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Thinking of going SPDIF need advise/reassurance.

Last response: in Components
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January 5, 2004 2:28:17 AM

I currently use a SB Live 5.1 connected to an Analog 5.1 Receiver. My PC is also connected to a 27" TV and I use it to play DVDs, CD, MP3's DivX with AC3 ect.

Howver I can't get the subwoofer channel to work because the subwoofer channel requires a 4 pole to 3 rca cable which no one seems to make. Apparently there are similar cables for Digital Camcorders and Macs but the pin out is different!)

I am thinking about getting a $300-$400 Digital Receiver (Pioneer VSX-D912) with optical and coax digital inputs. I would also rather use the optical out on my cheap integrated CMedia sound card and move the SB to my other PC if possible.

If necessary I am willing to invest in a new sound card if for some reason the both the Cmedia and SB live lie about digital 5.1 support.

Here are my questions/concerns.

1) Any chance of me spending $400 for mid range digital reciever and simply have it not work well with my PC?

2)Can I get away with using a CMedia card since it will be using SPDIF pass through rather than decoding?

(If anyone actually uses the digital out on a CMedia card please let me know if your experience was in any way problematic)

3) Will I have any problem using AC3 filter (version 70b) to watch DivX's with AC3 audio streams? The filter works fine with my SB when decoding but I have never used it for pass through nor could I test the subwoofer due to the connectivity problem.

(The docs says it supports AC3 pass through, but I would rather have confrimation form someone who uses this feature before investing in a reciever.)

4) Does anyone know of someone who actually managed to get the SB Live 5.1 analog subwoofer channel to work with a 5.1 reciever or any non SB 5.1 speaker setup?

I can't afford to buy the Pioneer VSX D912 if I purchase it locally, buy if I save $100 by getting it on ebay I will not be able to return it. So any input is greatly appreciated!!
January 5, 2004 3:05:32 AM

1. Very little if any chance of that. I bought a plain 500W Sony 5.1 DD/DTS HT amp and it works both with my sb live 5.1 and my nforce2 soundstorm.

2. I'm pretty sure you can. In fact this is probably an ideal situation if all you want is to use the ac3 passthrough.

3. It works fine with my sb live, so I'm gonna go ahead and say it should be fine with your setup too :) 

4. Can't help you there. Never tried using the analog.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 5, 2004 10:25:38 PM

Excellent :) 

Thanks, that covers all of my concerns.

It is very helpful to to get some feedback from someone before taking the pluge.
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