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Tip Sheet

  • All CDs and DVDs store audio data in digital format, which has much better sound than older analog formats.

  • Most CD players use a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to convert the digital data to analog format for transmission over standard RCA audio cables.

  • Whenever possible, it's better to keep the audio signal in digital format as long as possible—which means using a digital audio cable to connect your CD/DVD player and your A/V receiver.

  • Digital coaxial cable transmits the digital audio signal electrically, over a coax cable with RCA connectors on either end.

  • Digital optical cable transmits the digital audio signal as pulses of light through a fiber optic cable.

  • Newer HDMI connectors carry both digital audio and high-definition video signals, as well as control signals, over a single cable.

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