Is dolby digital 5.1 or DTS connect still a thing? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-22-2018, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Is dolby digital 5.1 or DTS connect still a thing?

Seriously, a search for DDL in the forums showed results from 2005 to 2012. Lately there were some issues with Witcher 3 when using the 5.1 dolby digital live encoding on my Realtek soundcard so I started looking around. It seems the market for USB soundcards that are advertised for doing on-the-fly encoding into dolby or DTS is pretty much nonexistant.

As far as the net told me, games need to support Atmos for it to work in Win10 so most likely only a minority of games can deliver that. Win10 also seems to have some sort of dolby and DTS built into it so it seemed any soundcard with a digital out should deliver. However, the new Soundblaster X G6 isn't designed for it and only delivers 2 channel output via SPDIF and my FIIO E10K, for some reason, refuses to output some signal via the SPDIF that my ancient receiver understands.

How is digital multichannel audio handled today in PC gaming?
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-22-2018, 11:19 AM
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Hdmi.

Or Headphones on PC using DTS or Atmos software processing and in some cases, native 5.1 or 7.1.

Nobody really needs to compress sound into a thin pipe like Optical anymore......hence it's not surprising your old hardware-based encoding may be struggling a bit with modern audio.....

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-22-2018, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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That sounds surprisingly simple. No need for fancy soundcards, extra optical cables and all that stuff anymore?
Just basically PC -> Receiver -> Display all via HDMI and the receiver feeds the speakers?

That would explain, why the stuff is so poorly marketed these days, when almost nobody needs it anymore.

Out of curiosity, are there reports of added input lag due to the receiver being in the video signal chain now?
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-22-2018, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosi1979 View Post
That sounds surprisingly simple. No need for fancy soundcards, extra optical cables and all that stuff anymore?
Just basically PC -> Receiver -> Display all via HDMI and the receiver feeds the speakers?

That would explain, why the stuff is so poorly marketed these days, when almost nobody needs it anymore.

Out of curiosity, are there reports of added input lag due to the receiver being in the video signal chain now?
Depending on the receiver, you might be able to connect just the receiver to HDMI on your PC and not have a monitor run through the receiver. My Denon receiver works as its own display without needing a monitor attached to activate HDMI, but Windows does show an extra display; I set the resolution of the phantom display to something low and I use a program called Dual Monitor Tools to prevent my mouse from going off of the main display. My monitor is attached directly to my GTX 1080 with DisplayPort. This has worked well.

PC Game Audio - http://satsun.org/audio/
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-22-2018, 09:58 PM
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USB DDL Sound Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosi1979 View Post
Seriously, a search for DDL in the forums showed results from 2005 to 2012. Lately there were some issues with Witcher 3 when using the 5.1 dolby digital live encoding on my Realtek soundcard so I started looking around. It seems the market for USB soundcards that are advertised for doing on-the-fly encoding into dolby or DTS is pretty much nonexistant.

As far as the net told me, games need to support Atmos for it to work in Win10 so most likely only a minority of games can deliver that. Win10 also seems to have some sort of dolby and DTS built into it so it seemed any soundcard with a digital out should deliver. However, the new Soundblaster X G6 isn't designed for it and only delivers 2 channel output via SPDIF and my FIIO E10K, for some reason, refuses to output some signal via the SPDIF that my ancient receiver understands.

How is digital multichannel audio handled today in PC gaming?
Ironically I was searching for the same thing. I've been considering a motherboard for a new PC build that lacks an optical out port (Asus ROG Strix X470-I ITX), and stumbled upon your thread while googling. My couple year old headset (astro a50 gen 2) only has optical in for 5.1, meanwhile many newer 5.1 headsets recieve audio via USB, and sound systems via HDMI, etc.

Here's the 3 best external usb sound cards I've found that explicitly support dolby digital live:

Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card - $69.74 Amazon Prime

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 - $69.97 Amazon Prime

ASUS Xonar U3 Sound Cards (XONAR_U3/UAD/B/A) $48.43 Amazon Prime <--my first choice since it's a small dongle (it includes an spdif optical adapter, see asus' website for photo)

And these MAY support it:
ASUS XONAR U5
ASUS XONAR U7

P.S. AVS forum is a great place that I've found some good references on before, so nice to give back. Enjoy
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-23-2018, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Indeed, the Xonar and the Omni seem to support it. The release of those cards dating years back sort of tells a story though. All newer and higher end cards seem heavily marketed as decoders and headphone virtualizers or somesuch. Basically headphone amps on steroids.
Seems the old way of getting multichannel audio is slowly turning into a dead end now and when it stops working, an AVR upgrade is the way to go for me, to support HDMI and whatever dolby or DTS format are preferred then.

For some reason I don't feel like ditching my current setup right now as it mostly works but Realtek already needed modified .dlls to make Witcher 3 output more than Stereo. That alone triggered several mental malware alarms. Not very convincing for the future.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-23-2018, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosi1979 View Post
Indeed, the Xonar and the Omni seem to support it. The release of those cards dating years back sort of tells a story though. All newer and higher end cards seem heavily marketed as decoders and headphone virtualizers or somesuch. Basically headphone amps on steroids.
Seems the old way of getting multichannel audio is slowly turning into a dead end now and when it stops working, an AVR upgrade is the way to go for me, to support HDMI and whatever dolby or DTS format are preferred then.

For some reason I don't feel like ditching my current setup right now as it mostly works but Realtek already needed modified .dlls to make Witcher 3 output more than Stereo. That alone triggered several mental malware alarms. Not very convincing for the future.
It sounds like you've browsed all of Creative's newer stuff. Only the higher-end AVRs have the multi-channel analog inputs that would work with a sound card. If Creative would release something with an HDMI connection that could send just audio to an AVR, that would be awesome, but I'm not sure if that's possible.

Your Witcher 3 issue is very interesting, were you trying to get an encoded 5.1 signal through SPDIF via the Realtek chip?

I typically recommend avoiding DD/DTS 5.1 encoding for PC games because I've read about issues with games when 5.1 encoding over SPDIF is used. I used GPU HDMI out to my AVR with Witcher 3 and had no issues getting 7.1 PCM.

PC Game Audio - http://satsun.org/audio/
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-24-2018, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes I've browsed the lineup from creative and asus and looked for optical or SPDIF outputs and a mention of DDL or DTS Connect. Analog outputs would've worked too but I didn't really pay attention to them to be honest. HDMI out would be splendid for current AVRs but it seems Soundcards are more focused on anything headphones now. In theory Windows 10 itself has Dolby support built in so maybe they don't even see any sort of market there.

In Witcher 3 there were two issues actually. First, setting the optical output to DDL sent my AVR into 5.1 mode as expected. The game however only output plain stereo. The modified .dlls fixed that and the game switched to 5.1ch output. There even was a guide how to hex-edit the original .dll to enable that so people must've been pretty desperate.

Second, sometimes the game output voices at extremely low volumes. Everything else was normal volume. It was impossible to understand anybody including the guy in the intro, giving his flaming sermon. That happened about 30% of the time and only restarting the game "fixed" it. I have no idea what caused it though.

Other than that I can't complain about the audio (or anything else really). When it worked, the whole thing was monumental.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-16-2019, 09:40 PM
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I use DTS Connect since my receiver is kind of old and only has an optical input for 5.1 speakers. It handles all sound output for my Gaming & Home Theater PC ...and music very well (with Prologic II audio processing for stereo sources). I also use Dolby Atmos for headphones... although, multichannel speakers sound a lot better for 3D sound than Atmos for headphones. There were a couple audio issues in games years ago (as mosi1979 said above); which got fixed in Windows 10 a couple of years back. l also used the DLL hexedit hack for a couple of games until there was a fix for it. I just use the onboard Realtek audio on my Asus motherboard; which has worked great since I got my HTPC back in 2015.

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post #10 of 16 Old 02-17-2019, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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There was a fix for DTS connect on realtek chipsets?



After reinstalling windows 10 a couple of weeks ago, the latest Tomb Raider installment refused to output 5.1ch as well.
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-17-2019, 03:51 PM
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Arrow FIX for Asus motherboards that support DTS Connect

Realtek doesn't include the DTS Connect/DDL licensing in their drivers... just the encoders. It's up to the OEM to provide the licenses using an OEM installer. So, if you have an Asus motherboard with on board Realtek chipset (that supports DTS Connect/DDL live), you need to use the Asus setup/installer FIRST before installing standard Realtek drivers (or use the drivers that come with Windows 10)

The real problem is that OEMs like Asus don't readily make these license installers available for download; since the OEM has to pay for these licenses. In my case, I wasn't able to find the Asus installer (on the official driver support product webpage of my motherboard) until I stumbled upon the below website/forum post which pointed me to the EXACT installer I needed..

https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthrea...o-Driver-Fixed

Specifically, the actual download from that forum post is below, for your convenience.. IF you have an Asus motherboard that officially supports DTS Connect:. If you have another motherboard manufacturer, you'll need to find the equivalent OEM installer and install it FIRST before expecting your Realtek drivers to support DTS Connect/DDL. There are "unlocked" drivers floating around as well which work.. and don't require these licenses; but you have to disable secure boot, and disable driver signing.. but this isn't really a good way to do it IMO; especialy since some games wont start unless driver signing is enabled (for security and stabilty purposes).

Anyway, here's the fix if you have an Asus motherboard that officially supports DTS Connect. Remember, to install the Asus Setup FIRST then reboot. Then, install a normal Realtek HD audio driver after that.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Asus setup with Microsoft Update Catalog Realtek Drivers
-------------------------------------------------------------

Install Guide uninstall current driver -reboot

Extract Rar - run asussetup wait- click ok on pop two times - cmd disapear - reboot - enjoy.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Last Updated: January 16th 2018
DRIVER VERSION: 6.0.1.8351
(Only 64-bit Windows 10)

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao-k31O1onq_gtNglPWrOIifC7d1Og



Quote:
Originally Posted by mosi1979 View Post
There was a fix for DTS connect on realtek chipsets?



After reinstalling windows 10 a couple of weeks ago, the latest Tomb Raider installment refused to output 5.1ch as well.

Last edited by MKANET; 02-17-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-17-2019, 04:42 PM
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Not sure if this helps or is needed, but my brother was having a time getting Dolby Digital 5.1 working with his Sonos soundbar system until he used this piece of software. Supposedly enables DD live for ANY endpoint.

[URL][http://puresoftapps.blogspot.com/2018/04/realtek-apo-driver.html?m=1/URL]
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-17-2019, 06:56 PM
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That's actually one of the unlocked drivers I was talking about in my previous post. The Pihto(DDL & DTSi Unlock patcher uses a self-signed certificate that requires disabling Windows driver validation; and, needs to be re-applied with each Windows Update. It's still the best alternative if you dont have legit licensing available from the OEM (like the one I posted above for Asus motherboards).

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Originally Posted by ruggercb View Post
Not sure if this helps or is needed, but my brother was having a time getting Dolby Digital 5.1 working with his Sonos soundbar system until he used this piece of software. Supposedly enables DD live for ANY endpoint.

[URL][http://puresoftapps.blogspot.com/2018/04/realtek-apo-driver.html?m=1/URL]
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post #14 of 16 Old 02-18-2019, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Well that is helpful indeed. Luckily ASRock licensed DDL so it is included in the default driver. Without the modified .dll's it doesn't work though.


Does anyone have success with these HDMI audio extractors?
I was considering getting one of those on the cheap and setting that as my default audio output in Windows. They seem to go as far as HDCP 1.4 or HDMI 1.4 so I have no idea if that will work for gaming. Getting an HDFury Integra 2 or something in that league right now is too expensive.

It just needs to do 5.1 because I don't have more speakers anyway and don't plan to add some
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-25-2019, 09:38 AM
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ASRock does have licensed DDL, yes, but Asus does not. Will the posted Asus driver work with the ROG VII Hero?


Otherwise I guess I'll look at PCI-E audio cards. Such a pain that ASRock supports DD5.1/DTS encoding but Asus doesn't...

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post #16 of 16 Old 04-25-2019, 10:07 AM
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Asus doesn't post their setup.exe that installs these licenses on many of their motherboards' support webpages. You can get full support DDL and DTS Interactive for Asus motherboards with compatible Realtek Audio chipsets by using their "legit" drivers posted on the ROG VII Hero forum thread. More specifically, in the drivers listed under the Microsoft catalog in my previous post in this thread. You don't need to waste your money on a second sound card that also supports DDL/DTS Interactive if you already have an Asus motherboard that supports this. I've been using DTS Interactive since 2015 when I first bought my Asus 97Z Deluxe... even with a relatively recent driver from 2018 (listed in the Microsoft Catalog link I posted). It even works when upgrading to major new Windows 10 updates.

EDIT: The AsusSetup.exe is included with the official Microsoft catalog drivers (that installs the Asus licenses). Just run that executable and reboot before installing recent Realtek audio drivers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandis View Post
ASRock does have licensed DDL, yes, but Asus does not. Will the posted Asus driver work with the ROG VII Hero?


Otherwise I guess I'll look at PCI-E audio cards. Such a pain that ASRock supports DD5.1/DTS encoding but Asus doesn't...

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