by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A man explained,
I have a new Vizio flat screen TV, but it doesn’t have any audio output jacks, nor even an earphone jack. It only has an ‘optical’ output called SPDIF, whatever that is. I don’t have a cable box, satellite box or anything with audio out jacks—just the cable from the wall to my TV. So how do I connect my loop amplifier that uses RCA plugs to my new TV?
The TV manufacturers are changing their familiar analog audio output jacks to digital outs at the behest of the entertainment industry to try to cut down on illegal copying of their music (copyright issues).
In case you are interested, SPDIF is the new Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format (more commonly known as Sony Philips Digital Interface). SPDIF is usually implemented in consumer products as TOSLINK, an output connector from which the digital signal is emitted into an optical fiber cable.
What this means is that we hard of hearing people are up a creek without a paddle when it comes to connecting our loop amplifiers to our new TVs.
You see, at the present time, loop amplifiers such as the Univox DLS-50 do not accept digital inputs, thus you need to have a device that either puts out analog audio (uses RCA jacks), or you will need to get a digital (optical) to analog converter such as the Gefen TV Digital Audio to Analog Adapter (Part No: GTV-DIGAUD-2-AAUD).
The cheapest source I can find on the Internet is NextWarehouse.com. They have it for a delivered price of $57.15 (free shipping and no tax).
You’ll also need to get a digital cable to connect your TV to this gizmo box. Then you plug your loop amplifier RCA cables into the RCA jacks on this adapter and voila—analog sound for your loop amplifier. It’s that easy.