5.1 via optical on older reciever
I recently built a gaming PC. Mobo was 7.1 and had optical out. I assumed that it would at least transmit 5.1 over optical. I was wrong. Only after a Google search did I learn why.
I want to transition away from headsets to speakers. My receiver is a little older, it will only take optical for 5.1 support. It supports Dolby digital.
Would anyone have any suggestions for a modest (~$100) card that would fit my needs? I have never bought a sound card before. Up until this point, onboard has always been "good enough". I would want to maximize the quality I get, but I feel that having the 5.1 working (directional pinpointing) is more important in gaming than sound quality.
I have been actively researching cards, and what all the specs mean, but it is a little overwhelming to be honest. It is all new to me.
Thank you for reading.
I could've sworn I had an older card lying around, was going to check if it was only 5.1. Perhaps you can find some old stuff on ebay for $10-$20
Something like this > Rocketfish 5.1-Channel PCI Sound Card RF-51SDCD | eBay
But I do appreciate the suggestion. I think I would just need something basic, but perhaps I would get more enjoyment out of something a little higher end? When it comes to sound cards, I don't know where the cost vs. performance curve starts to level off.
What about something like this? It's really hard to find out whether these specify 5.1 analogue, or analogue and digital. Auzentech, Inc. : X-Studio 5.1 Sound Card : World First soundcards for Music, HTPC, and Gaming.
Reply to chunkymonster
choirbass 11-19-2006 at 09:56:11 AM
yeah, the only sound cards that offer realtime digital 5.1 encoding in either ddl or ddl/dts are:
Turtle Beach Montego DDL - Offers only DD live, and only optical toslink digital connections
HDA Blue Gears X-Mystique - Offers only DD live, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections
HDA Auzentech X-Plosion - Offers both DD live and DTS interactive, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections
HDA Auzentech X-Meridian - Offers both DD live and DTS interactive, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections
Creative also offers an external DTS interactive interconnect, called the DTS-610... its certainly not efficient when it comes to cable usage, but it gets around the DRM issues
Any optical output will give 5.1/7.1 support...it's entirely dependent upon your source. Most music, games, etc, are stereo. If you're playing DVD's, make sure you have it set to use SPDIF as the audio output. Also make sure the Digital Output is configured as your default audio device. That should send the 5.1 Dolby Digital signal to the receiver.
By the sounds of it, you want to upmix non-Dolby Digital sources to 5.1. In this case, you need to by a soundcard that has Dolby Digital Live. I'd recommend something like the ASUS Xonar DX or D1.
spdif can cary a digital signal like dts or DD but in uncompressed LPCM mode it will only have 2 channels. it is the limitation of the format. The solution is to let the receiver input 2 channel and break it up into 5 channel with dd pro logic or one of its features.
Thank you all for the replies. I went with a Asus Xonar DX (same card as D1 except the DX is PCI-E and cheaper too?!). Bought it at a local Canada Computers. The adapter for the optical cable is kinda goofy looking and it takes up the rear mic input, but whatever. TF2 sounds great in 5.1, and Metro 2033 is only 2.1!
The source still needs to be 5.1 for it to be transmitted as 5.1 over the optical cable.
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