Sound Blaster Live 5.1
When will we see a review of the new Sound Blaster 5.1 cards? (Including the LiveDrive IR)
5.1 Surround sound systems usually go for big bucks. The incentive to this is you get all your computer sounds coming out of it. If your a big gamer like me this makes the experience even greater. If you have a dvd player than your movies are gonning to sound like your in a theater with the proper speaker setup.
One of the First AMD Athlon Users =)
That's what I want to know.
Does it have 6 speaker outputs?
Can it decode 5.1 DVDs to four speakers (and make it sound good)
Is it able to *encode* 5.1 sound and send it digitally to a Digital Dolby 5.1 receiver inteded for home theater usage?
What exactly does the LiveDrive IR do? Is it able to control all functions of the computer? Only the Sound card? Only the Sound card and DVD player?
Does the 5.1 feature make a differance when playing games?
Is there a performance differance?
What type of speakers works best with these new cards?
A good review would answer all these questions.
AFAIK, there is no SB5.1 review anywhere on the net yet...
I recently purchased the SBLive Platinum 5.1, so I can attempt to answer your questions.
The outputs on the card itself are front speakers, rear speakers, and digital/analog out. The digital out can send an AC-3(Dolby Digital) signal directly to a speaker system that can decode it (such as Creative's DTT3500). Also, it can be used as the center/subwoofer output. I have mine hooked up to my stereo with 5.1 inputs using the front, rear, and digital/anolog outputs.
Yes, it has 6 speaker outputs.
It has a built in decoder, so if your DVD software can output the 5.1 signal, it can decode it and route it to the correct speakers. I do not have a DVD drive, so this information is directly from the manual.
It doesn't do any encoding (that I know of), but if your DVD software can output the raw 5.1 signal, the SBLive can route the raw signal out the digital output to allow the external receiver to do the decoding.
The LiveDrive IR has MIDI in, MIDI out, SPDIF in, SPDIF out, Optical in, Optical out, Headphone jack with volume control, 2nd microphone jack with volume control, and the IR receiver. The remote can control all of the Creative software that I have tried to use it with. I have not gotten it to work with winamp yet, be I have it configured to where I can start winamp using the remote. It can control audio and DVD's, as long as the software you are using is designed to use the remote.
5.1 does not make a difference when playing games unless the game includes 5.1 encoded sound. i.e. - Quake sounds the same as it did on my Aureal SQ2500.
Haven't noticed any performance gains/losses.
If you are talking Hifi equipment, couldn't tell you what speakers are best. Creative's DeskTop Theater speakers are the only ones designed specifically to interface with the Soundblaster Live 5.1 (according to them).
Hope that answered a few of your questions.
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