5.1 and S/PDIF

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by dj_stick, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. dj_stick

    dj_stick Apple Fanboy?

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    with BWX's option you WILL get a better sound quality (if the souncard is decent) simply because Dolby Digital is a LOSSY encoding algorithm, and the digital to analogue converters in most low-mid range amplifiers are pretty average
     
  2. RE III - Frankie

    RE III - Frankie Banned

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    I have LIVE 5.1 HD Audio, I can't get used to 2 channel anymore!
     
  3. -Mr.Fridge

    -Mr.Fridge DriverHeaven's Fridge

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    I'm not looking for an amazing sound quality, my speakers can't give me that.
    But, I AM looking to give my Xbox a 5.1 speakers to play with.
    My only qustion: Is the X-Fi Fatality Pro capable of turning the digital input from a TOSLINK cable (From the xbox) to a 5.1 channel analog output (Directly to my speakers)...?
     
  4. Liqourice

    Liqourice Well-Known Member

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    Hmm..

    From when I built my HTPC and got my new Yamaha RX-V767 I used the S/PDIF from the motherboard soundcard and I've been far from satisfied. So, finally today I got myself an extra HDMI-cable and connected the cable from my HD6850 to the amplifier and then from the amp to the tv and changed the system to use the HDMI sound instead and the difference is enormous.. I can much more clearly hear the different channels now.

    So, does that mean that the optical S/PDIF still isn't usable for 7.1 audio?

    Not that it matters that much to me, I won't go back to that anyway now. :p
     
  5. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Currently Spdif/coax/toslink/optical or whatever you want to call it.. is limited to 2 channels even on i'd say 99% of the motherboards out there that have either ADI/Soundmax/Via/Realtek/ETC. chipsets... Resulting in the amp either defaulting to 2 channel stereo (potentially being upconverted via some kind of sound enhancer to fill the remaining channels you have OR by enabling 5/6/7 channel stereo mode).... in either case.... not good at all

    This also APPLIES TO ALL SOUND CARDS doesn't matter which type... could be creative or a cheapo add in... or even the top of the line highend pro series internal or super expensive external....

    Now if you playback a dvd or blu-ray or something that is purely encoded in a format that can be set over the connection as a valid dts/dd, the amp should see it and decode it over only a 5.1 mode (nothing more)

    Power DVD for example will transcode on the fly a 7.1 Lossless Master DD/DTS into a 5.1 DD/DTS compliant signal and then send it to the amp that way. (defeats the purpose of having lossless but still better than downsampling it to just 2 channels only)

    Now if the Motherboard or soundcard has Either Dolby Digital LIVE! / DTS-Connect.... with that enabled, all computer sounds and games will be 5.1 compliant and work properly at a maximum of 16bit 48khz 6 channel mode.

    Games as old as say Unreal tournament (one of the first games that natively out of the box supports surround sound).... will actually work flawlessly with this.

    Playing back lets say a AC3/ACC or Any other audio format/codec used with lets say a MKV or even a WMV using microsoft only 6 channel solution they made will properly map to each individual channel and ZERO Matrixing will occur (no prologic 2 crap will happen)

    Additional using those 2 technologies (DTS-C/DDL) will produce a FAR BETTER Quality "matrixed" audio if any stereo/mono formats are played, even allowing the user to "adjust" a few settings.

    Personally having dealt with them all, I don't beleive i've seen a single ADI/Soundmax Solution provide DTS/DDL modes.... Via and Realtek do on select solutions which are typically highend motherboards. I prefer Realteks control panel and solution, seems to be less or completely without bugs vs the via.

    IF HDMI is a potential solution.... do it (if your video card or motherboard has an HDMI output.... some new 1155/2011 socket motherboards have an HDMI connection that will actually work as an audio only output to an amplifier)

    Using HDMI allows for a PURE descreet NONE Encoded PCM Lossless multi-channel audio. This means no specia encoder/decoders are required in order to get true 7.1 (8 channel) surround sound out of the box over an HDMI connection. It's truely flawless and your best choice.

    NEVER EVER EVER EVER connect the hdmi connection to a tv/monitor/projector and then feed a stereo using the tv's digital or analog outputs.... totally will ruin your audio (i only say this as i see this mistake repeatedly done by so called experts)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  6. Liqourice

    Liqourice Well-Known Member

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    I wish I had known this from start, but better late than never. It works just perfectly with HDMI for me. The difference is just enormous.
     
  7. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    yup... HDMI having true 24bit 192KHZ 8 channel output support would be MASSIVE in comparison to 16bit 44khz (default) 2 channel pcm output.
     
  8. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

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    I got myself the Logitech Z906 5.1 speaker set a few days ago and have been using optical out from my motherboard for the first time. Works well overall and so far I don't mind so much that Dolby Digital/DTS is required at the source for it to work at its best. But something that may have me give the analog option a chance(with separate soundcard) is that whenever the speaker set is in digital decoding mode, no sound from other sources are played at all.

    I assume this is simply as designed and that there isn't for instance any soundcard that would be able to mix in other sound, like say system sounds into the signal?

    I wouldn't be surprised if Logitech comes out with a HDMI-capable package soon now that I've gotten the Z906. ;)
     
  9. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

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    Edit: Ahh, I see Judas covered this above. :)
    I've read a bit about something called Dolby Digital Live that might in fact be doing something like what I was thinking about. Since I've now tested the analog connections and ended up feeling like perhaps it's time to try another soundcard after all (Audigy 2ZS has been good but it's quite old now), so one with both good analog and support for this Dolby Digital Live might be in order. I see a few motherboards also sport DDL support and perhaps it's getting more common, but a motherboard upgrade is not in the near future.

    I assume that DDL is so new that none here has had a go with it yet?
    Edit: There also seems to be something similar named DTS Interactive or DTS Connect.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  10. dj_stick

    dj_stick Apple Fanboy?

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    DDL has been around for quite a few years, but I guess not all soundcard manufacturers want to pay the licence fee for it. I think the first use of it was the old nForce motherboards (I had one of these back in the day)
    It was a way around using a digital connection that normally only supported stereo audio. Not surprised there's a DTS equivalent, both being competing technologies in cinema and home theatre audio.
    I think nowadays it's not used so much by soundcards as they tend to have better quality digital to analogue converters than the speaker sets they're used with, so using the digital connections actually lowers the quality - a luxury inboard interfaces don't have, which is why it's more prevalent on motherboards than soundcards.
     
  11. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    I'm finding a lot of the digital speaker units actually produce no difference between their digital or analog connections due to their amps actually doing an analog to digital conversion before converting it back again... so technically irregardless of your connection type and the source, it'll go through the amps own digital to analog process again anyways.

    Personally i'm using DTS-Connect atm. All sounds work and mix with each other even when games are playing back in 5.1 while mono/stereo/quadraphonic audio is streamed or played ...

    the only time no mixing occurs is if say powerdvd takes exclusive control of the audio device while playing back a DVD or a 5.1 AAC/AC3 compliant audio file, there is an option to allow mixing... but sometimes it don't work so well.
     

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