This is essentially a high quality optical audio switch, holding multiple inputs (SPDIF and RCA) and outputs, that is set to detect incoming signals from the connected sources. It automatically selects the active port and outputs the digital signal through Coax RCA or optical/SPDIF. It receives power via a mini-USB cable.
The switch comes in 3 different inputs variants:
- 4 optical/SPDIF inputs
- 7 optical/SPDIF inputs
- 4 optical/SPDIF and 3 RCA inputs
Some of the consoles that take advantage of such a device are:
- Original Xbox
- Playstation 2
- Xbox 360
- Playstation 3
- Xbox One
- Playstation 4
- Playstation 1 (requires modding) (some of the later board revisions are not compatible)
- SNES (requires modding)
- Sega Saturn (requires modding)
Consoles that have SPDIF on board greatly benefit from crystal clear digital audio out. Optical audio also has the ability to carry more than 2 channels of audio (e.g 5.1 surround sound).
Dave Kircher (aka DirkSwizzler) covered the switch in great detail back when it was a new product, stress tested it and reported back to Skate who quickly released a firmware update that addressed most of the described issues like signal drop-out when multiple sources are simultaneously active.
The Automatic SPIDF Audio Switch is currently being sold for $69 in its most basic form (4 optical in/1 optical out) and $130 in its fully featured form (4 optical and 3 coax in/1 optical and 1 coax output + High quality Audio Digital-to-Analog Converter).
Potential adopters of the upcoming OSSC Pro (which does include a SPDIF input port) might want to consider adding the automatic SPDIF switch to their setup in order to combine both video and audio (passthrough) inputs into the single HDMI output.
- Order the Automatic SPIDF Audio Switch: https://www.tindie.com/products/beni_skate/automatic-spdif-opticalrca-audio-switch/
- Dave Kircher’s original post on RetroRGB about the Automatic SPIDF Audio Switch: https://www.retrorgb.com/automatic-spdif-switch-testing.html
- Dave Kircher’s Automatic SPIDF Audio Switch shmup thread: https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=64146
- FirebrandX‘s PSX Digital Audio mod: https://www.firebrandx.com/psxdigitalaudio.html
- SNES Digital Audio mod: https://www.retrorgb.com/snesdigitalaudio.html
- Sega Saturn SPDIF mod: https://gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=av:saturn_sp_dif