Question About Sound Cards and Receivers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-18-2007, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I have an A8N-SLI motherboard with an AMD X2 4400+ (socket 939). The MB has optical and coaxial SP/DIF and the audio driver is the Realtek ALC850 (AC'97). I recently got a Denon receiver which decodes DD and DTS formats (but not the HD ones) and I would like to have my games encoded in REAL 5.1/7.1 surround sound DDL or DTS. I've been doing a lot of research on what has to be done in order to get TRUE 5.1/7.1 to go through my AV receiver because in gaming, the whole DD Pro Logic II/x or the DTS Neo:6 just isn't cutting it (I'm not a fan of Matrix decoding when playing a 2 channel source). I've read all of the pertinent posts regarding sound cards that have hardware DDL and DTS encoding on the fly. My question is, if I get one of these cards, will the cards be encoding DD/DTS 2 channel stereo to be sent to the receiver which will then use Matrix decoding for 5.1/7.1 surround sound? Or will it encode DDL or DTS in all 5.1/7.1 discreet channels for TRUE surround sound?

My post pertains to mostly gaming as I already have a good Denon DVD player that does real DD and DTS surround sound. Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-18-2007, 07:42 PM
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For what it's worth, I have the same board and chip, althought I have a SB Audigy2ZS sound card. From all that I know, the games only produce analog sound. I believe trying to output game sounds thru spdif will leave it silent.
Even IF you get sound, the games themselves are NOT encoded DTS for sure and very unlikely to be DD.
If the denon has analog 5-channel input, the you can run the wires from the 'puter to the AVR. You would need adapter cable to go from the single phono to stereo rca.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-18-2007, 08:09 PM
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With a DDL or DTS encoding board, you tell your game you have a 5.1 setup and it sends out 5.1 audio to the driver. Instead of routing this to the analog outputs, your sound card driver encodes it to a 5.1 DD or DTS signal and sends it to your receiver.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-19-2007, 10:19 AM
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I think you are limited to 5.1 over optical. I connect my pc to my amp via co axl. I don't see many dts signals. Mostly, I stream itunes radio.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-19-2007, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

Well, I have no problem getting sound from any source to go to my AVR via coaxial or optical. But the AVR sees it as 2 channel and decodes it in Dolby Digital II or DTS Neo:6.

But I like what ferrisg is saying (if it's true ). So let's assume I get a sound card that can encode (on the fly) any 5.1 source (like a game) into Dolby Digital Live or DTS. As long as I point the audio to the driver of the new sound card and output it via SP/DIF to my receiver, I should be able to get full 5.1, right?



On a side note, I am pretty sure optical can output 7.1 channels......even Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD...........but not DTS HD Master audio (which has a variable bit-rate of 24.5 Mbps; you need HDMI 1.3 for that).
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-19-2007, 06:52 PM
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If you are really into gaming why do you even want to bother with DTS or Dolby? Ultimately it just gets converted over from directsound anyways. Your best bet would be just to stick with the analog outputs and use pure directsound output. Directsound supports as many channels as your soundcard can output.

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-19-2007, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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How do I know if my receiver has 5.1 analog inputs? I would have no problem doing that, but that's assuming my receiver can do that. My System is the Denon DHT487dv HTIB. Receiver alone is the Denon AVR-487.

Details here: http://usa.denon.com/DHT-487DVLit.pdf

Thanks.


EDIT: Nevermind. I found out my receiver has 6 ch Ext. in. So all I have to do is get the converter cables and connect my analog audio ports from my PC to the EXT In ports on the receiver? Why doesn't every one else do this? Is there some sort of quality loss when using analog?
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-20-2007, 08:02 AM
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Who says people don't use the discrete analog ins? Lots of people do. That's the best way to go for gaming. The only reason why not to is because it's inconvenient- as you can see receivers only have one set of them and they are usually occupied by something else (like a Blu-Ray player, etc, etc). If you want to get a little better you might consider a Audigy so you have EAX-HD/OPENAL hardware support, otherwise forget it, you have a perfectly suitably gaming setup built in.

My motherboard has the same soundchip. Just go to Realtek, d/l the latest drivers and you'll be all set. There is no quality loss using analog, in fact it's superior. The people buying the DTS soundcards want better sound for home theater. They are not gaming cards.

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-20-2007, 08:17 AM
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What's the downside for gaming with something like an X-Meridian?
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-07-2007, 04:32 PM
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I have a HTPC that I do a little gaming on, however, I do watch DVD's most as well as listen to music. I plan, hopefully by the end of the year, to have a combo HD DVD/Blu-Ray drive as well.

Ideally, I would love to run just one fiber optic cable from my PC to my Yamaha receiver. DD/DTS is a much for movies, and stereo sound is desired for music. Would the cards that encode DDL/DTS on-the-fly provide this as well as surround sound for the games I do play over TOSlink (fiber optic)?

I currently have an MSI P6N Diamond motherboard with built-in Sound Blaster X-fi, however, it will NOT pass DD/DTS over fiber optic nor coaxial. I am trying to decide if I should get a new card or use analog to my receiver.

-Jason


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post #11 of 11 Old 10-07-2007, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrisg View Post

What's the downside for gaming with something like an X-Meridian?

No EAX 3,4 5 other then that nothing. I use the X-mustique, X-plosion and X-meridian in all my builds for HT and gaming. Great cards. The newest card X-Fi Prelude from Auzentech supports all the Creative EAX since it has a Creative chip in it also, but drivers are coming for DD Live and DTS Connect.

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