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Xbox & Dolby Digital 5.1?

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by PaulMathers, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. PaulMathers

    PaulMathers
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    How do I set up the xbox with a surround amp to get 5.1 sound - It doesn't look as if there is an optical out which is a surprise!
     
  2. alanrob

    alanrob
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    Nice little over sight on mr MS's new console - it doesn't have a digital output out of the box (DOH!!!).
    You'll have to get yourself another AV connection that has a digital output on it.

    Other problem with the console that would have made it even better is the ability to watch DVD's without having to fork out even more money on a DVD dongle thingy.
     
  3. NeoBlade

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    The reason why MS are selling a £30 DVD remote is because they don't want to pay royalties. Sony has to pay out xxx amount in royalties just to have DVD playback, but because MS were loosing so much money already (graphics chip, HDD, broadband adapter...) they opted not to loose any more cash and to just sell an add-on. Thats also one of the reasons why Nintendo didn't include DVD playback.

    As for the advanced AV stuff for the Xbox you're better off ordering it online. All of the places I've been to don't sell the component cables for the Xbox or ones with optical out.
     
  4. John Jennings

    John Jennings
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    Another reason is that the import duty would've been higher if it was categorised as a DVD player.

    It's probably actually a sensible move by MS as the inclusion of DVD playback isn't so much of a selling point as it was on PS2 at the time when it launched. DVD players are relatively cheap and common now.

    John
     
  5. kenjolly

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    hi,

    I bought a joytech advanced pack from PC world for £15, connected up the optical output to the amp, set the amp to automatic for input selection on the TV device and hey presto - halo in glorious DD. What more can a man ask for (besides a couple of beers and England winning the world cup).
     
  6. kenjolly

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    Sorry but to answer the original question :

    once you have the joytech (or other) connection go to the X-box menu options and within the sound options set it to digital. Can't remember exactly how to get there but it isn't difficult. Obviously this will need to be set and you will need the optical connection to get DD out of the X-box (which is more than can be said for any other console at the moment !).

    How this helps.

    Kenneth
     
  7. NeoBlade

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    Most of us now have receivers that can decode 5.1 signals anyway so it isn't a problem. A few PS2 titles output in 5.1 and almost all Gamecube titles to come will support Pro Logic II. Pro Logic II might be sniffed at from a few people but it is done very well. If you get a chance to hear it then I would encourage you to do so.

    Also note, the rather weak centre sound from Halo...
     
  8. sweetmate

    sweetmate
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    Sounds absolutely perfect to me.

    Do a 360 degree pan when a drop ship is landing, and you'll hear it pan round all 5 speakers perfectly.

    Maybe you need to recalibrate your setup with an SPL meter? ;)
     
  9. fuzzybee

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    I think NeoBlade is commenting on how weak the weapons sound when you fire them but i agree the center channel in halo is not used particurlarly well

    and my system is most deffinately set up correctly.
    As for DD5.1 in ps2 games there are only a handfull MGS2 being one but only in some cutscenes the ps2 cannot produce 5.1 ingame sound on the fly.

    Before anyone says about SSX Tricky and a handfull of other games producing DTS it is only DTS 4 channel not full blown 5.1
     
  10. NeoBlade

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    The PS2 can only output in 5.1 on cut scenes really... No chance of real time 5.1 decoding but I'm sure it could support Pro Logic II as well if developers put some effort into it. Its good to know that audio is more appreciated now though in videogames.

    Technology though is all well and good but you still need a top game to demonstrate it all. At least Microsoft has made inroads with its audio technology and visual thanks to nVidia.
     
  11. PaulMathers

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    Thanks for the reply guys - I shall check out the joytech adapter.
     
  12. fuzzybee

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    To me ingame sound is the most important thing that is why I bought a Xbox.

    and it has not dissapointed the GC is also superb in the sound department.

    I think we will be seeing ps2 games with pro logic 2 very soon?
     
  13. allyh82

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    Hi

    If you want optical digital out, then you'll have to pay out £15 for the AV lead, my advice would be don't get the official MS lead as it still doesn't come with a fibre lead, just the port. If you get the third party lead, it comes with a fibre lead as well.

    If you want coax digital out, then you can hack about with the lead that comes with the xbox. It's only two wires, all you need is a phono and a bit of time. Details can be found at www.xboxhacker.com, or drop me an email.

    Cheers

    Al
     
  14. mark1

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    I tried every shop in town looking for the advanced AV connector. the only place that had it was toys r us and they didnt have it on show. Halo is exelent in 5.1 though, definantly worth getting.

    I heard that PS2 can do realtime DTS in 5.1. is this true? seems to be on EA games.
     
  15. fuzzybee

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    No mate it is not true.
    The ps2 cannot do realtime 5.1 in any shape or form.
    Some EA games do have DTS but only DTS 4 channel.

    SSX Tricky is a good example and it sounds very poor in comparison to 5.1
     
  16. John Jennings

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    Strictly, the PS2 can do 5.1 in real time, it's just that it's so demanding on its processors that games would grind to a halt :)

    You never know though, with time coders may be able to optimise things enough to get real-time 5.1 on some simple games where there's not much going on on-screen.

    We'll probably be seeing Pro-Logic II games on PS2 quite soon. Not as good as DD5.1 , but hey, it's better than Stereo :)
     
  17. NeoBlade

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    Strictly speaking John is absolutely correct, however in a fully fledged real time 3D world there isn't enough processing power to use DD 5.1 with any sort of quality... Mainly because the PS2 wasn't designed with the audio hardware to do it.

    Pro Logic II would be the most obvious choice for the PS2, following on from the GameCube and (if programmed well) it can sound impressive. The channel seperation on Rogue Squadron was pretty good, just use the Audio Test to hear it in action. Soon enough since Nintendo gave out the Pro Logic II kits a while ago, this will be the standard for GC games and with the latest games like Eternal Darkness, Mario, Star Fox Adventures, etc all supporting it, audio is at last getting an upgrade.
     
  18. John Jennings

    John Jennings
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    Another big issue we've not really considered is the licensing fees for the Dolby technology. Dolby charge a hefty whack if you want to use the technology in your games, so it's down to the developers & publishers to decide whether they think the Dolby/DTS licensing fees are going to be recouped by the extra sales you may get for having Surround sound in a game. Plus it takes time to add surround code to a game, which adds costs to the development fees incurred.

    We're very much the exception on this forum. Most of us have nice DD set-ups, that's why we frequent this forum. But think of your average 'little Jimmy' sat in his bedroom playing on his 14" portable mono telly, or your average 'post-pub casual gamer' who's probably got a 25" Nicam 4:3 TV. They're the majority of gamers at the moment and aren't going to care about DD/DTS support.

    It'll get more common with time though.

    John
     
  19. fuzzybee

    fuzzybee
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    That is correct Neoblade the ps2 sound chip was not designed for 5.1 sound on the fly DD or DTS.
    We will never hear 5.1 sound on the fly from the ps2 if it could have been done it would have been done already if DTS cannot do it no company can.

    The ps2 dvd playback of 5.1 decoding is very poor so that does not leave much hope for in game 5.1 however pro logic II should be appearing in games very shortly and the GC sounds superb connected to the right gear.

    The sound chip in the xbox was designed by dolby laboritries themselves and a superb job they have done aswell.

    The xbox excells in the sound department that is why I bought one.
    To me sound is the most important thing in a game;)
     
  20. John Jennings

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    Actually, real-time DD5.1 can be done on the PS2. There are demos you can download off the SCEE developers website. The issue is that it puts such a processing drain on the PS2 that there's not much left to do anything else in each frame. Basically, you could probably do something like Asteroids or Missile Command in real-time 5.1 on the PS2, but we're never going to see something like GTA3 appearing in real-time 5.1.

    (Oh, and just as a point of order, it was Nvidia who designed the X-box sound chip, not Dolby. Just me being picky :blush: )
     
  21. fuzzybee

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    Fair comment about the demos.
    As regards the sound chip in the xbox it was designed as a joint venture by both companys.

    Not nitpicking or anything
     
  22. John Jennings

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  23. NeoBlade

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    lol either way its a powerful piece of kit. Thats why I'm glad nVidia have used the same audio chip on their nForce motherboards. Still a bit miffed at why they went with the celeron CPU, but I suppose the Duron emits too much heat and was a tad bigger... But then Intel are good chums with Microsoft.

    Pro Logic II seems to be the way for the PS2, but no-one has used the technology yet... It will be the standard for the GC so the PS2 is the only one lagging behind on the audio front.

    Its nice that audio has finally been given a proper facelift since its about time, but then I'd still like to see gameplay moving forward. Genre hybrids atm seems to be the trend and with the graphical power of all of the 3 consoles the next few years should be pretty interesting.
     
  24. John Jennings

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    I think with the advent of cheaper Dolby Digital equipment and, more importantly, the profusion of cheap 'All-in-One' home theatre solutions in places like Dixons and Currys we're going to see a lot of games using surround now.

    Actually, going back and looking at my old games I was quite surprised by the number that offer Pro-Logic support. It didn't really strike me at the time. A brief glance at just my games and I found the following; Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Rogue Squadron, Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, (actually, pretty much every game by Rare). I also seem to remember a few on PS1 like Alien Resurrection and Overboard.

    On PS2 I think we're going to be with DTS4.0 for a while, especially EA games as I think they've struck a deal with DTS which will probably run for a while. Pro-logic II's probably the way forward though, I agree.

    Anyways, games are so much more fun in Surround :)
     
  25. NeoBlade

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    Rare really did embrace the audio technology alright, as well as the visual side of things. G/Eye had a 16:9 option as did Perfect Dark and both ran in Pro Logic. Conkers BFD had top audio considering the cart format as well. The Gamecube stuff should be pretty sweet unless they've gone multi-format.

    Games certainly are nice in surround sound, but the games need to play pretty well of course ^_^
     
  26. Bonesy

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    with you all the way Neoblade, rare with goldeneye and PD in w/s and PL made N64 a dream.
     

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