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Technical question: Why aren't there soundcards that do DD encoding real time?  

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
As an Audigy2 owner, I'm aware of the SPDIF/analog out differences. And it seems like lots of people have posted threads lately about trying to get a real-time DD encode through SPDIF for games, etc., so it seems that it would be a very popular feature.

I know a lot about electronics, but not necessarily how they work. So, I pose this question to those who know how things work:

Why doesn't someone make a soundcard that can encode DD on the fly?

If the Nforce board did it, then it can be done. So, is it a licensing issue? What gives?
post #2 of 46
It is a licensing issue. Now it will not be on nforce 4 either. Dolby liscenses are $$$$$. I love my soundstorm and when I need more cpu power then my 2.6 gig athlon mobile, I will use a vapochill to overclock. Soundstorm is worth it to me.
post #3 of 46
If you want dolby digital encoding in hardware then your choices are limited to:

- nForce with Soundstorm (for AthonXP)
- Intel High Definition Audio (for P4)

both onboard motherboard solutions

both worth every penny
post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 
Ok, so we have the onboard solutions. It would seem to me, based on what people on these forums would like, that a PCI add-on card that did real-time DD encoding would be a top seller.

If a $200 motherboard can have this feature, why not a $99 sound card? The licensing fee can't be that much if it's on $200 mobos.

So, I guess the new question is Why hasn't anyone done it?
post #5 of 46
I agree, Id pay top dollar for a ABIT MAXX board with sound storm. Why not just have it in an expensive mobo? Keep it out of low end but for > 200 bucks mobo, I would buy it.

I like it that much. Im even leaning towards AZALIA and P4 instead of AMD 64 because of it. Ill truly take the plunge if the INTEL P4 with 64bit extensions comes out.
post #6 of 46
You can get hardware dd decoders, creative labs have one... their ddts100 I think it's called. about $115USD, just pop the coax/toslink spdif output into the one of 7 digital inputs on the device and away you go, for analog sound (e.g. games) you can use the analog passthrough.

Cheers...
Duy-Khang Hoang
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally posted by hdkhang
You can get hardware dd decoders, creative labs have one... their ddts100 I think it's called. about $115USD, just pop the coax/toslink spdif output into the one of 7 digital inputs on the device and away you go, for analog sound (e.g. games) you can use the analog passthrough.

Cheers...
Duy-Khang Hoang
DD encoder, not decoder.
post #8 of 46
Microsoft's solution will not encode dolby digital on the fly like soundstorm does in games passing the signal via SPDIF. There is simply nothing like it on the market. No card does it period. Some cards will do EAX which has to passed via 6 RCAs to a 5.1 or 6.1 input. I personally have this input taken up by my Pioneer Elite DVD-Audio SACD player. I feel there has to be someone to step up to the plate for this on nforce4. According to my sources, this will not happen. Simply too expensive. Dag nabbit....
post #9 of 46
The part I dont get is the expensive part. Its not like the Nforce2 boards with Soundstorm cost a great deal more money than any other board. Yes they did cost a little more but at the time they were also the top performing Athlon XP chipset around. If you look at current top performing mobos for the newer chips they are about the same, if not, more expensive than the Nforce 2's were in their hayday.
post #10 of 46
Soundstorm was originally developed for the X-BOX. So Microsoft paid part of the RD costs. They also sold/are selling quite a few x-box devices.
It was Microsoft that paid the largest share of the dolby license fees for the encoder.
So there you have large quantities being sold and an additional investor.

That's the reason why there will not be any soundstorm at least in Nforce4.

Kai
post #11 of 46
For me the advantage of a faster computer is nil for now. I upconvert with ffdshow to 2048x2048 with all the filters I want running. I get 20k 3dmarks with a 9800pro. I am pretty happy for now. I would like a faster video card like an x800xt if I can find one for less than $500. The ultra setting at my projectors native res causes a little bit of slowdown playing Doom 3. This is the only game that really taxes my system. Someday i would like to play all of my games at 1920x1080. For now, I am happy with 1280x720. Maybe....I will upgrade when I can purchase 2 ultra 6800s and run them in SLI. Doom 3 will be Awesome!!
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally posted by kschmit2
Soundstorm was originally developed for the X-BOX. So Microsoft paid part of the RD costs. They also sold/are selling quite a few x-box devices.
It was Microsoft that paid the largest share of the dolby license fees for the encoder.
So there you have large quantities being sold and an additional investor.

That's the reason why there will not be any soundstorm at least in Nforce4.

Kai
Also, Sensaura liscenced the patents to Nvidia for SS. Last December, Creative bought out Sensaura. Creatve now owns the IP allwowed SS to do 3D positional audio. Its hard to imagine them liscensing the tech to a potential competitor.
post #13 of 46
You'd think Dolby would really want this. Since they're constantly competing with DTS, to grab the HTPC and PC gaming market would be huge for them.
post #14 of 46
C-media makes a card that supports dolby digital live. Its the 8768. You can find it at compgeeks.com for $27.50. Its the only add-in card ive seen that does dd encoding.
post #15 of 46
Wow. I stand corrected. It must be rather new. Crow tastes better when served warm anyways. I am so jacked. I can upgrade to A64 now. SWEET!!!
post #16 of 46
If I'm not mistaken the C-Media cards encode in software, thus taking up cpu cycles. Enough load on the audio might make WMVHD or some games unplayable.
post #17 of 46
It is software encoding but with an athlon 64 it shouldnt be that much a performance hit. There are no add-in cards that do hardware encoding and doesnt look like there will be for a while if ever.
post #18 of 46
sklein, how is using that particular C-Media card that "supports" software DD encoding any different than running a software DD encoder like ac3filter on any soundcard? Is it just that it ships with some proprietary DD encoding software?
post #19 of 46
I'm a very happy SoundStorm guy and guess I will be running my A7N8X into the ground before upgrading to less.

The nForce4 announcement with no SoundStorm makes me sick.

DFA
post #20 of 46
I didnt know ac3filter could encode all audio in dolby digital real-time.
post #21 of 46
Your cpu handles most of the AC3 decoder if you just use one of those filters like ac3 filter.
post #22 of 46
Show me the card (with working driver for realtime DD encoding via SPDIF), not the chip! :D

regards,

Li On
post #23 of 46
Does anybody have the C-Media CMI8768 sound card? It's supposed to do software DD encoding. Any feedback on stability and EAX support? How does it stand comparing to Audigy & NForce2? As somebody from this thread pointed out, it's available at compgeeks.com:

http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp...8-8C-N&cat=SND

Also, the c-media home page (http://www.cmedia.com.tw) is announcing the CMI8768+ chip which is supposed to do HARDWARE DD encoding! Anybody has more info on this?
post #24 of 46
DFA, I am with you. After hearing there is no Soundstorm for nForce 4, I am holding onto my Asus A7N8X Deluxe v.1.4 motherboard (I might need to get a new one though for higher FSB). Guess I'll upgrade the CPU and the RAM and ignore PCI-Express and DDR2 for another year.
post #25 of 46
Don't the new Intel motherboards with Intel High Definition Audio support this natively?
post #26 of 46
I'm also very interested in the C-Media CMI8768 card!

Does anyone have it that can comment it?

Does it have hardware encoding, if not is a P4 3ghz enough so it wont affect game performance that much?
post #27 of 46
AC3 filter cannot encode DD. It's a decoder!
post #28 of 46
Actually, no, since version 1.01aRC1 it claims to have "Real-time AC3 encoding for multichannel SPDIF output", but I haven't had a chance to mess with it yet.
post #29 of 46
I have, AC3Filter encodes any DirectShow material into DD5.1. Works great on my receiver when playing back WMV-HD clips (though not perfect!).

The problem is games aren't DirectShow material so AC3Filter is useless for any Dolby Digital gaming.
post #30 of 46
Is there not a "soundcard" (actually software/driver) you can install and have it encode to Dolby Digital. I seem to recall reading about it, but I have forgotten the name.
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