Card for Optical 5-Channel?

icor1031

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I had one of the Asus cards (DS or DSx, I think) that supports optical 5.1. However, although it output 5 channels - the rear channels were lower-volume duplicates of the fronts - and I found nothing in the settings to change this.

What card will give me true 5.1 over optical audio?

Thanks!
 

Blue Fox

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Toslink is not capable of uncompresed audio over 2 channels. Just about any sound card should support DD+ or DTS-HD over it though. If you are not sending compressed audio to your receiver, you're out of luck and will need to use something like HDMI if you want uncompressed 6 channel audio.
 

ashmelev75

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Best option is to use HDMI receiver and ditch the sound card completely. Best quality, full uncompressed 5.1/7.1 channels.
5.1 over optical can be only done using compressed audio and DD Live/DTS encoding, most cmedia/realtek based sound cards can do it, and it is not 'lower volume duplicates'.
 

icor1031

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The card advertised compressed audio, which is why I was surprised.

My other card, which output only uncompressed audio, only output to the front speakers.

Thus, clearly it was working (partially). Because I had audio to the rear speakers; it was just the wrong audio.

-------

HDMI = Video card?
Video card audio is no joy for me; doesn't have EQ as far as I'm aware.
 

Blue Fox

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Are you actually passing compressed audio? You probably aren't. Things like games are going to be PCM, not DD/DTS. Generally only going to see compressed audio from videos (blu-ray/DVD) unless you have an encoder converting everything.

Also not sure why you don't just have your receiver perform EQ?
 

icor1031

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Are you actually passing compressed audio? You probably aren't. Things like games are going to be PCM, not DD/DTS. Generally only going to see compressed audio from videos (blu-ray/DVD) unless you have an encoder converting everything.

Also not sure why you don't just have your receiver perform EQ?
https://www.asus.com/us/Sound-Cards/Xonar_DSX/ <-- This is supposed to convert to compressed audio?


I don't have an expensive receiver; the only EQ it does is trebel, mid, and bass. My creative card has 10 bands.
 

Blue Fox

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Are you actually running the software that does that? While I'm not familiar with it, you may need to configure it correctly.
 

icor1031

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Are you actually running the software that does that? While I'm not familiar with it, you may need to configure it correctly.
Yes, I believe so. IIRC, the rears didn't work at all before that.

And btw, in the asus panel - if I clicked the rear left speaker, I heard audio only there: as it should be.

But, anything else would do what I explained before; front goes to rear.
 

B00nie

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If you feel the need for EQ you usually don't need EQ. You need better speakers.
 

icor1031

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If you feel the need for EQ you usually don't need EQ. You need better speakers.
Though certainly not needed, EQ still helps. Especially if your speakers are built neutral, and you want a bit of deviation for preference/softness (i.e. attacking sibilance). Note: I built my speakers, my two 18" subs, and my 13 2'x4'x4" absorbers. ;)

But, more importantly: does the video card allow setting sub crossover (at all, and then: to less than 80Hz)? I abhor having my sub localize.
 

B00nie

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Though certainly not needed, EQ still helps. Especially if your speakers are built neutral, and you want a bit of deviation for preference/softness (i.e. attacking sibilance). Note: I built my speakers, my two 18" subs, and my 13 2'x4'x4" absorbers. ;)

But, more importantly: does the video card allow setting sub crossover (at all, and then: to less than 80Hz)? I abhor having my sub localize.
Much respect to you then.
 

DoubleTap

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You have to make a distinction between media (streaming and pre-recorded) and PC games.

Most TV/Movies are already encoded in a 5.1 format which your sound card passes to a receiver for decoding.

If you want to play games in 5.1 over optical, you need either a Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect encoder - this takes the multi channel gaming surround sound and encodes it into the compressed optical format.

These encoders add a lot of latency and I don't think they're worth using, but that's the only way to get PC gaming surround sound over optical. They're increasingly rare and only a few devices support the encoders without a hack (ie: pirated encoder license)

You're better off using HDMI or discrete analog connections on with a system that will support those.
 

dwd999

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This is totally a software issue. No matter what card you use, what type of output hdmi or optical you use, the software determines what is output and in what format it is output. The cards just pass through whatever sound source the software sends to them. Since you don't discuss what software you're using, and what your source material is, its hard to comment on what your real problem might be. Perhaps if you're hearing the same thing on your rear speakers as your front speakers, its because there are no real rear channels in the source material and your current software is just duplicating the front channels to simulate surround sound. In that case, everything would be operating correctly. So first you have to indicate what your source material is and verify that there are in fact real rear and LFE surround channels in the source material, and then indicate what software you're using to play the source material and how it handles real surround sources.
 

gamerk2

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A few things could be going on here:

1: In the Windows Control Panel, make sure "Speakers: ASUS Xonar Audio Device" [or similar] is selected. Do NOT select the one for optical output; that limits you to 2.0. Enable optical from the ASUS Control Panel.

2: The setup for 5.1 optical for the ASUS Xonar DS:

From the ASUS Control Panel, set the number of audio channels to 6 (5.1), enable the SPDIF Out checkbox, and select DTS: Interactive from the dropdown menu. DTS: Interactive is what handles the encoding to 5.1 DTS.

3: Remember that Stereo out will remain stereo; if you want to upmix stereo to 5.1 enable DTS: Neo PC by clicking the checkbox. This is basically the DTS equivalent to Dolby Pro Logic II.


That should cover the basics; it's been a while since I've used optical on a Xonar but this *should* work.
 
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