Quick question about going digital with my PC

Joined
Jun 1, 2002
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I have a digital connection question for all you audio gurus in here: I had logitech z-680's connect via analog to my audigy 2 ZS up until last week. I've now gotten rid of the 680s and am trying hook up my audigy 2's digital out to a yamaha reciever that has optical input. Exactly what might I need to accomplish this?

I did some research on Creative's site and came up with the following:

When the Digital Input on a multichannel receiver is connected to the Digital Out of a multichannel Sound Blaster card, such as the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS or any other Sound Blaster with a Digital Out, it will only reproduce 5.1 multichannel audio when playing DVD games, or DVD movies, or standalone AC3 files. Otherwise, it will only output sound in front right and front left channels.

Is there some way to circumvent this problem so I can get true 5.1 sound through my home theater system when playing games and mp3s or will I have to use the pro-logic decoder in the reciever to upmix the signal to 5.1? Thanks a lot :)

Edit: Here are the inputs on the reciever:
Inputs: 2 optical digital audio, 1 coaxial digital audio, A/V, stereo audio, XM Satellite Radio, 6-channel external decoder input

It has the 6-channel external decoder input so I was wondering if I could connect the audigy 2 via analog to the reciever using these? I'd probably need some sort of y-adapter?
 

SilverMK3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2002
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clipped from the FAQ:
Dealing With Digital Output

What's the deal with digital audio?

Digital audio is typically carried in a signal that conforms to the S/PDIF (Sony Philips Digital Interface) standard, with either an optical or coaxial connection. Digital signals over S/PDIF are not all created equal. Here's a quick rundown of the three basic encoding techniques that most receivers can understand:

* LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation): This is the basic 2-channel stereo format used by most receivers. It is an uncompressed lossless stereo (2 channel) audio format.
* DD (Dolby Digital): This is a widely used 5.1 channel audio format for DVDs. It uses a very decent, but lossy compression.
* DTS (Digital Theater Systems): This is another 5.1 channel audio format that many consider superior to DD because it uses a higher-bitrate compression algorithm that is less "lossy" than Dolby Digital.

Every soundcard that has a digital output can encode an LPCM stream. They can also usually be configured to "pass-through" streams from content with Dolby Digital or DTS audio, such as DVDs.


What is Soundstorm? or... What is Dolby Digital Live or DICE?

Some sound implementations, such as SoundStorm, have an encoder chip that runs the Digital Interactive Content Encoder (DICE) or Dolby Digital Live encoder that takes any audio information from your PC and encodes it into a Dolby Digital stream.

These implementations can encode audio output into a Dolby Digital stream in real time. Consumer hardware solutions include nVidia SoundStorm, Intel HD Audio, and the HiTec HDA Digital Mystique.


Why use digital output?


Usually the DAC and output stages on an external receiver are better than those on a soundcard or motherboard. On an nForce2 board, for example, the output of the typical onboard solution is pathetic compared that on most standalone soundcards, and just about every entry-level digital receiver. With digital output, on may use the superior output of an external decoder.

However, many implementations, like those using VIA Envy or Creative Audigy audio chips, have excellent analog output. In common practice and with average budget constraints, there is little to be gained by using a digital solution, as the extra cost of the decoder will often come at the expense of the other components like speakers.
 

SilverMK3

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 15, 2002
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I think the y-adapter solution is your best bet, in this case. Go to your local radio shack and pick up a set of three 1/8" stereo to RCA y-adapters.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
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Thanks for the response Silver. Any reason why you suggested going with the y-adapters?

I figured I'd have to use 'em but was looking at a all-digital solution...then again like the that bit you pasted says it doesn't really do a whole lot more than analog.

BTW I noticed you have a MK III supra. Are you on supraforums at all? I drive a lexus that uses the same engine in the NA MK IV supras...I'm thinking of turbo'ing it in a few months once I finish with school. Totally feel you on the money pit thing LOL
 

SilverMK3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,346
Prom3theus X:
I suggested going analog because the DACs on your Audigy2 are comparable to (if not better than) the DACs on the Z680 control pod. There's no sense in losing your multichannel signal when playing games if you're not going to benefit from it in any way other than cable management. Its more cabling, but in the end its a better solution for that sound card.

Nice car, BTW, is it an IS300? You HAVE to turbo it, lol. Yeah I'm on Supraforums, but I haven't been there for quite a while. I'm actually in the process of trying to sell the Supra in order to get something newer. Maybe a Mazda3.
 
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