The debate about digital and analog is hardly new. Digital methods and gadgets are more convenient whereas analog methods are more authentic and less lossy. This debate is especially yappier when it comes to audio.
Audiophiles will tell you that there is no better way to listen to music than vinyl records and tech enthusiasts will tell you the convenience of wireless headphones is unparalleled. The industry is paying homage to retro tech nowadays by bringing back certain design elements and a general discourse about it. This has led to analog getting some attention that was missing for the last few years as the industry was moving fast and breaking things.
The missing headphone jack from phones stands out in stark contrast to the Walkman’s 40th anniversary. Vloggers have made the idea of having a vinyl record player romantic, and exercising with music streaming from your watch to wireless earphones, practical.
Visual media consumption has changed and with it, the ways of consuming it. Televisions have better display technology but don’t always have great audio output. This is where you can experiment with speakers. Even today, RCA ports, the gold standard from yesteryears are available on TVs for you to have an analog component in your home theatre system.
When buying a new TV, you need to pay attention to the possibilities of audio enhancement you can have with it, as the inbuilt speakers are hardly ever good. You can go with, HDMI or RCA, digital or analog. Let’s explore both of them:
High Definition Multimedia Interface is the standard all OEMs use for their TVs. It uses a single port and therefore a single HDMI cable to get both audio and video to the display from an external streaming box or device.
There is also a special type of HDMI standard that comes with an audio return channel, called HDMI ARC. This allows the audio to go to an external speaker, which gives you a wide room to experiment with what speakers or soundbars you could use with it.
Additionally, having one cable makes it easier to manage the cable clutter that can happen. Televisions also provide more than one HDMI port, so you always have more ports available to plug something else into. You can choose to connect one streaming box with an HDMI cable and a soundbar into an HDMI ARC port.
It’s the obvious solution for someone who wants a no-hassle setup to get their favorite TV shows and movies to the biggest screen in their house. You don’t need to be an expert to connect something with this cable. Its beauty lies in its simplicity.
On the analog side, there are RCA cables for audio and video. RCA cable is not a single port, single cable solution. Audio uses two cables and ports and video uses one RCA cable. Audio can either use just one, or add a second one for stereo sound.
This setup is useful especially when you want to keep using your older speaker with a newer television. The speaker will have RCA ports built in which you can leverage. The only thing that changes in your setup is your display when you use RCA cables. It can add more years to your speakers that otherwise would have gone to waste with this upgrade of your TV.
Not only does this cable extend the life of your speakers, but they are also easily available and don’t have varying standards. HDMI has standards, so you have to make sure to get the right one to get the results that your TV promises.
HDMI + RCA - The Ideal Setup
The choice of how you outfit your television is up to you and it isn’t quite as binary as digital and analog if you don’t want it to be. You can use both at the same time. Plug in the streaming device with an HDMI cable for an immersive display and external speakers via RCA cables for surround sound. You can get more than just the main and stereo sound with RCA, which you should take advantage of.
Both of these cables are simple to find and easy enough to use. You should check which ports you have on your TV and what standards they support. Then, you can order the required length of wire. The shorter the cable, the fewer issues it will face when passing a signal.
SF Cable stocks cables for all your multimedia needs. Just pick the variant you need and you are good to go for a top-notch movie experience.