We've got trouble, right here in River City... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-01-2011, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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...trouble with a capital T which rhymes with P which stands for "problems with my surround sound processor not receiving a Dolby Digital signal when I know that it should be."

I have a Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS and an Audio Advantage Micro II from the same company. The DSS (as you probably already know) is a stereo to surround sound processor which can utilize Dolby Digital or Pro Logic II X inputs to make either 7.1 Dolby Headphone surround sound in any headphones, or to make a PLIIX signal to make "an expanded stereo sound in the headset." The only problem? I can't get my computer or any device I plug into it to output a DD signal for my life, save for two circumstances:

1) When I watch a Blu-Ray movie with the internal BD Drive
2) When I go to the Sound Properties window in the control panel, right click on the optical output, go to the Properties window of the Optical Output, and test the Dolby Digital signal in the "Encoded Formats" section of the Supported Formats window.

I tried buying the Audio Advantage Micro II, because on the Product Page for the device, Turtle Beach claims that, " By installing an optional driver, the digital output can also send 5.1 channel Dolby® Digital or DTS surround sound as an encoded digital audio stream to your home theater system. " I have the Optical adapter installed, the drivers installed, I have an Optical cable running from the Micro II to the Ear Force DSS, and still I do not have a DD signal coming to the DSS. I know this because the DD indicator light on the DSS will not light up save for the two circumstances listed above, even when I'm using the Micro II.

I ordered an Astro Mixamp 5.8 yesterday to replace the DSS, because I've had the DSS since Christmas and I haven't once gotten the DD/Dolby Headphone technology to work in games or anywhere on my computer outside of the two circumstances listed far above. I'd rather cancel the order for the Mixamp and save myself $113 and find a cheaper alternative if that's possible, I don't know. I want the surround sound for my games first and foremost, and movies second.

I don't know much about this technology and how it works (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be having this much trouble with it) so I really need some help here. Turtle Beach tech support has been of no help whatsoever and they are not even working right now, and even if they were I wouldn't get a response for about two to three days.
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone? Please??
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 06:53 AM
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I don't recognize the names of any of those items you mention. Are they computer oriented devices? If so, this is the receiver and separates section you posted in. Just wondering.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, they are computer devices. The DSS is a sound processor which turns a stereo signal into 7.1 surround signal, which is why I posted in this forum. If it needs to be moved, I'll notify a moderator, and I apologize for posting in the wrong place.

I simply need to know how to get a Dolby Digital signal streaming from my computer via S/PDIF (Optical) output for a lot less than $113.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugma View Post
Yes, they are computer devices. The DSS is a sound processor which turns a stereo signal into 7.1 surround signal, which is why I posted in this forum. If it needs to be moved, I'll notify a moderator, and I apologize for posting in the wrong place.

I simply need to know how to get a Dolby Digital signal streaming from my computer via S/PDIF (Optical) output for a lot less than $113.
No problem Bugma, just wanted you to get some help with your problem. I know it's frustrating to have an issue and not be able to get some help solving it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So would I simply have to buy an internal sound card that streams a DD signal through the Optical Out, or even a Dolby Headphone signal? Like the Asus Xonar DG/DX for example?
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugma View Post

So would I simply have to buy an internal sound card that streams a DD signal through the Optical Out, or even a Dolby Headphone signal? Like the Asus Xonar DG/DX for example?

Bugma, I could be wrong as I don't visit there, but I think you want to ask your question in this section:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26

That link should take you to the Home Theater Computers section. It's my assumption that the guys visiting that section are more familiar with the type issues you are seeking answers for.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 01:30 PM
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I'll follow you to HTPC if you repost. The gist I am getting here is that the optical output works, and you can successfully get DD out of it, but you think that you should be getting DD out of more sources than you are.

The rub is that you aren't going to get Dolby Digital out of something that isn't encoded as Dolby Digital. So unless you are playing a DD game or movie, or AC-3 file, that has the DD encoding the light is not going to light up.

If you ARE playing something you know is 5.1 and should be sending a digital signal first check the audio settings in the game/movie player/ whatever and make sure that you are playing the right 5.1 stream b/c it seems that the USB sound card is working correctly in that it is passing DD from your BD player.

Do you get headphone sound at all when the light doesn't light? Or does it pass sound but it is not getting processed by the EarForce DSS into headphone-surround and it just sounds stereo-y?
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NitrousFoxide View Post

I'll follow you to HTPC if you repost. The gist I am getting here is that the optical output works, and you can successfully get DD out of it, but you think that you should be getting DD out of more sources than you are.

The rub is that you aren't going to get Dolby Digital out of something that isn't encoded as Dolby Digital. So unless you are playing a DD game or movie, or AC-3 file, that has the DD encoding the light is not going to light up.

If you ARE playing something you know is 5.1 and should be sending a digital signal first check the audio settings in the game/movie player/ whatever and make sure that you are playing the right 5.1 stream b/c it seems that the USB sound card is working correctly in that it is passing DD from your BD player.

Do you get headphone sound at all when the light doesn't light? Or does it pass sound but it is not getting processed by the EarForce DSS into headphone-surround and it just sounds stereo-y?

When only the Pro Logic II X is lit and not the DD light, I do get sound, but it just sounds like a more roomy stereo signal. :/ And from what you posted, I'm going to assume that even with an internal sound card that has DD processing of a stereo signal to the Optical Output/Analog Output, that it still wouldn't register to the DSS as a DD signal? Or am I wrong about that?
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-02-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugma View Post

When only the Pro Logic II X is lit and not the DD light, I do get sound, but it just sounds like a more roomy stereo signal. :/ And from what you posted, I'm going to assume that even with an internal sound card that has DD processing of a stereo signal to the Optical Output/Analog Output, that it still wouldn't register to the DSS as a DD signal? Or am I wrong about that?

You are right, a sound card will just pass what is in the file. If the file is MP3 it will send 2 channel audio out the hole, if the file is the AC3 audio track from a movie it will send (generally) 6 channel audio out the hole, if it is the director's commentary AC3 track it is generally 2 channel audio, etc. AC3 is a dolby container so either AC3 file will turn on the red light.

Generally sound cards are for DECODING or PASSTHROUGH and what I think you are looking for is ENCODING/upmixing- as in "take my stereo signal and make it 5.1 DD". That's alot of work for not alot of results.

Re-post on the HTPC forums to see what everyone else thinks but basically anything that is not already DD encoded is going to come out as PLIIX. So MP3, wav, etc. are not going to sound all 5.1 surround-y.

But this is how it works on a regular AV receiver too, so don't be sad, we are all in the same boat. That's why receivers have all of those "scene" settings and advanced speaker configurations and Prologic as everyone wants their recorded stereo music sound like they are hearing it in a concert hall.
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