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Enabling Surround sound on a Realtek ALC892 via SPDIF, on Windows 7

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September 22, 2010 11:01:31 AM

Hi people, I have a problem with my ALC892, on an ASRock mainboard (ASRock 890FX Deluxe4).

I get only stereo sounds if I use SPDIF connection, in general. My amp shows that is getting surround sound only when I use the Test feature of Windows 7. This test feature allows to know which formats are supported by the audio chip. The tests render correctly both Dolby Digital and DTS. You can find this test under Sounds, Playback Devices, Select Digital Audio, then "Properties".

I am using Windows 7 x64, with the latest drivers from the official Realtek website. I also tested other driver versions, both from the Realtek website and from the ASRock one, but had no luck.

Thanks for the help.

Some specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965
MOBO: ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 (with onboard Realtek ALC892)
Audio amp: Onkyo R-380 (works fine with other sources like PS3 and Xbox 360)

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a b $ Windows 7
September 22, 2010 12:02:42 PM
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I get only stereo sounds if I use SPDIF connection, in general. My amp shows that is getting surround sound only when I use the Test feature of Windows 7. This test feature allows to know which formats are supported by the audio chip. The tests render correctly both Dolby Digital and DTS. You can find this test under Sounds, Playback Devices, Select Digital Audio, then "Properties".


This is normal. Only three formats can be carried over SPDIF:
1: 2.0 PCM
2: Dolby Digital [MAYBE Dolby Digital EX; I have conflicting information on this one...]
3: DTS

As such, audio already encoded in Dolby/DTS formats can be passed through the SPDIF connection, and decoded elsewhere. Unencoded audio is limited to 2.0 uncompressed audio.

So, for instance, if you tried to play a game, you'd be limited to 2.0, as you have no way to convert the 5.1 uncompressed audio signals that PC's typically use to either Dolby or DTS formats. You need a soundcard with realtime encoding support (Dolby Digital Live or DTS-Connect/Neo:p C) to handle the encoding process.
September 22, 2010 12:12:12 PM

Thanks for your reply. Is this the reason why the tests play fine? Is there a way I can resolve this issue?
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a b $ Windows 7
September 22, 2010 4:32:59 PM

There tests play a file that is already in Dolby/DTS formats, which can be passed fine over a SPDIF connection (I assume you're connected to a TV or Receiver thats handling the decoding of said formats...).

Any content already encoded in Dolby/DTS will pass through the SPDIF connection without issue, giving you 5.1 audio. For all non-Dolby/DTS audio, however, due to SPDIF bandwidth limitations, you are limited to just 2.0 unless you have some form of realtime encoder (generally, a Soundcard with Dolby Digital Live and/or DTS-Connect/Neo:p C support)
September 22, 2010 7:10:54 PM

Ok, thanks. So if I want to use SPDIF connection I have to buy a soundcard that hadles the encoding. Any advice? What should I search in the specs of the soundcard to resolve this issue?

Thanks!
September 23, 2010 3:33:29 AM

This is exactly the issue I am having with my EVGA p55 board. I thought I'd get surround sound through my optical cable to my receiver during games but I was wrong. I'm looking into cheap alternatives. You can purchase a semi cheap x-fi card such as http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Apparently, you STILL can't get Dolby Digital Live through the spdif output with this card unless you purchase and download: http://buy.soundblaster.com/_creativelabsstore/cgi-bin/...
September 23, 2010 8:46:55 AM

Going with Creative was your first mistake.
a b $ Windows 7
September 23, 2010 11:50:02 AM

My recommendations for Dolby Digital/DTS Encoding:

1: The lower tier ASUS Xonar DS is by far the cheapest option (around $50 or so), but ONLY has support for DTS; if thats not a problem with your amp, then this is the cheapest option avaliable.

2: The mid tier has the ASUS Xonar D1/DX (Dolby Digital only) on the HT Omega Striker, which are more complete cards then the afore-mentioned DS, but at a higher cost (~$80)

3: Moving up, you have the Auzentech Prelude and ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, for around $120-$140 or so, although these cards are at a REALLY bad price point these days...

4: Last is the top tier: The Auzentech Forte, HT Omega Claro XT/HALO, and the ASUS Essence ST/STX, all approaching the $180+ mark.

As most of these cards focus more on the analog outputs, I'd recommend either the Striker or D1/DX for handling SPDIF, although the low-cost DS is an option if you have DTS support.
September 23, 2010 7:15:36 PM

gamerk316 said:
My recommendations for Dolby Digital/DTS Encoding:

1: The lower tier ASUS Xonar DS is by far the cheapest option (around $50 or so), but ONLY has support for DTS; if thats not a problem with your amp, then this is the cheapest option avaliable.

2: The mid tier has the ASUS Xonar D1/DX (Dolby Digital only) on the HT Omega Striker, which are more complete cards then the afore-mentioned DS, but at a higher cost (~$80)

3: Moving up, you have the Auzentech Prelude and ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, for around $120-$140 or so, although these cards are at a REALLY bad price point these days...

4: Last is the top tier: The Auzentech Forte, HT Omega Claro XT/HALO, and the ASUS Essence ST/STX, all approaching the $180+ mark.

As most of these cards focus more on the analog outputs, I'd recommend either the Striker or D1/DX for handling SPDIF, although the low-cost DS is an option if you have DTS support.


Quick question about the ASUS Xonar DS - I noticed that the SPDIF output jack looks like all the other analog outputs. Does it come with some adapter for a SPDIF RCA cable? I have a receiver the says DTS on it so I'm hoping to hook that up to the sound card for 5.1 surround in games.
January 21, 2011 3:24:59 AM

alex09 said:
Hi people, I have a problem with my ALC892, on an ASRock mainboard (ASRock 890FX Deluxe4).

I get only stereo sounds if I use SPDIF connection, in general. My amp shows that is getting surround sound only when I use the Test feature of Windows 7. This test feature allows to know which formats are supported by the audio chip. The tests render correctly both Dolby Digital and DTS. You can find this test under Sounds, Playback Devices, Select Digital Audio, then "Properties".

I am using Windows 7 x64, with the latest drivers from the official Realtek website. I also tested other driver versions, both from the Realtek website and from the ASRock one, but had no luck.

Thanks for the help.

Some specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965
MOBO: ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 (with onboard Realtek ALC892)
Audio amp: Onkyo R-380 (works fine with other sources like PS3 and Xbox 360)


The only thing that u need is a real video player like KMPLAYER and this guide... it worked fine with my receiver.
January 27, 2011 3:57:06 PM

This is the right thread I was looking for to pour some of my issues as well.

I am into pure music and have Sony receiver STR-DA777ES that is now 10 years old. It can support 24/92 on all channels, but I do not know what that means for S/PDIF optical out. It has 5.1 analog channel input as well.

I bought Asus Xonar DS in the hope that it will pass through 6 channel 24/96 LPCM music through 5.1 analog. For Blu Ray, I do not care that much. If the sound card down samples, say TrueHD, to 24/48 (but keep 6 channels), I am fine with that. But music, both 2 channel 24/192 and 6 channel 24/96 should be close to bit perfect.

The issue is that every format works with Xonar DS sending 5.1 analog to the receiver, but there is no bass in the sub-woofer for stereo music. I have turned flex bass on Xonar DS but to no avail. What am I doing wrong?

I posted my driver setting on another site, but have not received any response

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/ASUS-Xonar-an...

Thanks in anticipation. Cheers. -Amitabh
January 31, 2011 8:05:08 PM

Hello,
I just configured my ALC892(on MSI P67A-GD65 + win7 Home Prem) last night to work with my Logitech Z-5500 speakers using a digital coax cable(SPDIF) I picked up from Best Buy.

I had originally set up my Z5500 with the analog out on the back panel and I couldn't get it to work worth a crap. I could get the front two speakers correctly but the center/sub and the rears wouldn't sort out, it kept sending a sub-signal to the rear left channel for some reason(and it would also send a sub-signal to the sub.. weird.. no?)

So, I bought a cable in hopes that digital would solve my problems without having to buy another sound card. in the sound set up I had to enable OPTICAL output as default(again.. weird, no?) but then it worked like a charm, switched my Z5500 control source to coax digital and it worked great.
Hope this helps, even though I couldn't really tell you WHY it worked for me.
January 31, 2011 11:08:57 PM

Ah! I just found out the same issues. If you set the device to use and the audio channels in windows media center, then every thing is in sync.
February 11, 2011 6:46:11 AM

Best answer selected by alex09.
a b $ Windows 7
August 19, 2011 9:56:43 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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