The Great Connector Conspiracy! OR, Why Won't My Cables Carry Some Audio / Video Formats?

One of the enduring mysteries of Home Theater is how to connect your gear together so that the audio and video you WANT to pass between devices will actually get there!  It sometimes seems like every path is strewn with potholes.

Restrictions can be technical, historical, and even legal (content licensing prohibitions).  In this post, I'll attempt to demystify the most common restrictions.

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Digital Audio 101 (...01010...)

The world we live in is inherently Analog. All the things we see and hear, for example, are the result of physical events which are fundamentally continuous in nature. Some portions of your Home Theater are also Analog. For example, your speakers are Analog devices, as are the audio power amps that drive them. And the electrical signals carried on the cabling between those amps and speakers are also Analog.

But modern PROCESSING of both audio and video is done Digitally. And the newest forms of storage and transmission of audio and video are also Digital. In this post we will explore the basics of Digital Audio, with particular emphasis on the LPCM and Bitstream audio formats.

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