question about digital outputs

(i know I just posted before...But i think many people have this same question (from reading past posts))

Is it possible to have full surroundsound (both from games AND movies) through a digital connection (aka 1 cord to my receiver from the sound card)

if so, what cards support this?
16 answers Last reply
More about question digital outputs
  1. Only if the games support dolby digital, you can't get eax or directsound (not sure on that one) surround effects through a digital output as it's just a raw pass through so the sound card never gets the chance to process it.
  2. Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect card, like Blue Gear X-Mystique or Turtle Beach Montegro.
  3. yeah, if the sound is realtime re encoded in either dd or dts format, the data stream can then simultaneously carry up to both EAX 2.0 and discrete multi channel surround via digital output, so it wont just be standard 2 channel pcm (EAX 3.0 and up are creative only, and creatives cards wont do realtime dd/dts encoding)
  4. for games i mostly play like source, wc3 (NO WOW) and bf2.... i know wc3 is in dolby surround as it is an option in the sound menu...wc3 is several years old and it supports dolby, why dont all newer games support it as well?

    so from what you guys are saying, creative is not for me?

    is regular dolby surround analogue only?

    if i decide to run all of the aanalogue lines to my reciever will i always have surround sound when available?

    pretty much i want to use one style of connection (i was hoping digtal for one cable) but from what i am hearing, digital is not always supported by games/movies. Analogue means that i will have to run like 4 wires for a 5.1 setup from my card to receiver (1 front r/l 1 rear r/l one center, and one sub? or am i not thinking about this the right way.
  5. the kind of surround being referred to is digital surround over 1 cable, that has 6 discrete, seperate channels, that are completely independant from one another... not analog surround over 6 different cables... ...with a turtle beach montego ddl, or a blue gears x-mystique, you can get the exact digital 5.1 surround you were asking about before, just using one cable... all you need to have in order to take advantage of that, is a dolby digital external decoder... such as an a/v receiver would have for example (or that some speaker sets have, cuz some speaker sets have a dolby digital decoder built into them), an external dolby digital decoder, however, will NOT give you dolby digital 5.1 (DD 5.1) by itself, without something outputting dolby digital to it first (almost all dvds, for example, are encoded in at least DD 5.1 too, and the surround is put on one cable too)... and you can use either an optical toslink cable, for the optical digital interface, or a standard rca cable, for the digital coaxial interface... whichever interface the external digital decoder supports (the montego ddl only supports optical toslink for its digital connections, FYI)

    also, dolby surround is just one of many 2 channel matrixing algorithms to give the effect of having surround, some happen to sound better than others (prologic, prologic II, eax, dts:neo, etc), i happen to like dolby surround myself in wc3 too... dolby surround will be able to be output just fine over the single digital cable, since with either of these cards, the sound your getting from your speakers will be in true dolby digital 5.1, and not just generic 2 channel pcm. (dolby surround will also be re encoded into DD 5.1, still giving its surround effect too)

    either of these cards, will take any sound (music, games, movies, etc), and re encode the sound, into dolby digital 5.1, in realtime... which is also known as dolby digital live... so theres no need for 6 seperate cables with this.
  6. Dolby Surround is their euphemism for 2.0 sound. "Dolby Surround" is in no shape or form actually related to discrete surround channels; it's just 2-channel movie audio.

    Dolby Surround sources there might have some audio cues added in the signal so that a matrixing algorithm like Dolby Pro Logic can be used so that when you have multiple speakers it isn't just mirrored stereo, rather there are a few audio cues that might give indication of directionality.

    Dolby Digital is the surround variant with actual discrete channels (5.1+).
  7. thanks for explaining that to me!

    so is there really a disadvantage to using a digital connection between SC and AV receiver if the SC can output in dobly live?
  8. Quote:
    thanks for explaining that to me!

    so is there really a disadvantage to using a digital connection between SC and AV receiver if the SC can output in dobly live?


    Theoretically there could be some latency issues. And if you are listening to high bandwidth music sources, or movies that are actually pre-encoded in Dolby Digital or DTS already, it's probably better to turn of the DDL algorithm, since additional compression is never a positive (unless for some reason, it sounds better to you).
  9. so which card is better? the x mystique or the montego? or are there other ddl cards that i havent been able to find? i see the xplosion but that is a little out of my price range.

    The chaintech 7.1 card looks interesting...but from what i understand most games wont work in surround because there is no ddl encoding? am i right?
  10. Quote:
    so which card is better? the x mystique or the montego? or are there other ddl cards that i havent been able to find? i see the xplosion but that is a little out of my price range.

    The chaintech 7.1 card looks interesting...but from what i understand most games wont work in surround because there is no ddl encoding? am i right?


    x-plosion would be a better performer sonically, due to its dts interactive encoding, dts compression offers less sound compression for higher bandwidth sound over dolby digital compression (over twice the bandwidth actually, 1.5 Mb/s compared to 640kb/s), but, that aside... the x-mystique and montego ddl are equally on par with each other technologically, using the same chipset and all, equal performers, aside from physical connection offerings on back

    analogically, surround is able to work due to multiple cables from multiple outputs, one for each channel... digitally, surround can only work if the data being send out is encoded in a digitally compatible multi channel format, especially since its only sent over one cable, instead of many cables...

    most games however, are not encoded in a digitally compatible multi channel format, and are only interpreted as a left and right channel when sent over a digital connection, because its sent as a pulse code modulation signal (or pcm)... which leads to only stereo sound, because pcm can only carry 2 channels, no more (though technically i guess its capable, and not limited in this way)... but with almost all sound cards outputting nonsurround digital (aside from using spdif passthrough to listen to a dvd for example), and with virtually no games being encoded in a digitally multi-channal compatible format (though still multi channel encoded nonetheless, doom 3 for example)... 2 channels is all you end up with.

    to simply answer though... yes, you will only get surround for a game over a digital connection, if it is encoded by either dolby digital live, or dts interactive

    hope this answers your question though
  11. i think im going to go with the xplosion...it is only 20$ more than the mystique on newegg and 10 more then the monetgo...


    pretty much it sounds like that chaintech is kickass if u only want digital connection for movies!!

    i plan on ordering the xplosion later today from newegg

    i have fairly sensitive ears and can notice most differences in sound quality so... im hoping i would notice the difference between 1.5mb and the 640 of the mystique

    i figured it's worth the twenty bux extra for the xplosion since i plan on having this card for minimum of like 3 years
  12. yeah, i do think the x-plosion would be a better investment, if not only because its newer, and has a more fine tuned and matured chipset, than the other 2 cards, and both of those cards are in the same situation of being more refined and matured than the nforce2 with soundstorm was, which is older than either of them

    but, yeah, you should notice a difference between dts and ddl, the surround in dts going from speaker to speaker should sound smoother, more detailed, and more open in general, not quite as restricted... ...such as when you listen to dvds, most people dont complain about how dolby digital sounds on them at all, just that it sounds vastly superior to vhs tapes, bringing you all that much closer to an experience of being 'at the movie threatre', especially when its accompanied by an exceptional audio system ... its an excellent sounding format, and is very widely available... ...dts however, although not as widely available, being a competing format and all... is honestly superior to dolby digital, if not simply due to lesser compression and a higher bit depth, consequently results in less room being available for video footage on a typical 4.7GB dvd (the 24bit dvd-a format, is a surround format, intended to be output to 6 analog cables from a compatible dvd-a player, leaves almost no room for video footage on a dvd, and is superior to both dd and dts, because theyre both 16bit (DD) and 20bit (DTS) sound formats)... but, to find a balance for consumers between sound quality and video capacity (and other reasons im sure)... dolby digital is the format of choice for almost all commercial dvds

    im actually considering in saving up to purchase an x-plosion myself [as i just read about it for the first time lastnight], to replace my montego ddl, there may not be a tremendous deal of difference between the two sonically, but i feel any improvement in sound quality, thats consistantly there, no less... is an investment worth taking (as long as the price isnt too outrageous)
  13. thats the way im looking at it... i believe sound is = to video in importance for both gaming and movies.

    i would certaiinly spend 20 more on a video card for more fps and higher settings so why not do the same for sound?

    im hoping that the xplosiion well work well for my games

    (im guessing my pioneer reciever does dts because it has a nice dts logo along with dolby digital and prologic II)

    thanks for the help choirbass! ill write a short review on the xplosion once i get mine

    im hoping that surround sound will add more thrill to cs:s !

    thanks eeveryone for helping me make my decision!
  14. cool :)... it should sound awesome, based on every other revew ive read, seems to leave my montego ddl in the dust in the direct comparisons theyre doing :( lol, which is the same as their x-mystique they released awhile back (yeah, your a/v receiver has dts decoding on it, since it has the dts logo on it), i look forward to hearing about it
  15. its comming tommorow (monday) and ill write up a review once i have it going! ( i need to run some speaker wire and stuff so i might not be dont till tuesday)

    i figured i might as well get dts card because my receiver supports it and i would kind of be cheating myself if i didnt spend the extra 20 bux

    plus im 15 and i have a decent job so why not spend my money on something that i will use for a few years as opposed to a new video game or something that will last me 2 months?
  16. yeah, at the rate which pc games come out, and the graphics cards having to run them getting outdated just as quickly, if youre expecting to be able to keep playing near the highest settings anyhow... it definetly makes more sense i think to invest in a quality sound set up that will last for years, much longer than your current computer im sure, $20 being well worth it to enjoy something that wont suffer quite the same types of performance bottlenecks, if any... ...yeah, as for taking advantage of the dts decoding on your receiver, it would mainly just go unused otherwise, unless you happen to have a dvd encoded in dts :P... as far as setting up your speakers, take your time balancing, arranging, and directing them, for optimal effect to where you would be listening... it may not make the hugest difference in quality by any means, but its free, aside from the time being dedicated to do it, and every little bit helps...

    this is completely sidetracking though... but, a site and e-zine i subscribe to provides some pretty useful information on designing a home theatre, ive really only been interested in the sound aspects of it, and how to improve the way things sound, by dampening sound reflections and such, creating room ambiances, and improving lighting to increase the overall effect of gameplaying even (they specify movie watching, but i figure it would carry over the same visually even still)... it may be worth a read if youre interested at all: http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/index.html
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