whatever reason it sounds waaay cleaner than USB or 3.5 mm audio jack. I do wish more hardware used fiber optic cables.

  • Darryl Arrington
    Darryl Arrington Year ago +129

    "Handy Dandy Movie Input". Thank you, I laughed probably more than I should have.

    • TylerAye
      TylerAye 6 months ago +3

      Same, here I am attempting to absorb this very technical breakdown and he hits me with handy dandy movie input...all with the same tone and seriousness of the rest of the discussion...I laughed for longer than I care to admit, as far as I'm concerned this entire video was just a slow burn leading up to that explosive joke I love it

    • Steven Porter
      Steven Porter Year ago +5

      I'm officially renouncing the High Definition Multimedia Interface in favor of Handy Dandy Movie Input, and I feel good about this decision.

    • NastyWicked
      NastyWicked Year ago +1

      No you haven't, the joke was perfect!

    • raydunakin
      raydunakin Year ago +2

      I like that much better than the real definition!

  • Noah Barr
    Noah Barr 3 years ago +50

    Don't forget about those fiber optic trees everyone had in the 90s.
    I assumed the keying of the TOSLINK cable was to keep things that aren't a TOSLINK cable from being plugged in.

    • lies damnlies
      lies damnlies 3 years ago +10

      Those fiber-optic trees were cool shit, man.

  • NeblogaiLT
    NeblogaiLT 2 years ago

    Love Toslink. The cable can be very thin, compared to normal copper cables (only as thick as ~mobile phone charger cable), can be at least 10-20m long, is really cheap (from ~€0.5 per meter), and has been 100% reliable in my ~10 year use (PC to audio receiver), offering perfect quality. It is a shame it was/is not used more widely.

  • Matthew Musante
    Matthew Musante 2 years ago +22

    Great video. Fun fact: every Mac with a 3.5mm headphone jack and all airport express devices going back to late G4 PowerBooks has secretly also possessed the ability to output digital audio over mini toslink.

    • Cassette Walkman
      Cassette Walkman 7 months ago +1

      I used to trade in used high-end (and very high end) hifi equipment. As soon as I discovered the Airport Express and it's Toslink hidden in the mini jack it made every single high end CD player pretty well obsolete. All you needed was a high end DAC. And then I discovered the Meridian Digital Audio processor which sat between the Airport and the DAC. This combo of Airport and Meridian has never been beaten 20+ years later.

    • GoodGamer2357
      GoodGamer2357 7 months ago

      @🦊 U+1F98A correct, usually it happens in setup when installing bootcamp, where you see a lot of confused posts on forums on what is going on and why there is no sound

    • 🦊 U+1F98A
      🦊 U+1F98A 7 months ago

      @GoodGamer2357 and also if you didn't have the right audio driver under Windows/Linux, your port would light up red

    • GoodGamer2357
      GoodGamer2357 7 months ago +1

      The MacBook Pro’s from 2016 and newer axed the feature, probably because most people didn’t know it even existed or saw the red light at random not knowing what it was

    • Tim downing
      Tim downing Year ago +2

      If they had a separate input jack they could take optical input too. While doing my podcast I could run a remote person in on skype or whatever into the mixer digitally, avoiding all the amplifier noise in the notebook, (Mind you the MacBook Pro and macs in general were worlds better than any Wintel laptop I've ever owned) and then run a Mix-minus by sending every track, (yes I recorded every person in the studio to their own track. made editing so much easier) except the input from the laptop, back to the laptop over Toslink.
      Don't know about more recent desktops, iMacs may still have optical minijacks, PowerMacs and cheese grater MacPros had seperate Toslink jacks.

  • xXRunDeathXx
    xXRunDeathXx Year ago

    use a badly insulated wire cable for a relatively long distance (say 5 to 10 meters) and you are likely to get a static humming noise from the cable wich will be there regardless of if you are playing music through it or not.
    toslink doesnt have that disadvantage
    you can also send surround sound through toslink

  • Logan5Greye
    Logan5Greye 2 months ago

    Since you mentioned the minidisc player twice, do you plan on covering the standard? There's quite the resurgence of the format within the last 3 years thanks to artists in the Vaporwave genre. Thoughts?

  • Dashy The Foxxo
    Dashy The Foxxo 2 months ago +1

    one positive ive noticed while using fiber optics for audio is that my pc was making noise that was going though the cables and into my speakers and after using fibre optics it wasnt making that noise anymore. im still using fiber optic cables in my surround setup for my pc

  • PS1TRY Archive
    PS1TRY Archive 3 years ago +53

    "It's pretty impressive that a digital standard introduced in 1983 is still quite common in consumer A/V equipment" MIDI's that old too. The classics just don't quit.

    • Seph Shewell Brockway
      Seph Shewell Brockway 9 months ago +4

      MIDI at least has a new version out now-although I don’t think it’s very widely supported as yet.

    • Mr. Bob Cyndaquil
      Mr. Bob Cyndaquil 9 months ago +1

      At least those big DIN connectors are going out of style.

    • J J
      J J 11 months ago +5

      Those Koss headphones are speeding up my bald spot

    • Petr75661
      Petr75661 2 years ago +4

      just like the koss porta pro headphones - the 1984 design still sells today

  • gamechaser002
    gamechaser002 Year ago

    For the longest while, I've used purely analog even with a dedicated audio processor either in or hooked up to my computer. That said, my Sound Blaser Z has TOSLink capability, and my X3 external DAC has TOSLink output capability (which apparently lets it use a Dolby Digital Live encoder for "immersive surround sound")
    But never used it, only mildly considered it from time to time (which would have necessitated replacing my computer speakers, which are quite fine)

  • The K
    The K 7 months ago

    Big plus of Toslink is hum prevention because it galvanic separates ground loops. Btw, I regulary used Minitoslink to record on my mobile minidisk player.

  • Baskruit
    Baskruit 2 months ago

    The Mac Mini I bought in 2008 had mini Toslink in/out. I actually used that with a Mindprint DI-port AD/DA converter.

  • Maikeru Go
    Maikeru Go 6 months ago

    The silly thing is that I'm currently using TOSLINK because the cable wasn't particularly pricey and it actually freed up the S/PDIF port on my sound setup (which I sometimes use for when people want to bring music that isn't available via streaming).
    Also, it's funny that you should bring up power surges and separation of devices; I once lived in an apartment where ground didn't work so I would get a "buzzing" from the metal body of my laptop. I took the laptop off of its power supply expecting it to stop, but nope it continued. Turns out that at that point I was being shocked through the external monitor that was plugged into the surge protector and the external monitor was plugged into the laptop. Kind of a niche problem, but you'd be amazed how often places do a poor job wiring up outlets.
    I think that if they really wanted to update TOSLINK they could probably do it by adding multiplexing using different wavelengths of light the way that they do it with other types of fiber so that it could have bi-directional communication as well as more throughput. To be backwards compatible all they'd need to do is have a newer device try to send a "handshake" signal on one of the newer wavelengths; older devices wouldn't send it or wouldn't "see" it so it'd probably wouldn't be too much trouble to get the newer devices to automatically treat a connection as the older connection type if the "handshake" wasn't successful.

  • shippy shank
    shippy shank 3 months ago

    This is actually a good design and idk why it didn't blow up. Good job toshiba

  • melskunk
    melskunk 3 years ago +18

    Pointless personal fact: my father was part of Bell Canada's fiber optic conversion in the 80s and 90s so my childhood was FULL of cheap copper wire with colourful coatings to make crafts with, since there was just so frigging much of it.

    • Seshpenguin
      Seshpenguin 3 years ago +2

      That's pretty cool, I'm using infrastructure your father was a part of.

  • Nick P.
    Nick P. 11 months ago

    Just somewhat recently Toslink\SPDIF has started to become a thing in car audio. I think mostly due too effective isolation of ground loops that are very common in car audio installs that cause all kinds of noise in the final amplified analog line level signals. I just recently purchased a car audio head unit that has optical\coaxial Toslink\SPDIF jacks and it appears that some current higher end model line of car stereo amplifiers are appearing with Toslink\coax jacks. This fact is actually what led me to find this video. I'm guessing this is being used in car audio because 1) it works, and 2) has very little cost to implement. I am guessing no licensing costs that car audio manufacturers would have to pass along to consumers if they were to license the new technologies like HDMI.

  • 50hz Legend
    50hz Legend Month ago

    Ah mini toslink, I love it's inclusion on the chromecast audio, I use it, it's neat that it has digital out, but it just feels so out of era.
    Also on another toslink related story, I work for a electronics retailer, you get funny coincidences where lots of people want the same seldom sold product on the same day, projectors are a big one but I've always put that down to some sort of market trend where it's investment pitching season or something. But one time there was a week long run on toslink cables, several people every day where you'd usually be lucky to sell one a month. By the Friday we ran out, and when I would tell the customers we were out of stock they were equally baffled "why would you sell out, it's a decades old obsolete cable, I only need one for an obscurely random reason". To this day it baffles me, I've come to believe that coincidence is a thing in and of itself for its own reason, some sort of base universal nature of probability that builds up into things like runs on toslink cables.

  • laserdiscphan
    laserdiscphan 2 years ago +5

    I first encountered TOSLINK when I got my first MD recorder in 1995 when I was in Hong Kong. Of course, the portable MD recorder only had a min-TOSLINK output, so I made sure to purchase the appropriate TOSLINK to mini-TOSLINK cable at the same store in HK. And luckily the Sony LD player I owned at the time, had a TOSLINK output (but no coaxial SPDIF output oddly enough--you'd think Sony would want to support THEIR OWN DIGITAL INTERFACE ON THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT!!) I made sooooooo many MD recordings through that setup. Still have many of them and they play perfectly to this day.
    Other digital recording portables went with mini-TOSLINK as well like DAT portables and Digital Compact Cassettes (yes, even Philips went with TOSLINK over their own SPDIF ON THEIR OWN DIGITAL RECORDING MEDIUM!!)
    One of the best advantages of TOSLINK at least to LD player owners back in the day was that since most LD players supported TOSLINK outputs over coaxial, and with the highly overengineered and poorly executed way that AC-3 was implemented on Laserdisc, DTS Surround was possible through just that connection. All you needed was a DTS compatible receiver and your TOSLINK output from your LD player, and you were good to go! Didn't need a dedicated AC-3 output, RF demodulator and AC-3 compatible receiver (or if you had the big bucks, a receiver with a built-in RF demodulator) to get Dolby Digital Surround from your LDs.
    I'll never forget my friend's face when I brought my big ol' clunky LD player to his house along with "The Crow" on DTS LD to compare the audio from his Dolby Digital DVD of the same movie. The DTS LD was waaaaaaaay better! We actually watched the movie with the two movies synched up on each player--video from the DVD (because the DVD did look better since the picture on that Sony LD player was starting to go bad--that's another can of worms I don't want to open here) and audio from the LD!!
    Even then some people prefer with just TOSLINK from your LD player, you could still enjoy the matrix Dolby Surround soundtrack that every Dolby Digital LD had on its digital tracks if you didn't have an AC-3 compatible LD player and RF demodulator. I know some who even prefer that soundtrack to the AC-3 track since being on the digital tracks of the LD, its bitrate was far higher (1441 kbps--same as CD) than the demodulated AC-3 track (384 kbps if I remember correctly.)
    Anyways, I think I cluttered up the comments section here enough. Great vid and great info!

  • Wolfhard Reimringer
    Wolfhard Reimringer 4 months ago

    Listening to this video's audio via a Toslink connection to avoid hum introduced by computer and audio system being connected to different mains circuits really enhances the experience 🙂

  • Matthew Wynne
    Matthew Wynne Year ago +1

    My 21 year old receiver has Toslink, as does the TV I purchased last year. I always assumed that it was somehow the peak in audio quality and always had been. Makes me feel kind of silly for having to order a new cord because my old one was just a few inches too short for my new setup.

  • tartanmusician
    tartanmusician 3 years ago +21

    My speakers on my 10-year-old TV gave out last year, and I bought a new little speaker for it. The only jack they have in common is a TOSLINK, and it's still working like a charm for me!

  • Abit Gray
    Abit Gray Year ago

    I had to use Toslink to connect PC to Soundbar. Yes, you can push it in in multiple rotations. The biggest problem I have with Toslink (main connector) is that you cannot move any of the devices as it does not hold inside.

  • Matthew Cox
    Matthew Cox 2 years ago

    For me it wasn't so much the cables but adding a power conditioner was a game changer.

  • bwhog
    bwhog Year ago

    Combination jacks are always cool! (When they're built correctly, that is!)
    32 channels of audio. Just in case 7.1 isn't enough. :D

  • The Stern Dragoon
    The Stern Dragoon 2 years ago

    I always choose TOSLINK connections over the voltage switching ones. There is no drop in the transmission and detection of a light pulse, while those RCA/Coax cables degrade over time and misread the switching voltages on occasion. This is most notable if any of the components of your sound system synchronize using Bluetooth, like most consumer level subwoofers for soundbars do these days. TOSLINK and optical transmission will pretty much always sync up right to the bluetooth delay, whereas you get a little bit more of a pronounced separation between the voltage switching RCA and the bluetooth connection to the subwoofer or whatever surround wireless setup you might have. It can get a bit disorienting. I highly recommend TOSLINK over RCA connection. Now, if you have direct connection like a jack or even the more and more common USB, it's not as bad. I still just like knowing that the connection speed of the DAC in the sound processor coming from the source is set and locked at "the speed of light".

  • Dj Arcas
    Dj Arcas 2 years ago +78

    Fun fact : almost every multi-cab multiplayer arcade machine used TosLink for the communications

  • Get Gud
    Get Gud Year ago

    One thing that was not mentioned is how much better it isolates channels into the sound system you use. I am using a 2.1 sound bar from monster and when I had 3.5MM To RCA and it wasn't addressing the Sub on the bar. Now it is and the channels dont have an issue of separating the signal left and right and it is much clearer now that the channels are specific and the sub is used. Also no buzzing due to no reference voltage/ground feedback issues.

  • DomeE_ _
    DomeE_ _ Year ago

    Pretty common use case is HDMI via fiber it allows thinner cables and a much greater range than the 10m max of the HDMI standard.
    As far as I know it is not standardized, but there are quite a few suppliers out there with them.

  • sukubann
    sukubann Year ago +1

    Toslink got one advantage that was not mentioned (or experienced) - eliminating ground loops
    I had serious issues with my computers while running the amplifier on a different plug (probably a different phase circuit or different grounding circuit)
    ground loops were able to get into the audio output, even when tried on different amplifiers
    one solution was to isolate ground in the plug - but I wanted to have both computers and amplifier grounded
    (got ground loops in 3 apartments I was living in, apparently not so rare when having 3-phase power at home)
    Toslink is awesome, it has been it on all my laptops, my Minidisk, my workstations
    nowadays laptops do not have it, only motherboards
    it is capable of 96kHz 24bit stereo at least

  • John Lee Pettimore III

    12:57 this is why i enjoy going back through your older videos again (yes, they do have a high replayability factor!) clock jitter was something i had to deal with a lot when i was designing, coding, and installing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Voicemail (VM) systems 30 years ago. IVR is that "press 1 for this, press 2 for that" thing that everyone hates (including me). yep... i helped develop those prior to going to work for phone companies. and i now wish i never had. so when we are all cussing those, we're all cussing *_me_* by proxy.
    getting the timing right at the interface of a computer network and a telephone network can get maddening at times. so your comment about Clock Jitter is very, very, VERY, *_VERY_* accurate. there were a few times that i was forced to take time off of work simply for my mental health. i am not joking or exaggerating.

  • Thomas Milsom
    Thomas Milsom 2 months ago

    Long time lurker here and I have to say, using a S/PDIF cable for a computer connection to a surround a/v receiver for audio only is far superior than using a 3.5mm. The noise generated on motherboards and sound cards can be atrocious. I hope it may inspire you to know your entire video was broadcast over S/PIDF to my A/V receiver for my noiseless pleasure. I especially enjoyed the examples of signal degradation and loss. Thanks for the video :)

  • Nick Wallette
    Nick Wallette 3 years ago +21

    The amount of data that can be multiplexed and transmitted on a single optical fiber is staggering. I recently took a training class on service provider optical networking equipment. When they covered how to add and drop individual 100Gb circuits using multiple wavelengths, and how you could then merge banks of those multiplexed circuits, the numbers started getting to be incomprehensible. It's truly remarkable stuff.

    • Foagik
      Foagik 3 years ago +1

      @Craig Martin Probably from the nickel-silver plating of the cable to electrically isolate the signal. Also the brass fittings.

    • Craig Martin
      Craig Martin 3 years ago +1

      "blits from an LED through fishing line"
      That'll be $200

    • Foagik
      Foagik 3 years ago

      That will become relevant when consumer optical standards move past blits from an LED through fishing line to a photodiode.
      Here's hoping.

  • TexTheAlmighty
    TexTheAlmighty Month ago

    I used TOSLINK to pipe digital audio to my minidisc player, it had an optical in. It was AWESOME plugging a clear laser cord in to my little square portable player from my optical out on my PC.

  • David Hollfelder
    David Hollfelder 6 months ago

    Optical Audio has the advantage of ground loop isolation (and RF rejection). However, connecting a TOSLINK only source to vintage analog gear is a PITA, as it requires a DAC/converter adapter. ALSO, if you need, Dolby Digital (ATSC TV audio signal decoding), finding the proper DAC/adapter that works can indeed be hit and miss.

  • Hank Herer
    Hank Herer Year ago

    12:10 I once read a article on Japanese audiophiles who have a whole separate power source from another grid. don't know how he achieved it. but essentially his power for his stereo is split from his power for the rest of the house, and this happens outside his house, way up the street. effin crazy yo.

  • Chi-Town California
    Chi-Town California 4 months ago

    Toslink is a great digital connection protocol, since it’s about as easy as plugging a TRS Jack into a receiver. There is no issue with USB jitter and artifacts, and no issue with installing drivers. Toslink was how I was able to output the digital audio from my Playstion into my high res DAC’s S/PDIF receiver, when there were no USB drivers available to install. It’s a shame many laptops stopped integrating Mini Toslink output ports into their headphone jacks; it was killed off on the MacBook Pro in 2016.

  • Tb0n3
    Tb0n3 3 months ago

    The problem I ran into with an old 5.1 receiver I got years ago is that it didn't support video pass-through from 4K. It works fine with toslink audio, but the hdmi ports became obsolete.

  • Simon Crawshaw
    Simon Crawshaw 3 years ago +48

    Excellent video! Toshiba also has 'TOSLINK 190' which goes much further/ faster and can be bi-directional.

  • pev
    pev Month ago

    The fact that the optical connection completely electrically isolates the two connected devices is no joke! At some point I had really irritating problems with connecting some audio devices, there was a clear "hum" that was some kind of ground loop interference. I tested a lot with different grounding settings, and when I finally was able to use a toslink cable, the interference was eliminated. So I would say that in some "bad" grounding related setups the optical connection's electrical insulation property can be a saver!

  • Maxime Ayotte
    Maxime Ayotte Year ago

    You might have under estimated the electrical advantage of optical fiber with regard to ground loop and outlets wiring. When the transmitter and the receiver are connecter at a great distance (which is the case in some audio applications) they have different ground level through the building electric wires. Given a conductive cable to transmit data and both ground will be in contract through a different path causing a few volts to travel through. It can lead to device heating up in some cases... Not really significant for recent home, but for large building or really bad wire it can be eventually a safety issue. But the most important difference of course is that it's a lot cooler to go optic isn't?

  • Bryan
    Bryan Year ago

    I've spent alot more on 'upgrades' to my cables, and even a new stand alone dac, to find there was no sound difference. But, yeah, the TOSLINK looks cool.

  • Backroad Junkie
    Backroad Junkie Year ago

    We used to use optical links as electrical isolators when we had data collection terminals in areas that could be hit by lightning, to minimize the damage to our controllers. I think they worked, but I never had a lightning strike I had to deal with. This was about 40-45 years ago.
    Today, the terminals would probably be wireless, solving the problem.