3D Sound and Digital Cables - Why your games are in stereo only

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by rawhide, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Very interesting thread, thanks rawhide.

    One thing: ASUS Xonar DX can encode DTS and Dolby Digital (D2X) if I am not mistaken.

    THat does mean you can run digital out, and still play games in surround, am I correct?
     
  2. mshagg

    mshagg Politburo

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    Anything with DTS connect and/or Dolby Digial Live will encode your multi channel games into 5.1 discreet channels for digital output over SPDIF, yes.

    Cant comment on the xonar specifically but im sure someone can confirm :thumbup:
     
  3. aerospyke

    aerospyke Member

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    Isn't the Xonar the one that does DTSHD and DolbyHD encoding??
     
  4. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Yeah, Ive got a DX.

    ITs almost exactly the same as the D2X, except I think it only encodes in Dolby Digital, not DTS, but for less than half the price, Im happy.

    And with a decent sound card, its better to run analogue out and decode with the card I am told anyway, so it shouldnt be an issue.

    If that's true, then the only time you would want to run digital out, is if you have a REALLY good receiver, in which case why bother with a good soundcard? You might as well just use onboard...
     
  5. mshagg

    mshagg Politburo

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    If your receiver doesnt have analogue inputs for surround sound (i.e. only 2ch stereo input) then multi channel encoded digital is your only option for surround sound gaming.

    If you fall back to onboard for digital then you're back to square one with 2ch PCM output in most cases. Although my main rig has Realtek 889a with DDL capability on the motherboard :thumbup:
     
  6. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Why cant O get a digital signal from Xonar to Z-5500s?

    Ok, I get you, makes sense.

    Slightly off topic, but can I ask something:

    I bought some Z-5500s, had an Audigy 2 ZS soundcard, run digital out (using an minijack to RCA adapter) but got nothing on the speakers.

    Ok, well, then the centre channel died on soundcard, so I figured it was broken.


    ...Bought myself a Xonar DX, tried digital out, still nothing, then the rear channel on the speakers dies. Ok, faulty control centre, cool.

    Soooo...Now I have got the warranty replacement for the speakers, new set seem to be working perfectly, buuuut...Still no digital signal.

    What the heck am I doing wrong?

    I have a (single) minijack to RCA adapter plugged into the mic/digi out port on soundcard, then the RCA cord is running to Control Centre, into the Coaxial in (only plug it fits into).

    Then I open up Xonar control software, check the "SPDIF out" box. But when I cycle through on the Logitech control centre, Coaxiacle says
    no digital data........

    Help pls.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  7. toolsncorpses

    toolsncorpses Member

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    Why can't games output a dolby digital signal? The Vista control panel can.
     
  8. Plastik8

    Plastik8 Member

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    For games to output Dolby Digital, they would need to encode it on the fly. You will require a sound card that has Dolby Digital Live (or something similar). See Mr Bubbles post a few spots up.

    In the Vista control panel, it is a pre-encoded signal - like a DVD or digital TV. Any sound card with digital output (SPDIF) only needs to send/copy this data out for your decoder to decode.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  9. toolsncorpses

    toolsncorpses Member

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    Okay.

    Hmm, well things sound 5.1-ish in Wolfenstein on my Sony AV Receiver. Definitely getting positional effects with dropping bullets and explosions...
     
  10. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    I can confirm that my aging Auztentech X-Plosion correctly encodes positional audio output via DTS optical to my surround amp when HL2 is set to 5.1 speakers, hopefully your amp isn't just 'guessing' where the sound should be placed.
     
  11. toolsncorpses

    toolsncorpses Member

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    Well sound comes through all 5 speakers, but I wasn't sure if the front and rears were clones of eachother or not. I set Wolfenstein to 'surround' mode (there's also an option for 5.1 but this didn't sound any different) and bullets are specifically dropping on the rear left and rear right speakers, so I'm thinking it's all good :confused:. The receiver can upmix to 5.1 ProLogic II from stereo, but I've turned this off since it sounds odd except with music.

    Nevertheless the sound is great...

    edit Shit I can't tell anymore, all this fiddling with the receiver is driving me crazy. Did someone say if I buy a certain card I can do surround over digital?

    edit2 Bah seems if I set the games to stereo I get better positioning letting the amp do the work
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  12. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  13. toolsncorpses

    toolsncorpses Member

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    Hmm I'm running an X-Fi chip as it is, I think it's a Fatality Pro or XtremeMusic (it's one of the larger boards and has a red light with a logo on the PCB), how do you know the X-Fi can do it? I'm still puzzling over whether this 5.1 is happening or not...
     
  14. iwnt2ovc

    iwnt2ovc Member

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    all i do is run my soundcard into my denon avr4308ci receiver.
    I know its not a true 5.1 but it does the job.
    I also have the z5500 that i use with the analog cables.


    So what sound cards support dolby digital and so forth?
     
  15. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    All Xonar Cards can encode in Dolby Digital, and DTS for the more expensive ones.

    As for the X-Fi, I just had a look here:

    http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=208&product=15854&nav=1

    So it says analogue to digital conversion of analogue inputs, not exactly sure what that means, and whether it means just stereo digital or surround it does not specify.

    If it can do Dolby Digital, you will have to change that in your settings somewhere rather than just PCM format (stereo).
     
  16. toolsncorpses

    toolsncorpses Member

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    Well I messed around for hours and the best it gets is L, R, C, then SL and SR are L and R, as well, that is: when I do the channel test the rear speakers do nothing. I have no idea how the center gets in there. Seems PCM is three-channel? :confused:
     
  17. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Maybe the rear channel on your soundcard has died. Or also double check the volume level of rear channel on both windows settings and your amp
     
  18. toolsncorpses

    toolsncorpses Member

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    The volume is the same as the front speakers/it's all fine. The rear speakers work when I do the Dolby Digital test. I'm guessing my problem now is what the thread is all about....

    edit - okay, now it's working, I think it was my receiver. Still says its PCM48 on the receiver but there is specific sounds in the rear speakers now.

    By the way for X-Fi users there's a checkbox for Dolby Digital in the "supported formats" tab of SPDIF-out Properties. I don't know if that means it encodes onthefly...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  19. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Ok, glad it worked out.

    If you can play games in digital surround, then yes it does :)
     

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