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Really Urgent Sound Card Question!

Last response: in Components
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September 15, 2009 10:56:06 PM

hi everyone on tomshardware :) 

i just ordered my Logitech X-530 5.1 Surround System today and they will come through tomorrow..
I am also ordering a sound card to go with this, but one that also has a digial spdif/toslink INPUT so i can connect my PS3 to my PC!

I found this:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=20...

Ok i understand this card supports UPTO 7.1 and i will definately get my new 5.1 logitech x-530's working...
but coming to my ps3? will i get full 5.1 out of my spdif/toslink connection? i heard that not all sound cards with spdif/toslink connections support surround.. does this one support it?

if not i have the Trust SC-5250 to lay back on which definately supports surround through digital but why pay more when you can get the same thing from something cheaper?

the Trust SC-5250: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/TRUST-SC-5250-5-1-Surround-Sound-...

thanks for your time.. please get back to me as soon as possible so i can order my sound card quickly without having to stare and stroke my x530's :) 
September 15, 2009 11:12:11 PM

what MB are you using....most modern MBs have everything you need for your sound.
September 15, 2009 11:35:55 PM

i think it was the gigabyte ga ma770 ds3 if i can remember right.. But thats not the problem, my motherboard has everything i need except the toslink input that i need to connect my ps3 to.. I think it does have a coaxial input though..
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September 15, 2009 11:55:58 PM

I'm not sure with that logitech model, but the 5500 has a direct input for optical and coax, you could bypass your computer and plug the ps3 directly into the speaker control unit. Nothing wrong with getting a sound card if you really need one, but in most cases they aren't really needed any more.
September 16, 2009 6:49:15 AM

I wish i could buy the 5500s but my budget isnt that big :(  hmmm so do you think that sound card on the first link i posted will give me surround through the optical?
September 16, 2009 12:02:40 PM

Ok, this is what happens: SPDIF can trasmit 5.1 using either Dolby Digital or DTS, thats not a problem. The issue is that signal needs to be decoded in order to be played.

The problem being: Most soundcards, while they have a Encoder for Dolby Digital (Dolby Digital Live), they usually lack a decoder (mainly due to DRM issues). Likewise, the X-530's do not have a decoder module to handle decoding a 5.1 DD signal, so you're current setup, while it will recieve a 5.1 signal, will not be able to do anything with it.

Either: You need a soundcard that will decode Dolby Digital/DTS signals, or a reciever/speaker set that will do the decoding for you. Either way, you need to us an analog connection to hook up you're speakers after the decoding is done (I think the X-530's are analog, so thats not an issue). Thats one reason why the Z5500's are so recommended; they come with a DD/DTS decoder.
September 16, 2009 12:03:35 PM

I THINK most X-fi's have a decoder, I'm just not sure which models (Read: Auzentech cards?) this is standard in. I KNOW that ASUS cards do not have a decoder...
September 16, 2009 5:42:20 PM

ah ok.. let me get this right.. ill need a sound card with a decoder so i can use 5.1 via ps3 optical?
September 16, 2009 9:21:49 PM

anybody?
September 16, 2009 9:25:08 PM

i received my x-530's today.. and i set them up :) 
its all good, though i do not get sound from the 2 rear speakers.. ive done the test on the Realtek HD Audio Manager and clicked all the speakers one by one, but ive tried mp3s and everything sound doesnt come from the 2 rear speakers.. i was suggested to turn on speaker fill... and i did this.. some sound comes from the 2 rear speakers now but nothing special.. is this normal?
September 16, 2009 10:48:43 PM

I have a suggestion.. Could it be because my x530s are dolby digital but my built in motherboard doesnt have anything like dolby digital im not getting what i should do?
September 16, 2009 11:05:36 PM

Your Realtek is just outputting what its told to by the program. If you are not running a 5.1 program, you will not have 5.1 sound. MP3 are stereo. If you want DSP and surround sound in normal programs go into your Realtek HD audio manager and set your sound effects, equalization, and room correction. There are a ton of options.
September 16, 2009 11:36:25 PM

Oh ok :)  so everything with my x530 to pc connection is ok and is working how it should be?
September 16, 2009 11:40:34 PM

Sounds like it to me, but if you want surround effects from 2 channel audio you can get it in your realtek HD audio manager (the orange speaker icon)
September 16, 2009 11:44:30 PM

The best test is to plug in a 5.1 dvd using playback software that decodes 5.1, and see if you have all your channels operating correctly. As I said before, you can spend days tweaking your Realtek DSP options, but a DVD should give you a true 5.1 output as long as you are using the correct playback software.
September 16, 2009 11:47:11 PM

Ok :)  hmmm.. Coming to my ps3.. If i get my ps3 audio av cables and connect it to a rca to 3.5mm adapter, then connect that to my line in.. Would sound come from all speakers but stereo? If not would i get stereo sound from all speakers if i get a sound card with digital input and connect my ps3 into the digital input but set it to digital stereo mode? Sorry once again for the lack of knowledge i have :)  and thanks again for all your help :) 
September 16, 2009 11:55:21 PM

This is where you loose me, I don't have a PS3 and have never dealt with one. Hopefully someone else with some PS3 experience can come in and help you here.
September 17, 2009 8:05:20 AM

Thanks for your help.. Yes i hope someone can help me out with this part now :) 
September 17, 2009 12:03:43 PM

If you use AV cables from the PS3 to you're line in, you're locked at stereo.

Optical is the only way to get 5.1, and then only using Dolby Digital. As Dolby Digital is a compressed format, you need a decoder of some sort that will uncompress the signal into something you're speakers can play back.

That being said, most movie watching software (cyberlink, WMP, etc) have a built in decoder for Dolby Digital that will enable 5.1 when watching movies. The problem is, if you want to play games in 5.1 from the PS3, you will not be able to decode the incoming audio stream.

You either need a soundcard that comes equipped with a DECODER (not ENCODER, which most have) for Dolby Digital, or a digital Reciever that you can hook you're speakers up to (most all of them have Dolby Digital decoders built in). Worse, if you run Vista, I think there are not any sound cards that CAN decode an incoming stream due to the changes Vista implemented (can I get comfirmation on this?).

Without a way to decode dolby digital, the most an optical connection can output is 2.0.
September 17, 2009 12:13:31 PM

Hmmm ok :)  i think there are soundcards with decoders available for vista.. Ill either buy that or use stereo through optical, as long as all speakers work even if its just stereo and not 5.1 it will have to do until i get a soundcard.. Worse comes to worse, even with optical if the back two speakers dont work, ill use the game adapter which makes all speakers work but stereo.. Ill have to keep changing cables but it will have to do.
September 17, 2009 12:25:53 PM

ignore my last post....
i just plugged my ps3 av cables into my basic "Line In" on my pc (3.5mm jack) and i get all speakers working but stereo ofcourse not 5.1... from what i know, i think there should be sound cards with decoders available for vista aswell.. hopefully anyway.. its my only way to enjoy true 5.1 from my ps3... especially from blu ray films :) 

thanks everybody for all your help :) 
!