AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i own onkyo receiver which i plan to hook coaxcial cable from htpc to the reciever. In my case, do i need expensive soundcard? would the expensive one provide better sound quality?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
As long as you will be using the receiver mostly for surround sound in DVDs you will be fine with any soundcard with an optical out (and a AC3 filter for your DVD program which is free). The most popular one is the Chaintech AV-710 (about $25 bucks).


Now if you want to do surrond sound gaming/music then these use different codecs than DD/DTS and you will need an more expensive soundcard/motherboard that supports passing/converting these through to your receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Now if you want to do surrond sound gaming/music then these use different codecs than DD/DTS and you will need an more expensive soundcard/motherboard that supports passing/converting these through to your receiver.
i think reciever can do that too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by supercop
i think reciever can do that too
Most receivers cannot decode EAX surround sound effects that most PC games use. This has to be done with a sound card/motherboard that decode these and then output them into a DD stream over optical. These cards/mothersboards are more expensive than your regular sound cards that just output DD5.1 over optical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
OK...are there options for these high end cards? I was directed to the X-Mystiq card but that sucker goes for $100. Anything else...out there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,261 Posts
I just got an Audigy 2 ZS for $26 (you can normally find them for around $70), and it is 7.1 and can handle DVDs, games, music, etc. Everything except the ultra high-end, or special input requirements (e.g. MIDI).


Supercop, soundcards will either take the multi-channel game sound and convert it to DD/DTS and send it out via S/PDIF, or send it via multi-channel analog (plugging in adapters into 2-3 separate outputs on the card); either way, they're in at least mid-end cards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Hi

I kind of fail to see why u would need decoders or anything else if u JUST gonna use the digital output from the soundcard and use passthrough to the reciver. All u gonna use is pure digital untounced 1 & 0 which in turn the reciever is suppose to decode. I use my SB Live! Value card this way and it works perfectly.




Regards


Lasse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I've got the chaintech and use it to connect to my HK 430. All I'm doing is passing the signal to the reciever and letting it do the decoding. the $25 chaintech will do just as good a job at passing a digital signal as a more expensive card.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,261 Posts
Lasse, can you run 7.1 sound from a game through your receiver? I have that card as well, and the best you can do is stereo for any non-S/PDIF supported applications (i.e. pretty much everything but DVDs).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I just tell the card to passthrough everything. I haven't tested games cause I dont play games but mp3:s, divx, and so on works.


I still say its up to the reciever to decode if u just pass through the digital signal.


//Lasse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,261 Posts
There's no doubt that your receiver will decode if you pass through the digital signal. The problem is that you can't always pass everything through as multi-channel, digital surround sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by miltimj
There's no doubt that your receiver will decode if you pass through the digital signal. The problem is that you can't always pass everything through as multi-channel, digital surround sound.
if I passthrough the digital signal, which is untouched, I do pass through everything. this is what I do not understand about your reasoning...The digital signal is digital and it is untouched. If there is something to decode in the signal and your reciever knows how to decode it will work. Just like dts,5.1, ES and so will get decoded by the reciever. If however your soundcard toches the signal somehow u are screwed.



//Lasse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
I think the problem that miltimj is referring to has nothing to do with DVDs or anything that has pre-encoded DD sound.


The problem comes from games, which use various formats like EAX to produce multichannel sound. If you have an analog input into your receiver, you can use tha analog outputs of the sound card and get multichannel sound (though with some issues).


If, however, you want your gaming sound to go to your receiver as 5.1 multichannel sound via a digital connection, then there are problems. The EAX format has to be recoded into DD (using DD Live or the new DTS interactive for the X-Fi unit) in order to be turned into a multichannel digital signal. Merely "passing" the digital signal does not work, as the EAX format outputs an ANALOG signal.


Anyway, that's what I've been able to discern, and it stinks for me, because my receiver only has 5.1 analog inputs (not 7.1) and I can't apply PLIIx or anything to expand the analog signal to the rear speakers. As a result, I'm limited to the digital input on my receiver if I want to use all 7(.1) speakers, and while that's a simple thing for DVDs (which have endoded DD), it's a major problem for games that use EAX. DD Live can encode the analog multichannel signal of the sound card into digital, but apparently it is lossy and doesn't work for versions above EAX 2.0. The DTS interactive box used with the X-Fi unit should work, but is expensive, and hasn't even been released yet. It may have issues with lag, as well.


In short, getting a high-quality DIGITAL multichannel signal for GAMES from a sound card is a major hassle -- a problem which hasn't totally been solved yet.


That's about all I've been able to puzzle out after examining these issues for the past few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
bartman_451 thanks for a good explanation. I do understand now and I guess u can say it is a format that the reciever cannot decode that is why u can't do it.



//Lasse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,261 Posts
Bartman, thanks for clarifying what I was saying. Also, the 7.1 channels aren't a discrete source anyway, so you could always use two RCA splitters so your right side surround and right rear surrounds have the same output, same with the left side. At least you'll use all of your speakers (assuming your receiver doesn't have a mode that can do that already).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by miltimj
Bartman, thanks for clarifying what I was saying. Also, the 7.1 channels aren't a discrete source anyway, so you could always use two RCA splitters so your right side surround and right rear surrounds have the same output, same with the left side. At least you'll use all of your speakers (assuming your receiver doesn't have a mode that can do that already).
I could do that, IF I had a 7.1 channel analog input on the receiver. But I don't. Since the receiver only has 5.1 channel analog input, there's no way to put ANY sound out through the rear surrounds without using a digital input. The 5.1 channel analog input can't be used with PLIIx or Neo: 6, but only as a pass-through. 5.1 analog signal in => 5.1 signal out.


I could also do it if I had a separate pre/pro and power amp arrangement, but I don't. Unfortunately, the only way to get sound from the rear surrounds with my receiver is by using a 5.1 channel digital input, and then applying PLIIx to the source.


But thanks for trying. :) The folks who make sound cards aren't really focused on providing solutions for digital multichannel sound for theater gaming. They would be, if they could see what games look like on a 92" widescreen DLP projection system at 1280x720, with Paradigm Reference speakers, a 15" sub, bass shakers, etc. :D


Alternatively, I could have bought a receiver with a 7.1 channel analog input, but I like the receiver I have, as it works well for every other application. I'll see what people have to say about the X-Fi and DTS box combination; otherwise I may have to go with a card that has DD Live if I want to get ANY sound out of the rears at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,732 Posts
We here in the HTPC world are limited to digital non DD/DTS to analog setups or DD Live that supports EAX 2.0 only.

However, EAX 2.0 isn't that bad. It did give me goose bumps one late night while playing FAR CRY. Echos and reverbs worked great. So what if it's lossy or what not. I think it sounds great on gameplay and WMVHD Discs. I use Soundstorm BTW....mike...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,261 Posts
Ah yes, Bartman, I was thinking you said you only have 5.1 analog out on your sound card, but you indeed said you only have 5.1 analog inputs on your receiver. Hmm, I'm gonna check what inputs I have as I can't even remember (and haven't hooked my sound card up via analog yet)...


.... whew! 7.1 inputs (Onkyo TX-SR702). I completely agree about your statement that the game makers need to step up to the plate! I have a similar system as you, except a 106" screen but not as nice of a sub.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top