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post #991 of 10626 Old 02-19-2008, 01:27 PM
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i'll pass... expensive, small soundstage (closed cans), small drivers, no DH processor or equivalent, no amp, etc etc etc.

astro gaming comes in cheaper, is available now, would bet that it's more "stylish" if you're into that sort of thing.

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post #992 of 10626 Old 02-19-2008, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formulanerd View Post

i'll pass... expensive, small soundstage (closed cans), small drivers, no DH processor or equivalent, no amp, etc etc etc.

I agree. Seems like too much $ for too little.
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post #993 of 10626 Old 02-19-2008, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formulanerd View Post

i'll pass... expensive, small soundstage (closed cans), small drivers, no DH processor or equivalent, no amp, etc etc etc.

astro gaming comes in cheaper, is available now, would bet that it's more "stylish" if you're into that sort of thing.

Closed doesn't necessarily mean small soundstage.. The JVCX1000 is closed but gulfs the AKG 701 in regards to sound stage & spaciousness.. But for the most part open does give you a better sense of sound stage.

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post #994 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 12:44 AM
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Just my two cents -
I've been using the Trittons for over 4 months now. I was looking for an all-in-one package, something that wasn't wireless and included a built-in microphone. They sound good when turned up to a normal listening level, but some times I prefer to turn them down at night. For some reason, they suffer from a little distortion when turned down. Peaks in audio are completely cut off. However, when dialed back up, everything is fine again.

I can't wear them for too long since they are quite heavy. One hour at the most, but you can chalk that one up to my puny neck. Hopefully you can fare better.

The mic is sends a clear signal. Much more so than the Microsoft headset.

If you really need an all-in-one headset, this is a pretty decent choice. I would probably buy them again, but simply because there isn't much more choice out there.
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post #995 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by robotcan View Post

Just my two cents -
I've been using the Trittons for over 4 months now. I was looking for an all-in-one package, something that wasn't wireless and included a built-in microphone. They sound good when turned up to a normal listening level, but some times I prefer to turn them down at night. For some reason, they suffer from a little distortion when turned down. Peaks in audio are completely cut off. However, when dialed back up, everything is fine again.

I can't wear them for too long since they are quite heavy. One hour at the most, but you can chalk that one up to my puny neck. Hopefully you can fare better.

The mic is sends a clear signal. Much more so than the Microsoft headset.

If you really need an all-in-one headset, this is a pretty decent choice. I would probably buy them again, but simply because there isn't much more choice out there.

http://www.astrogaming.com/equipment/

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post #996 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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The Astro Mixamp looks fantastic. Question though... is it only powered through the mini-USB? Doesn't look like they're providing a 110V adapter for it.

Is the USB port on the XBXOX 360 powered? Could that serve as the power supply?
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post #997 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by oceanjumper View Post

The Astro Mixamp looks fantastic. Question though... is it only powered through the mini-USB? Doesn't look like they're providing a 110V adapter for it.

Is the USB port on the XBXOX 360 powered? Could that serve as the power supply?

All USB is powered. You can use the 360 as a source although the cable run might be a pain. You can also use a cheap 110v to miniUSB charger.
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post #998 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 12:25 PM
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Yeah the astro's do look really slick, I bet they are really hard to get though. I get the impression from the site they aren't producing very many and the pre-order and shopping cart don't work. Would love to check em out though as the Trittons didn't work out so well for me.
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post #999 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

http://www.astrogaming.com/equipment/

Heh, they say:
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PC Gamers benefit by offloading surround decoding and voice communication duties to the A40 system.

I'd be warry of any company making such bogus claims.
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post #1000 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Islanti View Post

All USB is powered. You can use the 360 as a source although the cable run might be a pain. You can also use a cheap 110v to miniUSB charger.

Wow, that IS cheap...

I have noticed though -by personal experience- not all miniUSB chargers charge all miniUSB-devices. I guess some devices require 3.5V, others 5V or whatever. This while they all had miniUSB ports.
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post #1001 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 01:10 PM
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Astro Mixamp also runs on batteries according to the user manual. They refer to a rechargeable battery pack that can recharge while plugged into usb power source.

I'm trying to think though, that means fiber and power into the mixamp and 2 cords out to the controller and the headset/mic.

That's alot of wires.

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post #1002 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lynesjc View Post

That's alot of wires.

I count:
1 optical (sound) - In
1 usb (power) - In
1 stereo headphone plug (sound) - out

Doesn't the microphone go into the XBX controller?
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post #1003 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by kylebisme View Post

Heh, they say:

I'd be warry of any company making such bogus claims.

What is bogus about it?

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post #1004 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

What is bogus about it?

Games have to generate their soundtrack in real time, producing multichannel PCM rather than a single bitstream like Dobly Digital. Astro suggest's they are offloading sourround sound decoding with their amp, while in reality encoding that surround sound into a bitstream is an additional step. Granted, that extra step is generally handled in hardware which doesn't reduce performance any, but doing that extra work only to have it decoded by the amp isn't doing anything to improve performance over using the unencoded 6 channel output either.

And nothing is offloaded with voice communication either. Their amp can mix a headphone output with the surroundsound, but so can any game and doing so is less work that running two output devices.
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post #1005 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylebisme View Post

Games have to generate their soundtrack in real time, producing multichannel PCM rather than a single bitstream like Dobly Digital. Astro suggest's they are offloading sourround sound decoding with their amp, while in reality encoding that surround sound into a bitstream is an additional step. Granted, that extra step is generally handled in hardware which doesn't reduce performance any, but doing that extra work only to have it decoded by the amp isn't doing anything to improve performance over using the unencoded 6 channel output either.

And nothing is offloaded with voice communication either. Their amp can mix a headphone output with the surroundsound, but so can any game and doing so is less work that running two output devices.

I see what you're saying, but if you do not have a receiver that supports DD 5.1, then their MixAmp would do the DD 5.1 decoding on games that support DD 5.1. Also it does decoding for Dolby Headphone. So i don't see their claim as bogus.

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post #1006 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 07:31 PM
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You aren't seeing what I'm saying, the games the games themselves aren't what provide DD 5.1 support. As I said, games generate individual channels of PCM audio which can be output directly, or encoded into a single bitstream such as DD 5.1. Using a receiver or such that supports PCM or analog mutichannel inputs, the sound device doesn't have to encode anything. So, again, nothing is being offload by the MixAmp. Rather, the encoding that has to be done before the MixAmp does it's decoding requires extra processing on the PC.
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post #1007 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kylebisme View Post

You aren't seeing what I'm saying, the games the games themselves aren't what provide DD 5.1 support. As I said, games generate individual channels of PCM audio which can be output directly, or encoded into a single bitstream such as DD 5.1. Using a receiver or such that supports PCM or analog mutichannel inputs, the sound device doesn't have to encode anything. So, again, nothing is being offload by the MixAmp. Rather, the encoding that has to be done before the MixAmp does it's decoding requires extra processing on the PC.

I understand what you are saying, that the encoding is done by the CPU of a PC or console, thereby requiring CPU cycles. But decoding is done by an external receiver, is it not? A DD, or DTS receiver decodes the DD or DTS bitstream that was previously encoded by the PCs CPU.

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post #1008 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

I understand what you are saying, that the encoding is done by the CPU of a PC or console, thereby requiring CPU cycles. But decoding is done by an external receiver, is it not? A DD, or DTS receiver decodes the DD or DTS bitstream that was previously encoded by the PCs CPU.

yes, but his point is this.

the game generates the soundtrack, which can be put out to 5.1 analog surround, typical of most 5.1 PC speaker setups.... no extra encoding on the machine, and no decoding required by either the machine or the speakers.

with the mixamp, hardware in the pc will have to encode the audio into an acceptable bitstream (which is more work than with the typical pc setup) then the mixamp will decode what your pc just encoded.


think of it like watching a video from your pc VS transcoding the video and watching it on the xbox, with microsoft claiming that it takes a load off your pc because the 360 is decoding and playing the video, when in actuality the pc is doing the decoding and transcoding and in actuality its less work than if using the xbox to decode the transcoded video....

kind of a weird analogy i know, but its late

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post #1009 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

I understand what you are saying, that the encoding is done by the CPU of a PC or console, thereby requiring CPU cycles. But decoding is done by an external receiver, is it not? A DD, or DTS receiver decodes the DD or DTS bitstream that was previously encoded by the PCs CPU.

yes, but his point is that without the mixamp the computer isnt encoding anything DD/DTS, therefor working less and you dont need anything capable of decoding, because it's pcm/analog multi/etc.

the game generates the soundtrack, which can be put out to 5.1 analog surround, typical of most 5.1 PC speaker setups.... no extra encoding on the machine, and no decoding required by either the machine or the speakers.

with the mixamp, hardware in the pc will have to encode the audio into a bitstream (which is more work than with the typical pc setup) then the mixamp will decode what your pc just encoded.


think of it like watching a video from your pc VS transcoding the video and watching it on the xbox, with microsoft claiming that it takes a load off your pc because the 360 is decoding and playing the video, when in actuality the pc is doing the transcoding and in some scenarios may be unnecessary.

kind of a weird analogy i know, but its late

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post #1010 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

I understand what you are saying, that the encoding is done by the CPU of a PC or console, thereby requiring CPU cycles.

What I have been saying is the encoding isn't required at all. Unlike the 360, PCs can output multichannel surround sound as separate PCM or analog signals rather than compressing that using an encoding method such as Dolby Digital. And again, on PCs the encoding is generally handled by the sound device rather than the CPU.

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But decoding is done by an external receiver, is it not?

Only if you set your sound device to encode it first, otherwise there is nothing to decode. Again, having the MixAmp or any other device decode the surround sound encoded on the PC isn't offloading anything, rather it is requiring the additional task of encoding that bitstream to the workload on the PC.
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post #1011 of 10626 Old 02-21-2008, 11:14 PM
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The whole point is, we are talking about compressed digital audio (DD, DTS) and not PCM. In order to get DD/DTS it first needs to be encoded by the source player. It then needs to be decoded by a compatible DD/DTS receiver. So it is not bogus when they say: "PC Gamers benefit by offloading surround decoding and voice communication duties to the A40 system.", because they are referring to compressed audio (DD), and not uncompressed PCM. If compressed audio (DD/DTS) is the only means to get surround sound in a particlular game or movie, then their claim is legit. But if PCM is always an option for surround on PC's, then rendering encoded DD/DTS sound would be pointless and useless.

Also... so you are saying all movies or games that support multi channel 5.1/7.1 surround sound can be accessed via uncompressed PCM 5.1/7.1, or encoded and thereby decoded to DD or DTS? Which option would you enable in a movie to have PCM surround sound?

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post #1012 of 10626 Old 02-22-2008, 01:05 AM
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I said nothing about movies, but aside from the multichannel PCM on Blu-rays and some video files, the soundtracks of movies are preencoded. So yeah, when it comes to DD 5.1 tracks on movies, passing that bitstream through to the MixAmp is offloading the decoding. But again, games generate their soundtracks as PCM, encoding that to DD or DTS is always extra work, so having an external device decoding that is not offloading anything.
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post #1013 of 10626 Old 02-22-2008, 04:19 AM
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So all PC games have PCM surround sound? I did not know that.

That would make compressed audio (Dolby Digital and DTS) worthless for PC games.

Astro's claim, then, is only legit if Dolby Digital is the only option for 5.1 surround in a pc game - therefore the need to decode.

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post #1014 of 10626 Old 02-22-2008, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

So all PC games have PCM surround sound? I did not know that.

For the love of God, yes; all games generate surround sound as individual channels of PCM audio, as I have explaining in every one of my four previous responses to you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

That would make compressed audio (Dolby Digital and DTS) worthless for PC games.

Ecoding is the only option for providing surround sound to recievers and such which don't support indvidual input of multichannel sound. But again, it's an extra step to encode the bitstream before outputing it to the decoder, so using such an external decoder isn't offloading anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

Astro's claim, then, is only legit if Dolby Digital is the only option for 5.1 surround in a pc game - therefore the need to decode.

And again, Astro's claim is never legit because Dolby Digital output is never an option in a PC game, rather it is an option of the sound device, and that option requires extra processing to accomplish. As I've been explaining, contrary to Astro's claims, they aren't offloading anything.
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post #1015 of 10626 Old 02-22-2008, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by kylebisme View Post

For the love of God, yes; all games generate surround sound as individual channels of PCM audio, as I have explaining in every one of my four previous responses to you.

For the love of belzebulb, take it easy... i'm just trying to get the full picture. I find it very hard to believe that ALL PC game support at least 5.1 PCM surround sound. For instance, i get NO 5.1 surround sound support of any kind (PCM or anything) for world of warcraft. Or for that matter, most of my PC games do not support 5.1 surround. And i highly doubt that older PC games would support 5.1 PCM surround sound.

Or are you saying IF (and a that's a BIG IF) a PC game support 5.1-7.1 surround sound, it will do so via PCM? This is what i believe you are saying, but what confused me was i thought you were claiming that ALL PC games supported at least 5.1 PCM surround sound. Hopefully this is not what you are claiming.

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post #1016 of 10626 Old 02-23-2008, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

For the love of belzebulb, take it easy... i'm just trying to get the full picture.

The problem here is that you are not just trying to get the full picture, but also been trying to find some legitimacy Astro's bogus claim. You will never be able to accomplish the former without first giving up on the latter. With that said, I'm going to give this another go.

Games, without exception, generate audio as individual channels of PCM. No, that does not mean all PC games support surround sound, but rather that independent PCM channels is how games dynamically generate their soundtracks; be it mono, 7.1, or anything in between, and be it on a PC or a console, or any other digital device. Consoles like the 360 and the original Xbox before it have to encode those individual channels of PCM using a method such as Dolby Digital, simply because those consoles aren't designed output surround sound channels individually. PCs, on the other hand, generally don't even have sound devices which can encode PCM into a bitstream like Dobly Digital, rather they simply convert the PCM to analog and output that, and some also support outputing individual channels of PCM. Even on the few sound devices which do suppor encoding methods like DD and such, it is only an option on the sound device to do that encoding; the game itself, as always, generates it's soundtrack as individual channels of PCM.

As for World of Warcraft, I have never played the game, but I would be shocked to find it actually doesn't support surround sound. PC games supporting surround have been for around for over a decade, and nearly every modern game supports at least 5.1, so the more likely explanation is that your setup simply isn't configured correctly. Actually, a few second on Google reveals an interview with one of WOW's developers which suggests the game does support surround sound, so it seems you should be able to get surround sound out of the game unless Blizzard broke that support in an update. Granted, to get surround sound working in your games you'll need your PC configured correctly. If you would like to start a thread in the HTPC gaming section of this forum stating what sound device and operating system you are using, I'm sure that at least a few of us here would be happy to explain how to accomplish that.
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post #1017 of 10626 Old 02-23-2008, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kylebisme View Post

The problem here is that you are not just trying to get the full picture, but also been trying to find some legitimacy Astro's bogus claim. You will never be able to accomplish the former without first giving up on the latter. With that said, I'm going to give this another go.

My only purpose it to try and understand it fully. I have nothing for or against Astro. I have no stake in the company. I'm just trying to look at thing objectively. If doing so is: "trying to find some legitimacy in Astro's bogus claim", then so be it.

And on that matter, lets look at their claim, subjectively. Can you do that? Astro claim:

"PC Gamers benefit by offloading surround decoding and voice communication duties to the A40 system."

Astros claim is misleading, and offers NO "REAL BENEFIT" to the PC gamer, seeing as decoding is not necessary, because it never needed to be encoded in the first place, being already PCM.

BUT... their claim is not bogus if taken WORD FOR WORD. Why? Because they said, DECODING. IF the user wants to use compressed Dolby Digital surround sound for some crazy reason, when PCM surround is already available, then the Astro Unit or any other Dolby Digital receiver will indeed be "offloading surround decoding", of which would be necessary for the PC to do otherwise. Yes, yes, it makes no sense to do so, considering PC's already support PCM surround without any work needed, i understand that, but if Dolby Digital is used, then THEIR CLAIM IS NOT BOGUS.

Their claim would be bogus If they would have claimed:

"PC Gamers benefit by offloading surround sound and voice communication duties to the A40 system."

Notice the difference? The phrase, "DECODING" was taken out. The claim is now completely bogus, seeing as the PC already supports PCM surround sound with no need to offload anything surround sound related.

Quote:


Games, without exception, generate audio as individual channels of PCM. No, that does not mean all PC games support surround sound, but rather that independent PCM channels is how games dynamically generate their soundtracks; be it mono, 7.1, or anything in between, and be it on a PC or a console, or any other digital device. Consoles like the 360 and the original Xbox before it have to encode those individual channels of PCM using a method such as Dolby Digital, simply because those consoles aren't designed output surround sound channels individually. PCs, on the other hand, generally don't even have sound devices which can encode PCM into a bitstream like Dobly Digital, rather they simply convert the PCM to analog and output that, and some also support outputing individual channels of PCM. Even on the few sound devices which do suppor encoding methods like DD and such, it is only an option on the sound device to do that encoding; the game itself, as always, generates it's soundtrack as individual channels of PCM.

I gathered as much. Now if you would have explained that from the beginning, we would not be having this discussion. But regardless, thanks for the insight. I've learned something new.

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post #1018 of 10626 Old 02-23-2008, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post

BUT... their claim is not bogus if taken WORD FOR WORD. Why? Because they said, DECODING. IF the user wants to use compressed Dolby Digital surround sound for some crazy reason, when PCM surround is already available, then the Astro Unit or any other Dolby Digital receiver will indeed be "offloading surround decoding", of which would be necessary for the PC to do otherwise.

Your argument here is again just as bogus as their claim. Not only is there no rational reason encode the games audio on the PC only to decode it again before outputting it, there isn't even any sound hardware that can be configured to do so, no matter how crazy of a reason you might have to want to. Your own crazy reason being that you keep wanting to paint legitimacy into a bogus claim, and that is what is still keeping you from accepting what I have been explaining from the beginning.
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post #1019 of 10626 Old 02-23-2008, 03:44 PM
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Your argument here is again just as bogus as their claim. Not only is there no rational reason encode the games audio on the PC only to decode it again before outputting it, there isn't even any sound hardware that can be configured to do so, no matter how crazy of a reason you might have to want to. Your own crazy reason being that you keep wanting to paint legitimacy into a bogus claim, and that is what is still keeping you from accepting what I have been explaining from the beginning.

Whatever. You are unwilling to look at anything subjectively. And neglect to read fully what i type, and jump to your own conclusion without taking everything into account.

My point was legit, assuming that there are PC that can decode Dolby Digital. If PCs are not capable of decoding Dolby digital (of which i was unaware of), then Astros claim is completely false. Your unwillingness to accept this statement proves of your unwillingness to look at things subjectively.

Just because i am unfamiliar with certain thing, you turn it around and claim that i am deliberately refusing to agree with you. I accept everything you have said concerning the technical aspects of things, so don't go putting words in my mouth. And there is no need to go and make everything into an argument.

Check my profile for headphones and headphone amps...
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post #1020 of 10626 Old 02-23-2008, 04:40 PM
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My point was legit, assuming that there are PC that can decode Dolby Digital. If PCs are not capable of decoding Dolby digital (of which i was unaware of), then Astros claim is completely false.

Any modern PC can decode a Dolby Digital bitstream, but Astro's claim is none the less completely false. As for my pointing out that you are still trying to argue credibility into Astro's claims with fallacious arguments like the one quoted above, that is is not putting words in your mouth. Rather, it is an attempt to get at the source of the disagreement so the conversation can reach a rational conclusion.
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