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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am such a total newbie to HT-PC integration, it's not even funny, Being such, I don't even know how to search the forum for the answers I need, because I'm not sure of the questions.


Here's what I want to do:

I have a Soundblaster Audigy Soundcard with a "Digital Out". I think this is called SPD/IF. The output on the soundcard is colored orange, and appears to be standard 1/8" headphone jack sized.


I want to send this output to one of my Onkyo TXDS898's Digital Coax or TOSLINK inputs. In theory, this will get me 5.1 output from my soundcard.


But, because of the difference in size and shape of the Soundcard's Output and my Receiver's input, I can't just make the connection.


What do I need in order to facilitate this? Have I made bad assumptions?


Yes, my soundcard can do 5.1. At least I'm pretty sure it can.


I'm not using my PC as a part of my HT just yet. Right now, I'm using it mainly for family computing and games on my Sammy 61" DLP. I'd just like to get digital sound if I can.
 

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There are two types of digital connections for home audio. People throw the terms around in very confusing manners.


COAX is usually a round RCA adaptor. Your sound card just uses a sub-mini connector. A simple adaptor from Radio Shack would do the trick.

OPTICAL is a rectangular plug.


The general consensus is that COAX is better, because the signal doesn't get converted 2 extra times between the computer and the sound card. OPTICAL allows for electrical isolation from the PC to the receiver. This means your computer can't send a surge to the receiver that will damage it.


You can get adaptors that will convert COAX and OPTICAL outside of the PC, but what you might want to consider is a new sound card.


The Creative cards only put out CD audio sound upsampled to 48K.


You might want to consider a new sound card. The M-Audio Revolution has COAX out (as an RCA) and will not upsample your sound.


If MP3/CD audio doesn't matter to you (ie you only will play DVD's) then the card you have is fine.


Andy
 

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I use the Audigy and it works fine to my Marantz receiver. You'll need a mono mini-RCA adapter form Radio Shack so that you can adapt the regular co-ax to the Audigy. Then you'll need to go into the mixer software on the HTPC and select 5.1 speakers, Then select Digital output only and deselect dolby decoding.
 

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that's it, be sure you get a mono mini-rca jack. also, as this happened to me, don't leave the windows default drives for your soundcard installed. you will not get digital output unless you load the drivers from the cd that came with your sound card. (drive updates from sblive.com won't do the job). you don't need optical out or a new card, the one you have is fine for most uses.
 

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In case mentioning it two times wasn't enough, be certain to get a mono 1/8" mono phone jack to female RCA adapter as shown in this link at Radio Shack:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=274%2D897


Note in the picture the single black band on the male part of the adapter, signifying only one channel (mono).


I made the mistake when the Audigy was new using a stereo RCA adapter (thinking it was a mono) and bought a Digital I/O board to then run optical instead. Later I realized this add-on board was entirely unnecessary. At least now the Audigy drivers can be updated via Creative's online update feature versus the mess it was a year ago.


I agree that unless music is your concern, you will most likely be very pleased with the digital sound output from your Audigy. Since playing games is still a mixed duty for my HTPC, the more audiophile class cards such as the M-Audio line is not really a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. I'll get the adapter tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, so I got the adapter, and it seems like it's working, however, I'm not getting 5.1 sound, despite having it set up that way in the Control Panel and in the "Audio HQ" application that came with the soundcard.


All I have is 2 channel sound. I'm expecting my soundcard to be putting out a 5.1 signal.


I have a Soundblaster Audigy Soundcard. It came with my Gateway desktop. I have the latest drivers installed.


Can someone take a stab at why my soundcard isn't putting out a 5.1 channel output?
 

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For dvd's make sure your DVD software player is set to output via spdif. Then make sure in creative HQ that AC3 decode is unchecked.

Now, for 2 channel sources, like CD's you should only get 2 channel sound.
 
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