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SB 5.1 Digital Live

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by pcpaz, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. pcpaz

    pcpaz
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    I am looking at buying one of these cards from ebuyer.co.uk (£39.98 inc VAT) to deliver DD/DTS sound to a new amp I am about to buy.

    2 Questions:

    1) What type of cable do I use to deliver DD/DTS sound from the card to the amp.

    2) What type of input connection do I need on the amp.

    Please help before I buy the wrong cables and amp!
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    Creative use a 3.5mm jack socket in the card, and the amp will require a elctrical as opposed to optical digital in socket, which will be RCA. Any amp will have this, or needs chucking out! Probably will have both. Creative actually sell a cable for this, but you can make one, or have one made, it'll be £10 or so. A short term solution could be a little adapter, 3.5jack on one side and rca socket on the other (I've got about 6 in a drawer here,even B&Q sell them!) , and a standartd 75ohm rca to rca digital interconnect. There are numerous threads on connecting and using creative cards here, check your output frequencies for optimum sound.
     
  3. Crocodile JD

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    MAW

    I have the SB Live 5.1 card and want to connect to my Amp which has Coax Digital in. Sorry to be a pain but could you spell out exactly how to make the connection. My card is the OEM version and instructions are a little sparse. I've managed to make the digital connection internally but how to do the external bit. Is it a Stereo or Mono 3.5mm jack out and how to get from that to Coax? Also how do you configure the card. Do you have to set it to output Bitstream or something?

    Hope you can help

    Crocodile JD
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    I had a cable made, 3.5 mono jack to RCA, in the lenght I needed. It cost 11.50 Gold plated plugs, reasonable cable. Stick it in the yellow SPDIF hole on the card, and dvd coax in on the amp. Tou need to put a spot in the 'use spdif' box in your dvd software, and not sure if you can alter the sample frequency on that card, but if you can, via audio setup or propeties, set it to 48khz. Job done.
     
  5. meep

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    I used run a Sb 5.1 live in my HTPC. There are still some details on my website as well as a picture of the connecter you need, if that's any help.

    Peter
     
  6. Crocodile JD

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    Thanks MAW, thanks meep I'll look in

    Crocodile JD
     
  7. MuFu

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    If all you are going to use the card for is digital output then consider a Philips Acoustic Edge. It reputedly has the best S/PDIF output quality of any <£50 soundcard (absolutely flat frequency response, high DSNR etc) and it can output natively at 44.1kHz - something that Creative cards and other popular products (Turtle Beach SC etc) cannot do. It also has digital co-axial input/output which saves faffing around with adapters.

    Personaly I use an Audigy 2 (and also have an SBLive! 5.1, incidentally), but if I were to choose a cheap card for DD/DTS passthrough only it'd probably be the Philips.

    MuFu.
     
  8. MAW

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    MuFu, should that read 48khz? Creative certainly do 44.1khz, ie pcm frequency, but the main prob. with the older ones like the Live! player was no 48khz output, meaning an internal transition in the card, and subsequent loss of quality. Later cards like audigy have this facility, what about the cheaper ones, I haven't looked for a while, I'm running a Maudio sonica these days.
     
  9. Jeff

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    I far as I know non of the creative labs sound cards can do native 44.1kHz (i.e CD PCM), it gets resampled to 48kHz.
     
  10. Crocodile JD

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    Meep / MAW

    The Mono jack to RCA adapter and bits arrived yesterday. So last night I tried to get some sound out, no joy. :(

    I set the DVD software (Power DVD) to SPDIF out and I set the Creative software that came with the card to Digital Out. I also enabled the DVD drive for digital out (I think :confused:)I put the jack into the yellow SPDIF hole on the card, and the other end into the dvd coax in on the amp. I set the DVD in on the amp to Auto (which according to manual gives priority to coax over optical).

    I tried a few different things but I'm not good on computers so I was stabbing in the dark TBH.

    Meep

    I noticed one thing from your website (extremely impressive BTW) in the picture showing the back of the HCPC there was only a cable attached to the black output on the card and not the yellow digital out. Is there anything in that? You also mentioned a "home cinema grade cable".

    MAW

    You also mentioned a 75ohm digital interconnect. I was using a core and braid type shielded phono lead. Do I need something different?

    Apologies for the naivety, but once you've stopped cringing, any help would be much appreciated

    Crocodile JD
     
  11. Pack Dude

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    Crocodile JD

    If its the soundblaster with the onboard DD you must disable it or you will not get SPDIF pass through.

    I think its in the speaker options somewhere.

    Also make sure you have clicked "digital output only"
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
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    I see no naevity. Your lead is fine, there is just not yet a DD isgnal going down it. Just a thought, check the jack is pushed fully home, in my creative card it was very tight, and required more than the usual amount of force to push it home. Also have you enabled spdif in your DVD software, and BTW what sort are you using if you can't find the option. After that, you've just got to hunt through the sound options to find the bit you have missed. Internal digital connections are not an issue, the signal does not use them.
     
  13. meep

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    CJD,

    Thanks for the complement.

    The current site picture showing the back of the PC is not really representative. That's a cable which can be used to connect the TV card (WinTV Theater) audio to the sound card. i don't even use that any more as all audio is now routed through my receiver.

    unfortunately, i don't use the Sb Live card any more so don't have the drivers/software installed to check my set-up. All i can say is that it DID work - though i do recall a degree of pfaffing about to find the obsure settings in the SB application.

    finally, the reference to home cinema grade cable is essentially meaningless. It just means that I shelled out for a coax cable specifically labelled as a digital audio cable rather than the (cheaper) alternative of sing regular video coax with phone connectors. This type of cable will still do the job.

    Good luck

    Peter
     
  14. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    pack man

    Thanks for reply. I followed the instructions in the screen manual with regard to disabling the onboard DD. I think I did it correctly? In speakers, under advanced If I remember rightly, along with a base redirect there is a button to enable onboard DD (AC3 encoded what is that?) this must be greyed out I believe. Then I selected the digital out only box. Still nothing:(

    MAW

    Thanks for reply. I'm sure I set DVD software (Powerdvd) to SPDIF out. It definately showed Current Audio Setting as SPDIF. Maybe I'll disconnect that 2 way internal digital connection and try again but I don't think it's that?

    Crocodile JD
     
  15. sounddog

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    This should help you ...

    http://dmzweb4.europe.creative.com/...30,E=0000000000017707649,K=431,Sxi=3,Case=obj(2795)

    It states "Alternatively, if it’s an SB Live! 1024, or indeed an SB Live! Platinum, use a 3.5mm stereo minijack from the yellow digital output connector (positioned at the top of the backplate of the card) to the white RCA of a red/white pair of RCA inputs."

    So as I said ... needs a stereo mini-jack

    Edit ... sorry don't think that link works ... but goto Creative's knowledge base and it's Solution ID 2795.
     
  16. meep

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    Sounddog,

    This is incorrect - The Sb live 5.1 uses a mono jack to obtain digital signal from the top, yellow, connector. connecting a stereo jack to a stereo pair of 9analog) jacks on the receiver/amp will gibe an analog signal

    I've previousl had a SB live 5. and i know a mono jack is the solution.

    Peter
     
  17. MAW

    MAW
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    They must be potty, or maybe you can't get mono ones easily in yank land. Mine worked perfectly well with a mono jack, and creative actually sell a lead for this, it's on their site, and I'll be b*****ed if it's got a stereo jack! Just checked, it isn't clear in the picture, and the text doen't say, but there's absolutely no need for a stereo jack for this. Unless of course they have wired the socket in the strangest way. Maybe looking at the socket from the inside of the PC might tell you this. Sounds like the back is on and off anyway, might as well see what you can see.

    If you want to PM me, we could maybe send you my lead, I don't use it at present. Though it's a copy of a coaxial digital lead for a minidisc player, I think Richer sell them.
     
  18. sounddog

    sounddog
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    The reason it's a stereo jack (at least on the original SB Live - NOT 5.1) is that there are digital output for both front and rear stereo channels.

    I've got the lead here that was supplied to connect the SB Live to a Cambridge Soundworks digi-theatre pack. The first part is an adaptor from a yellow STEREO mini-jack and this splits and goes to a standard phono socket for normal SPDIF connection and also to a red multipin connector which carries all four channels for 4-point surround games.

    A Mono jack MIGHT work ... but it's not the correct thing and you'll be shorting connections out internally.

    I must reiterate that I have the original SB Live! NOT the later 5.1 version so that may be different. Also the article I referenced on Creatives Knowledge Base was for the orginal version.

    Hope this helps explain.

    Victoria


    Addendum ... just had another look at Creative Labs website and you're right ... the SB Live 5.1 uses a mono jack (see article ID 5491 instead of the article I put before)
     
  19. MAW

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    Mine was a live! player 1024. Mono jack on that, It's in my son's PC now, checked through all the software, nothing to say on that. It must be the jack plug, and I guess the only way is to get creative's own lead in that case. Apologies for leading you up the garden path, also on the44.1khz biz, it seems that applies only to early ones too. Funny though, they've gone back to the mono jack on the extigy, and therefore I assume on the audigy, which it is based on.
     
  20. sounddog

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    No ... according to Creaitve Labs ... it's stereo on the SB Live 1024 and mono on the SB Live 5.1

    In fact I can tell you that my Live 1024 was supplied with a stereo cable ... though I've never tried a mono once cause this has always worked.


    Victoria
     
  21. MAW

    MAW
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    I have my old lead in my hand, it's a mono jack to RCA, and we got perfectly acceptable and definitely decodable Dolby Digital and DTS signal with it. It works for spdif out with the extigy too, but no DD as it doesn't pass a dd signal, but always decodes it. I'm staring at my jack plug, it's mono, it has only a centre/end pin, a black insulator and a side 'pin'. Only 2 connectors. My amp said dolby digital, and you could hear it.
     
  22. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Sounds like Creative give different information at different times then.

    Cause I've got my cable (supplied by Creative) here and it's definately a stereo connector.


    Victoria
     
  23. MAW

    MAW
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    That's why I use an Maudio card now, not only does it sound better, but you know where you are. The 44.1/48 khz bit illustrates it too, and the lack of DD pass through on the extigy. They are ... sorry can't say that, you are Victoria, not Victor! Suffice to say I don't know who's more muddled, them or us! And what about the card in question. We can oly assume that as it doesn't work with a mono, it must need a stereo creative lead!

    BTW did you ever get that projector fixed?
     
  24. Crocodile JD

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    Sorry guys didn't mean to cause a rumpus. I'm sure from all the info. that the cable is right. Thanks for the feed back. It's probably just me doing something stupid :clown: . I'm going to reload the creative software and make sure the drivers are happy, then I'll get rid of that extra bit of wire I put inside and try again.

    Crocodile JD:)
     
  25. vep

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    Sorry for opening this depate again.

    In the next few day i will receive my firs A/V receiver which i am planing to use for computer 5.1 sound also (DVD on computer). I have SB Live 5.1. My computer is located in another room as my tv is (distance aprox 10 m). At the moment i am using an normal cable for transmiting analog sound from SB to tv (stereo minijack on computer, red and white RCA jack on TV).

    From your descusion i found out that i would need a mono minijack on comp. side and one RCA jackl on receiver side in order for digital 5.1 to be transfered to A/V receiver.

    I am not a tehnical so i wonder if it is possible to use my present cable despite it has a stereo minijack. I only have to try which RCA jack on other side (red or white) carries the digital signal. I am sorry if i am talking nonsenses here. Just correct me.

    My other question is regarding the max length of the normal (cheap) cable which carries the digital signal. Is 10 meters to far away, for transmiting digital signal correctly. I am not planing to spend to much just for this cable.
     
  26. MAW

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    You certainly don't need to spent too much, but 10m is a fair run, you need to use the right sort of cable, not analogue audio. Your amp/decoder might not identify the signal if it's not arriving in reasonable condition. Try it and see I suppose, but a better, or I should say more suitable, lead might give noticeably better results. Don't spend a fortune, unless the decoder is a TAG!
     
  27. rooster

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    Hi

    i have a problem getting 5.1 out of my pc . I have SB Audigy card and have it connected via mini jack to Two RCA connectors to my amp. When i test the 5.1 via the contol panel i only get stereo . With red plug in Amp i get two fronts and with white i get two rears. Am i using the wrong cable? Or doing something else wrong.
     
  28. Pack Dude

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    What type of amp do you have rooster?

    If you are trying to use the SPDIF output you only need one phono plugged into the digital input on your amp. And the other end (minijack) plugged into the digital output on your sound card. Then disable ac3 decode (or what ever its called on your card) and enable the digital output.

    If your trying to use a five channel amp have a search through SB support, im almost sure it will tell you the leads you need and how to connect it. http://uk.europe.creative.com/support/
     
  29. rooster

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    sorry first post is unclear , i am only using one og the phono leads to digital coaxial input of my amp. As i said i only get sound through rears or fronts depending on if i connect white or red phono to coaxial input
     
  30. Pack Dude

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    All i can say is i am using a SB audigy with no probs.

    I only installed the basic drivers but i have also used a full driver install on windows ME and XP.
    I use a phono to phono lead with a phono to mono mini jack adaptor.

    Are you sure your using the SPDIF output on the card, its the top one i think.

    Also as far as i remember if your using the spdif you cant test the 5.1 via the SB contol panel. I think its just for testing its own 5.1 decoding.

    And your amp will only change to 5.1 if it gets a 5.1 signal like from a DVD. Im not sure if any games have true DD.
     

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