I understand this sound card only does DTS. Fortunately, my Receiver does DTS and Dolby. From what I hear DTS is slightly better sound than Dolby anyways. My question is, will this be compatible outputting true 5.1 surround sound with all of my games? I'm not sure really how the whole encoding/decoding and compressed/decompressed audio process works and if most games only support Dolby Digital.
1) The only games that support Dolby Digital are on the consoles.
2) DTS has a higher bitrate than DD5.1
3) Real-time Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect encoding is lossy and is comparable to a 192kbps mp3.
So what do you recommend? Games simply do not work in 5.1 through SPDIF on my on-board realtec. As far as I know from what I've read, it has something to do with Realtec not being able to encode DD and DTS.
Assuming the reciver can decode a DTS signal, you can get 5.1 with the DS and your reciever. It should be stressed that while the DS doesn't have a realtime Dolby encoder, it can still pass through audio already encoded as Dolby Digital.
DTS is generally seen as superior to DD due to its higher bitrate, but both are still lossy formats; think .mp3 quality.
What it *should* do is simply pass through the existing Dolby signal as is. [You *might* have to disable the DTS encoding first in this case]. Alternativly, you can use the *standard* 5.1 audio track [non-Dolby] and convert that directly to DTS instead of using the Dolby audio track.
The only two PC games I know of with a 5.1 Dolby track are Bioshock and BC:BF2, but both also have a standard 5.1 track. Guess they included the track in that case for people who don't have realtime encoding support over SPDIF...
The DS at that price is a good deal, but if you have ANY plans of eventually using the analog ports, the D1/DX/HT Omega Striker are better cards. If you plan to stick to digital output, then the DS should suffice.