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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a SB PCI 128. What is the minimum sound card needed to send digital audio to my receiver from my DVD drive? Shouldn't be any serious difference in sound quality between sound cards?


What is the minimum sound card that would give the same or very close to the same quality digital output as my Panny CV-51 interlaced DVD player. That is, if digital output problems and jitter, as i was reminded, could be a problem here.


thanx


:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah. Jitter can degrade digital, I realize that. I guess it depends on the amount, the error correction etc. Well, what do you figure the minimum sound card with digital out is good enough quality wise?


thanx
 

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With the Revo running $65 after Rebate or $79 from Digital Connections, it is probably the way to go. You can go cheaper, but I wouldn't. There is supposed to be a jitterfree solution coming, but I think it will be in the $200 neighborhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thats not too bad. I'd be willing to pay that. :)


Sound blaster Live isn't adequate?
 

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I'm still puzzled at this, it seems to be impossible to get a real answer. I DID believe you could just pass the digital audio signal thru any soundcard with digital optical/coax out and have the receiver decode as with a standalone player. But it seems that isnt the case, because quality varies a lot... or not?
 

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I think that the cmedia chip set cards(aopen etc) are decent cards if you are not going to do any pvr with a radeon aiw. If PVR is in your future get a fortissimo 7.1. I have this card and I love it. It sounds great on my onkyo 575x. I used a aopen card for about a year with way too many problems with tv on demand(pvr). It had hiss and could not pass analog over the optical out . The fortissimo does not have these problems and works great with pvr. The only down swing is that it requires a reboot to switch from digital sound (mp3 avi, mpegs etc) to dvd out. They have a driver out to fix this problem but it is still in the QA stage.
 

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THE REALTEC codec ALC 650 in a Gigabyte motherboard CAN DO SPDIF out to my Sony STRDB 1080 receiver. NO EXTRA AUDIO CARD NEEDED...I think that for short cable connection jitter is not the problem.... The spdif signal contains some correction method I think....
 

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I'm using a Creative SB 4.1 Digital for my digital passthrough needs. Works just fine and dandy and cost me about £10 ($16) plus taxes. However, I do belong in the camp that believes that program-dependent jitter is always going to exceed clock jitter in significance - YMMV. Anyway, my A/V system is very much budget (Sony STR-DB840 + Mission Cinema 6 pack) so I doubt that I will notice any difference on that anyway.


HTH,
 

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zoltrix nightengale should be mentioned as well...i have had great results with this sound card!!!


brickie
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool. Any card with digital passthrough is worth mentioning here :)


thanx
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Would like more info about audio cards with digital output. Anybody?


Are there other creative cards I could use? Soundblaster Live!?


I just want the minimum, least expensive sound card that has a single COAX or TOSLINK digital output SPDIF or otherwise that I run the digital audio to my receiver just like I do from my DVD player. Just want simple PCM, DD and DTS digital stream to output to my receiver. I want a single digital cable to use my receivers decoders.


COULD PEOPLE PROVIDE LINKS TO WHICH SOUND CARDS HAVE DIGITAL OUTPUT? That sound blaster 4.1 for instance? I can't find anything on that card.


thanx


:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK. So far I've found out that my PCI SB 128 has provisions for SPDIF both on the card and in the driver software, but it is just a tease, the SPDIF solder points stare blankly back at me :( My PCI SB 128 has digital output which I tried but it was downmixed PCM 2.0 stereo. At least it'll work for now with CS 5.1 and DPL II but I want digital passthrough.


Now my question.


People say that true "digital passthrough" is not easy to find. Most sound cards with SPDIF have resampled the digital bitstream from the DVD before they output it via the SPDIF. I want a soundcard that outputs the pure digital bitstream from the DVD as close to the same as what my standalone DVD player does [ interlaced :( ].


Which sound cards do "digital passthrough" leaving the digital bitstream pure and intact with its original sample rate etc etc


thanx


:)


P.S. Does my Matrox DVD player software support this? I'll check into it. I upgraded the software player once for $15.00 a year or two ago :)
 

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For DD or DTS, the most common formats in DVD, it doesn't matter what card you use for passthrough since these are compressed encoded formats that have to be decoded by a receiver (or soundcard).


For a PCM digital stream from Audio CDs which sound card and its driver software might matter. CDs (Or their ripped content) do sound better to me in an Audigy2 than in an SB live. However, how much of this is HW or SW I don't know.


The Aopen was already suggested to you and a lot of people in these boards use the Asus P4PE motherboard with integrated SPDIF and analog out with no soundcard.


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I understand about the compressed/encoded nature of AC3 and DTS. Ok fair enough, but I heard that the SB Live! card for instance, re-samples the DD and/or DTS signal at a rate that is lower (48 kHz) than that which comes off the DVD (96 kHz). I haven't gotten a straight answer. I can't find the Aopen card locally, but I'm sure I could try to order it somewhere.
 

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cpc,


The SBLive and Audigy1 resamples PCM and WAVE or Directsound audio. DTS and DD are passed through unaltered.


I am no expert but I believe its not correct to think in terms of sampling for compressed formats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, that makes sense. I was wondering about that.


Ok, so SBLive! with SPDIF is all I need sound card wise for DD and DTS to passthrough to my receiver. Cool.


:)
 

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While I've read that there aren't any difference between soundcards when it comes to DD/DTS passthrough, as long as it supports S/PDIF(and it makes sense to me too since its encoded, buffered and jitter doesn't play a part here), why is it that some audio filters are more recommended than others than? For example, WinDVD audio vs PowerDVD audio vs Cinemaster audio vs plain DirectSound/WaveOut?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was able to do AC3 DD passthrough with my SB 128! I can't do DTS though. I was using Gladiator and my Matrox DVD player software.


Any ideas why I could do AC3 DD "digital passthrough" and not DTS? The lights on my receiver lit up and showed DOLBY DIGITAL and all the channels being decoded. Sounded good, albeit a little quieter than from my interlaced Panasonic DVD player.


The Matrox DVD player software has


#1) The option to select 22050/44100 or 48000 hz for Sampling and;

You can select from:

#2) Decode and downmix to :"Dolby Surround" or "Stereo" or;

#3) Passthrough to Soundcard (AC3).


Only shows AC3 in the brackets. I selected passthrough to soundcard. DD works, but not DTS.


In the DVD player help it says DTS passthrough happens transparently. Maybe that means I don't select Passthrough to soundcard, I just leave it as decode and downmix and choose 48000, but I doubt it. The only way that would work is if the DVD player software and/or the soundcard automatically senses the DTS bitstream and passes it, but why not have that within the same option as the passthrough with the AC3 mentioned?


I'll try it again tomorrow.


Any ideas? Is it the Matrox DVD player software?


I will get whatever soundcard I have to if necessary, but I shouldn't need to spend much at all.


thanx for any help


:)
 

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On the shuttle I used to own it had the Realtek 650 chipset onboard with SPDIF outputs on the board, we just jacked it right in and it worked great.


I plan to use an AIW 7500 to passthrough my audio to the receiver. I'll back that up with stereo RCA's to the receiver for TV output (assuming it won't pass through the optical port which I don't know if it does or not).
 
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