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Optical output in a soundcard?

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Acidburn, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Acidburn

    Acidburn
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    Is it possible to buy a sound card with optical out?
     
  2. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    Yeah most of the top of the range Soundblaster Audigy cards have optical outs, also quite a lot of the nForce2 motherboards have an optical out on them.
     
  3. Acidburn

    Acidburn
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    The reason i'm asking is that my 5.1 sound system (video logic made the digitheatre) which i've had for some time... Now today my dad was at work so I decided to connect a normal DVD player up to it, and blimey the difference was wohoo AC-3 came on straight away it new that the DVD was 5.1 and started playing it was ace... Same thing with a stero sorce ac-3 again but this time stero... But when i try to play a dvd through my PC connecting the digital coxtial it only decteds the digital mode as PCM and started to play it as Pro Logic ... Any ideas? I thought maybe if i tried the optical porton the back of the decoder box it may make a difference
     
  4. AML

    AML
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    I opened a thread about Dolby Digital in PC games and in the thread u can get all the information you need to make your PC games play dolby digital. (5.1)
    Dont think of PC games like a DVD Movie.
    My card uses an optical out but it wont give your PC games Dolby Digital 5.1. To get that u need to get a coaxial-to-pin jack cable and conect your new sound card (Audigy ZS for example) from the digital coaxial output on the card (pin jack) to your digital amp (coaxial) to get digital sound. Otherwise its analog.
    Hope this helps and please read the thread called: Dolby Digital?
    for more info in detail.
     
  5. Acidburn

    Acidburn
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    Hello AML thanks for the info but i already went through your thread... The main problem is that I use my PC for DVD's and not really gaming! I dont really take much atention to the sound when I play a game just when I play the films. My sound card at the moment has a digital output on it but its a stand 3.5mm pin and not a thing like the end on the coaxial cable (I dont know what they called...perhaps a female? ) Anyway perhaps that will make the difference?

    The DVD player has one yet my sound card is intented for pins and not the end of a coaxial cable?
     
  6. AML

    AML
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    its complicated i know but i also know that u can definately get your PC to play DVDs with Dolby Digital and DTS.
    If u get a new card, u get a board with it that offers Optical and coaxial conections. All u do is stick it in your PC where the PCi slots are and then plug that wee board into your sound card.
    Go through all the settings in windows (follow the manual) then conect the optical cable to you amp and off you go!
    Its aprocess u have to go through but once its done u can get DD sound in movies.
    The jack on the sund card itself is a pain coz its a special cable that u wont find in an audio shop, u probably need to go to a PC shop to get it. ( im going to get one too)
    I assume that if u connect this cable u should be able to get DD sound from both games and DVDs by just changing the setting in windows fro analog to digital (spidiff)
     
  7. Acidburn

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    intresting post on the cable... But i do know how to change and purchase a pci soundcard thanks... I built my pc . . :D at the moment i got a sound blaster pro audio 9000 ...it does come with a digital out on it but something isnt right... keep me informed about ur cable btw
     
  8. hornydragon

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    see if there is an option for Bitstream output, also some sound cards only support PCM (stereo on digital output)
     
  9. Acidburn

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    looks like mine only does support PCM (i always wondered what that is and still do) So anyone recommend a good sound card thats not to badly priced?
     
  10. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Pulse Code Modulation
     
  11. Acidburn

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    Not to sound blunt , I took my assumption because the card is oler than my decoder which is about a year old, anyway of actually telling whether it does just support PCM?
     
  12. james.miller

    james.miller
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    what dvd player software are you using? chances are you haven't set the players audio settings up correctly.

    Correct me if im wrong, but ive never come across a soundcard that doesn't support DD/DTS passthru.
     
  13. Acidburn

    Acidburn
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    James> The reason this doesnt work is because my sound card can only ouput PCM through the digital port, therefore i'm going of to puchase a newer sound card in the hope that it will be able to send out Ac-3 signals
     
  14. james.miller

    james.miller
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    what soundcard is it?
     
  15. Acidburn

    Acidburn
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    cheap sound blaster live series
     
  16. james.miller

    james.miller
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    soundblaster live!'s can do 5.1 in movies mate......
     
  17. Acidburn

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    yes they can but only outputting it in PCM Pro logic and not AC-3
     
  18. james.miller

    james.miller
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    yes they can. They can passthru DD and DTS just like any other card.
     
  19. Acidburn

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    lol, omg... Have you read this topic?! I've got a decoder box which is ment to do all the work! at the minute the sound card is connected through an coaxial port to my decorder end... but when sound comes from the s/c its only picking up PCM and in the manual its says PCM 5.1 Pro logic... So theres my answer!
     
  20. james.miller

    james.miller
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    ok you need to listen to me VERY CAREFULLY.

    the soundblaster will and CAN output DOLBY DIGITAL or DTS from a dvd. i know it can because ive used one. stop arguing with me and accept that. if yours isnt outputting the correct audio stream it's because your software is incorrectly set up.

    FACT.

    http://www.soundblaster.com/products/sblive/
     
  21. Acidburn

    Acidburn
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    well perhaps you could throw me in the right direction ? ...how would / should it be set up?


    have you got msn messeger? Add me... Ruddj16@hotmail.com
     
  22. james.miller

    james.miller
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    you could answer my original question for a start.
    if it's powerDVD for example you need to navigate to configuration >> audio and make sure you have "use SPDIF" selected under where it says Speaker environment.
     
  23. Acidburn

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    SPDIF does not output AC3! It will output PCM pro logic , this is EVEN stated within my manual... here

    'Decodes Dolby digital OR pass though Dolby PL via the SPDIF PCM stream to external decoder!
     
  24. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I'm using a Soundblaster 4.1 with Power DVD 5 (was using XP 4 before that, and 3 before that), and I get DD and DTs including all extended versions via the spdif output - you have to get a 3.5mm jack to phono adapter, and put it into the green jack (IIRC). Go into device manager and set the SB to output as digital, and make sure the playback software is capable and set to playback DD/DTS.

    When I playback DVDs with DD/DTS, the (Denon 3802) receiver changes over to the correct format and voila - full DD/DTS surround...


    Gary.
     
  25. Acidburn

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    Hello, yeh i managed to get it to output AC3 by turning off the facitlity of ac3 decode within the sound card, now it passes the data from the DVDrom into the decoder box itself, it auto switches to AC3 pro logic however the movie sometimes jerks! - why is this? when i tell power dvd to output it to a 2 chanel its perfect to skips or nothing but the decoder goes back to been pcm.
     
  26. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Sounds like a software issue.

    You might have to start from scratch when that happens. I had an audio problem once that I couldn't cure, so I reformatted and started again. I then ghosted the image so if it went wrong again, I could easily put it right.

    That was with Win 98. I now use XP and create restore points before I change anything.

    Gary.
     
  27. Acidburn

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    nar tried that! But wow it did make a difference but its not has bad has before.

    I went to power dvd and changed to output to SPDIF and it was like playing a dvd at 2x rather than at 1x (realtime) . . . the sound came out but it was ewww! Amazingly went back to audio settings and changed it to 2 channel and bang it was ok. So I took it down to a s/w prob and opened up WMP and changed the setting for SPDIF it did work but still a few cliches everyone and then it skips a few...strange!

    So I formatted and power dvd is better but yet it still skips ....i cant find out why!
     
  28. Marc

    Marc
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    hmm, i cut the end off a headphone cable and wired it onto the end of a coaxial cable, which seemed to work going from the soundblaster mini coaxial to my amp coaxial.
     
  29. pez

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    You can pass through the bitstream directly from a DVD through a digital out (such as SPDIF) to an external Dolby Digital receiver/amplifier.

    What you cant do (unless you have NForce2 with SoundStorm or Intel HDA) is output Dolby Digital 5.1 from games via a digital out.

    Only the NForce2 with SoundStorm and the new Intel HDA on board audio solutions can output Dolby Digital from games via the SPDIF to a Dolby Digital receiver/amplifier.

    The Audigy cant do it, and neither can any other sound card currently available for games.

    The reason is that the NForce2 with SoundStorm and the Intel HDA both carry out Dolby Digital Encoding (DDE). They take the 5.1 sound that a game produces and encode it into Dolby Digital so that you can output it via 1 digital cable to your Dolby Digital receiver/amp.

    Most sound cards can create 5.1 sound from games, but you can only output it via multichannel audio outs (2 for backs, 2 for fronts, 2 for centre and sub etc). These are analog signals.

    Most sound cards have SPDIF sockets, and you CAN pass Dolby Digital soundtracks from DVDs straight through them to a Dolby Digital receiver/Amp to decode, or you can get the card to decode it and output the sound, again, via the analog outputs (why bother though, your Dolby Digital receiver/amp will likely do a MUCH better job).

    You will only be able to pass 2 channel PCM data down the SPDIF from ALL non DDE sound cards, be they the latest Creative Audigy, or the cheapest 20quid bargain bin special.

    EAX is just a method of creating 3d sound, Doom3 doesnt use EAX, as id software wrote their own 3d sound code.

    Outputting this 3d sound can only be done using the SPDIF on sound solutions that can carry out Dolby Digital Encoding (DDE). It has to be done via analog cables on non DDE cards.

    pez
     
  30. james.miller

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    AFAIK, intel's HDA does 7.1 pro-logic, not dolby digital.
     

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