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Discussion Starter #1

Having problems with my DVD player. Every time we use it, I have wriggle the optical cable where it plugs into the player to get 5.1 working (otherwise it defaults to Pro-Logic).

Naturally I’d first suspect the cable, but I threw out another one just a couple of years ago and replaced it with this one when I was having the same problem. Are optical cables really that unreliable (which would be pretty galling, considering what they charge for those things), or is the output from my player going south?

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Optical cables are fragile. Anytime we can avoid them in an installation we use coax. There is not much of a case to be made for optical from a performance standpoint and we have had many fail over the years. I hate to say it, but some of the most durable ones require the use of the M & C words. MC gets a bad rap for their pricing and hype, but their optical cables have been much more reliable than most, IME.
 

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Remember to not bend them. Optical cable are easily damaged by a kink. For home use, only the coaxial connector is desired, but for some reason the AVR equipment favors optical. On my Yamaha, I have 4 optical and 2 coax. I wish it were the opposite.
 

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Thanks, Leonard. I wish my receiver had a coaxial input for DVD, but it doesn’t. I’ll look for a “MC” cable. :)

Regards,
Wayne
Or, for the same money to buy a dozen toslink cables from monoprice and replace them as necessary and still have money left over to rent a movie or two. :)

Mitch
 

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I have some of those cables, and they are better than some that come with components, but still rather fragile. I'd just rather not have the hassle if I have to use optical.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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I have thin cheapie that amazingly has worked for me over several reconfigurations.

I also have a beefy M-C optical that has done great as well. I can attest to their quality.

Another thing to try before replacing everything:
Hit the input ports with a spray duster (be sure to get the fluid out of the line first, the first shot can have a little condensate). Those do clog up pretty good. Newer models come with plugs or self-closing covers, but sometimes dust just finds a way in.

And again, coax everywhere you can, but I feel the pain too of not having that option everywhere (like HD-DVD player and X-Box).
 

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Hello. I'm a new member, and I am not sure if this is the right place to post my question, but here goes.
Last night, my TV started losing sound on certain channels. I use an optical audio cable from my sat box to my AV receiver. I phoned my sat company, and the rep said that the problem was the sound cable. To test, I hooked up RCA jacks from the sat box to the TV, and all channels had sound. My question: Is it possible for an optical cable to not carry sound from certain channels, and work OK for others? To me, the cable either works or it doesn't. Before rushing out to buy another (expensive) cable, I wanted to check with others more knowledgeable than I am.
many thanks.
Tom
 

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To me, the cable either works or it doesn't. Before rushing out to buy another (expensive) cable,
Hi Tom Welcome to the Shack!

Your correct for the most part it should not vary by channel. I wonder if doing a new channel scan might help as if the channels have drifted and dont come in clear the audio may drop out.
Also another question, do you use your receiver for the audio or the TV speakers? because 5.1 audio will not pass through the TV only 2.1 you have to go from the Sat receiver to your receiver.
 

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really old post...

well I guess I will throw my 2 cents in...

I dont know what YOU guys are doing to your cables, cuz I have one thats 4 years old at least, and works perfectly...I know they are fragile, but why or better yet, how do ya manage to break them?

A stereo is meant to be hooked up and not tinkered with unless your moving the stuff or upgrading a component. Either way a Optical cord shouldn't break or wear out from any of that unless poor care is given My father has an even older optical cable and it works perfectly still, and we have re-hooked his stereo several times when upgrading stereo cabinents, than DVD players, than Stereos, and than TV stands, yet his has no issues.

I dont have a basis of comparision to your guys' problems, and dont really understand the issue of faulty Opticals after a certain amount of time...
 

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What seems logical sometimes does not hold up in the field. I have serviced quite a few systems that had bad optical cables where the clients were not the type to move things around or mess with the system. They seem to get brittle over time and I don't know if there are vibrations or thermal cycling that cause changes, or the optical component shrinks, but they do go bad for no apparent reason. I have also seen them damaged by overly aggressive wire management with tie wraps pulled too tight. The bottom line for me is that I use coax whenever I can and avoid optical. If I must use it I make sure that it is not tied down and leave lots of slack.
 
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