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What sound card actually will output 5.1 via optical/coaxial

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November 16, 2006 10:43:51 AM

Which cards will actually do this.?
This is so i can link my pc to the main TV amp.

I brought a cheapo 5.1 of ebay, but the optical is only in stereo?

Cheers
November 16, 2006 11:11:05 AM

The only way your 5.1 can receive 5.1 audio over coax or optical would be if it were encoded in DTS or Dolby Digital. DVDs have their audio tracks encoded this way but there aren't any sound cards out there that have any real-time encoding built in, as far as I know.

You can output sound in 5.1 from your card using analogue outputs and hooking them up to a 5.1 system meant to accept them, such as 5.1 systems built for PCs.

Your 5.1 digital amp is only receiving a stereo feed as your PC can only put out PCM audio (like a .WAV file or CD audio content) in real time, it's simply too much to ask it to play your game and encode 5.1 channels.

You can still watch your DVDs in true 5.1 using your setup by going into the audio options of whatever software DVD player you use and selecting S/PDIF output.

If you want to play games in 5.1 then I suggest you purchase some 5.1 PC speakers, such as Creative or Logitech produce.
November 16, 2006 11:15:51 AM

Quote:
The only way your 5.1 can receive 5.1 audio over coax or optical would be if it were encoded in DTS or Dolby Digital. DVDs have their audio tracks encoded this way but there aren't any sound cards out there that have any real-time encoding built in, as far as I know.

You can output sound in 5.1 from your card using analogue outputs and hooking them up to a 5.1 system meant to accept them, such as 5.1 systems built for PCs.

Your 5.1 digital amp is only receiving a stereo feed as your PC can only put out PCM audio (like a .WAV file or CD audio content) in real time, it's simply too much to ask it to play your game and encode 5.1 channels.

You can still watch your DVDs in true 5.1 using your setup by going into the audio options of whatever software DVD player you use and selecting S/PDIF output.

If you want to play games in 5.1 then I suggest you purchase some 5.1 PC speakers, such as Creative or Logitech produce.


Ah ok.. as all this PC is used for is playing movies on the TV (HD/DVD/etc).
So setting the card to output in 2 channel SPDIF is fine, you just send and encoded stream overthis by telling the program to output using SPDIF?
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November 16, 2006 11:43:09 AM

Your sound card needs to support DTS and DD to be able to output 5.1, although most sound-cards support this anwyways. Next, you need a software that supports DTS and DD in order to decode the DVD's or any other codec that supports 5.1 channel sound, PowerDVD and some of the other major DVD players support this.

Then your pretty much good to go, hook it up to your receiver and have fun listening.
November 16, 2006 12:20:41 PM

How does PS2 have optical out 5.1 during gaming?
November 16, 2006 12:30:31 PM

Quote:
The Auzentech Xplosion 7.1 is an excellent choice. A good second would be the M-Audio Revolution 7.1

Good luck!


The OP said he wanted Optical 5.1 out, i didn't see any optical out on the M-Audio Revolution, an as far as i know the Xplosion 7.1 is the only soundcard out that supports DTS and optical out, not even oh holy (/sarcasm) Creative has an optical card :!:
November 16, 2006 12:58:03 PM

The auzentech is a very nice card, but the op said he already has a card... shrug... so I don't know if he'll get another card.

The Realtek codec's usually support Dolby, but you should always double check:

http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/productsView.aspx?La...

I'm not sure about ADI codecs nor C-media...
November 16, 2006 1:23:45 PM

Quote:
Which cards will actually do this.?
This is so i can link my pc to the main TV amp.

I brought a cheapo 5.1 of ebay, but the optical is only in stereo?

Cheers


Just to emphasize and confirm what one of the above posters said, the Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard has a Realtek chip which supports Dolby Digital Live. It encodes your audio on the fly and sends it via optical or via coaxial to your amp, thus enabling you to get the 5.1 sound you so crave. I can also attest that there's absolutely no delay in the sound, at least none that I can sense.
November 16, 2006 2:15:37 PM

I am using a laptop with digital S/PDIF out. Due to the limited room available for ports, laptop sound solutions generally have dual use ports whereby for example 7.1 sound is output two ways:

Digital - S/PDIF out
Analog - 2 speaker, mike, line in and S/PDIF ports

To use with a digital sound system, such as the Logitech Z-5500 seems problematic as the laptop outputs are 3.5 mm minijack and the speaker inputs are RCA type conenctor.

The only place I found making this cable is:

http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/RCA-mini-spdif.html#...

I had previously hooked up the speakers using the analog outputs / cables and I can say that there is a world of difference between the analog and digital cables. Not only in the sound but also in ergonomics (analog cables plug in to front right side of laptop, winding up under my wrists when hands rest on laptop surface), aesthetics (had to split 3 pair analog cable with 3 strands running along side and 1 to back) and portability (yank 1 plug when elaving ffice instead of 3)

Also check out this

http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&...
November 16, 2006 2:18:33 PM

Quote:
I am using a laptop with digital S/PDIF out. Due to the limited room available for ports, laptop sound solutions generally have dual use ports whereby for example 7.1 sound is output two ways:

Digital - S/PDIF out
Analog - 2 speaker, mike, line in and S/PDIF ports

To use with a digital sound system, such as the Logitech Z-5500 seems problematic as the laptop outputs are 3.5 mm minijack and the speaker inputs are RCA type conenctor.

The only place I found making this cable is:

http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/RCA-mini-spdif.html#...

I had previously hooked up the speakers using the analog outputs / cables and I can say that there is a world of difference between the analog and digital cables. Not only in the sound but also in ergonomics (analog cables plug in to front right side of laptop, winding up under my wrists when hands rest on laptop surface), aesthetics (had to split 3 pair analog cable with 3 strands running along side and 1 to back) and portability (yank 1 plug when elaving ffice instead of 3)

Also check out this

http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&...


Cheers guys for all the help..
November 16, 2006 2:45:00 PM

Quote:
Your sound card needs to support DTS and DD to be able to output 5.1, although most sound-cards support this anwyways. Next, you need a software that supports DTS and DD in order to decode the DVD's or any other codec that supports 5.1 channel sound, PowerDVD and some of the other major DVD players support this.

Then your pretty much good to go, hook it up to your receiver and have fun listening.


If you have an external dts decoder, your card can just be set to spdif. That's what i do with my Audigy 2 zs + Logitech Z-5500. The Z-5500 hardware does the actual decoding of the dts stream.

I'm currently listening to the new evanescence opendoor album on 5.1 dts, it's great. Although i'm having a hard time trying to get linux[alsa] to output using spdif. Windows + Winamp + winampac3 plugin work fine though with spdif.
November 16, 2006 7:58:59 PM

Quote:
The Auzentech Xplosion 7.1 is an excellent choice. A good second would be the M-Audio Revolution 7.1

Good luck!


The OP said he wanted Optical 5.1 out, i didn't see any optical out on the M-Audio Revolution, an as far as i know the Xplosion 7.1 is the only soundcard out that supports DTS and optical out, not even oh holy (/sarcasm) Creative has an optical card :!:

Icy18, you're killing me...the OP asked for 5.1 optical or coax cards...read the subject line!
November 19, 2006 6:56:11 AM

yeah, the only sound cards that offer realtime digital 5.1 encoding in either ddl or ddl/dts are:

Turtle Beach Montego DDL - Offers only DD live, and only optical toslink digital connections

HDA Blue Gears X-Mystique - Offers only DD live, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections

HDA Auzentech X-Plosion - Offers both DD live and DTS interactive, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections

HDA Auzentech X-Meridian - Offers both DD live and DTS interactive, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections

Creative also offers an external DTS interactive interconnect, called the DTS-610... its certainly not efficient when it comes to cable usage, but it gets around the DRM issues
November 19, 2006 7:08:11 AM

Quote:
How does PS2 have optical out 5.1 during gaming?


a PS2 doesnt output 5.1 surround when gaming, that only happens during movie sequences (which are sometimes pre-encoded in a surround format already, usually dolby digital if anything)... ...during actual gameplay however, youre limited to strictly 2 channel PCM... lame, i know.

an xbox however, does offer 5.1 surround when gaming, using DD live.
November 19, 2006 8:26:10 AM

Original Opening Post: I need a sound card that plays movies on the TV. (real answer: any 5.1 soundcard, with SPDIF out enabled).

Response: Buy a pricey sound card that encodes discrete GAME audio to Dolby Digital in real time.

Ahh...well, I guess it's time for our friend "Joe" to start gaming a lot in order to take advantage of his new pricey purchase. Lol.
Anonymous
November 18, 2008 10:38:01 PM

Hello,

I have a similar question. I connect my logitechZ5500 to my HTPC using the SPDIF output on the motherboard -ASUS P4C800-E. No sound card, I just use what's on board.

Am I missing out? do my 5.1 DVDs get reproduced faithfully (they sound great) and will the Z5500 upmix my stereo MP3s into 5.1? ....OR....

Will a SPDIF O/P from the m/b only carry stereo sound? meaning I have to purchase a card that a) sends 5.1 over SPDIF for my DVDs and b) upmixes mp3s into 5.1, sends this over the SPDIF and allows my Z5500 to decode them?

I only use it for movies and music....So the question is - will a new sound card be of use, or am I hearing true 5.1?

thanks

tom

!