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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any way to use my SB Live! 5.1+ to output a digital signal to my receiver when playing regular music (like .mp3's)? I'm currently using the analog outs to move 6 analog channels to inputs on my receiver, and that works decently but there's more noise/distortion than I like, and each time I want to use the digital connection for movies I have to change the cabling. Any ideas? Alternatively, are there any other sound cards that can do this in Win2k? I rue the day I bought this godforsaken card http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif .

Thanks,


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-Mike C.

HTPC System:

VP6

Dual PIII 800

512mb Crucial CAS-2 RAM

10,000RPM U-SCSI2 LVD HD

Plextor 16/10/40 Burnproof CDR

SB LIve! 5.1+

Pioneer VSX-D409 Receiver

5.1 Speaker System
 

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Hi Mike,


I'm doing exactly what you asked. I have my SB Live! X-Gamer hooked up to the digital coaxial input on my reciever through a hoontech adapter. This is the only audio connection from my PC to the reciever and the card is set for Digital Only out. I get DD and DTS when playing movies through WinDVD, and I get stereo when playing .mp3's through WinAmp. I don't change any settings or configurations or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When you're playing .mp3's, does it use all your speakers (including subwoofer)? And where can I find out more about that adaptor?

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I do the same thing using a SB Live+ card. MP3s are mono or stereo though. There are no 5.1 mp3's. It will be up to the dsp modes in your receiver to make use of all the speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
scottg:

I know there aren't 5.1 .mp3's, I mean I want to replicate what's happening with current analog setup, digitally. When I play .mp3's I essentially get three channels, with my left two speakers playing one channel, my right two playing another, and my subwoofer. If I do it digitally right now, it uses my front two speakers exclusively.


Hugomed:

I have a SPDIF digital out, that's not the problem. The problem is that it doesn't use all my speakers properly, like I describe earlier in this post.


Thanks!

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mike3411:
scottg:

I know there aren't 5.1 .mp3's, I mean I want to replicate what's happening with current analog setup, digitally. When I play .mp3's I essentially get three channels, with my left two speakers playing one channel, my right two playing another, and my subwoofer. If I do it digitally right now, it uses my front two speakers exclusively.


Hugomed:

I have a SPDIF digital out, that's not the problem. The problem is that it doesn't use all my speakers properly, like I describe earlier in this post.


Thanks!

Sorry Mike, but ScottG is right. The only way to do what you want digitally is to see if one of the DSP modes on your reciever can matrix the stereo signal the way you want it too.
 

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So for analog, it sounds like you're using the analog 5.1 inputs on your receiver. You must also be running some DSP mode on your Live! card to get the stereo going four channel. The digital output is only going to be the two-channel PCM data. If you are running your main speakers as small or you have your subwoofer output to LFE+Main then the subwoofer should work.


-will


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No man has enough luck to save himself from his fellow man

--Combustible Edison
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
tonypeps:

I'm not arguing with scottg... I just said that I already knew .mp3's have a native max of two channels, and that with the analog output on my SB Live! 5.1+ it was playing these using four speakers and the subwoofer.


Hepcat:

Yes, I said I was using "analog channels to inputs on my receiver"... As for DSP on my sound card, if I am using something I can't find it anywhere in the AudioHQ (Creative's control panel), as the only place for DSP modes I could find reports that there are no effects enable.

Thanks for the small speakers suggestion! I went to my receiver and changed that option, and set it to be receiving a pro logic signal, and now it's working perfectly http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Thanks


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-Mike C.

HTPC System:

VP6

Dual PIII 800

512mb Crucial CAS-2 RAM

10,000RPM U-SCSI2 LVD HD

Plextor 16/10/40 Burnproof CDR

SB LIve! 5.1+

Pioneer VSX-D409 Receiver

5.1 Speaker System
 

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Toying with the Windows setting will only manage to turn off the four speakers in analog anyway. The only way to get multi-channel (more than FL and FR anyway) digital sound is for it to be DD/DTS encoded. You can use the digital out from your Live! card and then enable a DSP mode on your receiver, but it'll be artificial surround, although playing MP3/CD-Audio in the four-channel mode isn't pure stereo reproduction either. Really, it's not that the digital output isn't working properly, it's that the analog output isn't working true to signal content.

Glad you got your subwoofer going!


-will


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No man has enough luck to save himself from his fellow man

--Combustible Edison
 

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Mike,


I have a Live 5.1 and up until recently I was doing exactly the same as you and using the 5.1 analogue outputs on the soundcard connected to a DD ready receiver.


For movies I got DD5.1 decoded by the card under Windows ME using WinDVD, PowerDVD and the ATI player and under Windows 2000 I got DD5.1 using PowerDVD but not WinDVD or the ATI player.


For MP3s using Winamp I got a 'surround' type mix from both front and rear speakers that could not be turned off even with no effects settings. It seems that the output goes to both front and rear equally, so to get a true stereo effct I had to go into the SB mixer and fade to front only. This option is not available from the windows mixer. You can also get the sub output when the bass redirect option is selected in the advanced speaker setup.


I now have a new receiver connected to my Live 5.1 using the digital coax connecter. Right now I am using the digital connection on the back of the card. Under Windows ME I can get both DD5.1 and DTS output from WinDVD and DD5.1 fom the ATI player. I have not tried PowerDVD yet, but I plan to. To get this output I had to go into the Live 5.1 speaker setup and select 'digital output only' I also went into the advanced setup and unchecked the DD decode and Bass redirection. Now when I play MP3s I get a digital output from my soundcard that my receiver treats as PCM stereo. I can use the DSP programs on my receiver if I want any surround mix and the bass redirection in my receiver brings the sub into play for non 5.1 sources.


I currently use the digital output on the back of the card that shares the same connector with the center/sub connection. I plan add a Hoontech adapter so I can use an optical output and because it is said that the digital output on the card is out of spec and can damage the receiver. I still have the analogue front and rear speaker connections on the soundcard connected the another input on the receiver so I can have EAX and surround support in games. I just have to go into the speaker setup and uncheck the 'digital output only' box. I hope to find a quick way of doing this.


Other things you might find useful are that I have been told that the PCM output from an SBLIVE is always 48Khz, so some kind of upsampling is going on for CD type music to take it from the standard 44.1Khz to 48Khz. Some have said that this reduces sound quality, but I can't say I have noticed. Then again I have nothing to compare it with, so maybe that's for the best http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


If you have any other questions then just ask.


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Simon Wilson
My Naff Home Page
 
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