ace) A serial interface for transferring digital audio from CD and DVD players to amplifiers and TVs. S/PDIF is typically used to transmit PCM and Dolby Digital 5.1, but it is not tied to any sampling rate or audio standard.
S/PDIF uses unbalanced 75 ohm coaxial cable up to 10 meters with RCA connectors or optical fiber terminated with a TOSLINK (Toshiba link) connector. See AES/EBU
AES/EBU is the professional version of S/PDIF and uses a higher signal voltage. They both support the same audio data with slight differences in the frame bits. Conversion between these interfaces must be handled with electronic circuits, not by adapting one connector to another.
S/PDIF vs. AES/EBU
S/PDIF shares the same 75 ohm coaxial cable as its AES3id professional counterpart, but also has an optical alternative.
Electrical and Optical Sockets
On the back of this DVD deck are S/PDIF electrical and optical sockets. The RCA jack for the coaxial cable (left) is generally colored orange, but not in this particular unit. If the optical is not used, the stopper plug (at bottom) is inserted to block the laser.
Three S/PDIF Inputs
This high-end LUMIN P1 music streamer accepts all three S/PDIF audio connections. (Image courtesy of Pixel Magic Systems, Ltd.)