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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Digital Optical Audio vs. HDMI

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The complexity of a home theater system is all about connecting to your soundbar or AV receiver and deciding between fibre optical audio and HDMI cables. Before, what you need is a coaxial cable to get your video and audio signals to your TV set.

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You will have to go through a tedious setup process to connect your system with sound high definition programming and a Blu-ray player. One preliminary decision is knowing the right cables to choose from.

So, to assist you in making a knowledgeable decision. Here are their advantages and disadvantages:


HDMI and optical cables go through the digital audio from one device to another. There is no difference when it gets to passing multi-channel audio, such as Dolby digital.

The primary difference is that HDMI cables can transmit higher resolution audio, which incorporates formats that can be found on Blu-ray such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master audio.

Fibre optic cables can’t transmit these high-res sound setups, but HDMI can  send video signals.  So if you don’t like the hassle of using numerous cords between two devices, HDMI should be a good alternative.

However, it would depend on the appliances that you wish to connect. Perhaps you possess an old receiver, or you have all the things you require in place and feel like getting the audio to the soundbar, the digital optical audio will be the ideal fit. You will receive a similar quality sound as you get with HDMI cable.

If you own a soundbar, which functions from a surround sound signal, and you connect it to a TV that can’t pass such signals through its optical outputs, such soundbars might not have HDMI inputs.

The perfect way to utilize them is to connect their source to the bar using digital optical cables.


Copper is the primary element of HDMI cables. It is an inexpensive material, and there are possibilities of interference. While in Optical wires, fiber optics is the primary component, which is a bundle of thin glass threads.


They are costly, and it conveys light signals rather than electricity. Also, they are less vulnerable to interference. The shady sheath encircled around it curbs other light sources from penetrating the cable.


The length margin might not be significant for everyone. However, people with custom-designed media rooms that require extensive lengths of the cable may need it. Signal quality is lost due to long lines, so when choosing between fiber optic cable and HDMI, it is best to select the shortest ones.

The advised length for the digital optical cables is 10 meters. Although some individuals still make use of optical cables with a length of 30 meters but with HDMI, there aren’t any recommendations.

Notwithstanding, we suggest that you utilize HDMI of size 5 meters or less for better sound quality.  For extended distances, the fibre optical cables are the perfect option.


Fibre optic cables can support surround sound of about 5.1 channels. While HDMI can support TrueHD formats Dolbys Digital Plus, and DTS HD, all the TV programming receives broadcast in surround sound, but many Blu-ray discs offer improved sound quality.

So, if you like streaming your content on Blu-ray, HDMI is the right option for you.


HDMI cables can transmit audio and video by removing the need for another cord.  When you go for an optical cable, you often require an additional line to convey your video signal. The entire cost of the two threads might end up being more than a single HDMI cable. Thus, ensure that you research the price before you decide.

HDMI can serve your needs, they are less costly, and they facilitate the configuration. But if your equipment doesn’t have HDMI, you will not benefit from the high-resolution audio designs from Blu-ray.  Dolby Digital is suitable when you have the right gear. Otherwise, it won’t be transmitting quality sound even with DTS HD MA and  Dolby TrueHD.

Choosing a cable all depends on the individual’s needs. Even optical cables provide adequate audio results. We live in the space of comfort, and HDMI is now a go-to cable for all audio and video needs.

Oluwafemi Peter
Oluwafemi Peter is a content creator who has an interest in music, tech, sports and people. He resides in Ogun state, Nigeria.
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