Mother’s day is coming. Thinking about the gift to your mother darling? Why not bring your beloved parent up to speed through the carefully-planeed insertion of choice tech gear into their daily arsenal? We are not talking James Bond tech here, just some HD gadget will make your mom the coolest one on the block and give her the ability to dazzle her friends with the brilliance of her son or daughter’s choice in gifts…
This is your chance to plant a gadet into your mothers hand that is sure the level the playing field and restore dignity to the family name.
Don’t worry! The price is getting down and you will be the wise consumer for this. Visit us at amazon.com or simply go to UKHDMI.
Digital connections minimise cables and make wiring A/V sound simpler and easier. Instead of the two cables (for stereo) or even five cables (for surround) that would be needed for analogue audio connections there is just one cable, with no risk of getting channels swapped.
Choosing the Optical or Coaxial Digital Audio Interface
Many digital audio sources offer electrical and optical connections. An optical output cannot be directly connected to a coaxial (electrical) input or vice versa. The choice of which one to use is often made by what the audio destination accepts. If it takes only a coaxial electrical connection then coaxial is the only option, likewise if it only takes a Toslink optical input use an optical cable.
If an optical output has to drive an electrical input or vice versa, then optical/electrical and electrical/optical converter boxes are available, however they add complication to an A/V setup and need ther own mains power supply.
Do Optical or Electrical Connections Sound different?
Each type of connection can reliably transfer the digital data from source to receiver, so there is no good reason to expect a sonic difference. However, optical connections tend to have a lower bandwidth, which can smear data transitions, making it a little bit harder for the receiving device to recover the digital clock from the signal.
This can result in more digital clock jitter in the receiver, which can theoretically impair the accuracy of the output of a digital to analogue converter. Whether or not this has a sonic impact depends on the implementation of the receiving device. It shouldn’t make any difference to the sound, but some audiophiles assert that there are slight sonic differences between optical and electrical connections. Those who feel this is an issue will do their own listening tests – the cost of the cables is not great!
I read Geoffrey Morrison’s review of the Olive 4HD music server on the Home Entertainment Web site with great interest, because I recently heard the 4HD at a friend’s house. The review provides a lot of information that I’m not covering here.
It’s a cool looking device, and I really like that it can be used without being hooked up to a computer. It’s more a like a CD player with a built-in two terabyte hard drive.
There’s a Gigabit Ethernet port and Wi-Fi module if you’re into the home network thing, and a free application to let you use your iPhone or iPod Touch as full remote control. Also, you can use the 4HD’s HDMI interface to hook up your HDTV.
The 4HD can store high-resolution audio files, up to 24-bit/192KHz on its hard drive. But what I wanted to know was does the 4HD sound better than a CD player when playing ripped CDs?
I listened to a number of CD/4HD comparisons and came away a believer. The 4HD sounded “less digital,” cleaner, and just better than the original CDs. The difference in clarity was the single most impressive improvement hard drive replay offered.
We even compared SACDs to CDs (of the same title) ripped to the 4HD. Again in this test, the 4HD’s clarity trumped SACD’s. I love the fact that the 4HD, unlike most music servers, doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer. It’s just a great sounding hi-fi component that can store up to 20,000 tracks at 24-bit resolution.
The 4HD sells for $1,999; however, Olive also has standard definition models starting at $1,499.