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Two sound cards in the one PC

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Comer, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Comer

    Comer
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    I am in the process of planning what I need in order to upgrade my PC. (The old one never really fully dried out). I want to be able to watch HiDef material such as T2 in 5.1 channel surround so I am now down to deciding upon the last component: a sound card.

    I have an mAudio delta dio that I paid quite a bit for so I would like to try and keep that. But I also want a sound card that will output 6 channel to the pre-amp inputs on my amp. I tried putting a second sound card into my present PC with 5.1 channel analogue outputs. I thought that it would not work but both sound cards seem quite happy in the same PC.

    Here’s what happened:
    Play DVD with Theatertek using Spdif output on mAudio card: works perfectly
    Play DVD with Theatertek using analogue outputs on cheap sound card: picture but no sound
    Play music from WMP 9 using Spdif output on mAudio card: works perfectly
    Play music from WMP 9 using analogue outputs on cheap sound card: works perfectly
    Play DVD from WMP 9 using Spdif output on mAudio card: works perfectly
    Play DVD from WMP 9 using analogue outputs on cheap sound card: no picture or sound. The error message I get is “One or more codecs required to open this content could not be found”

    My questions:
    1. Can I use WMP 9 to play HiDef DVDs such as T2 and is it possible to output 5.1 channel sound via the six channel outputs of my second sound card
    2. If it is possible to do this why can’t I get either sound or picture on DVD’s at the moment


    Thanks
    Conor
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    At the risk of stating the obvious :), it seems you're missing the decoder for Dobly Digital 5.1, which would be needed for your tests 2 and 6 .. assuming you weren't trying to play a DTS DVD in which case it's the DTS decoder you haven't got.

    With just Media Player that'd be as expected, out-of-the-box Windows doesn't contain a Dolby decoder because M$ are too cheap to pay Dolby for one, nor does it contain an MEPG-2 decoder for the video .. .you have to get third-party decoders such as those from Sonic, which are what TheaterTek use.

    Now, the only thing I can't explain is why TheaterTek doesn't produce sound, seeing as how installing that SHOULD have installed the decoders. In lieu of any other indication of problems I'd suggest perhaps visiting TT's forums to ask what may have prevented them being installed our why they may not be being used.

    Do you have any other DVD playing software to try, such as PowerDVD which often comes bundled with DVD drives.

    As for two soundcards, as you've found they can peacefully co-exist, though whether you can configure all players to use one or the other will depend on the players themselves, I wouldn't know if Media Player does or whether it merely uses the default output device as set in the Sounds applet in Control Panel.
     
  3. Comer

    Comer
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    Excellent reply KraGorn:smashin: and never be afraid to "state the obvious" where I'm concerned:D . You have cleared up alot of my confusion

    I didn't really give much time to getting sound using Theatertek as I intend to continue using the mAudio card with spdif output for that.

    You are also right, I did need to go into the control pannel to allow WMP to switch between sound cards. Only a minor inconvenience

    Now all I really need to know is if I build my new PC with two sound cards, can I use the card with annalogue outputs to achieve 5.1 surround sound on a HiDef disk such as Terminator 2 and if so how do I achieve this.

    Thanks

    Conor
     

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