Halflife2 - Surround Sound


Distinguished Member
Does halflife2 support surround sound and if so is it full dobly digital or dolby surround?

stevos said:
Does halflife2 support surround sound and if so is it full dobly digital or dolby surround?


I just says Dolby 5.1 surround


Distinguished Member
Any ideas how to get it to output DD?
You need a complaint sound card / onboard sound - mine had a cs / fs / rs pin jack - and spdif.

... so either run it out to another processor / amp - or run it direct out to mini speakers.

You may need specific sound card drivers to enable the support if its available for your card - and some of the standard windows drivers will not allow it to work / give it an option.

make sure in the game settings you select 5.1 - and in windows sound settings you do the same.


Prominent Member
you can get it to send dd5.1, but it depends if the soundcard picks up on it.

type in "snd_digital_surround 1" in the console (without the quotes)


Prominent Member
Incorrect. HL2 does not support Dolby Digital. It supports Dolby Pro Logic/Surround whatever you want to call it via AC3 pass-thru coax/opt cable to your av receiver. To get proper sound steering in the rear channels via your receiver you need to connect the 5.1 analog outputs of your sound card to the relevant analog inputs on the back of your receiver. The game itself does not contain any true "Dolby" sound. A dvd does and I am not aware of any PC games that do (meaning proper 5.1 steering), I might be wrong though

As per this article make sure Onboard Sound drivers are up to date as there were issues at the time of HL2 release

I think EG was saying the same thing actually...or v. similar :)


Established Member
Unreal Tournament 2003/4 are the only ones that I am aware of that output proper DD5.1, but you need special software AND some sound card I think.


All these games support surround sound.

The right question is: what sound card do you have? Very few sound cards support Dolby Digital Live (and none support DTS Interactive as far as I know); currently, those that do use the same chip as the new 'HD Audio' Intel motherboards, but they do a lot of processing in software and therefore can slow down your games.

The old nVIDIA nForce motherboards (1 and 2) and XBox, which is an nVIDIA motherboard, had built-in soundcards that could do Dolby Digital Live, but they stopped that - it's not available on nForce 3 or 4. (I'm guessing the licensing fees to Dolby were too expensive.)

Some sound cards advertise 'Dolby Digital.' This means they will pass through the Dolby Digital stream directly from a DVD to the spdif output of the soundcard. It does NOT mean it will do real-time encoding of whatever game you're playing to a Dolby Digital signal - that's called Dolby Digital Live, previously known as Dolby Interactive Content Encoding (DICE).

Another option is the recently announced Creative DTS-610 which is a box with 6 analogue inputs and a digital out; it implements DTS interactive, albeit with a delay of up to 50ms.

Yet another option, although this one I'm not 100% sure about: The Creative Audigy 2 cards will output three PCM digital streams, each stereo, giving you your 5.1 channels. But I don't know of an amp which will treat 3 channels of PCM as a single input.

Ignoring any form of Dolby/DTS, the game will use however many speakers you have plugged in and your soundcard supports.

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