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Soundblaster Live! Platinum and Dolby Digital AC3 amplifier!

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September 18, 2006 4:06:57 PM

Hey all, I am trying to get some AC3 encoded files to play through my computer into my Dolby Digital Amplifier, and play 5.1 surround over my home theater speakers. I have a Creative Sound Blaster Live! Platinum. It has an SPDIF output on the front of it.

How easy is this? Do I simply have to enable digital out, plug a coaxial cable from my SPDIF out to the Digital Coax. Input on my amp and presto, when I play the file, my amp will recognize it as Dolby Digital?

Or is there more to it? Do I have to play around with stuff in the video player (BSPlayer) to make this work?

Also, I have AC3Filter installed on the system, do I even need this as the amplifier obviously decodes AC3?

Also, how can I be sure if the AC3 stream in the video file will be recognized as Dolby Digital? It says AC3 5.1, so does this automatically translate into dolby digital?

Thanks for any pointers!
September 24, 2006 7:56:40 AM

well... to be able to play a Dolby Digital 5.1 (AC-3) encoded file on an external decoder with a creative labs card, (using either an optical toslink, or a coaxial rca connection)... more than likely, all you need to do is enable SPDIF passthrough on the cards settings...

what SPDIF passthrough does, is it allows the processing of the sound card to be bypassed... instead streaming the [still encoded] AC-3 data directly out to the external decoder (your digital amplifier), which then detects the AC-3 stream, as a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal, and you then have 5.1 surround (as the external decoder is then doing all the processing instead)

as far as additional 3rd party decoding software on your computer that you mentioned, they arent required to accomplish what youre asking
September 25, 2006 2:50:11 PM

Yes, initially I was trying to get the AMP to do all the work. I hooked up the Digital Coax cable to the SPDIF output on the soundcard. When I enabled SPDIF, all the regular sounds of the computer were playing through the AMP.
However, when I tried to play the AC3 encoded video file, I heard nothing. When I installed AC3Filter, I heard sound, but the Dolby light never switched from Pro Logic to Digital. I heard some distinction between channels, but Pro Logic does that.
For the SoundBlaster Live! Platinum, I can only see an option to enable or disable SPDIF, but no passthrough options (the XiFi has these options). So I attempted to set AC3 filter to passthrough the AC3 signal, but I dont think it worked, because again, the light didnt switch to Dolby Digital.

Should I expect the light to change to dolby digital on the amp?

Is there a file that I can use as a test that you know guaranteed has a dolby digital ac3 encoded stream? Just in case this file I was playing wasnt truly dolby digital.

This is frustrating :) 
October 2, 2006 3:05:33 PM

After hours spent on this, I was finally able to put together multiple posts and ideas and get this to work!

I have an older Sound Blaster Live! platinum card, bought in 1999, and wanted it to serve as an ac3 passthrough to watch videos with ac3 in them at 5.1 surround sound using my external amplifier.

It is easier than i thought. All you need are two things. An older version of the Live! drivers, and an OLDER version of AC3Filter. I know it seems odd, because usually the latest drivers are the best way to go, and thats what caused me to waste hours of my life.

I have these two files on my web page, and anyone who needs them is welcome to download them:

http://xcomputerupgrades.com/soundblaster/LiveDrvPack.e...

http://xcomputerupgrades.com/soundblaster/ac3filter_0_7...

Make sure to uninstall your existing drivers, restart, and then install this livedrvpack.

In Ac3Filter, set the output as SPDIF from the click down menu. (I think the default setting is 2 channel stereo).

Thats all it took for me. I use a basic free player called BSPlayer, and after installing these two things, I just loaded a file up (obviously this file was encoded with an AC3 stream in it), and boom, my dolby digital light came on! yay!

I plug a coaxial (rca) cable directly from the SPDIF output on the front bay into the Digital Coax input on my amp.

I hope this helps someone out!!
!