I went to a Sony outlet in Massachusetts and found a refurbished DVP-NC655P DVD player. It plays CD-R/CD-RW/DVD-R/DVD-RW, MP3 CDs, and VCDs. It has coax and optical digital outs. It has a 5-disc changer. It has some nifty video features for sharpening the picture, plenty of controls and display options (showing all angles at once), and a decent remote. It has progressive scan output. It's fast and works well. I'm happy with it.
The only thing that sucks about it is that it has a volume control, but only has codes for about eight brands of receivers; so I can't change the volume with the remote control (please don't tell me about all the great universal remotes out there, I know
So I went to Radio Shack to buy a coaxial cable for the digital audio, and the 40-something-ish manager asks if he can help. I don't want to spend time looking (it takes me a few minutes to get my bearings in the cable section), and I know what I want, so I say I need a coaxial cable for digital audio. Simple, right?
He asks what length, I say six feet. He hands me a six-foot coax cable such as for cable TV. No, for digital audio, I say. It's slightly different, and has a different connector. He says oh, the only way to get a true digital signal is with optical cable. No, I assure him, the coax connection sends exactly the same signal. He assures me that no, the DVD player will convert it to analog first, and then send the audio signal.
I literally laughed at him (not intentionally) as I tried to explain that he was incorrect, that this was not a regular RCA audio cable, but a coaxial cable with an RCA connector, and it transmits the pure digital signal, but he wasn't budging.
But I do like my new DVD player.