The SPDIF or Sony Philips Digital Interconnect Format is utilized for relaying signals on several electronic components. It’s currently being used on everything from computers to DVDs to other popular audio devices.

Data Rate and Bit

There are many data rates it can use, but the most frequent is the one at the 44.1 kHz range. This is the range for the typical stereo CD. For DAT (Digital Audio Tape), it is set at 48 kHz. The transmission rate is set at 16 bits. The format actually supports up to 20 bits.

The 16 bit limit is due to the restrictions within the CD format itself. The SPDIF can also handle 24 bit, albeit not directly. The format also uses a couple of 192 blocks. These are separated into a dozen words each.

When data is relayed some bits are cut from it. These are not necessary information though. These are eliminated to ensure the crispness and accuracy of the data.


Every data frame is made up of 384 words. These are separated into two groups of 192 for channels A and B. Although it is advanced, it still adheres to the AES/EBU standards. The connectors have been changed though. It used to be XLR. But it was replaced with the RCA or TOSLINK.

The latter is also known as the EIAJ. The change was made to simplify connections for various appliances. The SPDIF 110 pair was eased out in favor of the 75 coaxial cable.


The device has been setup for many purposes. For most however, it’s used to connect a computer to a DVD player. The abovementioned changes have made the process easier to do. The alterations have also simplified the process for linking CD ROM drives.

Aside from ease of use, there are additional benefits. These include noise elimination. It also removes the other troubles associated with analog devices. These usually include the shaking, choppiness and other unwanted noise. The static noise generated by using a non SPDIF format is eliminated too.

To use the format, only an I/O cable is required. With this, it’s only a matter of linking it with the RCA plugs. By using an optic fiber type, virtually all extraneous noise is removed. Much of the interference comes from the computer itself. However the shielded coaxial type can eliminate this.

Some Reminders

Usually, most of the problems that come with using different audio formats come from lack of understanding. When you purchase a DVD or electronic equipment, check its specifications. You’ll want to want to make sure that when you buy the cable and other components, it will work with this format.

When connecting audio devices and computers, you should check the user guide for connecting the jacks and other components. When you have installed it, consult the manual for the proper settings. It’s important that you get familiar with it to avoid problems.

The SPDIF format makes it possible to experience noise free sound with your audio devices. The simplicity of its setup makes it even more attractive for both consumers and professionals who want high audio quality.