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SB Live! - Digital I/O anyone ?

Last response: in Components
December 21, 2000 11:49:17 AM

Hello all.

Has anyone had success connecting a SB Live card to a Digital reciever ? I have run into a few problems, perhaps someone can offer suggestions :) 

I have a SB Live! DE 5.1 card, (not Platinum or Value) as well as a nice Surround Amp which can do Dolby Prologic (surround info encoded into a sterio signal), Dolby Digital (up to 5.1 decoding) and DTS (a format newer than Dolby Dig)

At the moment I am running analogue cables (3 x sterio RCA) to the amp, but I would like to run a single cable (either Optical or Coax) and let my nice amp do the decoding.

Problem: When I send an AC3 stream to the amp (bypassing the sound cards 5.1 decoding) everything works great. But when I play games etc, only a Sterio signal is sent to the amp. (Orange connector on the Sound Card). I have noticed that the Front Left/Right is on the White connector, and the Rear Left/Right in on the Red connection.

Aaaaaarrgh ! Is there any way to mix these signals so that I have a single Digital signal sent to my amp? I guess this would probably have to be Dolby Digital 5.1 format. The Creative manuals are very vague on this subject.

My amp also has a fibre optic input. If I shelled out for the Optical Expansion Card (which costs almost as much as the Sb card itself ?!) would I be able to send the full 5.1 digital signal to my amp?

Thanks for any suggestions !


More about : live digital

January 9, 2001 10:36:44 AM

Has no-one connected their sound card to a digital amp ?!

Sighs ...

Looks like I will have to stick to analogue. :( 
January 9, 2001 2:03:28 PM

I have the SB Live original with the little daughter card. I also have the Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theater DTT2500 with the reciever.
I connect the red Digital DIN cable directly from the daughter card to the reciever.
This is the only wire I have coming out of my soundcard. And all works fine. But the only time I get true DD 5.1 is when playing DVDs because games don't have 5.1.
Related resources
January 10, 2001 7:22:32 AM

True, Games etc don't encode the 5.1 dolby signal, but they sure DO use all 5.1 speakers (EAX effects etc). If I use the digital connection, then I am limiting my games to only 2 channels, while they actually can use all 5.1 channels.

Hmmmm ....
January 10, 2001 9:34:51 AM

Maybe to the Phillips's Acoustic Edge sound card would do ya better.

<b> Fragg at will!!! </b>
January 16, 2001 6:10:36 PM

If you want to get surround without using the daughter card you can get a RCA y-splitter(radioshack) and conect it to both front and rear outputs. This worx great on my Kenwood DolDig tuner. There is no discrete center channel but it does awesome 4.1 surround.