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No 5.1 Sound?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by dinoprada2003, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    To all you helpfull lot :hiya:

    I am connecting my Terratec 5.1 soundcard via the optical out to my homecinema amplifier using a normal optical cable.I am able to play files from my PC' such as mp'3's and hear them via my homecinema amp in stero or two channel mode only! When I try to play an avi file or a dvd encoded in dolby digital 5.1 surrond I am able to get only 2 channel stero??? rather than the full 5.1 via my homecinema reciver and my 5.1 speakers I notice in the terratec manual and aurreon "fun mixer software" that it says s/p-dif output only works in 2 channel stero or headphones!!!? please HELP I want to be able to play dvd's and avi files from my pc and hear the FULL 5.1 soundtrack via my homecinema speakers and amp which are connected to my terratec fun card.
    Is there something im missing or perhaps some fix? Please help guys :D

    Link's

    Here is a copy of the souncards manual see pg 25 for "s/p-dif output only works in 2 channel stero or headphones"

    ftp://ftp.terratec.net/Audio/Aureon/Aureon5.1Fun/Manual/AureonFun_Manual_GB.pdf


    My amp's a sony strde495

    http://www.richersounds.com/index.php?f=itemdetl.php&p=301893&PHPSESSID=af73fb9c932769c0018f0dad1c29739a

    Thank's a million to all who reply :D

    Dino.
     
  2. clarky78

    clarky78
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    i have taken a look, and am confused as to how a digital signal is only available in stereo or headphones!? From my understanding it is exactly as the laser reads it of the disc so it goes into the amp and the amp should see the digital encoding, but maybe i'm wrong. I assume you have set your amp to select the digital sound input for the source your using.
    Failing all that you could run it via the amps 6 channel inputs (hopefully your amp has those, could only see the new 497 on sony site and that does). Run 3 headphone to phono cables from your soundcard as shown in the manual to the 6 channel line in on the amp, then select multi channel input on the amp, or what ever it's called on your amp. Hopefully this will give you 5.1.
    Other than that sorry, maybe someone else here has more ideas.
     
  3. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Clarky where would I get the leads I need for that idea?
     
  4. Mandel

    Mandel
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    Heya Dino. I have one of them cards too and it caused me the same confusion. What they mean is that you cant send 6 PCM tracks down the SP-DIF cable. What you need to do is set the soundcard to stereo (with SP-DIF on) and set your DVD playing software to send the Dolby/DTS signal directly to the card via the optical cable.

    This will sound much better than using 6 phono connections and cause less load on your CPU. Good luck, can be a bit awkward to get working initially, contact me if you need any pointers :)
     
  5. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Hello Mandel,

    Ok im confused errrrrrrr.............in the aureon fun mixer software Iv'e set
    speakers to stero with sp/dif output on.This enables me to hear 2 channel through my amp and speakers.Im using powerdvd and windvd I have the codecs for DD and DTS How do I set the software to send the DD/DTS stream
    directly to the card via the optical cable?

    Thank's :)

    DINO
     
  6. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    It sounds as if your soundcard is only able to output digital signals via the S/PDIF format, which only works in stereo. If you connect all your speakers directly to the soundcard, I think you'll only hear a matrixed 5.1 version from any stereo source - sort of like how Dolby Pro-Logic works. Hence, I don't think you'll be able to hear discrete 5.1 channels of sound (eg. Dolby Digital or DTS) through your soundcard, whether you output the signal digitally (eg. optical, as you do) or via analogue.

    Since you've got a multi-channel 5.1 amp, why don't you connect all your speakers to the amp (if you're not already doing that), and just use the 5.1 digital sound signal from your DVD player on your PC directly to your amp using either optical or coaxial - effectively bypassing the soundcard. I don't use PC DVD players so I'm not sure if your PC DVD player can output the digital signal externally, but I would have thought that should be possible. I've got friends who use 5.1 soundcards on their PC, but that's because they don't have separate AV multichannel amplifiers. I think sending 5.1 DD/DTS signals to the soundcard is pointless, because your card will only ouput stereo signals. If your PC DVD player hasn't got an output jack for digital signals, then presumably that means your PC outputs digital sound through the soundcard by default, in which case I suggest selecting 'loopback' to loop digital input signals directly to the digital output -this setting may allow you to bypass the soundcard's S/PDIF processing.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  7. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Hi,

    The reason I want the sound to come out via the soundcard/amp is becasue the pc dvd' player is used as a HTCP my PJ is hooked up to it :) tried ticking the loopback option but to no avail :confused:
     
  8. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    I have a few more suggestions :

    1) I know that some Terratec soundcards (especially the latest 7.1 ones and the older 5.1 ones as well) offer a 'non-audio' mode under the S/PDIF settings. This 'non-audio' mode directly transfers DTS/DD digital signals to the optical output interface (hence bypassing the soundcard's processing). This mode is normally used when you want to route digital signals to a separate multichannel amp/receiver. From your manual, your card seems to lack this function, but the 'LoopBack' function should serve the same purpose.

    2) Are you using software DVD player provided with the soundcard? This is essential if you are to optimise your soundcard fully.

    3) Ensure that the 'source' setting on your soundcard is appropriately set.

    4) Last resort - select 'Monitor' on the 'Digital - Input' tab. This loops the digital output to analogue output. Then, connect your soundcard (single RCA plug on each speaker channel) to the 'multichannel' input jacks on your amplifier (double RCA plugs on each speaker channel). This analogue connection is actually shown on the manual. You'll need to get 3 single to double RCA connectors (i.e. front, rear and centre/sub channels) - you can get these in any computer or electronics shop (eg. Tandy, Dixons, etc.). Note that the signal is not digital but analogue, albeit in multi-channel format.

    Your card should allow one of two things in regard to digital sources - 1) It should either decode digital signals directly, and then either send these signals as analogue (as mentioned above) or digital (S/PDIF stereo only) outputs; or 2) route the signals unprocessed to an external decoder, such as your multichannel amp.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  9. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Hello reservoir51

    First off thank's for taking so much time and trouble to reply :)
    Ok iv'e tried what you suggest but all to no avail see below.

    1.)Ticked loopback but still no DD/DTS sound

    2.)Software with the card was windvd im using that and powerdvd

    3.)What do you mean by source setting?

    4.)Ok if I do this then will I not be properly reciving DD/DTS then?

    Blast just took as look at the back of the amp and I dont have multi/chanel in
    :confused:

    5.)Is there a card I can buy apart from the terretec.With an optical out that I can simply plug into the back of my amp's optical in and hear the DD/DTS audio.I.E a card that will allow all 5.1 channels via an optical lead rather than the Terretec that seems to allow only 2 via optical

    Thank's again

    Dino.
     
  10. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    I'm not sure if you should give up just yet, since I'm still adamant that you ought to be able to route unprocessed digital signals directly from the card to an external source.

    The 'Source' setting refers to the source input of signals into the soundcard eg. Wave, Cd, Aux, etc. You'll need to make sure that the DVD player is the 'Source' whenever you're watching DVDs, that its settings are appropriate (eg. not on mute or volume too low, correct sampling rate, etc.) and that the DVD software is appropriately set to handle DD/DTS.

    But if you'd like to get another card, other Terratec cards (such as the Terratec Aureon Space 7.1 Soundcard - http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/terratec-aureon71/) certainly have the 'non-audio' mode which specifically routes unprocessed DD/DTS signals to an external source. However, bear in mind that if the cause of the current problem is due to improper settings, then the same problem is likely to persist with other Terratec cards. Maybe you could do a search on other contemporary soundcards which can easily do what you require.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  11. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    I dont fancy giving up just yet esp as I just bought the card only 3 days ago:) The Terratec Aureon looks fantastic but it's near enough a £100!!! :( Ok on win-dvd and power-dvd you have the option in audio settings of setting audio output to "analog sound card and SP/DIF out", tried both and ANALOG is the only one to work and then you only get a 2 channels of audio.You also MUST make sure that when using the Terretec software that the sp/dif button is enabled or no sound will come out.If I go to infomation in the WinDVD menu while playing a dvd it will show that it's outputting a digital stream of 5 channels.Ive tried all sorts of button pushing combo's in WIN-DVD and Power-DVD as well as the Terretec software but to no avail?
     
  12. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    What about contacting Terratec's Technical Support? It doesn't make any sense that the card is labelled '5.1' when all you're getting is only 2 channel audio, so something must be amiss.

    If, as you say, you hear nothing unless S/PDIF is selected, this implies
    that either the unprocessed signal is not reaching the amp (for instance, if the card is not routing it via optical or the optical cable is faulty), or the amp is not configured correctly to decode digital signals. I take it that the sole connection between your amp and the soundcard is via optical and no other analogue connections? If so, then the optical cable should be functioning properly, since you are hearing S/PDIF signals.

    I'm wondering if the problem is with something else rather than the soundcard. Is your Sony amp correctly set to decode digital signals via optical? If you could get your hands on a separate DVD player (beg, borrow or steal!), you could output DD/DTS signals via optical from this player to your amp to confirm that it is properly configured. Another way of checking the integrity of the system is to output linear PCM signals (i.e. digital stereo from CDs) via optical from the soundcard to the amp and hear the result. As before, you'll need to select the 'Loopback' function so that the digital signals are sent to the amp unprocessed. If you can hear digital stereo this way, then it means your amp is correctly configured and hence the problem lies indeed with your card. You'll need to bypass the S/PDIF function to do the above.


    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  13. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Hello Reservoir :)

    1.)Iv'e contacted them three times already once by email and twice by phone.They dont know and "our looking into it"

    2.)Yes the only connection to the amp via the soundcard is from the optical cable.BTW the optical light is always on the front LCD panel of the amp so it's reciving an optical connection.

    3.)Sony amp is set to decode optical and or auto.Iv'e got a standalone DVD player hooked up to my amp via co-axial and have no problems hearing DD/DTS soundtracks.


    4.)Just tried setting Powerdvd to SP/DIF out only and something funny happens! You still must make sure the Teretec software is also set to SP/DIF.
    Now when that happens the amp flashes the DD logo and shows the full 5.1 speakers on it's lcd panel.The audio though keeps stoping and starting and the amp alternates between displying the DD icon and auto! it's like the stream is trying to get through but cant? :censored:
     
  14. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    I think you're finally getting somewhere. When you intermittently hear the sound from your amp when the 'DD' logo flashes on your amp, do you get output from all 5 speakers or does it remain stereo? If you do get the sound from all speakers (albeit intermittently), then it means either the card or DVD drive is faulty or your amp's optical unit is malfunctioning. You can exclude the latter by hooking up your standalone DVD player by optical to your amp to see if it works. If it does, then the problem is either with the card or DVD drive. Perhaps for some reason your drive is failing to continuously read and/or transfer the digital sound signals to the CPU/soundcard. But if you're able to hear S/PDIF digital output on your amp, then it's quite unlikely that the drive is at fault, which means that it's likely that the card is the culprit.
    You should be able to get a refund or an exchange.

    One other thing. Try setting the amp to receive optical as the main digital input rather than auto (if you've not already done so).

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  15. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    Dino,

    I've managed to get some information about getting true-digital 5.1 output using S/PDIF. It seems that S/PDIF not only handles linear PCM stereo, it can also route any raw digital bitstream data (eg. DD/DTS) externally, which means your card should be able to route such DD/DTS signals to your amp using the 'S/PDIF out' function. Your particular problem is quite a common one it seems - not just with Terratec cards but with some other manufacturers as well. In most cases, the problem seems to be software related - for instance, updating drivers, using the appropriate DVD software decoder (WinDVD seems to have more problems than PowerDVD) and so on.
    Some people downloaded an 'AC3' filter and this seems to have worked for some of them (but not all). Have a read through this forum for Creative soundblaster card users : http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ca...html+using+spdif+on+5.1+sources&hl=en&start=5. They may be discussing about a different card but the issues are just as relevant to your current predicament, and some of the suggestions and solutions are worth trying out.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  16. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Hello Reservoir,

    Thank's for the link, sorry about the late reply but Iv'e just uninstalled windows2000 and put on XP profesional in a bid to get the DD working but to no luck :mad: Im going to read up on the creative forums and wait for Teratec to
    contact me hopefully with a fix???

    Thank's again :)

    DINO.
     
  17. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Wohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooo I found the fix! :smashin: Mandel who has the same setup as me told me that he uses power dvd 4, Now Iv'e been using version 5 of power dvd and windvd and when I switched to the older version it worked first time with spdif out :clap: Now Im off to watch dvd's :D

    DINO.

    looks like it was just a software issue all the time with my card and the new power dvd drivers :eek:
     
  18. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    Glad to hear that everything's sorted, Dino. So, pints all around? :beer:
    I'll have one, thank you!

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  19. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Ha ha! I feel like getting ****** after all the hassle with it! thank's again reservoir for your help and suggestions :smashin:
     

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