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Can't get Dolby Digital Live to work!

Last response: in Components
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January 1, 2013 6:08:28 PM

I can’t seem to get Dolby Digital Live enabled on my new PC build. I have an Asrock P67 extreme 4 Gen 3 mobo that I currently have Optical SPDIF out to my digital receiver. I am looking in the options under Realtek HD manager and the Realtek digital out’s properties in windows 7 under the advanced tab I only see 2 channel options. I believe from another posts I read on here I should see Dolby Digital Live 5.1 in here. I got all my codecs and filters such as AC3 working with my media files and they sound great in media player classic. But I can’t figure out this Dolby Digital Live or DTS connect problem. Can anyone help me? In my BIOS, the only option I see for the HD audio is to enable it, disable it, or put it to auto. I have it as enabled. I have looked for DDL filters and plugins but I can’t find any. I am currently using real tek driver version 6.0.1.662 from Realteks site and I have also used Asrock’s version.6378 with no notable difference. My BIOS ver. Is P2.20. This description for the onboard audio on the website is this “7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), Supports THX TruStudio™” No games will work in surround on my system which makes sense because they need a real time digital encoder to process it. Can anyone help me out? Thanks!

My post is similar to this one http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1708835. Although my hd audio manager doesn't show a "digital output(optical). Mine just shows "digital optical out" same thing with my choices of sound devices in windows. I see only a device called "digital output and no "digital output optical", but this may be a special feature for his Gigabyte mobo that my Asrock doesn't have. However I only see 2 channel choices under the default format tab.

January 1, 2013 7:00:05 PM

You don't need an encoder, you need a decoder and that is either the Realtek, if the speakers are directly connected to your PC or it is your receiver. That's why you don't see the options.
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January 1, 2013 7:15:38 PM

My receiver supports Dolby Digital and DTS so I know its not my receier. I tested this by using the HDMI passthrough on my video card and I get 5.1 in games. However there are a number of issues I get when using the HDMI passthrough to my receiver so I am no connected that way. I am connected via optical spdif to my receiver. I am pretty sure this is an issue wth the Realtek ALC892 codec or the drivers I am using. I still have not verified that the ALC892 onboard audio on my mobo supports DDL or DTS connect. I can't seem to find a definate answer. Thanks for the post!
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January 2, 2013 9:57:16 PM

I have the same problem and pretty much the same set-up.

I only get surround sound when playing blu-rays through my PC. All video files and games output 2.1. It seems like the optical cable doesn't carry/decode 5.1 compressed audio properly.

I assume I need a sound card to do that for me. Sadly, my PC is in a mini-case and I don't have room for a sound card. I'm trying to get recommendations for external sound cards (I'll make a separate thread).

I keep hearing that you need to select your speakers in the setup/control panel, but that option isn't available for me. It only shows my TV and optical cable (connected to my receiver).

Unless there is some driver or setting we're missing, you may be in a similar situation in regards to needing a sound card to decode compressed files.
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January 2, 2013 10:37:27 PM

Decado1 said:
I have the same problem and pretty much the same set-up.

I only get surround sound when playing blu-rays through my PC. All video files and games output 2.1. It seems like the optical cable doesn't carry/decode 5.1 compressed audio properly.

I assume I need a sound card to do that for me. Sadly, my PC is in a mini-case and I don't have room for a sound card. I'm trying to get recommendations for external sound cards (I'll make a separate thread).

I keep hearing that you need to select your speakers in the setup/control panel, but that option isn't available for me. It only shows my TV and optical cable (connected to my receiver).

Unless there is some driver or setting we're missing, you may be in a similar situation in regards to needing a sound card to decode compressed files.


Hi Decado - here is what I have found so far. Your games will not output 5.1 unless your soundcard or onboard audio supports Dolby Digital Live and/or DTS connect This is because games need a real time(dynamic) decoder to process the signal to 5.1 channels. media files are already encoded and set so those should play in 5.1 through your SPDIF digital out to your receiver as long as your receiver can decode it.

Download the AC3 filter(googleit) and make sure you set your settings to allow SPDIF output. This is what I did and I got 5.1 dolby digital and DTS signals processing through my receiver correctly.

From what I have found if you want your games to play in 5.1 digy sound you need to buy a audio card that supports DDL/DTSC. Or if your video card supports it use a HDMI passthrough which should have the DDL or DTS connect on it. Most newer cards these days have this support as long as they have a HDMI output
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January 2, 2013 10:59:10 PM

acoustic5679 said:
Hi Decado - here is what I have found so far. Your games will not output 5.1 unless your soundcard or onboard audio supports Dolby Digital Live and/or DTS connect This is because games need a real time(dynamic) decoder to process the signal to 5.1 channels. media files are already encoded and set so those should play in 5.1 through your SPDIF digital out to your receiver as long as your receiver can decode it.

Download the AC3 filter(googleit) and make sure you set your settings to allow SPDIF output. This is what I did and I got 5.1 dolby digital and DTS signals processing through my receiver correctly.

From what I have found if you want your games to play in 5.1 digy sound you need to buy a audio card that supports DDL/DTSC. Or if your video card supports it use a HDMI passthrough which should have the DDL or DTS connect on it. Most newer cards these days have this support as long as they have a HDMI output


Thanks acoustic5679. My 'net searches have found the same, though I didn't see the tip re: the AC3 filter!

As for games, apparently you can use analog cables, but it isn't great for anything but games. Sadly I do not have HDMI on my receiver :( 

I'm thinking about grabbing an ASUS Xonar U3 External Sound Card.

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=62228&vpn=XONAR%20U3&manu...

Site mentions Dolby Digital Live under the optical output section, which I gather is what I'm looking for.
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January 3, 2013 1:13:25 AM

Decado1 said:
Thanks acoustic5679. My 'net searches have found the same, though I didn't see the tip re: the AC3 filter!

As for games, apparently you can use analog cables, but it isn't great for anything but games. Sadly I do not have HDMI on my receiver :( 

I'm thinking about grabbing an ASUS Xonar U3 External Sound Card.

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=62228&vpn=XONAR%20U3&manu...

Site mentions Dolby Digital Live under the optical output section, which I gather is what I'm looking for.


Yes that will do 5.1 in games. Let me know how the AC3 filter works for you.
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January 4, 2013 4:13:14 AM

acoustic5679 said:
Yes that will do 5.1 in games. Let me know how the AC3 filter works for you.

I'll pick it up then. Doesn't mention DTS, but hopefully it still outputs surround when playing DTS.

I tried AC3 filter and got it working after fiddling around for 1.5 hrs. Instructions are all over the place...not user friendly at all! Still, it works and I tried a handful of files and got true surround. Thanks for the tip.

We'll see how the sound compares between the external sound card and this codec.
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January 9, 2013 10:04:42 AM

You have the right idea but not the correct target.

Dolby Home Theater have replaced the DDL and will do 5.1 encoding on the fly for gaming and all your media files BUT need a license from dolby laboratories.
Is not a drivers thing but a licence (currently v4) to enable the encoding.
Contact Asrock for said license.
Being a smaller manufacturer it may not be aviable but you can loose anything at this point .It does support THX TruStudio but the support for that tech is small.

The same holds true for any other sound card external or not.So be shure to ask for the support before you buy
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January 9, 2013 11:02:03 AM

Dolby Digital Live and DTS-Connect, while supported by the onboard Relteck chipset, is almost never enabled due to licensing.
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June 1, 2013 4:51:25 PM

If you want to experience true Dolby digital live then pick up a sound card...I never heard of DDL offered on any motherboards onboard sound....For this alone is a good reason to go with a dedicated sound card.
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February 1, 2014 1:59:26 AM

I purchased DELL SB0770 X-FI Extreme gamer sound card recently and successfully installed it in my PC after lots of struggle of course. I have listed the successful installation procedure below. You need to buy Creative Dolby digital live and dts connect pack (5$) if you need to output 5.1 through SPDIF Optical out. I am one happy guy with this card.

NEVER INSTALL ALIENWARE OR CREATIVE DRIVERS IN WIN 8. IT NEVER WORKS. IT WILL ALSO LEAVE RESIDUAL EVEN YOU UNINSTALL. THIS PROCEDURE WILL NOT WORK SUCCESSFULLY. YOU MAY END UP IN TROUBLE MAKING THIS CARD WORK...

MY PC CONFIG

OS : Win 8.1 64 media center
MBD : MSI 760 GM - P23 (FX)
Processsor : AMD Athlon 270 3.6 Ghz 2 core processor
RAM : 4 GB
HDD : 1 TB
GPU : NVIDIA GT610 2GB

Installation Procedure for DELL SB 0770

1. Download Latest PAX driver (2014 drivers)
2. Restart your pc and Disable your onboard audio in BIOS.
3. Uninstall your onboard audio drivers in device manager. Disable graphics card audio in device manager. (Sound, game and video controllers & High definition audio controller in System devices )
4. Open cabinet and install card in the PCI Slot - (Shake it well and ensure it seats well)
5. Start the PC, Windows will recognize it as HD audio device. If not then repeat point 4
6. Go to High definition audio controller in System devices and click on the update driver
7. Windows will download and installs driver
8. Restart the PC
9. Install 2014 PAX driver
10. Restart the PC & install DD LIve & DTS Connect Pack and restart again.
14. Now Open the sound in control panel and set Speakers as default device, SPDIF as communication device. Mute analog out in the taskbar of your desktop. if you don't then there will be intermittent spdif sound output.
11. If the audio does not work then Open creative audio control panel and switch from game mode to entertainment mode. Repeat if necessary. Also try resetting your HT Receiver.
12. Go to device manager -> sound and test of it works.It will work now. If not then reset your home theater by switching it off and turn on again. (Applicable for Digital output)
13. So now we have tried and it should work.
14. Go to console and enable "Line In" instead of microphone. (Otherwise DTS Connect would only output 2 channels)
15. important:- mute analog out in the taskbar of your desktop. if you don't then there will be intermittent spdif sound output.
GOOD LUCK...
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February 1, 2014 8:49:54 AM

ramvenu said:
I purchased DELL SB0770 X-FI Extreme gamer sound card recently and successfully installed it in my PC after lots of struggle of course. I have listed the successful installation procedure below. You need to buy Creative Dolby digital live and dts connect pack (5$) if you need to output 5.1 through SPDIF Optical out. I am one happy guy with this card.

NEVER INSTALL ALIENWARE OR CREATIVE DRIVERS IN WIN 8. IT NEVER WORKS. IT WILL ALSO LEAVE RESIDUAL EVEN YOU UNINSTALL. THIS PROCEDURE WILL NOT WORK SUCCESSFULLY. YOU MAY END UP IN TROUBLE MAKING THIS CARD WORK...

MY PC CONFIG

OS : Win 8.1 64 media center
MBD : MSI 760 GM - P23 (FX)
Processsor : AMD Athlon 270 3.6 Ghz 2 core processor
RAM : 4 GB
HDD : 1 TB
GPU : NVIDIA GT610 2GB

Installation Procedure for DELL SB 0770

1. Download Latest PAX driver (2014 drivers)
2. Restart your pc and Disable your onboard audio in BIOS.
3. Uninstall your onboard audio drivers in device manager. Disable graphics card audio in device manager. (Sound, game and video controllers & High definition audio controller in System devices )
4. Open cabinet and install card in the PCI Slot - (Shake it well and ensure it seats well)
5. Start the PC, Windows will recognize it as HD audio device. If not then repeat point 4
6. Go to High definition audio controller in System devices and click on the update drive
7. Windows will download and installs driver
8. Restart the PC
9. Install 2014 PAX driver
10. Restart the PC & install DD LIve & DTS Connect Pack and restart again.
14. Now Open the sound in control panel and set Speakers as default device, SPDIF as communication device. Mute analog out in the taskbar of your desktop. if you don't then there will be intermittent spdif sound output.
11. If the audio does not work then Open creative audio control panel and switch from game mode to entertainment mode. Repeat if necessary. Also try resetting your HT Receiver.
12. Go to device manager -> sound and test of it works.It will work now. If not then reset your home theater by switching it off and turn on again. (Applicable for Digital output)
13. So now we have tried and it should work.
14. Go to console and enable "Line In" instead of microphone. (Otherwise DTS Connect would only output 2 channels)
15. important:- mute analog out in the taskbar of your desktop. if you don't then there will be intermittent spdif sound output.
GOOD LUCK...

I'm glad you enjoy the 5.1 but you could have improved the sound quality even more if you had a sound card that had DDLive..These cards has DDLive built into the hardware pose to the software you purchased. Keep your card and enjoy it but if you ever get a chance buy the Asus Xonar essence st or stx it's a outstanding card....now that you have true 5.1 you'll just have to get into DvD audio the quality of the music is 24 bit 96khz 5.1 that will blow your mind total ear candy look then up on e-bay under dvd audio 5.1
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