Digital Cable…it is not just 1’s and 0’s and here is why…
The digital audio/video signals are often transmitted in serial with some compressed format from the original PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) signals. Since the serial transmission is normally done with a serial cable (a single pair), no clock signal is transmitted directly. Instead, this clock signal is recovered at the DAC from the transmitted PCM signal via PLL (Phase Locked Loop) technique. As you can see, a phase dshift will occur if (1) the edges are not sharp; (2) the input circuit has different thresholds; and (3) the rising and falling edges are non-symmetric. This phase shift will directly affect the re-constructed clock frequency. But how severe the phase shift is depend on both the rising and falling edge of the transmitted encoded PCM signal. In other words, the re-constructed audio/video signal will have a frequency smear if the clock signal phase has a variable delay. Here is a link for PCM and its transmission.
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