Problem with 5.1 sound system


I had onboard Realtek HD audio with optical cable connected to Teac PowerMax 2000 5.1 sound system with Dolby Digital integrated decoder. The system worked just fine, I was able to listen mp3, play games (Dolby Pro Logic), watch DVD's (Dolby Digital). Year ago my central speaker died (which is also a processing unit), and since then I used my system as stereo... Finally I decided to buy new sound system, and I was forced to chose between 2 or 3 brands, since IT stores in my country are very bad, when it comes to audio systems for PC.

My choice was SW-HF5.1 6000 200-watt 5.1 Wood Surround System, since I already had onboard Realtek HD audio supporting 7.1 surround system connected via analog 3.5mm jacks. But now I have a problem. My problems are:

When I listen music, over winamp, using Direct sound output, it is ok (software plugin emulation to 5.1?).

If I use wave out output, I hear only front satellites (stereo, without subwoofer).

If I browse internet (youtube) I hear only stereo, without subwoofer.

If I play games (in this case, PES 2009), even if I test sound in game, I can hear sound coming out of every speaker, after Intro (Intro working good), again stereo, without subwoofer.

I tried to watch DVD, I can hear sound coming out of all speakers, but it is somehow bad. Again the sound coming out of the subwoofer is too low, even if I put it to max...

After surfing the internet, I think I need a sound card which is capable to decode the sound and send it to the speakers...
Since I had Teac sound system w/ integrated DD decoder, Dolby Pro Logic (stereo emulation), it was doing the job?
Am I missing something, I don't know...
Do I need something like,
Sound CL X-FI Titanium - Fatal1ty Pro Series, PCI-E
with Dolby Digital Live! realtime encoding

or I can go with something cheaper...?

Please help.
7 answers Last reply
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  1. First of all, your speakers won't sound as good with your current onboard audio as compared to a good audio card addin.

    I do find it odd you don't have as much sound support. I get the impression you need 3 cables on the computer side that are 3.5mm to 2xRCA and that all of these plug into a single "6RCA" cable which is basically six individual RCA cables joined together and labelled so you don't mix up the connections?

    Can you test the speakers using a standalone 5.1 DVD player with proper audio connections?

    I like Auzentech audio cards. Read about them here:
  2. Hi

    Did you installed the lattest HD codec drivers from realtek i had a similar sound card (Abit IP35-Pro mobo) with a 5.1 logitech z-5500 connected with optical for music and DD or DTS movies and 3.5mm for surround sound gaming when supported by the game.

    Same games like Bioshock, Fallout, Mirors Edge to name a few works very well with a onboard codec like the realtek you mentionned and some games like Unreal Tournament 3 (for my case) doesn't work in surround sound mode only in stereo so i play in Prologic IIx mode (z5500 setting)

    If your realtek codec supports Dolby Digital Live and you have vista (maybe XP) use it !!! you're surround sound experience will be greatly improved thrust me ! I have it in my new motherboard Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P and it's a realtek codec with DD Live.

    i wrote Windows Vista earlier because it use the same sound technology integrated in the xbox360 and in my opinion is pretty good so maybe your problems come from Windows XP

    Good luck
  3. Alright:

    1: WAV is typically encoded in stereo, due to the fact its an uncompressed format.
    2: Most YouTube videos are also uploaded in Stereo (due to both the fact most people use 2.0, and for bandwith concerns)

    Your problem is not related to decoding a 5.1 signal, its that you have no way to take a 2.0 stereo signal and upmix it to 5.1. Most soundcards on the market have support for Dolby Pro Logic IIx, which is designed to take a 2.0 stereo signal and upmix it to 5.1.

    I do point out, if you speakers had hardware level Dolby Pro Logic, something else might be at work, as one would assume they could take the source and upmix it properly. But this does sound like an upmixing issue to me...
  4. HI,

    after all, I tried my old Terratec Aureon 5.1 PCI sound card, and I have the same issue.

    Yes everything is connected via 3 x 3.5mm jacks to my input in subwoofer.

    "Most soundcards on the market have support for Dolby Pro Logic IIx, which is designed to take a 2.0 stereo signal and upmix it to 5.1. "

    I suppose my sound cards cannot upmix it!

    If I connect my sound card to stereo input in my subwoofer (I do it with my TV card), I can hear a stereo sound coming out of my all 6 speakers...

    So when I try to play a game that supports a surround mode, it should be ok, but if it doesn't support, I should unplug the jacks and connect it to stereo input?


    can I buy something to fix this (what sound card do you recommend), so I do not need to unplug the jacks, every time I wanna watch a movie in DD...?

    p.s. my old speakers, which are dead by now, had hardware dolby pro logic, but the new one Genius speakers do not have...

    so I need a sound card that has?

    To make it simple...

    If I want to make my sound system like it was before with Teac powermax 2000 (in games i get dolby pro logic, watch dvd i get Dolby Digital, etc), what do I need to do???

    (one solution for me was to buy z5500 but they are way to expensive (digital in optical/coax...))
  5. That explains it a bit more; your old setup had hardware support for Pro Logic IIx, which upmixes a signal. As onboard sound typically lacks that cabability, stereo signals are comming out as stereo across all the speakers. I would expect 5.1 native sound to come out as 5.1 if this were true.

    I need to know what form of connecion (probably Optical Digital if I had to guess) you use to connect to your sub. The reason is this: while getting a soundcard would help with upmixing a 2.0 signal to 5.1, due to bandwith concerns, a movie encoded with DD/DTS will not have its source decoded until AFTER the source reaches the speakers. So your two options are:

    1: Get a soundcard. Note, unless you use the ASUS HDAV1.3 and a HDMI connection to your sub, you will not get any decoding of a dolby encoded signal, but this option will give full support for upmixing a 2.0 signal to 5.1 or 7.1 for a cheaper price.

    2: Get a 5.1 speaker system with hardware Pro Logic IIx and DD/DTS decoding. There are a number of these that exist (the most famous being the Z5500's), but typically will cost more money.

    If your receiver can take a HDMI input, your best bet would probably be the ASUS HDAV1.3, which can decode all forms of Dolby signals in hardware and transfer the raw signal over HDMI (the card also has optical digital support, but will not decode a encoded signal at this point due to bandwith).

    If a HDMI connection is not possible, or if cost is an issue, you can get a lower end souncard with support for Pro Logic IIx (ASUS Xonar DX is a cheap budget option). Note you will not have DD/DTS support with this setup, unless your speakers can decode a DD/DTS signal.

    You can go the Z5500 route; while more expensive, it will handle the upmixing and decoding on their end, removing the need for a soundcard.

    I hope I cleared everything up a bit; setting up a system like this is a pain.
  6. I went to my friend's place, to test his rig... He installed Windows 7 (I stick to XP, for now). He is using also onboard Realtek HD sound card, and his sound system (logitech 530) is working fine... He also had some problems, but after some clicks, no matter what you do, the onboard sound card mixes up 2.0 to 5.1 :-(

    I will test my rig with an borrowed x-fi elite pro sound card, to see the difference.
    Then I will try to test again with my realtek HD onboard, with my friends drivers...

    If I knew that I am going to have so much problems, I would have bought 2.1 system :-/
  7. Sorry guys, I feel stupit now...

    A few days ago, when I turned on Virtual 5.1 speakers and reverbration, nothing happened (because I didn't click stop and play to apply the ability...)

    After formating my hard drive, I applied virtual 5.1 speakers and reverbration again and tested. I am proud of my self ;-)

    Thank you all, anyway....


    x-fi elite pro rocks...
    I will also reconsider buying a more powerfull sound card, after all....
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