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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up an ATI 9600XT All-in-Wonder and am having trouble getting 5.1 sound out of the spdif. Using ATI's DVD player it will only pass 2-channel sound through to my Marantz receiver, regardless of which settings I use. I am able to get 5.1 out of another pc's spdif through the same cable, so have eliminated my receiver as a problem.


Any suggestions or insight would be appreciated.
 

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problem is in ati dvd player. using powerdvd, I get 5.1, no problem, thru spdif. usning ati player, had same problem as you are now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingvee
problem is in ati dvd player. using powerdvd, I get 5.1, no problem, thru spdif. usning ati player, had same problem as you are now.
Thanks flyingvee, I'll give powerdvd a try. I hadn't thought of it as I haven't been able to get any other program to use the spdif-out....I was going to tackle that after I got 5.1 going. Did you have any problem getting other programs (including powerdvd) to use the spdif?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tried PowerDVD 4 (which I own) and the trial version 6.0, but neither of them will output sound over spdif. If I disable AC3Filter PowerDVD 4 gives me the option of outputting through spdif, but then gives me no sound. If I enable AC3Filter I don't even see the option for spdif in the dropdown menu.


Anyone have any ideas?


Thanks.
 

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I too have that card and it works FINE! I'm running WinXP/SP2, MMC 9.06.1 and Cat 5.4 with the RW 3.01 s/w. I'v never had any issue getting MMC's DVD to pass DD/DTS through to my on-board AC'97 audio's optical output. DO NOT attempt to use the RCA output on the AIW -- it DON'T work! (Plain and simple). Assuming you have the MMC loaded, no yellow exclaimations in your System Properties, then open DVD and select the Cyberlink Audio Passthrough and NOT the Rage Theater audio -- this will get you going. What is your sound card and SPDIF output (optical or coax)? I have only the TOSLINK connected between the PC and my A/V receiver -- all my sound passes through it, my Yamaha 995 detects if it's DD2.0/Pro Logic, DD5.1, or DTS
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Andrew,


Therein lies the issue. I don't have an onboard spdif, so I am trying to get the spdif-out on the AIW to fully work. It does work somewhat, in that it passes 2-channel sound through to my receiver, so I do get digital sound out.


I just got off the phone with ATI, and they claim that the card may not "recognize" my receiver over the spdif, so is defaulting to 2-channel sound. Is this even possible? The first CSR claimed that the card only works with Sony or Phillip's receivers...what a load of bs. The level 2 guy claims that the ATI DVD player (or the card) analyzes what is on the other end of the spdif cable to determine what it can accept, and then automatically only gives you that as an output option: implying that it has somehow determined that my 6-channel receiver only accepts 2-channel sound!


Anyway, he had me uninstall everything and reinstall, with the receiver turned on, to see if it would recognize the receiver. No dice. I asked him if there was a registry hack to force the card to output 6 channels of sound, and he said there wasn't.


I'm going to continue pursuing this with ATI, but if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. It seems to me that if it is passing 2-channel sound, and it's theoretically supposed to be able to pass 6-channel sound, then there must be some way to get it to work.
 

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ATI should be ashamed of their support, they really seem to be going downhill lately as far as their multimedia software and support. S/PDIF is not 2 way, so as you know there's no way your problem is related to the receiver/decoder on the other end. If you talk to them again and they feed you this same crap ask to speak to their manager and say you need to speak to someone knows S/PDIF instead of guesses about it.


What output setting are you using for the ATI dvd player? If I recall there's three choices; one is supposed to decode and downmix to 2 channel send this to the soundcard, two is supposed to 'passthrough' undecoded DD/DTS out the ATI s/pdif, and three is supposed to 'passthrough' undecoded DD/Dts to your soundcard. You want #2, which I think is labelled something like 'rage theater' (I'm currently on a biz trip to the U.K. so I can't see the names myself). After changing it to this, test by playing DVD, choosing the DD or DTS audio choice.


If this doesn't work, try uninstalling all DVD players/codecs and uninstalling MMC. Then reinstall MMC, set the DVD player output and try again.


If this still doesn't work, try uninstalling MMC again and the CAT driver, then get an older/archive version from the ATI website to see if this was a version-specific bug. If you do this, I'd try before Cat 5.3 (and corresponding MMC) since this is where I think they made some major undocumented changes with the audio (for TV it uses digital instead of the line in, which introduces a slight lag for live TV so you have an "echo" if you have another TV on in the other room :( ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Sherbona, that's very helpful. This is the first ATI card I've bought in a while, so I haven't been privy to all the nuances of the upgrade cycle. I think that you've probably identified the source of the issue though, as it would seem that I don't have all of the options that you describe for the output setting. I only see two options, the first of which is "Decode and down-mix to", which has a dropdown that only gives me "2-Speakers". That would seem ok, except I had the M/B set to 6-speaker mode when I did the installation last time. No big deal here, as that has nothing to do with the spdif-out.


Anyway, the second option (and only other option) is simply "Pass through to audio device", with a drop-down that only shows "ATI Rage Theater Audio". There doesn't seem to be any choice between passing through to the spdif or the sound card. The level-2 csr that I spoke with seemed surprised that there was no mention of spdif, so I wondered at the time if this was a recent change.


I've already done the full uninstall and reinstall of the current drivers/software, so I think that I'll try to find the older version that you mention. However, what do mean the tv only uses digital under the previous version? Do you mean it only uses the spdif? Since I have the spdif going to another room, does this then mean that I won't be able to hear the tv over the analog speakers that I have attached to the pc?


Thanks.
 

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If I remember right the "ATI Rage Theater Audio" is the option that is supposed to send undecoded DD/DTS from the ATI DVD player out the ATI S/PDIF. The more I think about it the more sure I am. I think the reason you don't see the third option I mentioned is because your soundchip/card doesn't have a S/PDIF out, so that option doesn't appear.


Hopefully I didn't confuse things when I mentioned the digital audio/TV thing. What I meant was that in earlier versions of the CAT drivers/MMC, when watching TV the audio went out the ATI line out (as analog) and into your soundcard analog line in. However with more recent CAT/MMC versions it doesn't work like that anymore. In the more recent versions (utilizing 'NSP' for WDM drivers) the audio is treated as 'data' and kept with the video, in this case the app is really reading a file fraction of a second later (like the 'pause live tv' feature). This is similar to how other 'pvr' type of tv cards work (i.e., Hauppauge 150), but stinks for someone like me who wants it in real time with no lag whatsoever as I have a real tv on in the other room tuned to the same channel - with the non-analog way of treating the audio the tv picture and sound are a fraction of a second later than the live tv, resulting in echo echo echo...


But back to your question, even when the ATI S/PDIF is working, the ATI S/PDIF was only for undecoded DD/DTS from the ATI DVD player, nothing else. If your speakers are hooked up to your soundcard's (or motherboard's) line out you should be fine for the TV.
 

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But isn't the BIGGER issue here that he has no audio except for ATi applications? I mean, how would he hear a Windows Media Player file? Or the system sounds without a sound card? I'm guessing it was an oversight, or the HTPC was spec'ed out with very specific ATi functionality.


I would suggest adding a sound card with a Sony-Phillips Digital InterFace (SP/DIF) output. I was looking on newegg and some of the cheaper ones ($28.00) got bad reviews -- saying the SP/DIF was only passing 2-ch PCM. I can't believe this -- has anyone got insight as to how cheap a card should be bought for this dude?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Sherbona. As long as I can still access the analog sound then I'm happy.


Andrew, yes, I think that probably is the bigger issue. My pc just doesn't recognize the spdif on the AIW. When I look at the sound properties, I see that my pc thinks that it has a spdif-out, which I definitely do not have. It would seem to me that the Rage Theater Audio is somehow not reporting, or misreporting, the spdif to my system. If I disable the RTA, then I lose the option in the ATI DVD player to pass through to audio device.


You're right that I could get a separate sound card with spdif-out to get my 6-channel sound to my receiver, but I've read on this forum that other people have gotten the spdif-out to work. If it's an ATI driver issue, then I would like to believe that there should be some workaround. At the end of the day you might be right, and I'll have to put in a sound card.


BTW, a CAN hear sounds from WMP (and other programs) through my analog-outs from my motherboard, but again, it's frustrating that these programs cannot access the AIW spdif.
 

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Hey guys,


Yeah the ATI AIW isn't a soundcard, the S/PDIF isn't meant as a replacement for a soundcard/motherboard's S/PDIF output - the only thing its for is DD/DTS passthrough from the ATI DVD player. If you want audio output from anything else via S/PDIF I imagine you'll end up having to go with a soundcard or different motherboard. I would love to be wrong about this however :)
 

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I'm surprised you have DD passing out the AIW phono jack -- but then again, my mobo has on-board sound w/Spdif so I never tried the RTA. In fact, assigning RTA would interrupt the SPDIF I was getting through my mobo. NOW that makes sense as it was routing the audio stream out the AIW's jack and not over to my on-board sound.


Depending on your receiver, you MAY be successful in it auto-selecting the source between SPDIF and Analog. You MAY be able to connect them both and hear either -- transparently.


I'm so glad I bought the Abit KD7-RAID with on-board sound -- I've NEVER had any issue getting SPDIF
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherbona
Hey guys,


Yeah the ATI AIW isn't a soundcard, the S/PDIF isn't meant as a replacement for a soundcard/motherboard's S/PDIF output - the only thing its for is DD/DTS passthrough from the ATI DVD player.
Well, at this point I'd be happy with that. For me it doesn't pass through DD5.1 or DTS. The only thing that comes through using the ATI DVD player is a PCM signal with 2-channels of sound. If I select DTS on a DVD then I get a thunderous silence (i.e. nothing). The DD5.1 track gives me 2-channel PCM.


No word back from ATI on this...what a surprise...
 
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