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Connect Sky+HD through sound card?

gop

Established Member
Hi, is it possible to connect a sky hd plus box directly to my sound blaster card so I can get better sound than the sky box offers? I've been trying to get my sky channels and my subscriptions channels to run through windows 7 media centre, with no luck using tsb dual dvb s2 tuner. So as a side line I want to connect sky box to the sound card directly. I have a sound blaster, fatality titinium professional card connected to logitech z5520 speakers, which with a direct line in the sound is fantastic.

However, when the sky box is connected to the control panel of the speakers (which can support, line in, coax and optical), by optical cable, the sound is no where near the quality that the sound card delivers (which supports, dts, dolby live etc).

So can I have the sky box run directly into the sound card?
 

bow79

Established Member
it depends what you mean by sound quality. The sound quality coming out of the skybox is as good as the skybox can give. Especially if it is coming out of the digital sound output. However the sound quality is not going to be as good as for example a DVD or game or cd. the source is just not as good, add the fact that different channels and different programs can have varying qualities that not all broadcasts are in surround sound or even stereo and that is probably your answer. In other words that sound you are getting is as good as you are going to get from a skybox connected to that sound card connected to those speakers.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
In other words that sound you are getting is as good as you are going to get from a skybox connected to that sound card connected to those speakers.

He's asking if he can use the sound card as the DAC rather than the onboard DAC for the speakers.

It should be possible yeah, give it a go. All you need to do hardware-wise is disconnect the optical from your speakers and plug it into your X-fi's optical in.
 

gop

Established Member
Ok, I tried connecting optical cable from sky hd to sound card, but got no sound, went to sound blaster software, but I have no options to tell the card not to use the line in jacks and use optical. Any ideas? Messed about with playback devices still no sound.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Ok, I tried connecting optical cable from sky hd to sound card, but got no sound, went to sound blaster software, but I have no options to tell the card not to use the line in jacks and use optical. Any ideas? Messed about with playback devices still no sound.

My X-fi titanium will apparently use both microphone/line in and optical at the same time so yours shouldn't be different.

You want to run the 'Creative Console Launcher', go to the mixer tab (for entertainment/game mode) and unmute the 'Digital-In' and that should get it passing through the S/PDIF input to the default output. You can also try audio recording software like Audacity to check the computer is receiving it if you're having trouble.
 

gop

Established Member
Many thanks, though in playback devices, what am I setting as default? my speakers are controlled by a console, connected to the sub, from here run the line-in jacks, optical and coax. When the speakers are turned on from the console , you have to tell it to source one of the three connections, so if I connect an optical from the sky hd box to the sound card, turn the console on, I'm left having to tell it were to source the sound, but how can I do this if the optical is not running from the console?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Just leave it to whatever you normally have it for PC output to your speakers, I'm guessing it's called 'Speakers' if you're using the 3.5mm jacks.
 

gop

Established Member
Ok, i turned of the mute on digital in, kept default device to speakers, still no sound from the skyhd box, which is set to digital optical. The software dosen't seem to be able to be told to source optical!!

Any other ideas?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The Digital In is the optical input so just tell whatever software you're using to record/play from that.

With the sky box outputting is the volume meter next to the digital in device going up and down or are you recording anything in audacity?
 

gop

Established Member
I have the optical in the in connection on the soundblaster, however, i cannot run sky and check at the same time if the level indicators are moving because i have to change source from comp to sky, and when i change back sky box switches off! But there is def no sound. I have in playback devices:
AMD HDMI output (for tv
Speakers (set as default)
SPDIF out (creative) status - ready, in the properties of this it states for jack info: LR rear panel optical.

In the properties section of the speakers, it just states re jack info, 3.5mm with all the colours associated with 5.1

Im not recording anything, as ive no mic attached.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I have the optical in the in connection on the soundblaster, however, i cannot run sky and check at the same time if the level indicators are moving because i have to change source from comp to sky, and when i change back sky box switches off! But there is def no sound.

What? You shouldn't need to touch the 'recording' devices (i.e. inputs) on the computer to get computer sounds and the Sky box shouldn't be directly connected to the speakers anymore so I can't work out what you're switching here? Something to do with the TV?

You should have your sky box audio outputs connected just to the computer and the control panel on your speakers set to play stuff from the computer.
 

gop

Established Member
IsSorry for the confusion. The optical cable is running from sky into the input socket on the sound card, speaker console is set to direct input, and speakers are the default, still no sound. Re switching, sources from comp hdmi to sky box, this just means I can't check if the green indicator beside speaker is moving because, as soon as I change hdmi source from sky tho comp hdmi, sky shuts down. So I'm stil not able to get the sound card to source the optical sound from sky. The opticaol is fine, as it works when I connect from sky to the z5500 speaker console and optical.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Re switching, sources from comp hdmi to sky box, this just means I can't check if the green indicator beside speaker is moving because, as soon as I change hdmi source from sky tho comp hdmi, sky shuts down.

Ah, so they're both connected to a single screen?

It sounds like it's plugged in and you say you've got the mixer turned on (unmuted) and that should be it. I don't have an optical source but I've just tried it using the line in and that works fine that way. I'm not sure what's wrong.
 

gop

Established Member
Yes, both sky and graphic card run through a 42inch plasma tv, hence forth the switching issue!

contacted creative, here is there responce:


Thank you for writing in to Creative.



I understand that you want to connect your sky hd to oursound card.



With regards to your enquiry, Unfortunately the soundcard cannot do upmixes into the sound from your Sky HD it will just pass it outand output the same sound.



If you still require assistance, please reply to thisemail and include any previous correspondence to ensure a quick response.



Regards,



Ryan

Creative Worldwide Customer Response


what do you think?

oh, again many thanks fpr your respondence.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure what they're referring to exactly with 'upmixes into the sound', generally 'upmixing' refers to converting stereo sound to surround sound.

I suppose they may be talking about Dolby Digital/DTS decoding, does a sky box have any choice of sound output format?
 

gop

Established Member
The options in the sound setting in sky are, audio output, stereo/mono. Digital audio output, optical, and digital audio output delay, set at 0secs. Thats it. I've it set to the second uptick setting.
 

gop

Established Member
Got a further email from creative:

Hi Gareth,

Make sure that the SPDIF IN is set to default in Control Panel>Sound>Recording and also SPDIF Out is selected as default playback in Control Panel>Sound>Playback.

Moreover what I meant by Upmixes/Special effects is the different things that you can do with the sound like enabling the crysyalizer, surround sound etc.

If you still require assistance, please reply to this email and include any previous correspondence to ensure a quick response.

Regards,

Ryan
Creative Worldwide Customer Response

Now, I have ndone what is asked and still no sound, rpled back to creative:

I set the default in playback devices to SPDIF out, and in recordings, i set digital in (creative SB X-Fi), still not picking up sound from sky box?
In the properties of digital in (recording), i have told the computer to playback through the speakers (creative SB X-fi). I have also tried in recording, digital audio S/PDIF as default playback through speakers, still no sound.

I have un-muted digital in (mixer tab in SB software), still nothing and turned of dolby live and DTS encoders. I have also tried ticking, listen to this device with no joy with no sound.

Any ideas?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
You definitely want the default playback device as 'speakers' if you're using analogue jacks to the speakers - you won't get any output if you set it to optical because the optical out on your PC isn't connected to anything. I wouldn't have thought default recording device would matter but it won't do any harm to set that to Digital In.

It's difficult to troubleshoot without even knowing if the PC is receiving audio. I'm not familiar with the sky box but if it's connected via HDMI it might be being turned off by CEC rather than by it's own behavior so unplugging it from the TV may allow it to continue outputting sound when you switch to the PC, that way you can test whether the PC is receiving the sound.
 

gop

Established Member
Well, i just got a reply from creative:

As I have further checked on the issue unfortunately the sound card doesn't have a feature that passes's the signal from optical in then to optical-out. The optical-in of the sound card is merely for recording purposes on
Ryan
Creative Worldwide Customer Response

Looks like that option is out?

Is coan audio analoug or digital, i mean if i connected the speaker console from a coax to the sky would it be better sound, by better i mean less tinny, and front speaker more vocal?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Coax is S/PDIF the same as optical so there's likely to be little difference.

I'm not sure I believe creative when they say it won't take the optical input and send it to an output through software, it might be worth asking then what the function of the Digital In slider in the mixer is.
 

gop

Established Member
Definately something not right with optical in just for recording. I just found an optical socket on the back of my TV, connected it into the optical in on my sound card, and got the sound!! stil;l not as good as direct line, but i can mess about with the settings now.
 

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