Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Dolby Digital in Hardware?

Tags:
  • Sound Cards
  • Hardware
  • Dolby
  • Components
Last response: in Components
Share
September 14, 2001 11:30:31 AM

Every Dolby Digital 5.1 sound card out there decodes in software rather than hardware. This is a major bottleneck especially when you want to watch software-decoded DVDs. Will there ever be a hardware Dolby Digital decoding sound card? If not in the immediate future then are there any external decoders that are compatible with the SoundBlaster Live!, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, and Phillips Acoustic Edge?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor

More about : dolby digital hardware

Anonymous
September 14, 2001 5:26:39 PM

Sadly, PCs still just don't compare to a good DVD home theater system. $200 stereo + $200 DVD player + $300 TV = excellent $700 home theater, without the hassle of trying to make your computer decode 5.1 audio (if only we had $700 to throw around).

My understanding is that audio cards don't decode DVD movies, for the simple reason that if they did, there would have to be some coordination between the audio driver and the video driver, to ensure that the audio playback stays in sync with the video playback. That's a hard trick to pull off. As it stands now, the DVD playback software accesses special features of the video driver to use video hardware for decoding image information. It would be nice if audio cards had some Dolby 5.1 specialized hardware, and drivers that support PowerDVD in accessing these devices to unload the audio decoding from the CPU. Of course, I suppose a lot of things would be nice; all we can do is look to the future and hope that Creative and other sound card manufacturers will see the consumer desire for this feature.

One thing I did want to mention is that some mainboards are supporting 6-channel stereo output through the built-in AC 97 audio. The board itself has an SP-DIF connector for this purpose. Even power users are beginning to look upon built-in audio as a legitimate solution, as the only real advantage of a PCI audio card is 3D positional sound (which is used by only a few applications, and can be integrated into AC 97 audio if the manufacturer so desires). Sadly, audio cards just aren't the big business that graphics cards are, and thus there isn't a lot of money to drive advancements (such as hardware Dolby decoding).

<A HREF="http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?passage=PS+17:..." target="_new"> PS 17 </A>
September 14, 2001 11:51:11 PM

Quote:

Sadly, PCs still just don't compare to a good DVD home theater system. $200 stereo + $200 DVD player + $300 TV = excellent $700 home theater, without the hassle of trying to make your computer decode 5.1 audio (if only we had $700 to throw around).

That's a very baseline home theater system. I would say $3000US for a 60" Projection TV, $200 Stereo + $250 at least for high quality Dolby Digital DVD Player, $1000 for a good surround sound system, and finally at least $50/month for digital cable to experience your new equipment in digital precision. The high quality DMX music would sound beautiful!!!! Very expensive, I know! That's why people make their PC, their digital entertainment system. Today's sound cards are still too weak! Even the Audigy is very very disappointing based on the reviews I read. EAX Advanced HD is worthless, hardware Dolby Digital doesn't exist, the so-called enhanced D/A converters won't enhance 2D sound quality much!

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
Related resources
September 15, 2001 3:58:14 AM

You could buy a low end Audio Reciever with Dolby Digital, Pro Logic, etc decoding for less than $200. Pair it up with low end home theatre speakers around $300 and hook it up to your computer.
If you got the cash, you can better recievers and speakers over $1000.

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
September 15, 2001 6:14:45 PM

The trueth to the matter is that Sound cards will never be able to produce as good as quality sound as a full size receiver would. I have a SB live, an All-in-Wonder Radeon and a Teac D9320 Receiver as the basis for my entertainment needs. The Radeon supports SPDIF output and thus I get to enjoy the high quality, and yes high volume sound out of the receiver. for those interested in getting the best expereince for DVD on your computer, I recommend this setup. It fits well in a small to meduim sized room and to buy all the components (reciever, speakers, sound card, AIW) I only had an out of pocket expense of $700 dollars. (it may be cheaper now since some of this stuff it old technology.)

If it works for you then don't fix it.
September 22, 2001 7:20:44 PM

I don't care about the price as much as I care about convenience. I would rather have a $300 sound card with built-in hardware decoder than a $100 sound card + a $200 dolby digital receivers. Why? Well, I just hate all the external hardware. It takes up too much space. I personally like the Live!Drive more than the GTXP's external rack because I like to save space.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
!