DIY Deocder/PC

lBehold - my DIY Decoder.

Retiring my Analog 6.1 Inspire 6700 Speakers, Audigy 2 ZS and butchered HP Media Centre PC to work as a decoder.

So far the Audigy 2 ZS decodes Dolby Digital and DTS without a problem from both my Virgin Media V+ box and DVD player.

However, there is no Dolby Pro Logic function unless the signal fed is specifically Dolby Stereo (i.e. a DVD which is in Dolby Surround). If the signal is a standard definition channel in stereo, no Dolby encoding, then it simply works with Creative's own decoding, the rather lacklustre CMSS.

So to get around that, I decided to swap the Audigy 2 ZS for my Asus Xonar D2 PCI card. Does on the fly Pro Logic IIX and DTS ES NEO:6 Decoding. And, not that it is much use to me, you can wrap these decoded signals into Dolby Digital Live stream so that all you need to make is a single Optical connection to your receiver.

Yet, when I trawl all the forums, the Xonar is unable to decode Dolby Digital/DTS ES from the SPDIF input - it clearly only supports PCM. However, it can passthrough Dolby Digital/DTS signals but only if you are using an external amp at the other end (again no good as I am using Analogue speakers).

My question is, can I have both sound cards simultaneously installed in the same computer and with the correct switchers, cabling, switch between them as I see fit. For stereo broadcasts and music channels, invoke the Asus Sound Card so it can do its magic with DTS NEO:6 and Dolby Digital Music Modes. For Dolby Digital/DTS broadcasts like HD channels and such, switch to the Audigy 2 ZS and use its wonderful decoder.

PC Spec is as follows:

1GB of RAM
AMD Sempron 3000+
160GB Hard Drive
Windows XP MCE 2005 optimised for background tasks

The PC is completely unused - it is simply there for decoding and nothing else (except maybe the odd archive of VHS digitally when it is idle and the TV is not in use)
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  1. Yes you can, as long the driver does not conflict with each other, try it. it shouldn't damage both unit. You can switch between the sound cards on your sound device panel but unfortunately though, your speaker input signal must be into a switching unit to sellect between the two cards.
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