Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > Digital Audio Coaxial Splitter?
DevonTT's Avatar DevonTT 08:45 PM 03-27-2008
I have an antiquated audio system that has only one digital input--a digital coaxial (RCA-type) cable. This input has to share two sources, but I don't want to have to switch them manually.

One source is the cable box. The other is a PS3 (coming through an optical-to-digital converter). The two sources will never be used at the same time.

Is there a Y cable that will take a signal from both sources and pass through only the source that is on and supplying a signal?

Tulpa 08:52 PM 03-27-2008
I don't know of any splitter like that. There is this from Monoprice.

http://monoprice.com/products/su...01&cp_id=10112

It's a tad overkill, but does have the coaxial connections. I'm also wondering if a composite video switch would work.
DevonTT's Avatar DevonTT 10:19 PM 03-27-2008
Can you run audio through a video splitter?
Rupert's Avatar Rupert 01:40 AM 03-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevonTT View Post

Can you run audio through a video splitter?

You would need a digital audio switch, not a splitter.

Examples:

http://inday.com/da4x/da4x.htm

http://audioauthority.com/produc.../Digital_Audio
DevonTT's Avatar DevonTT 08:37 AM 03-28-2008
Thanks, Rupert.
drunkpenguin's Avatar drunkpenguin 01:41 PM 03-29-2008
sure about that? i am successfully splitting digital audio in the opposit way he needs to. I have 1 source splitting to 2 seperate inputs on my receiver. (dont ask why but it had to be done).
Spottedfeather's Avatar Spottedfeather 06:12 AM 06-09-2008
I, too, am wondering about this. I'm thinking of getting a home theater system but the one I'm interested in has only one digital coaxial input. But I have a question about this. I thought that coaxial cable was like a regular cable like for cable television. But from the inputs on this switcher, it looks like coax is normal RCA cable. Which is it ?
http://audioauthority.com/produc...ital_Audio/5/1
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 11:22 AM 06-09-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkpenguin View Post

sure about that? i am successfully splitting digital audio in the opposit way he needs to. I have 1 source splitting to 2 seperate inputs on my receiver. (dont ask why but it had to be done).

There is a difference between splitting and merging. Although what he is describing MAY work, OK.
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 11:25 AM 06-09-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post

You would need a digital audio switch, not a splitter.

Examples:

http://inday.com/da4x/da4x.htm

http://audioauthority.com/produc.../Digital_Audio

I'm not certain, but all you may need is a cheap switcher that has RCA inputs/outputs. If analog audio ins/outs won't work, then component video ins/outs should.
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 11:27 AM 06-09-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spottedfeather View Post

But I have a question about this. I thought that coaxial cable was like a regular cable like for cable television. But from the inputs on this switcher, it looks like coax is normal RCA cable. Which is it?

They're the same thing. They simply have different ends. But both are "coax" cable. "TV cabling" can easily be converted to an "RCA cable" with male F to male RCA adapters.
Spottedfeather's Avatar Spottedfeather 05:09 PM 06-09-2008
Ah. Thanks for the help.
aymanme's Avatar aymanme 09:44 PM 06-09-2008
I don't know if it would work, but at the very least if you try this, you need to put some resistors in there. Basically, you don't want to couple the outputs of two drivers together. You could potentially blow the output amplifier in one of them. If you want to build a splitter and try it, you need to do something like this, where c is the common input, ZZZ is your resistor maybe 1K or so.

Input a ----ZZZ----c
Input b ----ZZZ----c
b_d0za's Avatar b_d0za 11:56 AM 07-16-2008
I picked up a phono (RCA) splitter at radio shack that seems to work just fine.

I can't post a URL yet since this is my first post so I'll just post a couple more so I can.
b_d0za's Avatar b_d0za 11:59 AM 07-16-2008
I have a receiver with only one digital coax input and I have a DVD player and a cable box that both have digital coax out.

I use a logitech harmony remote so if I want to watch a dvd I hit the "Watch DVD" button and it turns on my DVD Player and turns off my cable box and if I want to watch cable tv I hit the "Watch Cable TV" button and it turns off my DVD player so only one is on at a time.
b_d0za's Avatar b_d0za 12:01 PM 07-16-2008
So far so good. It SEEMS like it is working just fine. I get DD 5.1 from both the DVD player and the cable box without having to get up and switch a switch or manually change the connections so...
b_d0za's Avatar b_d0za 12:02 PM 07-16-2008
Here is the splitter I am using:

http://radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search

Does anyone know any reason why one should not do this?

I have been testing it out quite regularly every day just to make sure it's still working correctly and have had no problems after a week or so.
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 12:23 PM 07-16-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_d0za View Post

Does anyone know any reason why one should not do this?

If it works, that's great. If both devices are on at the same time, it MAY cause some problems, but in using the Harmony you will most likely avoid this happening. The issue is that the signal from one device may be shunted to the other device. And if both devices are on it could possibly damage the receiver's digi coax input and pre-amp stage.
TM2 Rampage's Avatar TM2 Rampage 11:04 PM 01-07-2009
Excuse me, but I'm going to bump this in case anyone wants to offer any more information. I, too, am thinking of using a Y splitter to connect by Blu Ray player and HD Cable Box to my receiver, because my receiver one has 1 digital coaxial audio input (and no digital optical ;__. I've already PMed b_d0za but I'm still gonna bump this...

Has anyone who tried this experienced damaged equipment yet?
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 06:08 AM 01-08-2009
[quote=b_d0za;14303290]Here is the splitter I am using:

http://radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search

Does anyone know any reason why one should not do this?
[quote]

Yes, but I can also explain why it will often work.

SP/DIF is an impedance-matched system, like a TV antenna. Unlike TV receivers, SP/DIF receivers expect an input signal that has at least a certain voltage level.

Your passive splitter is wrong on two grounds. It violates impedance matching, and it could violate the input voltage requirement.

As has been suggested, the splitter of choice for SP/DIF is a video splitter. Not an antenna splitter with F connectors, but instead an externally-powered video splitter with RCA connectors.

That all said, SP/DIF over short distances and with a small number of components has become fairly non-critical.

You say that your passive spitter works, and I don't doubt it.

If it is not broke, don't fix it!

If some day you move your components around and change the cabling and it stops working, then run right out and buy that video splitter or video distribution amplifier.
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