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How do I hook this up!?

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March 3, 2010 9:12:09 PM

For the record, I've tried every which way, and researched without good luck. Running Windows 7, with these parts:
jvc rx-6008v Home Theater Receiver - Couldn't find the manual online to post a link, but has digital inputs, etc.
EVGA X58 SLI LE board with Realtek onboard sound, SPDIF out, etc.

I've got a 5.1 setup with a powered sub and a Buttkicker. Trying to set this up for gaming, not watching DVD's or music. If I understand correctly, the SPDIF from the EVGA will only output in stereo. Is this correct? From what I've read I need to run it out of the analog output from the EVGA. But this is only for front left and right. The EVGA has outputs for Front LR, Back LR, Center, and the sub. But I can't send all those inputs to the JVC receiver. Every way I've hooked it up the not all the speakers play.

Is there any way to hook this up correctly, or do I need to get a sound card? Thanks for any info, I'm getting frustrated.

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March 3, 2010 9:58:48 PM

If I googled correctly, your home theater has 2 SPDIF inputs, 1 via Coax (looks like a mono RCA jack) the other via optical (or TOSLINK). Your EVGA board has the same two jacks, only outputs.

I have a P5N-E SLI board with SPDIF via RCA off the onboard sound. I run that straight to my Onkyo 7.1 receiver.

I find that for gaming, running the onboard sound in stereo is just fine, I keep my Onkyo audio mode to "All Channel Stereo" and the same stereo stream comes out each pair of speakers. Because of the way my speakers are situated around my computer, I'm still able to reliably use audio positioning in games.

When listening to music, I prefer to use the Dolby PLIIx setting to upmix my stereo stream to 7.1. Sounds deeper and brighter than just a whole mess of stereo.

Watching movies, however, is a different story. I had to make sure and use the proper software to send a 5.1 stream thru my onboard, down the coax, and into the Onkyo. I still get a smile when my Onkyo auto-detects the change from PCM to Dolby, the relays click around a bit inside and soon the beloved THX sound kicks in...

Anyway, what is it that you're trying to do? It sounds as though you want 5.1 from your board to your JVC. Your SPDIF should output 5.1 if it's fed with the right data. Playing a game in stereo on onboard audio wouldn't be the right data, but a 5.1 stream from PowerDVD -> onboard audio -> SPDIF -> JVC, would. If you want: Video game 5.1 -> onboard -> SPDIF -> JVC, then you might want to look at a sound card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But honestly I bought one of these ^ and while the sound was better, (for movies) it didn't really strike me as being radically different (for games that supported it). Not enough to justify the $170 anyway.

I put the nice sound card in my HTPC, and left my gaming box with onboard. I'm satisfied.
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March 3, 2010 11:25:49 PM

You need a sound card. To be specific, you need a sound card with Dolby Digital Live or DTS Direct. Game audio can't be decoded in the receiver; the sound card has to do it and then re-encode it into Dolby Digital or DTS before sending it out to the receiver through the SPDIF. I have yet to see an onboard that can do it. I'm running a Diamond Xtreme Sound 7.1 that I got from Amazon for about fifty bucks. I'm told that the sound suffers a bit in translation, but it sounds OK to me, with all the position info and frequencies I need. There are good Asus cards, too.

Only high-end professional receivers will have separate inputs for each audio channel. The other way to go is to either get a dedicated amp/speaker setup (which I won't link to because I hate both companies that make them, and I resist them on audiophile principles) or cobble together your own pile of amps for the speakers you have. A card is a lot cheaper.
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March 3, 2010 11:26:08 PM

I've tried the Coax digital and jumping from the mini-jack to red\white composites. Both setups, my left and right fronts won't play, and the surround sound test I run are all wrong. Like I said, from what I read, the Coax digital will only do stereo, not 5.1
I'm wanting my games to send sounds to the back if something behind me, etc.
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March 4, 2010 8:30:07 AM

Petrofsky said:
Game audio can't be decoded in the receiver; the sound card has to do it and then re-encode it into Dolby Digital or DTS before sending it out to the receiver through the SPDIF.

To clarify this a little, the game audio is not ENCODED in Dolby Digital or DTS and therefor can not be bitstreamed over a digital connection to the receiver.
With out being pre-encoded into a DD or DTS stream (like what exists on a DVD), your motherboard's onboard codec is only capable of outputting Stereo LPCM from the digital output.
As such, you will need a sound card capable of DDL or DTS Connect encoding in order to output full 5.1 surround through digital.
lucasbuck2 said:
Like I said, from what I read, the Coax digital will only do stereo, not 5.1
I'm wanting my games to send sounds to the back if something behind me, etc.

Not entirely correct.
Without a sound card capable of real time DDL or DTS Connect encoding, you will be limited to Stereo LPCM or bitstreaming pre-encoded Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks (like what you find on DVDs and BluRay disks).
As your onboard codec is not able to encode into DD or DTS, you are currently limited in this fashion.

I would recommend looking into a new sound card capable of DDL or DTS Connect 5.1 encoding (check your receiver to see which, or if both, standards are supported).

Assuming your receiver can decode DTS, the Xonar Ds would be an excellent option.
It supports DTS Connect 5.1 digital encoding and outputs through Optical with an included adaptor.
At $50 it is an excellent value and will get you gaming in full 5.1 quite easily.

If your receiver only decodes Dolby Digital, or you would like a slightly more feature full card, take a look at the HT|Omega Striker.
It costs a little more at $90 but supports both DDL and DTS Connect, also having a better selection of dedicated digital outputs (both Coaxial and Toslink).
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March 4, 2010 10:54:32 AM

^^ Dang it outlw, you're putting me out of a job :D 

Basically, everything outlw said is correct. SPDIF (Coax or Optical) can only carry 2.1 uncompressed LPCM audio streams, or compressed (encoded) Dolby Digital/DTS streams. Pre-encoded audio, such as the Dolby/DTS track on a DVD, will be able to be sent, but all other audio will only be sent as 2.1.

Soundcards have the technology to encode audio streams to either Dolby or DTS formats through Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect. This will allow up to 5.1 to be transmitted via SPDIF.

If your reciever can decode DTS, the Xonar DS is the best option for the price ($50 or so, maybe less). Otherwise, the next best options are the Xonar D1/DX and HT Omega Striker, all for about $79-$89 or so.
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March 4, 2010 1:30:12 PM

Thanks so much for the advice! I went ahead and ordered the Striker. Does it matter whether I use the optical or the coax? (I already have the coax)
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March 4, 2010 1:50:33 PM

Nope, both the optical and coax transfer the same bitstream.
There will be no difference in quality between them.
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March 4, 2010 3:24:28 PM

outlw6669 said:
Nope, both the optical and coax transfer the same bitstream.
There will be no difference in quality between them.


Correct again; the only difference is the transmission method. Both Coax and Optical send the same exact signal.
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July 16, 2010 5:21:34 AM

I have logitech Z 5500's and was wondering how to convert it to 5.1 using SPDIF(optical)

its easy just change effects on the control pod to DD music or DD Movie
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