Hi all. The subject pretty much covers it. I'm building a workflow in which I need to monitor 5.1 surround. We're planning to purchase a TSL model console device that only receives a surround split through HD/SDI [BNC] inputs. Most of our sources for the audio will be consumer-grade devices [smart TV, tablets, Mac Mini, PC shuttle], and the most common output is optical [TOSLINK]. So the easiest thing to do would be to, somehow, convert optical audio to SDI.
But...can we? Will it work? Will we lose clock or sync? Will we lose fidelity? Will we maintain channel separation?
And if we can't do this conversion directly, I know it's possible to add a step and convert TOSLINK to HDMI, then the HDMI to the HD/SDI. But I'll still ask the questions above, if someone can confirm that all the 5.1's channels will remain intact. One of the points of using the TSL is its capacity to isolate individual tracks for testing. So if we can't maintain the channel separation and assignments, no point in going on.
I don't know about your question for sure,but
1 ) in general signals integrity is usually better when as an sdi signal because its embedded in 1 data stream rather than separately flowing signals , so probably it will remain intact
2). You need to look for an embedder
Manufactures like Kramer, snell and Wilcox and black magic is where I'd start, prob BM 1st.
This will embed multi streams into sdi etc etc which can carry it
Ts own sync
As Mr. Groom said, it sounds like you need to embed the audio into the SDI stream. There are several vendors of devices to do this. For example the Blackmagic-Design Mini Converter Audio to SDI - $495. Note that the the four inputs can take either four analog audio signals, or four pair (8 channels) of AES digital audio signals. And devices to convert optical (stereo TOSLINK) to copper are commonly-available inexpensive "adapters" since no stream content conversion is involved.
You mentioned "5.1". Be aware that the identical-looking optical connector for Dolby digital-encoded sound is NOT compatible with this scheme.
HDMI and SDI are essentially identical. Conversion between them is relatively trivial (although not inexpensive). HDMI is the consumer solution for short runs, and SDI is the "industrial-strength" version for professional applications. Running digital video signals for long distances typically uses SDI as running HDMI over long distances is problematic.