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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I'm not up to speed on the whole S/PDIF thing and am looking

for some help with regards to compatibility with my audio receiver.


My receiver is about 6 years old and doesn't support dolby digital, only pro-logic. It has a digital input which was I think was

intended to be used with a CD player.


Right now I just use analog connections to the receiver, but I

want to get a SBLive card and if possible, connect it digitally using

the S/PDIF output of the SBLive to the digital input of my receiver.


Will this work? Is the 5.1 digital signal/encoding output by the

SBLive compatible with what a CD player would output?


I'd appreciate feedback from anyone who has tried this or knows

more technical details about S/PDIF who could help prevent me

from wasting my money - I'm not ready to buy a new receiver

yet!


Thanks, Larry
 

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Well, I am not an expert by any means, but I don't think you can make it happen. The S/PDIF output, would be digitally encoded as DD5.1 and mean nothing to your receiver.


The question would be could you somehow get the audio card to output Dolby ProLogic throught the S/PDIF. That is assuming, that that is what the receiver is expecting. I have no idea if there is anything that will decode a DD5.1 signal and output it as Dolby ProLogic. However, you definately wouldn't get anything out of any digital signal that your receiver doesn't know about.


Does your receiver only have stereo analog inputs, or does it surround inputs for the rear speakers too?


Someone else can probably help more. You might want to post the make and model of your receiver too.


-Nathan
 

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if the sound card has what is called digital out than you will be able to use it on your receiver. It will send a signal comparable to that from a standalone CD player. From what I hear, it is a dolby pro-logic signal. This means that it is stereo compatible, but contains a method to decode surround and center channels using a pro-logic receiver.


the sound card most likely has digital out for the reason of what you are trying, because most people use it for that reason, not DD/DTS out.


so when you use your digital out to your receiver you will need to be using software decoding in the software dvd player. I can't tell you whether games and all of the sounds from your system will be sent out through your digital out.


couple of things - you won't have volume control from your computer when using the digital out. And this is not DD/DTS 6.1, or 5.1, or 4.1, or 3.1, or 2.0. It is Dolby-Pro-Logic. The signal from the DVD will most likely be converted to analog, and then back to digital, which is not the best thing to do.
 

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I have an SBLive! connected only by the SP/DIF coax to my receiver. All sound from the computer comes through as 2-ch PCM (same as CD) except when I use the WIN2000 software DVD player, which in addition to 2-ch PCM, also outputs Dolby Digital and DTS multi-channel sound.


The SBLive! software will let you output EAX 4-ch sound effects as Dolby Pro-logic - great for games.
 

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To put it simply, the S/PDIF outputs the following:


If your source is stereo (most WAV and MP3 files), you get stereo out (called PCM).


If your source is dolby surround, it's encoded into a normal stereo stream, so you get dolby surround out in the stereo stream (still PCM).


If your source is Dolby digital or DTS, which usually means you are playing a DVD, your DVD player should give you the option to output either Dolby digital/DTS (non-PCM) or decode the DD into dolby surround or regular stereo (again PCM). You should do the latter, which gives you what your receiver wants.


And once again, remember that your SB live might output a non-standard voltage to your receiver, 5V instead of 0.5V



Make
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great! Thanks for the info, folks. I guess I'll spring the $35

bucks for a SBLive OEM from Newegg....should I be worried

that the voltage is 10 times the spec...or does this just mean

I can use a real long cable?


Thanks, Larry
 

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Quote:
And once again, remember that your SB live might output a non-standard voltage to your receiver, 5V instead of 0.5V
What kind of adapter do I need to connect the SB Live 5.1 to my receiver. If the voltages differ, I am assuming that I need something more that an 1/8" TS to an RCA.


Best Regards,


John Arnott
 

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SBLive alternative:


Yup, I have a CMI8738 based card myself (not the Zoltrix though). It works in WinXP too.

Quote:
What kind of adapter do I need to connect the SB Live 5.1 to my receiver. If the voltages differ, I am assuming that I need something more that an 1/8" TS to an RCA.
Search this forum for the Hoontech adapter.



Make
 

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Quote:
And once again, remember that your SB live might output a non-standard voltage to your receiver, 5V instead of 0.5V
What kind of adapter do I need to connect the SB Live 5.1 to my receiver. If the voltages differ, I am assuming that I need something more that an 1/8" TS to an RCA.


Best Regards,


John Arnott
 

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Just for your information before anyone purchases anything, the SBLIVE S/PDIF is awful. It works, but that's about it. The sound quality is just plain bad. It sounds much better out the analog outs. If anyone wants to do S/PDIF out to their receiver, stay away from the SBLIVE.


The only S/PDIF out I use is from the M-Audio Delta Dio 24/96, so I can't speak for anything else, but I have heard the Guillemot/Hercules cards aren't too bad (I think).


Mike
 

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On my SBLive! the analog outputs sound worse than the SPDIF - more noise, hum, etc. The SPDIF works great - been using for DVDs for years.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Beck
On my SBLive! the analog outputs sound worse than the SPDIF - more noise, hum, etc. The SPDIF works great - been using for DVDs for years.
True about more noise, hum, etc. However the depth of the sound is better with the analog outs. Just listen to any music CD and listen for the liveliness of it. Listen to the high's mid's and low's. Out the S/PDIF it is muddy sounding. I would rather put up with the hiss than to miss out on the life of the sound.


I only use the SBLIVE for games, but for music I use the M-Audio card. What a difference!


I didn't really want to get into it, but a few reasons for crappy sound: S/PDIF is locked at 48KHz, not 44.1 like CD's, and very bad jitter on the digital out. The jitter problem affects Dolby Digital also. Trust me, if you have a nice sound system, you don't want to use the SBLive Digital outs. Try an M-Audio card, and if you aren't blown away by the difference, return it.


Mike
 

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$35 seems a little steep, especially for a non standard SPDIF output.


Check out www.pricewatch.com and search in the sound card section for live value. You should see a few companies offering Live Value cards for around $23. What you are lookinf for are the card models 4830 and 4832 that have the 0.5v SPDIF output.


One last thought, does your receiver have the 5.1 analogue inputs. If it does then go for a live 5.1 for an even better experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The price is actually $32, and it is for the SBLive 5.1 OEM.


Anyone know if this one outputs 5v or 0.5v ? From the

picture, the PCB seems to read 580100 or 5B0100.
 

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The only cards that output the corret 0.5v are the Live Value 4830 and 4832.


If you are only going to use the SPDIF out then the Live 5.1 gives you no more functionality that the standard Live value.


Pricewatch shows Live value CT4832 at $25 and Live 5.1 at $26


Happy shopping :)
 
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