5.1 PCM via optical possible?

MavericK

Zero Cool
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Sep 2, 2004
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I just bought a set of Logitech Z-906s (still rocking the 5.1 setup) and connected to my Sound Blaster Zx via optical cable. Found out that to get 5.1 audio you have to have a Dolby or DTS source, which most PC games apparently do not support. So, is it possible to get 5.1 PCM output via optical on this setup?

I've heard of something like Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, which I believe is supposed to convert 5.1 PCM into 5.1 Dolby or DTS (or am I wrong)? I'm not sure if my sound card is capable of this.

I'm able to turn on some sort of stereo mixing to digital through the Creative drivers, but that only provides a stereo output to the speakers.

I can always go back to analog, but I was hoping to do it all through the digital output if possible.

Thoughts? Corrections? Suggestions? Any help would be appreciated.
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
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Jun 13, 2003
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14,712
In this case, your ZX should be able to encode DD5.1/DTS. Games/Windows just see 5.1 output. You'll have to dig around for it for more information, I only briefly used a Z and only for headphones.
 

MavericK

Zero Cool
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In this case, your ZX should be able to encode DD5.1/DTS. Games/Windows just see 5.1 output. You'll have to dig around for it for more information, I only briefly used a Z and only for headphones.
Thanks. Yeah, I would think so, too. I found this screenshot in another thread of the Sound Blaster control panel:

mVkX6.png


Mine seems to lack that "Cinematic" tab...wonder what that's about? Probably why I've been having trouble. I wonder if that's another driver I need to install first.
 

MavericK

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Okay, I did a full uninstall and reinstall of the driver and now the Cinematic tab shows up, and I *think* I've got 5.1 coming out of digital now. Will update if not, but thanks for the nudge in the right direction.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
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FYI DTS connect is the slightly better of those two options, if your speakers support it. Higher bit rate so less chance of any audible artifacts.
 

MavericK

Zero Cool
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FYI DTS connect is the slightly better of those two options, if your speakers support it. Higher bit rate so less chance of any audible artifacts.
Thanks for the heads-up, I will try using that. I was playing some Monster Hunter World with Dolby Live and it sounded pretty good.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
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Nov 9, 2006
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Thanks for the heads-up, I will try using that. I was playing some Monster Hunter World with Dolby Live and it sounded pretty good.
Ya I mean it isn't a big deal, DDL is 640k/sec which is more than any DVD movie (448k/sec) or the theater (320k/sec) which is pretty good. However you can find edge cases where there are audible artifacts. DTSI is about 1.5m/sec which means it does very well for 5.1. Same amount of latency (minimal) for either one near as I know.
 

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
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Dec 16, 2010
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Honestly, these encoders usually add so much latency that it's not worth it.

It looks like your speakers have analog inputs - I'd just use that and avoid all the hassle and lag you get from the encoding/decoding process.
 
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