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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I apologize if this is covered in the 178 page PowerDVD thread but I could not find it in there in a way that I understand.


I bought some equipment yesterday to play HD DVD and Blue Ray movies on my TV through my computer.


LG HD DVD/Blue Ray internal drive for my PC (GGC H20L)

ATI HD 2400 Pro video card


It is installed with the DVI/HDMI converter connecting the DVI port on the card to the HDMI port on the TV.


Sound is entering my receiver through the optical out on the PC motherboard (Realtek HD audio)


The bundled PowerDVD Ultra allows me to select the optical out (SPDIF) and as a result I have DD 5.1 to my receiver.


Problem is that I got Spiderman 3 on Blue Ray and the audio choices are DolbyTrueHD or Uncompressed 5.1.


Both choices output to my receiver in only 2 channels.


Is it true that SPDIF can not send the lossless 5.1's? If I buy a newer receiver that has HDMI and then use the HDMI audio out that is part of the ATI video card, will this solve my problem?


Thanks for the help!


Howard
 

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Currently there is not a way to get 5.1 LOSSLESS DIGITAL audio out of a computer. The ATI HDMI video cards will only do 2 channel or 5.1 channel audio and you will only get regular old Dolby digital or the 1.5 mbs DTS core with that. That will be the same audio that you can get through an optical connection.


You can get 5.1 channel analog audio through 5.1 analog audio outputs. However, PowerDVD downsamples that to 16 Bit 48 Khz.


The only way to get 5.1 Channel lossless audio will be the Auzentech HDMI audio daughter card that will come in may 2008. Until then LOSSLESS downconverted audio over analog output is a very good option if you have a decent sound card. The optical output is still pretty good also.


If you are using the PowerDVD software that came with your Blu-ray drive then it will be limited to only two channel output over the analog outputs I believe. If 5.1 channel true lossless is what you seek then you are not going to find it in the HTPC forum. Try the Dual Format HD-DVD/Blu-ray forum. That is your best bet right now and they even have their fair share of headaches.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot for responding. There is just so much to know.


I guess that I am satisfied if there is a future upgrade option to HD audio. I don't *need* it now but would like to be able to do that upgrade someday.


Just disappointing to get Spiderman 3 and have it only output in 2 channel because there is no DD or DTS track.
 

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Does your receiver have the option for multi analog?


Because if it does, that's the way to go. I have an HT Omega Striker soundcard, and I started with SPDIF, and changed to multi-channel analog. Sounds really, really good, and I'm more than content with it until all of this crap gets sorted out and there is an easy solution for ABSOLUTE lossless High-Def audio to a PC.


It's still more of a software problem at this point than it is hardware, you have to remember that. PowerDVD Ultra is more of an issue at this point than anything else.
 

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Shouldn't it be possible to use Dolby Digital Live along with the uncompressed 5.1 PCM soundtrack? Obviously this is not ideal, but it doesn't require an analog connection to the receiver. I am amazed at how little progress has been made in the last year with regard to high-def disc playback from HTPCs.
 

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I thought I read in that other thread that the version of PowerDVD that comes with the drive always downsamples that stream to 2 channels. Isn't that correct? I thought you had to upgrade it to the releases on the website to get the full 5.1


Kind of funny considering I own that disc that comes with the drive, I've just never used it lol. I had PowerDVD Ultra from the website before I even bought the drive.


Either way though, like I said. Software is the issue, not hardware. Cyberlink just doesn't seem to care as much about the audio issues. There have been a ton of patches for this program, yet very very few actually even acknowledge audio. It's all compatibility issues for individual discs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas. I'll try the analog option. I just had it stuck in my head that "digital" is always better than "analog" so I had not considered it.


I'll have to upgrade PowerDVD too from the OEM I think.


I could not find any upgrade pricing to go from PowerDVD Ultra bundle to the full version. is there such a discount?
 

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I seem to remember some others on here saying that they communicated with Cyberlink that they purchased the version that came with the player, and they were sent a link to download the new version. If that version you have came with a Product Key though, you MIGHT even be able to just download it yourself and use that key. Don't hold me to that though, I would at least ask them directly first and see what they say.


As far as the audio goes here, multi-channel analog in this instance is essentially "equal" to SPDIF because you're talking about separate cables for all of the speaker channels, so the 5.1/etc. audio can be sent to each channel and be able to handle it. In that instance, the only real advantage digital has is that the SPDIF cable is just 1, where as multi-channel analog is like 6.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicster /forum/post/12898095


Shouldn't it be possible to use Dolby Digital Live along with the uncompressed 5.1 PCM soundtrack? Obviously this is not ideal, but it doesn't require an analog connection to the receiver. I am amazed at how little progress has been made in the last year with regard to high-def disc playback from HTPCs.

To clarify a couple of points:


1. The OEM version (bundled with the LG GGC-H20) supports 5.1 DD/DTS through SPDIF. 5.1 DD+ through SPDIF is supported too but to what extent I don't know. I only have a DD/DTS capable receiver.


2. TrueHD is output as PCM 2.0 through SPDIF.


3. OEM version limits you to 2.0 analog output.


Questions:


1. For discs that only have TrueHD and PCM 5.1 soundtracks, is there anyway to have the audio output as 5.1 DD/DTS through SPDIF? If so, how? Low-end HD players such as the Toshiba HD-A3 will down convert TrueHD tracks to 5.1 DD.


2. What does Dolby Digital Live do? And will it help with the above?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by samw97 /forum/post/12898556


How do you use Dolby Digital Live?

Some sound cards come with it, but I believe you can also buy it as add-on software. It basically captures 5.1 audio from your application and encodes it on the fly as Dolby Digital, so you can send it to your receiver over S/PDIF. My Intel DG965OT motherboard came with DD Live.

http://www.dolby.com/consumer/techno...olby_live.html


There is also something similar called DTS Connect. I believe it's the same idea, only you get DTS instead of DD.

http://www.dts.com/consumer/pc/dtsconnect.php
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicster /forum/post/12898591


Some sound cards come with it, but I believe you can also buy it as add-on software. It basically captures 5.1 audio from your application and encodes it on the fly as Dolby Digital, so you can send it to your receiver over S/PDIF. My Intel DG965OT motherboard came with DD Live.

http://www.dolby.com/consumer/techno...olby_live.html


There is also something similar called DTS Connect. I believe it's the same idea, only you get DTS instead of DD.

http://www.dts.com/consumer/pc/dtsconnect.php

So, I'm guessing this captures the analog output from your audio card and encodes it as 5.1 DD?


Which in turn means that I would need to buy the retail version of PowerDVD that supports 5.1 analog output?


Do you know if PowerDVD can convert TrueHD to 5.1 DD and output through SPDIF?
 

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This issue confuses me more and more.


Hi, Im new to HTPC's.....Not so much PC's, I've built a few. But when it comes to awesome sound comming from my HTPC, its not jaw dropping. My $400 (+$199 for HDDVD) Xbox 360 DD 5.1 sounds loads better than my $1200 HTPC I just built for the sole purpose of media playback.


What is the definitive answer on.... "How do I get true, honest to goodness, real DD 5.1 surround sound out of my HTPC?"


Please, I want my movies to blow me away!!
 

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Whoa...


I understand your frustration. I've been combing through countless threads for "honest to goodness" answers. There have been seemingly contradictory answers posted to seemingly straightforward questions.


With HTPCs, the answers seem to boil down to "it depends". It depends on what hardware you are using, what software you are using, what drivers you are using, what versions of all of the above you are using, what you are playing, what you are connecting your HTPC to, etc.


Since you didn't post any details about any of the above, my answer to your question is... it depends.
 

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Your internet exaggeration/drama is unnecessary.


To easily answer your question, you need some combination of these things:


- a receiver that has either optical input in, multi-channel analog, or both

- a sound card which has one or both of the same things

- the version of PowerDVD ultra that does not come pre-packaged with hardware; you need to download the update


- If you have those things, it's pretty easy, at least far easier than what a lot of people on here make it out to be. PowerDVD Ultra will will WILL accept DD 5.1 through SPDIF as long as you have the version from the website. And it also works through multi-channel analog.


I've used it both ways, it is not that difficult.
 

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Thank you mva5580. Ok, I have an....


MSI P35 Platinum- it has SPDIF out (optical out).

Kenwood VR-414 Receiver- it supports DD 5.1 Surround (optical in).

PowerDVD- Not supplied with drive, I use Xbox 360 HDDVD.

I utilize the Realtek High Definition Driver dated Oct 2007 Ver. 6.0.1.5490



My Vista HTPC rates a 5.6 and easily plays back HD movies.

DD 5.1 plays fine with movies played through MyMovies in VMC.


Do I need to supply any more info??


EDIT: Oh!! I forgot to mention..... Im just now installing the PowerDVD update.
 

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You should certainly be able to run DD 5.1, there's no reason it won't work. Just run the optical from the mobo to the receiver, and make sure you SPDIF selected in the sound card settings, or whatever the equivalent is. Then go to PowerDVD Ultra, and in the Audio tab, make sure it's set to SPDIF.


That should be all you have to do, all DVD's should then be through the optical @ 5.1.
 

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Wow, thank you so much!! ITS WORKING!!!! Im so happy, to think I was just going to play HDDVD through my Xbox 360 again. PPPSSSHHH!! Whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Turns out that you only get a $20 discount on the full PowerDVD Ultra if you have the bundled PowerDVD Ultra. I may still do it.
 

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No problem, glad you got it to work.


I think one of the big problems (and I guess it's not really a "problem" per se, just too much information all at once) is that people come on here, start reading all these threads, and just get overwhelmed with the amount of information, whether it be technical or otherwise, that is on here and people lose track of the basic function they're trying to achieve.


There are these absolutely HUGE threads on this message board about things like this, and it's really not necessary for someone who is just asking the simple question of "How do I do it?"


- 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS on an HTPC = Easy

- TrueHD or Uncompressed PCM/DTS-HD = Not possible at this point due to SOFTWARE limitations, not hardware. PowerDVD Ultra will still downscale the stream, period. Multi-Channel Analog will get you very close to those streams at this point though, and honestly I doubt it's that huge of a difference to most people's ears/systems. But of course, that's subjective.
 
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