If you've just brought home a fancy newfangled digital 3D super-dooper w-i-d-e TV panel, hoping to plug it into your older-but-still-brilliant stereo home amplifier, you may have ended up as astonished and disappointed as I was.
Where the hell are the RCA plugs on the back!!?
Well, they're not there any more. Most digital TVs no longer have an analogue audio output. They now have digital audio out, in the form of the Toslink plug or digital coaxial audio out.
This is called progress and isn't too much of a dilemma if your (newish) amplifier has a corresponding digital audio input. If not, don't fret because thousands of other prehistoric hi-fi lovers have also faced this dilemma and help is at hand - although it's gonna cost you a few extra dollars.
TOSLINK (from "Toshiba Link") is a standardised optical fibre connection system and lies underneath that strange little square nobby thing you've always wondered about (and ignored) on the back of newer audio-video equipment. To tap into the digital audio stream from your new telly, you need a digital to analogue audio converter which you then plug into the RCA plugs on the back of your trusty amp.
I used the Digitech model from JayCar which knocked me back 60 big ones plus the cost of the optical (or coax) cable, which is dependent upon length.
The unit takes the optical (or coax) output from the back of the TV and converts it to standard analogue left and right stereo audio, via a pair of wonderfully familiar and comforting, 1940s-tech RCA/phono plugs.
In line with the progress of the digital age, the box needs its own power supply which means further demand on extension block real estate and some subsequent extra power consumption. However on the bright side, you can continue to use your beloved stereo system into the distant future while gorging on the visual feast of 3d high-def TV.
Analogue is dead, long live analogue..