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5.1 and 7.1 Audio from SPDIF?

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August 3, 2011 5:27:27 AM

I have an ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Xonar DG Sound Card and ASUS XONAR Unified Drivers 1.41 on Windows 7 x64 SP1.

The problem is, I cannot seem to output 5.1 audio through SPDIF, without using Dolby Digital. For example, in the Audio CP for Windows, if I do a speaker test, I can only hear audio from Front Left and Right. If I do the speaker test with DD, I can hear all my speakers in my 5.1 setup just fine.

I don't have much knowledge when it comes to computer audio, but for Youtube videos, I thought all videos were Stereo only, and if this is true, I can hear audio through all my speakers, and wouldn't this mean that my audio is being stereo upmixed (aka, just fake surround)?

I also noticed that a DD test file when tested from VLC Media Player, didn't do 5.1 audio either through SPDIF.

More about : audio spdif

August 3, 2011 6:38:15 AM

Espionage724 said:
I have an ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Xonar DG Sound Card and ASUS XONAR Unified Drivers 1.41 on Windows 7 x64 SP1.

The problem is, I cannot seem to output 5.1 audio through SPDIF, without using Dolby Digital. For example, in the Audio CP for Windows, if I do a speaker test, I can only hear audio from Front Left and Right. If I do the speaker test with DD, I can hear all my speakers in my 5.1 setup just fine.

I don't have much knowledge when it comes to computer audio, but for Youtube videos, I thought all videos were Stereo only, and if this is true, I can hear audio through all my speakers, and wouldn't this mean that my audio is being stereo upmixed (aka, just fake surround)?

I also noticed that a DD test file when tested from VLC Media Player, didn't do 5.1 audio either through SPDIF.


SPDIF is just stereo. The only way to get multichannel sound with a spdif connection is encoding the audio in a multichannel format like AC3 or Dolby Digital and then make your speakers/receiver decode the audio. I don't know if the Sonar has this encoder incorporated in the drivers, but some HDAudio chips (like the ALC888 in my notebook) do. Check your drivers config and/or use the almighty Google :D 

BTW... VLC isn't the best player for multichannel audio... you may try MPC-HC with the AC3 decoder in the SPDIF output mode...
August 3, 2011 7:22:57 AM

Oh, I was under the impression that SPDIF was pure surround no matter what. Hmm.

Would games be able to take advantage of surround though with SPDIF? Like, could I play Team Fortress 2 with the 5.1 Audio setting?
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August 3, 2011 11:48:49 AM

Quote:
Oh, I was under the impression that SPDIF was pure surround no matter what.


No its not, but thats a VERY common misconception. We get a "Why cant I get 5.1 out of SPDIF" question at least once a week...The only surround formats SPDIF can carry are Dolby Digital and DTS. Aside from those formats, you are limited to stereo.

Games can use 5.1 + SPDIF, provided your soundcard can encode to Dolby/DTS formats in realtime [which the DG can].

There is NO way to get 7.1 out of SPDIF.

Quote:
but for Youtube videos, I thought all videos were Stereo only, and if this is true, I can hear audio through all my speakers, and wouldn't this mean that my audio is being stereo upmixed (aka, just fake surround)?


Thats due to Dolby Pro Logic, which would upmix a 2.1 signal to 5.1/7.1, as you guessed.
August 4, 2011 12:24:19 AM

Quote:
Games can use 5.1 + SPDIF, provided your soundcard can encode to Dolby/DTS formats in realtime [which the DG can].


Is this called "Dolby Digital Live" by some chance?
August 4, 2011 12:32:08 AM

Espionage724 said:
Quote:
Games can use 5.1 + SPDIF, provided your soundcard can encode to Dolby/DTS formats in realtime [which the DG can].


Is this called "Dolby Digital Live" by some chance?


Yes it is. The DTS version of "on the fly 5.1 encoding" is called DTS Connect. They both sound very similar to me.

When I look at the specs of the DG, I don't see support for DDLive or DTS connect, are you sure gamerk316?
August 4, 2011 12:47:08 AM

I'm reading in some places that the Xonar DG does not have DDL...

If this is true, is there "any" way I can force it somehow? Maybe from software? A driver? Is there anyway I can even test for DDL effectively?
August 4, 2011 12:10:24 PM

Quote:
When I look at the specs of the DG, I don't see support for DDLive or DTS connect, are you sure gamerk316?


Not anymore; thought the DG has DTS-C support, but apparently not; must have gotten the DG/DS confused...
August 4, 2011 6:14:59 PM

Espionage724 said:
I'm reading in some places that the Xonar DG does not have DDL...

If this is true, is there "any" way I can force it somehow? Maybe from software? A driver? Is there anyway I can even test for DDL effectively?


You are hosed with that card if you want to do 5.1 through digital. That card supports analog 5.1 only. It only has dolby headphone, which is just fake 5.1 made from 2 channels.
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