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5.1 Sound Problem

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  • Sound Cards
  • Power DVD
  • Components
  • Product
Last response: in Components
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December 14, 2009 3:51:21 PM

Hi!

Just got my lovely new surround sound that uses an external amplifier.

The problem I have is this: When I watch DVDs in Power DVD, it uses all 6 channels in DTS no problem. However, in any games I play, there is no surround option, only stereo.

I use on board sound - are there any programs I could use to force 5.1 sound? If not, what sound card would you recommend to go in a PCIE slot under $200?

Thanks!

More about : sound problem

December 14, 2009 6:50:24 PM

Likely your onboard sound can only output stereo PCM or pre-encoded 5.1 content.
Check in your codec's control software and see if it gives you the option to use DDL (Dolby Digital Live) Encoding or DTS Connect over the S/PDIF.
If it does not, you are probably stuck with stereo unless watching a DVD.

Does the soundcard have to be PCIe?
ASUS just released a new PCI soundcard quite inexpensively that should work just fine for you.

If a standard PCI will work, look into the ASUS Xonar DS for $50.
It supports DTS Interactive Encoding and will be able to output 5.1 surround for everything.

If you must have PCIe, check out the ASUS Xonar DX for $90.
It supports DDL Encoding which will also output full 5.1 surround.
It also has a better DAC and analog output section when compared to the DS.
December 15, 2009 1:46:13 PM

Thanks for reply. The reason I need a PCIE card is that my last PCI slot is under my monster 4890, so I fear it will be very hard to squeeze one in.

Looking at the ASUS Xonar DX, it doesn't have a digital optical port. How would I go about plugging my cable in?

Thanks
December 15, 2009 2:06:54 PM

Are you using the coaxial connection? Then there is no point to buy any soundcard.
Check in the game's sound options to see if you have the right setting.
December 15, 2009 2:15:22 PM

Depends on the game. From what I know, most on the new games are.
December 15, 2009 2:24:31 PM

I had the impression that they are DTS/DG.
I didn't know and care because usually I play games not using the 5.1 system but the headset.
Good to know. Thanks.
December 15, 2009 3:42:56 PM

Gordan_Freemans_Toaster said:
Looking at the ASUS Xonar DX, it doesn't have a digital optical port. How would I go about plugging my cable in?

Thanks

The DX has a combo line in, microphone and S/PDIF port.
It can be used either as an analouge input or use the bundled S/PDIF adapter to output digital optical.
December 15, 2009 4:17:16 PM

PC games use unencoded PCM mainly because PC's lack decoders for Dolby Digital/DTS. Sure, you can software methods, but those take overhead.

Getting 5.1 over digital all but requires a soundcard for Dolby Digital/DTS encoding, and a decoder module (usually a receiver) on the other end to handle the decoding.
December 15, 2009 4:43:48 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

The setup I have is my Digital Optical cable plugged into an amplifier which decodes the sound (DTS DD ext.)

Even with a sound card, will I still be getting PCM? (what it says at the receiver at the moment)

Are there any programs I can get to make it so the computer leaves all the required decoding to the amp?

Thanks
December 15, 2009 6:31:45 PM

Thanks again for all the help.

I will buy a sound card then!
December 15, 2009 7:40:23 PM

My recommendations for soundcards:

ASUS Xonar DX [DD encoding only]
ASUS Xonar D2/D2X
ASUS Essence ST/STX [I think the ST only does DTS encoding]
HT Omega Striker
HT Omega Claro
Auzentech Forte
Auzentech Prelude

Note, a few of these do cost an arm and a leg; The DX and Omega Striker are probably the two best buys out their right now, both going for $89 on newegg.
December 16, 2009 10:44:56 AM

^^ And the ASUS HDAV1.3, but those cards are really geared toward HTPC systems then anything else...

The only Creative card that makes any sense whatsoever would be the Extremegamer at $40, but its so beaten on sound quality, even by some high-end onboard chipsets, that I don't consider that to be worth the purchase.
December 16, 2009 6:59:10 PM

Thanks for all the recommendations, I think I'm going to go for the Asus Xonar D2X, due to it's PCIE and DTS.

Thanks a lot for all the very useful help and have a merry Christmas :) 
March 14, 2010 7:41:47 PM

hey guys i have a question hope u reply ASAP..i have the same problem as gordan_freemans_t
i have a supremeFX X-fi soundcard that came with my rampage II extreme mobo...when i plugged SPDIF into my LG dvd reciever with an LG 5.1 surround..and into my soundcard..the problem is that my pc isnt playing games and music on 5.1 only dvds..so i think if i buy this thing:
http://us.store.creative.com/Home-Theater-Connect-DTS61...
will everything work on 5.1 system btw my pc is reading SPDIF as stereo..or i can simply do a software mod and everythin will work on 5.1 surround?
PLEAS REPLY ASAP ASAP!
sry for bad english
!