What is S/PDIF?

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S/PDIF is a type of data link layer and physical layer for the transfer of digital audio signals between multiple devices or stereo components. S/PDIF is an acronym for Sony / Philips Digital Interconnect Format or Sony Philips Digital Interface. As described in the acronym, the S/PDIF format was developed during joint operations between Sony and Philips. It is a minor modification of the AES/EBU (Audio Engineering Society / European Broadcasting Union) specification from 1985. However, unlike the AES/EBU, the S/PDIF format was developed specifically for home, consumer use, as it requires hardware that is not as expensive as those required by the AES/EBU model.

What is S/PDIF used for?

S/PDIF is used to transfer digital audio to a variety of home audio equipment. Common devices that can take advantage of the S/PDIF format include: DVD players, computer sound cards, CD players, and receivers. The most common connection is made between a DVD player and a receiver for high quality Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound. However, it is also fairly common to connect a CD player to a receiver using the S/PDIF cables as well.

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