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"Dolby Live" on X-Fi no sub-woofer channel, but surround works?

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April 19, 2009 6:50:53 PM

Using Creative X-Fi Titanium to out put via TOSLINK in 'Dolby Live' live digital surround encoding, yields solid surround ( 5. LF C RF RS LS ) performance but no sub-woofer ( SW / .1 ) channel.

Creative control panel channel test outputs on all channels except sub which produces an almost inaudible low-freq hissing noise from the sub, and the THX control panel creates a room shaking bass level through the Sub, but bass redirection is operative in all media even with bass redirect turned on and the Cross-over frequency set as high as 200Hz.

Neither music nor games utilize the sub-woofer channel. The Creative Tech support people are extremely unhelpful, simply suggesting that I reinstall the latest drivers than handing my off to someone else who suggest the same thing. I have done that, and I also have the same exact issue when running on my XP32 or XP64 installation.

This leaves me running in either 5.0 surround in Dolby Live! out put or 2.1 in PCM, a great solution would be to just run the analog out put I know, but I have a newer Sony receiver with only 2.0 analog inputs and Digital inputs, the whole reason I bought this card was for the 5.1 Dolby Digital Live! encoding so I could get surround sound to my stupid receiver. Grrr...

Anyone have a similar issue, or better yet a solution/workaround?
June 7, 2009 3:44:56 AM

I have the exact same issue, please tell me you found a solution? I have an xfi extreme music, installed the DDL (dolby digital live) addon, which works great except only in 5.0, not 5.1. bass redirection has NO effect on anything, and the channel test from creative's console launcher will output to the sub, but again nothing from music or games.
June 10, 2009 1:26:40 AM

Yes, after months of e-mail with creative I have had no good reply. I hate it but I don't think I can recomend this card for DDL.

The only concrete answer a got was, "[the card] does not support bass redirect with Dolby Live! output" though it seems it should still have the .1 channel.

My solution:
Digging deep into the settings on my receiver I found that if I set it to "small speakers" I could enable on-board(receiver) bass redirection. This on my Sony 7.1, it works great. It lacks the soft cross over of LFE encoded content (which allows the sub to cross into the speaker range and the speakers to cross into the sub range dynamically based on artistic intent) but this has to be encoded in the content, and I don't think EAX or other surround engines do this anyway. Since other content is already encoded I don't have to use DDL, but it is a pain to turn of the on-board cross over.

I tried using the analog out put to go directly to the sub woofer by-passing the receiver, but this caused some very strange audio anomalies(very boomy), and revealed just how much lag my receiver was introducing into the stream.

So short answer, if you can get your receiver to cross over, great! if you can't you are pretty much screwed. I am still considering just buying a new reciever with 7.1 analog input; Ive heard good things about the Pioneer VSX-1019AH, and was probably going in that direction.
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