I've a question to ask about the creative labs audigy 2 platinum card and that is could i use the card with no speakers plugged into the sound card, and just use the SPDIF digital out to connect to my Sony receiver's speakers? My receiver is the SONY STRDB1080. (Just in case you wanted to know)
I wanted to use them for everything on the PC so that the sound will come through them all the time for things such as my music/dvd's/games and even windows startup...
is this possible
If your stereo has digital inputs, then you can, no problems. I have my stereo hooked up to my computer and I gotta say it's awesome for games. Really, really awesome. Games with guns and explosions are not the same any other way.
You can do this with any sound card with a digital output (including Audigy/2 be it Platinum or not), but with a few caveats:
1. If you play DRM protected material (e.g. DVD-Audio, protected compresses formats like protected WMA files), Creative sound cards (what about other manufacturers?) shut down their digital output and you'll be limited to analog. For DVD-Audio, this is a universal limitation i.e. you can't get digital output from a stand-alone DVD-A player either. Some companies have developed a house-built proprietary digital connection between their top of the line DVD-A players and their receivers (e.g. Denon, Meridian) but normal S/PDIF port cannot be used for DVD-Audio.
2. Most computer games don't have Dolby Digital encoded soundtracks, sound effects, etc. As such (because your receiver can only accept and decode DD 5.1 or probably DTS tracks coming from its S/PDIF input), you'll be limited to stereo only with a digital cable in games (or other non-Dolby pre-encoded content). This is a general lmitation for all sound cards currently. Only nForce2 based mainboards with Soundstorm audio can do real-time Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding and as such send anything over the S/PDIF connection and the receiving end will be able to recognize the format. You'll be fine with pre-encoded DD 5.1 or DTS tracks (DVDs for example).
Or check around your local computer stores for left over (discontinued) <A HREF="http://www.klipsch.com/index2.html" target="_new">Klipsch ProMedia 4.1</A> systems. The place down the street from me (in Seattle) has them on clearance for less than $200. I have a set. They rock. Unless you want full surround sound/center channel, in which case never mind.
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