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- Audio dilemma
December 12, 2006, 4:24 pm
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records my TV shows and I also use it to watch DVD's, listen to MP3's and
internet radio, and play games on my bigscreen TV.
- Has one SPDIF input that supports Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 input.
- Has one two channel analog stereo input.
- Built AM/FM radio as well as DVD/CD/MP3 player.
Onboard audio - Lanparty UT nF4 Ultra D mainboard (Realtek ALC850 audio
- SPDIF in, so I can record the digital audio directly from my cable box.
This is good.
- SPDIF out. This does not encode to 5.1 surround in realtime. If I
understand this correctly, I can't use the SPIDF output for surround sound
games, etc. I will only every get 5.1 output here when I play a DVD, which
has it's audio stream already in a digital 5.1 format that can output
directly via SPDIF.
- 6 analog channels for output. I can use the three analog outputs to get
surround sound from the onboard audio, but my amp has no analog surround
Addon audio card - An Auzentech Digital Explosion! PCI card (CMI8770 chip):
- 7.1 analog ouput
- SPDIF output. This card CAN encode up to 7.1 Dolby or DTS streams in
realtime. Allowing for surround sound gaming, MP3 upconverting, etc.
- This card WAS advertised with SPDIF input capability, but needed an addon
card. Now Auzentech claims that the expansion card was never produced and
there is no way to input SPDIF with this card.
- There is a 2 pin jumper on the board itself, meant to be connected to the
digital output of an optical drive. I doubt that this would handle a 5.1
stream (but don't have any kind of cable to test this).
I can use the onboard audio to record from digital sources, but can't use
the digital output or analog output to play surround audio.
I can use the Auzentech card to get my digital surround output from my
games, etc. to my amp, but I can't record my digital sources using this
... am I missing something? Is there ANY solution out there?
Re: Audio dilemma
Have you considered purchasing another sound card ?
While Creative is crap in so many ways, they do have the depth of
products, to provide something that will do the job for you. The
thing is, there are more specialized products, that will do
SPDIF, but those products won't have EAX drivers, so the card would be
useless for gaming. It is pretty hard to get it all in one solution, but
Creative is where I would start.
If you were looking for best audio recording and playback, that is
where some of the specialized products, from the smaller companies
come in. But without good gaming support, a card like that would be
half a solution. So it really depends, on whether you want a card
that will "do it all", or a card that "does one thing well".
I found this in a Google search, but one (biased) person said it
wasn't "bit for bit perfect".
This one is about the same price ($100), and while it supports
passthru output (AC3), it makes no mention of doing anything with
AC3 SPDIF input. As long as it doesn't screw around with the
digital stream, and just record it, it should be OK. As long
as you have some way to deal with the AC3 stream in software.
And if the SPDIF type is not correct, this box converts between
coax and optical SPDIF.
But by the time you've put together a bunch of stuff like
that, perhaps a Creative product would do it in a package
better suited for installing inside a computer case. (Like one
of their drive-tray I/O interfaces.)
One thing I've always been curions about, is the "copy-protection"
bit mentioned in the SPDIF format information here (site uses popup
If a company has a working SPDIF-in on their product, and it
ignores the "copy-protection" bit in the SPDIF stream, does
that leave the company in contravention of DMCA ? Would such
a company have to "look over their shoulder" all the time ?
I've always been curious (in a conspiracy-theory kind of way),
as to whether the lack of functional SPDIF-in (like on Asus
motherboards), had something to do with not *wanting* it
I think what I'm suggesting, is if you plan on spending any
more money in this project, that you get iron-clad confirmation
that SPDIF-in works. And preferably that the product is classed
as a "professional" product, that ignores copy-protection and
Re: Audio dilemma
I'd rather do without than purchase anything from Creative. The Xplosion!
can output 5.1 if the games will provide it.
The XPlosion! is *STILL* advertised as having SPDIF input. I've cut a
service ticket with Auzentech demanding that they provide the functionality,
refund my money or upgrade my card.