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  Reply # 295509 2-Feb-2010 19:40
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I note that Creative have a USB sound gizmo that outputs an optical signal. It's called 'X-Fi Surround 5.1'.
http://au.creative.com/product...=

I have a spare optical-in port on my Sony receiver. If I attached this unit to my HTPC and fed the signal to that port, would I then get multi-channel sound from mkv files?

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  Reply # 295515 2-Feb-2010 19:50
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No, because from the specs page - Optical Out supports stereo SPDIF out and pass through of multi-channel DVD sound.

You can dick around setting ffdshow up _somehow_ to recompress stuff to dolby digital and output that, but then when you play something else you have to reconfigure it.

That device has 5.1 analog out, which is probably somewhat better than onboard stuff, but if you would tell the difference is a bit of a who knows situation.




Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 295518 2-Feb-2010 20:00
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So just about any cr*ppy old Creative sound card would do, then? That is, the types that have the extra orange and black ports?

Thing is, I can't see how I'd use those extra ports to connect to the receiver. You mentioned "3x RCA cables" earlier. Is that what you were talking about?

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  Reply # 295523 2-Feb-2010 20:10
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yes, so long as you have a 5.1 input on the reciever, get 3 cables with a pair of RCA at one end, and a 3.5mm at the other, and plug it into the green/orange/black jacks on the computer and the 6 RCA's on the reciever. Tell windows that you have a 5.1 speaker and it should jsut work.




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 295526 2-Feb-2010 20:25
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Thanks again, richms, you've been very helpful.
I was about to say that my receiver doesn't have the necessaries, but then I checked the manual and voila, I have an unused group of ports marked 'Multi Channel Input', consisting of 2x 'Front', 2x 'Surrnd', 2x 'Surbck, 1x 'Center' and 1x 'Woofer'. I guess I'd use the three pairs.

One last question: I could go for a real cheapie 5.1 Creative card, (plenty on TradeMe) or opt for an Audigy Value, which seems a little smarter. What do you think?

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  Reply # 295536 2-Feb-2010 20:50
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check if your onboard can do 5.1 first before splashing out on a card - even if there are only 3 jacks you can often retask them to the other uses - what board is it?




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  Reply # 295645 3-Feb-2010 10:36
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Warning. The Creatives need a special cable to connect multi speakers. Personally I would not go for a Creative. When it comes to surround sound I had nothing but problems from both a Audigy and a extreme gamer card. Just get a cheap and simple 7.1 card.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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  Reply # 295646 3-Feb-2010 10:39
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I replied to this last night but for some reason it hasn't shown up. I'll try again:
The motherboard is just a basic Foxconn, with only the regular audio connects: speaker, mic and line in.
I wasn't aware that these can be 'retasked'?

Still, used cards aren't too expensive, $20 to $30. Actually, delving into my parts box, I found a new Genius 5.1 that I bought for a repair and never used, so I only need some RCA to 3.5mm cables. This would be the cheapest way to tell if the system will work.

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  Reply # 295719 3-Feb-2010 13:35
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If it's any help, I have an X-Fi extreme gamer PCI card in one of my PC's and I purchased this online for about 4 dollars U.S.:

http://buy.soundblaster.com/_c...

I now get Dolby Digitial Live encoding, which means 5.1 over SPDIF. It works perfectly.






"There is no way to Peace -Peace is the Way" (A. J. Muste)

 




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  Reply # 295745 3-Feb-2010 14:52
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You mean that you bought the hardware from the US and that it was about $4? Was that an eBay purchase? Re your link, that just goes to a software purchase site, doesn't it? At least, that's what happened for me...

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  Reply # 295751 3-Feb-2010 15:29
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1) HDTV - Capped from a HD Broadcast But encoded in SD usually in xVid
2) 720p.x264 - Capped from 720p broadcast and encoded in HD 720p usually in MKV
3) Bluray 1080p Capped from 1080p Broadcast and encoded in HD 1080 usually in MKV
4) Bluray 720p As above, capped from a 1080p source, but encoded in HD 720p to save space. Usually in MKV
5) HDTV Xvid-FQM Capped from a HD Broadcast But encoded in SD xVid - the FQM is just a release group.
6) Xvid-SYS as above but SYS as the release group
6) MKV 150MB - Usually short shows capped from HD rips but encoded to SD but in MKV format

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  Reply # 295753 3-Feb-2010 15:33
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Hey dude, sorry no. I mean I bought the X-Fi Xtreme Gamer from a computer shop here in NZ (I think I got it for about $140) a few years ago and then realised that if I wanted to use the optical ouput (instead of the anaolg cables) into my Amp then I could only get 2 channel stereo. I'd already heard some sound cards support Dolby Digital Live (real time encoding of sound into a DD bitstream) so did a web-search to find out if it was possible for Creative cards. To my happy surprise, I found the above web-link. So I bought the software and never looked back.

What it means is that lets say you are playing a MKV video which has multi-channel audio (eg in FLAC format). This software will re-encode it into DD and you now get 5.1 over 1 cable.

I'm really not to sure what would happen if you are playing a DTS encoded audio track because I mostly use this particular PC for gaming (not movies) but I'm pretty sure it would decode the DTS into PCM and then recode it into DD.

I'm not going to debate the issue that DD is a fairly low bit rate format by todays hi def audio standards, but quite frankly, it's good enough for my ears.

PS, if you are running Vista, this software will apparently do DTS Connect, which is 1.5Mbs as versus 640kps for DDL.





"There is no way to Peace -Peace is the Way" (A. J. Muste)

 


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  Reply # 295757 3-Feb-2010 15:58
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ps. The software is cheap, but you could argue it should be free and part of the driver and application software suite that comes with the installation disc




"There is no way to Peace -Peace is the Way" (A. J. Muste)

 


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  Reply # 295758 3-Feb-2010 16:02
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I have had massive problems with latency and dropouts when using software to encode back to DD - I was trying to use the built in one in FFDshow or the other coded (cant recall which) - analog will just work, and doesnt have the lossy encode to a compressed format to contend with.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 295760 3-Feb-2010 16:07
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Quidam: ps. The software is cheap, but you could argue it should be free and part of the driver and application software suite that comes with the installation disc


There are licenses payable for the use of those technologies. Since so few people would want it, that would be foolish to pay the licence for every card sold.




Richard rich.ms

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