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post #1 of 12 Old 08-24-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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sound card selection

hi all, it has come time to dive back into building an xbmc based HTPC, for the past several years i've been happily using a WDTV, but i would like a more powerful solution than what this little box offers, now for the dilema

right now my wdtv is set up for video via hdmi/sound via optical

and it plays all DTS/DD soundtracks without issue

I do not have the option to use HDMI to my amp (as its pretty old and the hdmi ports dont support audio)

so i'm thinking of building a HTPC using onboard video (or a low end silent nvidia card) and a seperate sound card with optical that can go to the amp (matx)

only thing i am having issues with is tracking down a sound card that meets the following criteria

- OPTICAL (TOSLINK) OUT
- SUPPORTS BOTH DOLBY DIGITAL & DTS 5/6.1

i remember auzentech having some nice cards last time i check but they are now out of business

once i upgrade my amp (mid next year) i will no longer need the sound card

many thanks guys
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-25-2014, 01:05 AM
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I could be wrong about this but I'm pretty sure if it supports dd/dts 5.1 it will do 6.1 as well.
I have tried 6.1 over optical on various sound cards, dvd players, and consoles with dvd playback and none of them mentioned supporting it yet they all did.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-25-2014, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for reply sorry my post was poorly worded , when my wdtv plays dts-ma/dolby-true hd it goes to 6.1 mode (native), all the rest run at 5.1 and i just use prologic x to upmix that one rear channel
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-25-2014, 04:34 AM
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I assume your motherboard's audio chip does not support S/PDIF. There are several cheap sound cards that support S/PDIF optical out (supporting stereo PCM, DD, DTS, DD-EX, DTS-ES). E.g. Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro II USB sound card, $25.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-25-2014, 03:58 PM
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It sounds like you may not have a motherboard yet either. Many support optical, but not too many budget series seem to anymore (at least none come to mind)

Whether you go with ivy bridge or haswell, you can certainly get a 7, 8, or 9 series board with optical out from the onboard sound card. Just one example from newegg
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply guys, mobo not to fussed with and from tests i have ran with z87/z97/x99 you will still need a seperate card.

yes while they do have optical those ports rely on the realtek chips for spidf/optical so you only get 2.0 from the optical, while technically yes the i3's/i5's do support truehd/dts-ms this is only over HDMI, which is not an option for me as amp only has optical so need a sound card that supports DTS/DD over optical, there were heaps a few years ago, now can't find one as auzentech has closed up shop and asus dont make the xonar hadv 1.3 (end of life) so i'm back to sourcing a new sound card
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 04:02 AM
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Thumbs up

There are modded drivers out there that may allow realtek chips to give you what you want. Read thru this thread:
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/th...ractive.193148

hope it helps
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domz777 View Post
There are modded drivers out there that may allow realtek chips to give you what you want. Read thru this thread:
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/th...ractive.193148

hope it helps
thank you i saw that a while ago i would prefer a dedicated card though then i can just repurpose it into another machine once i buy a new amp
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 04:53 AM
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Ahhh. Gotchya. Have you looked into those 7.1 USB dongle things? My complete stab in the dark guess is 96% that they won't be any better than any onboard sound chip, but hey, ya never know.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimpacause View Post
thanks for reply sorry my post was poorly worded , when my wdtv plays dts-ma/dolby-true hd it goes to 6.1 mode (native), all the rest run at 5.1 and i just use prologic x to upmix that one rear channel
If you use optical out of WD TV and play DTS-HD MA / TrueHD, you should get DTS 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1 ... ? It is so at least in my environment.

Last edited by renethx; 08-26-2014 at 10:57 AM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 10:33 AM
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DTS-HD consists of DTS 'core' and residual part. If hardware supports only DTS, then the player sends only the core part of DTS-HD, so there is no problem. TrueHD is different, it's independent of DD. Fortunately every TrueHD audio track in BD also comes with DD stream. So keep both for the best compatibility. Then you won't need DDL nor DTS Connect. If you have a file with only TrueHD track, there are a couple of work-arounds to get DD (besides using DDL), e.g. use ffdshow Audio Decoder to decode TrueHD and use its real-time AC3 encoding. So any onboard optical audio is enough (without driver hacking).

If you prefer a discrete sound card with DDL / DTS Connect, then

- Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic with Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Pack
- Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer with Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Pack
- DIAMOND XtremeSound XS71DDL

You may be able to find these cards fairly cheap at ebay.

Last edited by renethx; 08-26-2014 at 10:57 AM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-27-2014, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
DTS-HD consists of DTS 'core' and residual part. If hardware supports only DTS, then the player sends only the core part of DTS-HD, so there is no problem. TrueHD is different, it's independent of DD. Fortunately every TrueHD audio track in BD also comes with DD stream. So keep both for the best compatibility. Then you won't need DDL nor DTS Connect. If you have a file with only TrueHD track, there are a couple of work-arounds to get DD (besides using DDL), e.g. use ffdshow Audio Decoder to decode TrueHD and use its real-time AC3 encoding. So any onboard optical audio is enough (without driver hacking).

If you prefer a discrete sound card with DDL / DTS Connect, then

- Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic with Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Pack
- Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer with Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Pack
- DIAMOND XtremeSound XS71DDL

You may be able to find these cards fairly cheap at ebay.
hmmm interesting haven't heard of that one once i get all my parts (minus sound card) i'll give that a shot, i was hoping for a soundcard that could run dts-ma/dd-true hd with out fiddling with anything else (like the asus hdav card) worst comes to worse i'll give this a shot


Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
If you use optical out of WD TV and play DTS-HD MA / TrueHD, you should get DTS 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1 ... ? It is so at least in my environment.
yes this is exatcly how my current set up works, but i'm thinking of ditching the wdtv, would prefer xbmc so i can customise and add whatever plug-ins-add ons for whichever service i like, i'm up to like unit number 7 in my room (1 in llound has not been replaced yet) and just about to return the 3rd unit from my parents bedroom, only thing i don't like about WD is the B$ firmware constantley bricking mydevices and i have to roll back, wait several months and then hope for the best

many thanks for your replies, i'll keep searching for a discrete sound card for the time being
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