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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Jose, California
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From your post I'm not sure if you understand that the wiki entry is for DVD-Audio (the format). As you may or may not know, DVD-Audio format is a hi-res audio format different than regular DVD format. In the DVD-Audio format, a DVD-Audio disc has the audio in the disc's AUDIO_TS folder where as a regular DVD has it in the VIDEO_TS folder.
"So long question short: do I need a reciever or pre-amplifier in order to get full 5.1 sound from dolby digital, and 5.1 analog from my soundcard?"
If you are sending DD/DTS over your S/PDIF then you need something on the other end that decodes DD/DTS. If you are sending 5.1 analog from the computer then you need something on the other end with 5.1 analog inputs.
When playing from your pc using analog from the x-fi prelude to the z-5500, do you have windows / prelude settings set for 6 speakers (5.1)? If not, set this and try again. If so, what is the source material that you are playing, and what player are you using? In the player, do you have speakers set for 5.1?