1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dolby Digital?

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by AML, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    Sooo many games say it on the box even though those games come on CDs. Example, Unreal Tournament 2004.
    It says it plainly on the CD version of the Box. I can understand it being Dolby Digital on the DVD version of the game, but the CD version?
    I know its possible, but:

    1. theres no option for it in the sound menu.
    2. I have a good soundcard with an Optical output which is conected to a Dolby Digital decoder, then to a creative 5.1 THX certified sound system.

    When I run 2004 through the optical output all i get is stereo sound, and the decoder doesnt recognize the Dolby Digital signal.

    I can get 5.1 though the sound card being directly conected to the creative sound system through the 3 (orange, green, black ) cables. God knows how those cables give us 5.1 but they do.

    My knowledge is based on my personal experiense with my home theater set up.
    I have a Digital Amp which offers DD and DTS. I conect my DVD player or X Box by a digital optical or coaxial cable.
    Result, Digital sound depending on what I choose from the DVD movie.
    Simple and makes sense right?
    SO how can a PC game offer it if theres no option for it, and no signal for it?
    The X box works because we can see the signal and the reciever recognises it as Dolby Digital, but with the PC, its a diferent story which i simply cant understand.

    Im I doing something wrong or are they?
     
  2. Marc

    Marc
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    11,610
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Ratings:
    +1,081
    i believe it's an automatic thing. Some games give you the option, others just use what you have. If it's EAX, chances are it will use 5.1 if you have it.
     
  3. Solar

    Solar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    2,541
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Earth
    Ratings:
    +478
    i read that.....
    ac3 encoded sound is the pc substitute to digital, and if your hi-fi can decode the ac3 (like mine) you can have digital sound from a cd with a optical connection or pc via a coaxal lead from the sound card
    i dont know if its true, but if it is, then games must be simply made with ac3 encoded sound?

    anyone else hear anything about this ?
     
  4. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    The Dolby Digital you are referring to on the PC isn't outputted via a digital connection ie. coax or optical nor does a game stating it has Dolby Digital(DD) sound have to be on a DVD - whatever would make you think that?

    The DD you get from movie DVD's is mixed and then layed down as definite sound track that never changes no matter how many times you play the movie, its been encoded and thats it, end of story. Whereas the PC games claiming DD would be pretty ****e if the sound was already laid down in front of you in a linear way, how could they possibly know when you where going to fire a gun or where the enemy was comming from - see what I mean.
    DVD's are encoded to specific and non changing video footage, games on the other hand have a dynamic and ever changing world in which to relay sonic information from.

    Now back to the point in hand, like I said the PC whilst gaming doesn't output DD via optical or coax but instead performs decoding on board when using soundcards like creatives Audigy 2 ZX etc. This decoded surround is then output through the analogue outs which will be left, center, right, right surround, left surround and sub.
    The only difference with the digital output is that these are still all mixed together as digital information and then get processed later on when they arrive at your DD amp. The PC simply decodes them itself and outputs the seperate channel signals via analogue to your amplifier.
     
  5. gandley

    gandley
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Paradise Lost
    Ratings:
    +269
    so if i reading right then you need to connect the sound card to the analog inputs on your amp to gain dolby digital from a game? or is it you just cant get DD from a game to an amp, as you mention getting DD from films from the computer to amp passes via optical out as normal.(just not games which i understand why)
     
  6. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    Well its all very confusing, but from what i see, the PC decodes it before it gets outputed, then our sound systems give us the 5.1 sound we hear. (as long as its a proper PC sound system like the Creative ones)
    Right enough, games are always changing (real time gaming) so it cant be like what it is on a DVD movie.
    The only reason i thought it would have to be on a DVD instead of a CD is because of the space I thought it would need.
    On average a movie on DVD needs 500mb for the DD mix and nearly 1 gig for the DTS mix (which is why not all movies can have DTS at the moment, coz of lack of space on a single DVD)
    Having said all this, the X Box does give us proper dolby digital, and all the games come on DVDs right?
    Why cant a PC do the same using an amp like the x box for example?
     
  7. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes, you've got it.

    Only way to get surround in games is to use the multi channel analogue inputs on an AV amp.

    From what I understand it can be done very, very simply, in fact its easier than using the current analogue out method as the signal wouldn't even need to be decoded by the soundcard and could remain in its unaltered digital form from whence it was born. But the software developers don't see a market in adopting this method because only a very small majority of people use external decoders ie. AV amps. So we end up being forced to use the analogue method because its universal and work for every single case.

    Two words 'Market Catchment' :rolleyes:

    Some cards such as the Audigy 2 ZS allow to you to overide this and choose to output digital ONLY and then you get the DD7.1 appears on the amp display. This is what I do but it only works on games with DD encoding and the only game I have that does this is Farcry.
    If you pass an EAX1, 2 or 3 signal to the amp it doesn't understand how to decode it since its not programmed to do this format and therefor you end up with just stereo and end up having to resort to the analogue method.
    So I have both a digital and analogue connection to my amp and simply switch between the two as and when. Its not the most elegant solution but it does sound very good indeed on either :)
     
  8. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    By the way, Im not complaining about the sound quality of the PC or anything, Im just not happy with the way it says on game boxes that this game supports Dolby Digital but then theres no way to check and see if it really is Dolby Digital.
    You can always tell with an X box game, or a PS2 game, but never with a PC.
    How do u conect your card to your amp?
    the only out put i have are the orange, black gree, and the 2 more, one i think is supposed to be digital, and 1 for a mike?
    (im using the Audigy2 ZS by the way.)
     
  9. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    This space consumption doesn't apply to the PC as it does to a DVD.

    All the sounds in a game are simply mono wave files and are small in size but many of them. Each sound in the game is a wave file so thats why there's so many.
    Now these sounds aren't encoded into a 5.1 mix when they are stored on the CD and when the game is run they simply sit in memory taking up very little space in there mono format. But when the game is running they are mixed into 5.1 by the audio algorithm and this data is then passed to straight to your sound card and its at this point where the sound data is large because of the multiple layers of audio but the beauty of it is that this sizeable data never has to be stored on CD, rather its just that the many mono sound effects that were originally on the CD have now, thanks to the computing power of your PC, been rolled out into a complex surround mix and stored in RAM.

    It sounds complicated but its really very simple. Just mono sounds being real time encoded into complex surround environments on the fly.
     
  10. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    I connect my card via the digital out, which is on the far right 3.5mm jack socket as you look at the PC from the rear and the 3 analogue outs which start at the far left.

    The other two sockets between these are for the mic and line-in.

    Go into your Audigy surround mixer and click on the little red '+' above the master volume control and then click the digital output only when you play DD games. When your not disable the digital output only and just use the analogue outs and the multichannel inputs on the amp.

    BTW. For some reason the Audigy doesn't send out the audio flag for DD and I have to manually select the dolby digital on my AX3 amp.
     
  11. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    Thank you!
    Very useful info. I wil try that way and see how it goes.
    Than line you are talking about is a special digital out right?
    What kind of cable is it and what does it conect to on the amp?
    (my amp is the Onkyo TS 989, and has 5 analog inputs which i use for DVD audio and 2 digital inputs, Optical/Coaxial)
    You explained that u use the 3 analog outs and the 1 digital out form the card. (that only equals 4 chanels?) and where do u pconect them on the amp?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  12. Stellavision

    Stellavision
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,258
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Southsea, UK
    Ratings:
    +86
    I tried my Audigy 2 ZS to my surround receiver via coaxial originally and the result was that I had DD 5.1 for dvd, but for games I had only dolby prologic II. I then connected the souncard to my receiver using the analogue outs and the improvement was huge. It created an audio imersive enviroment like I have never experienced before in gaming. I have an onboard DD decoder on my Asus A7N8X Deluxe mobo and enjoy benefits of in game DD on Xbox, but I think my Audigy 2 ZS connected via analoge has given the best results.
     
  13. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    Firstly digital out carries 5.1 or even 7.1 all through one cable, it does this because the data sent along it is in a pure binary format where layers of audio can be sequenced ontop of each other to provide many channels of information.

    The 3 analogue outs on the back of the audigy each carry a stereo signal so that means you have 3 x 2 channels or 5.1 in otherwords.

    Have a good look at the quick installation guide that came with your audigy and you will see the outputs clearly labelled.

    Remember you want each of the connections rigged up and you will have to swap between them by selecting the different sources on your amp as well as switching the digital out on or off depending on whether you want to use it for a particular game.
     
  14. Mr_Belowski

    Mr_Belowski
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    777
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Loughborough
    Ratings:
    +281
    Might be pulling this out my backside, but...

    The 5.1 analog sound in games (that comes out the 3 jacks) is the audio stream rendered by the game's sound engine and the sound card, which consists of the 6 separate channels, so is already a 5.1 signal. To get that 5.1 signal to an amp digitally, the soundcard would have to encode it to DD 5.1 / AC3 or whatever format. Most soundcards don't do this, hence only the stereo mix from the digital outputs. Not sure if the Audigy fits into this category

    The nVidia Soundstorm (integrated on the better nForce boards) does have the hardware to do this encoding, so UT2004 from a soundstorm via the digital output *would* be a 5.1 mix.
     
  15. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    The game must be outputting Dolby Digital and the only game that I have in my collection that allows you to select such an output option is Farcry.

    Everything else that in just plain EAX, Directsound 3D etc. just comes out as stereo, hence the reason I have both digital and analogue connections from my PC.

    I have to agree with you on the analogue thing - it does sound bloody superb with some of the more modern games, Thief III in particular was impressive in effects placement! But Farcry in DD is just like a movie, very dynamic sound, hard to describe but its very similar to a movie ie. the quiet bits are just that and when the action gets going its very intense. The bass also seems to be far deeper on farcry with DD on rather than just with plain EAX through the analogues.

    Hopefully more games support DD on the PC and I know for a fact both Doom 3 and Halflife 2 do exactely that!
     
  16. Marc

    Marc
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    11,610
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Ratings:
    +1,081
    can't wait to get my soundstorm hooked up to my amp after i move house then.. the creative inspires are nice but my amp is better :)
     
  17. gandley

    gandley
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Paradise Lost
    Ratings:
    +269
    Great thread this, as i have a spair amp but have wonderd how i was going to set it up in my system.

    Final question from me is what cables do i use.

    i have the audigy2 zs pro with the external box that has
    coax/optical. That i take it will only be usefull for playing dvd.(but if i set the menu to digital out only will i get sound from farcry this way?)

    So on the back of the card i have the 3 analog outs.
    so for each of these i use a 3.5inch jack>2RCA out and connect thes to the amp.

    which makes 6xRCA. 1 of which will be connected to the sub..yes?
     
  18. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    :D My threads rule! lol

    Im also wandering what kind of cable we need to conect the sound card digital out to the digital amp.
    will any old coaxial cable do or is it a special PC cable we have to get?
    I dont think it came with the card.

    After looking at the set up papers that came with the card I recognise all the outputs.
    But not the cables!

    (by the way I was able to clock my CPU up to 3.0ghz up from 2.8, for those of u who care!)
     
  19. Stellavision

    Stellavision
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,258
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Southsea, UK
    Ratings:
    +86
    You need to use a coxial cable with an rca to jack convertor at the pc end.
     
  20. Acidburn

    Acidburn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    but dont you lose the AC3 digital decoding? On my box at the moment i got my sound card which is an blaster one...

    I got it connected to my sound system which is Videologics digitheatre for those that are bothered... Basically in surround mode it can output the following:

    Stero, ProLogic and AC3 in either Digital mode: PCM or AC3...However AC3 wont work when i connect it to a 3mm plug if you follow to plug into the back of the soundcard... I've had Ac3 working by connecting the coaxial cable into a DVD player and by god it makes the world of difference im telling ya! But why cant i select it when playing back movies on my home PC?
     
  21. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    When u use movies (DVD) u should use the optical conection in your sound card and conect that to your digital amp (optical in)
    When u play PC games u use the coaxial on your sound card.
    I think it was gandley or shin obi one that said u have to manually select Dolby Digital on your amp to play the PC games on it coz for some reason the game wont send the signal that changes the amp automaticaly.
     
  22. Acidburn

    Acidburn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    i just cant select ac3 only pro logic is set through the coaxial cable...where can i purchase a sound card with a optical connection?
     
  23. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    even if it has an optical it wont give you dolby digital for PC gmes.

    Only for movies.

    You can buy cards in any PC shop, depends on where u live. Check out some interenet sites too.
    go to creative.com
    to see good sound cards that offer every kind of conection you need.
     
  24. Acidburn

    Acidburn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    like i said before ac3 is good better than pro logic sound, but i only get that through a dvd player... i was hoping to wtach dvds through my pc but cant since it wont flip to ac3 only pro logic which sounds a litte kac .... thats why i asked for a sound card with optical....can anyone point out a good sound card? they come a different prices and i dont know which is kac or not
     
  25. Stellavision

    Stellavision
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,258
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Southsea, UK
    Ratings:
    +86
    No no no.
    You do not have to use a different cable for movies and games, only the Audigy pro version has optical anyway.
    The point made was that you will only get Dolby Digital output on games that support the feature, so most games you would only get Dolby surround. Where the option is available you have to select DD from the game and most amps will auto-detect the DD signal.
    If you use analogues you are guaranteed 5.1.
    If you are not getting dolby digital ouput when watching dvd's you need to make sure spdif pass through and/or bit stream audio is enabled on your dvd playback software.
     
  26. Acidburn

    Acidburn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    bit stream audio? Im using power dvd and i aint got a hell of a clue of what set up is needed...can anyone gimme info?
     
  27. Stellavision

    Stellavision
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,258
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Southsea, UK
    Ratings:
    +86
    Go into your audio settings, I can't remember the exact route to get there, but current versions of Power DVD have a option in the audio settings to enable spdif pass through which will tell the software to output bit-stream audio, ie digital audio.
     
  28. Acidburn

    Acidburn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    omg! i set it to that and the volume is dead...well not dead but if you put the amp on full volume you can barely here them.... :( Plus the amp dosnt stwitch to AC3 digital it stays has pcm in pro logic.... to me somethings wrong... Not with the amp but with the configeration?
     
  29. Stellavision

    Stellavision
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,258
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Southsea, UK
    Ratings:
    +86
    Also check the volume is up on your soundcard and the pc speaker configuration is set to output 5.1. Audigy 2 has a 'creative volume control' icon on the task bar or alternatively accessable from the start menu, from here you can choose between 2.1 and 7.1 speaker configuration in the mixer.
     
  30. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    This thread started out about me bitchin that so many games say they offer Dolby Digital but i simplay dont think its true.
    Hardware problems aside, if the game doesnt offer a DD setting then it could never work right?
    If u go back in this thread youl see someone mention that only Far Cry offerd true DD. Once i get at least one game working in DD then ill beleive it!
     

Share This Page

Loading...