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Something I saw in the 3D sound newsletter.


Project 6.1 - the truth behind the latest Game Theater XP

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Project 6.1 - the truth behind the latest Game Theater XP is the title of an interview posted on Hercules web site with Tim Morris and Philip Lukidis - two of the principal engineers on the GTXP 6.1 Project. Here's a snip:

Q: What sort of improvements have you added to the 6.1 version of the Hercules Game Theater XP?


"Tim Morris

The Game Theater XP now lets the user play 6.1 channel Dolby Digital EX using CyberLink's PowerDVD 6.1 Pro.

This is an obvious gain for home theater fans, who will be able to enjoy the full soundtrack found on their favorite Dolby Digital EX encoded DVDs, like Fight Club and Seven. The rear center channel adds that extra bit of realism to some already awesome AC-3 soundtracks.

[snip]

The virtualization feature is my favorite, being the ability to stream music, including MP3s with or without our MP3 hardware acceleration, and games over up to 6.1 channels. This new feature really makes both music listening and gaming that much more immersing an experience. It also means users can get the full potential out of any speaker configuration, which include headphones, 2, 2.1, 4, 4.1, 5.1, and 6.1, which incorporates a rear center channel. As far as the technology is concerned, the 6.1 channel playback was achieved using a proprietary algorithm based on Sensaura's Multidrive technology. By using audio filtering to create discreet front and rear center, and subwoofer channels, we were able to really improve the 3D sound field."
http://us.hercules.com/articles/read.php3?id=129


The subwoofer output will let the sound card work with 5.1 speaker systems that require subwoofer input to function correctly (e.g. S4 7100, DigiTheatre LC). The new drivers will soon be available for download and will work with existing Game Theater XP cards. The interview also contains more details on enhancements and fixes that will be in the new drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
That powerdvd version seem more and more interesting.


6.1 decoding .. let me guess that it will ship with Delta Theater as well :)


It's been rumours about Dolby Prologic 2 as well!


Could we have per channel volume control and cutoff filter in software as well ? :)
 

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The latest version should be:

Cyberlink PowerDVD 4.0.09 2ch for Dell

Cyberlink PowerDVD 4.0C.08 for Dell

Cyberlink PowerDVD 4.0C.09 6ch for Dell


Actually Pro Logic II will definitely work for DVD and VideoCD:
http://www2.cli.co.jp/products/powerdvd/xp/sound.htm
 

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the rear center channel is output through the headphone jack. For the front and satelites, you can use either the 4 separate rca jacks or the two mini stereo jacks o the back.


This is a good deal. I am still bitter with the GTXP for not having any driver updates since 2/2001, but this sort of makes up for it.


I am listening to mp3s with 5 speakers and a sub. Nice. Games would be the same. I haven't tried any inputs yet to see what happens though. Maybe I will get around to hooking up a rear center.


This is much better than the prior drivers, in case none of you knew. When using the 5.1 outs you would have no hope of using the sub unless it was from powerDVD or a compliant game. Now everything is usable.


I hope they will be refining them further. They could still use some work. I am not able to tell whether mp3 hardware acceleration is even working or not. And I would think if they can send a prologic signal through optical out then they should be able to send the same kind of 5.1 speaker usage to a receiver.
 

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there are two external inputs (line 2, aux2) which are virtualized into the speaker configuration you choose. Up to 6.1


This should work very well with tuner card.


The same virtual effect can be gained from a lot of receivers, but the game theater uses all of the speakers at an equal and adjustable level. Something I can't get with my receiver.


I'll have to register under a different nickname when I go back to the Hercules forum. Now that I actually dig this thing.


If anyone is interested in these I would see if you can find a 5.1 for around $100. The 6.1's will come out soon, and probably cost more. Although they will include the New 6.1 PowerDVD.


The aux in connector is the only conector based from the PCI slot. The external rack provides all the connections and four USB ports. The USB ports may not be suitable for powered devices, but work well for joysticks and the like.
 

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sorry, I suppose I answered your question already, but didn't make it clear.


The new 6.1 version (if they sell one) will most likely have a formal rear center out and come with Power DVD capable of decoding 6.1 titles.


The current 5.1 version offers a rear center out through the headphone jack.


The drivers improve the hercules game theater xp by 100%.


It virtualizes two inputs (one internal, one external) into your speaker setup of choice (up to 6.1)


It virtualizes mp3s, windows sounds, games, into your speaker setup of choice (up to 6.1)


does that help you out a little more.


sorry to be so disorganized in my posts.
 

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OK so check this out:



HTPC with the hercules game theater XP to my 5.1 reciever=5.1


BUT if it's outputting a 6.1 signal with the 6th rear center coming from the headphone jack, how do I output that to a regular rear center channel from a headphone jack? Is there a mini-stereo to banana plug converter?? and will that work?



I SEVERELY would rather have THIS than the M-Audio card, except I fear that the Game Theater XP STILL only does 48khz instead of 96khz, am I mistaken??
 

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the GTXP is sort of like a warm-up for the Delta Theatre, IMO. It wasn't designed specifically to please the audiophile, but ti does work with games.:)


You need to use an extra amp, or a powered speaker, or a 6.1 ready amp If you want to use the rear center. And I actually think the output to the headphone jack is stereo when in rear center mode, so if you have an old Dolby Pro-Logic receiver around you could hook it up to the rear center out, and use a center, and a right and left.


I think this would be pretty cool in games, but I am not sure how far it will really get one with DVD playback unless the speakers are all the same, and are all coming form the same amp.


I haven't had my coffee yet, so I may be wrong here.
 

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So, I think I'm missing something. I have the 3.02 drivers installed (and they are worlds better than the 2.02s), but my analog stereo input doesn't virtualize - I just get stereo back out. Am I missing something?
 

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it only virtualizes the internal input on the PCI card, and the mic/line2 input. Not the one on the back of the PCI card(1/8" stereo mini) or the dual RCA jacks on the front of the breakout box.


I am having a problem getting anything but the left speakers(and maybe the center) used for the line 2 input. I haven't tried the internal input yet, and I don't have the cable either. it isn't my plug because when I change the rca plugs around on the source it still only uses the left speakers.


from a few posts above:
Quote:
there are two external inputs (line 2, aux2) which are virtualized into the speaker configuration you choose.
are you using one of those and still not getting more than stereo? do you have speakers in control panel applet set for more than 2 speakers?
 

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So is there a card that does Optical out with 6.1 and 96khz signal?
 

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analog out:

I believe the soon to be released Midiman Delta Theatre card will do 7.1 and 96khz. I'm not sure if it will do both at the same time however. There is a high end delta 1010 card which has some awesome capabilities but is too expensive for me to worry about what it does. its around $400. I believe the Delta Theatre will be around $250.


digital out:

dolby pro-logic and lower number of channels or dts/ac3 passthrough. Through optical/coaxial out, no card can do more than that currently. The nForce motherboard chipset includes an audio processing unit which may provide DD 5.1 out for games, but it doesn't look like it is going to live up to this forum's expectations of home theater applications at this time.
 

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It is my understanding the the Game Theater can pass a 6.1 through the digital outs if Power DVD is playing a 6.1 movie. Am I wrong? I have my Game Theater hooked up to a receiver via a coaxial audio cable and I get DD5.1 but I do not have my system hooked up for 6.1 yet.


My problem is if I try to play games on my TV. I want four discrete channels or 5.1 digital, but I get PCM Pro Logic. This is annoying because there is no directionality in the rears. Is there a different mode that will make the rears discrete? The only way I can figure out is if I send it analog, but my receiver's analog inputs are tied up by my DVD-audio player.


On my desktop, I have a Cambridge soundworks DT2500 setup, hooked up via the analog inputs and an optical cable. I can only get the games to play in four speaker surround since to get the virtual 5.1 to work for the Game Theater, they have to be hooked up by the analog outs and the Cambridge SW does not have a center input. I was hoping that the virtual 5.1 for games would work via the optical connection, but this does not seem to work. I do use the optical for 5.1 movies at my desktop though. I do like the ability to set my speakers to small and get more use out of my sub now.
 

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me
Quote:
digital out:

dolby pro-logic and lower number of channels or dts/ac3 passthrough. Through optical/coaxial out, no card can do more than that currently.
dts/ac3 passthrough means any form of DD or DTS can be taken off of a dvd, dvd file, media file, or other pre-recorded (HDTV)source and sent out through one of the digital outs.(I think I don't need to say dts/ac3/dd, but I could be wrong) My understanding is that 5.1,6.1 whatever, shouldn't matter because it is just in transit. DTS ES, or DD EX should be sent to your receiver with no problem. as long as the source media is encoded in DD EX or DTS ES.


Maxc
Quote:
My problem is if I try to play games on my TV. I want four discrete channels or 5.1 digital, but I get PCM Pro Logic. This is annoying because there is no directionality in the rears. Is there a different mode that will make the rears discrete? The only way I can figure out is if I send it analog, but my receiver's analog inputs are tied up by my DVD-audio player.
I think you know that you will only get PCM out of the digital out from anything that is encoded inside the HTPC. Pro Logic is the best surround you will get from software sounds. The best thing for you maybe would be to either free up the analog inputs on your receiver or see how easy it would be to hook up some switches from Radio Shack to share the inputs of your receiver. I don't think using a splitter/combiner or a y attachment of any kind would be a good idea, but switches would work. I would think it wouldn't cost much for a total of 12 ins, 6 outs.
Quote:
On my desktop, I have a Cambridge soundworks DT2500 setup, hooked up via the analog inputs and an optical cable. I can only get the games to play in four speaker surround since to get the virtual 5.1 to work for the Game Theater, they have to be hooked up by the analog outs and the Cambridge SW does not have a center input. I was hoping that the virtual 5.1 for games would work via the optical connection, but this does not seem to work. I do use the optical for 5.1 movies at my desktop though. I do like the ability to set my speakers to small and get more use out of my sub now.
same issues as above. it is unfortunate the Cambridge didn't include a center input, considering they have a center speaker. They were simply building for the market though, which could only use four analog inputs for games.


Just try to make the best out of your GTXP, by using the speaker use to play MP3's in full 5.1, or try to get the internal aux input to virtualize a stereo source into 5.1. Or try to use the Line 2 input to virtualize a stereo source into 5.1.


If you hook up the analog inputs to a receiver you will have all these capabilities which is pretty nice. The 5.1 digital out through games is currently only supported by the nForce audio processor chip. Which is currently in the XBOX, and will be sold on nForce motherboards.


one observation is when I use WinAmp's equalizer and boost the bass it makes the bass management fail, and the small speakers will try and output the additional lower frequencies. I believe perhaps that WinAmp's EQ modifies the audio after the sound card drivers virtualize it and reassign the lower frequencies to the sub, then the sound from winamp is sent out through the volume controls. There must be something like that going on to have that happen.
 

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Yeah,


I kind of knew that, but I was seeking a second opinion before giving it up.:p The analog switch box is a good idea, but my computer is not that close to the receiver, so one coaxial cable is ok but 6 analog cables would be too much...for now.


Thanks again.


Ohh...I see you changed your coat. Good, because the yellow one was looking dirty...ha ha:D
 

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rather then posting about comparisons with other more expensive sound cards that promise higher sound quality, but are very lacking in features, I will just post this picture of the game theater xp 6.1 volume control panel.
 
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