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Old 01-12-08, 03:09 AM   #1
MowTin
 
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Default X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

I bought a toslink to mini jack adapter to connect my x-fi to my 5.1 receiver. I just assumed that the digital out on the X-fi would ouput 5.1 surround sound but from what I'm reading it doesn't.

How do I get games to output 5.1 to my receiver?

Anyone else outputing to a receiver?
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Old 01-12-08, 05:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Use the analogue outputs with 3.5mm stereo jacks to stereo RCA plugs. You'll need three for 5.1 sound. One will be for front left/right, one for rear left/right and another for centre and LFE (Sub).

Or you could swap your card for one of those Prelude 5.1 things which will do 5.1 for games out of the digital out.
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Old 01-12-08, 07:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Is it too much to expect digital/optical output to output 5.1? What's the point of digital/optical output sending out stereo? *sigh*

Same issue with my Samsung 65F. It has an "optical" out but it doesn't output 5.1 when you're using HDMI only cable. Fantastic.

I'm just really annoyed about trying to connect things to my audio receiver.

I've learned the hard way that just because you see a digital or optical output doesn't mean you'll necessarily get 5.1 sound.
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Old 01-12-08, 07:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

The x-fi will pass through 5.1 encoded material from DVDs ok, but it wont encode on the fly for everything else. You need a DDL card like the Prelude to do that.
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Old 01-12-08, 10:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MowTin
I've learned the hard way that just because you see a digital or optical output doesn't mean you'll necessarily get 5.1 sound.
It wasn't intended for this to begin with. SPDIF was designed back in the late 80's for digital transfer from CD players to audio receivers, thus eliminating any analog interference. It was only intended for stereo 44.1khz 16-bit. However, the TOSLINK and coaxial connections are capable of going up to 96Khz 24-bit, and hardware that can support it will.

Dolby digital is able to output 5.1 audio by sending a lossy compressed digital bistream rather than a simple PCM signal. DTS works in a similar way but the format is different. Thus you will not get anything other than stereo to your receiver unless you can encode to one or the other.

That is why several cards these days support DDL and DTSi, which encode to DD or DTS in realtime, thus enabling surround in e.g. games as opposed to just watching DVD's.

Creative has maintained a stance that they basically hate both of them and will never support either. The only option they provide is to buy a separate box for $200 (ripoff) that you connect the analog cables to, and this then encodes a DTS signal from that to your receiver. But this still gives you the problems with an analog transfer, namely crosstalk and EMI inside of your computer case, and is ultimately pointless.
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Old 01-13-08, 02:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaWolf_HK
It wasn't intended for this to begin with. SPDIF was designed back in the late 80's for digital transfer from CD players to audio receivers, thus eliminating any analog interference. It was only intended for stereo 44.1khz 16-bit. However, the TOSLINK and coaxial connections are capable of going up to 96Khz 24-bit, and hardware that can support it will.

Dolby digital is able to output 5.1 audio by sending a lossy compressed digital bistream rather than a simple PCM signal. DTS works in a similar way but the format is different. Thus you will not get anything other than stereo to your receiver unless you can encode to one or the other.

That is why several cards these days support DDL and DTSi, which encode to DD or DTS in realtime, thus enabling surround in e.g. games as opposed to just watching DVD's.

Creative has maintained a stance that they basically hate both of them and will never support either. The only option they provide is to buy a separate box for $200 (ripoff) that you connect the analog cables to, and this then encodes a DTS signal from that to your receiver. But this still gives you the problems with an analog transfer, namely crosstalk and EMI inside of your computer case, and is ultimately pointless.
Thanks for the explanation.

My brother had a Diamond Xtreme. It has a real optical out and does dolby digital live all for 50 bucks. I don't see why the x-fi can't offer those features considering it costs much more. The idea of having to plug in 6 more wires into my receiver annoys me.

Does it sound good with analog connects to your receiever?

I have way too many wires back here already. HDM, optical, xbox, dvi, ethernet, usb, power, etc. It's crazy.
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Old 01-13-08, 04:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Its more of Creative's marketing BS, not the hardware.

I heard good things about the prelude, i use realtek HD with optical out to a yamaha reciever and works good all around with games to movies.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

My friend has the same problem trying to get the Creative DDTS100 receiver to work with non AC3/DTS audio sources on the PC.

Basically to sum it up, the ONLY way you will get 5.1 sound out of a receiver is when the input format to the receiver is Dolby Digital or DTS (Some receivers supports AAC as well, for HDDVD/BluRay).

The main reason for this is that the SPDIF (Coaxial,Optical) specification only provides bandwidth for 2 uncompressed channels of audio. If you want more than 2 channels, they have to be compressed using Dolby Digital/DTS/AAC.

When you watch movies on the PC (with filters configured to passthrough AC3/DTS) you will get 5.1, because the precompressed audio stream from the movie is directly piped to the receiver.

Whereas when you play games, the PC outputs multichannel uncompressed PCM audio. The only way to fit so much data into a single SPDIF connection is to compress it in realtime using Dolby Digital Live/DTS Interactive.

Personally, I think the X-Fi Prelude drivers can be hacked to work on the other X-Fi cards and provide all the extra features such as Dolby Digital Live encoding etc. Since the X-Fi processor is fully programmable, its only a matter of making the drivers to utilize it to perform Dolby Digital Live encoding.

Cards like the X-Fi Prelude supports hardware encoding of global PC output into Dolby Digital, or DTS.

There are software workarounds though, but they will use the CPU and reduce performance.
I think AC3Filter can encode global PCM output into AC3 and pipe it out using SPDIF Passthrough. You receiver will be able to decode this into 5.1.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Jackpot:

Dolby Digital Live on ALL X-Fi cards!!!!
http://forums.creative.com/creativel...sage.id=111427
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Old 04-18-08, 01:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

The 5.1 Anolog surround from on-board is usually rather excellent. Infact I favor that over digital with Dolby ProLogic I and II. The 5.1 anolog from the on-board is pretty derned good, atleast from my experience. I've yet to try DDL or DTS Connect. Supposedly the on-board soundcard that I have supports DTS Connect but I've yet to get it working under Vista x64... go figure.

Anyhow, I just use ProLogic when gaming now... ProLogic II is decent, but not as good as the 5.1 anolog IMO. But my new reciever does not have 5.1 Anolog inputs. I'm gearing up to purchase this YAMAHA and/or this Pioneer. I'm honestly leaning towards buying that Pioneer now (gotta' break in my new credit card ) and the Yamaha next month. Would love to finally have to recievers linked as that pair would allow me to do.

Not sure how I'd deal with the dual sub pre-outs then. Could get a third reciever with multi-channel inputs and feed both sub pre-outs into the third reciever. I'm looking to run four of Cerwin Vega's dual 15" cabinets... but that'd be $2k for four of 'em. I'd probably settle on 4 of these instead. My only concern is that the dual 15" cabinets are rated as low as 24Hz... which is closer to what you want for a dedicated sub. Right now I've got two active 15" woofers, good down to 20Hz. But I can only pump 100 watts to 'em with the current amp I'm running, even though they're rated at 150watts RMS (300 watt peak). But I also have four 12" woofers in each of my corner speakers (front L/R, Surround L/R) that drive as low as 20Hz.

Anyhow, the 5.1 anolog does a fantastic job. Sure, it means running even more cables, but really that isn't too big a deal.
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Old 04-19-08, 12:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTorch
Jackpot:

Dolby Digital Live on ALL X-Fi cards!!!!
http://forums.creative.com/creativel...sage.id=111427
Here's some interesting reading about how horrible a company Creative really is:
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article...8/03/29/046201 "Creative Goes After Driver Modder"

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/01/1938207 "Creative Vista Driver Modder Speaks Out"

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/04/1554250 "Creative Backs Down on Vista Driver Debacle"

btw: this is all concerning the person who created the drivers you linked "daniel_k"

The short version is that Creative has said on record that for various reasons that most, if not all, the advanced features of their cards are not supported under windows vista. Daniel_K modded their drivers and made virtually all of those functions work (and work properly). Creative didn't like the fact that the things they had purposely disabled under vista were now working, and no longer forced people to buy newer sound cards from them, so they tried to punish daniel_k. The public supported daniel_k, and creative has hurt their business. Creative buckled and now is supporting daniel_k and his modded drivers.

ps: Creative has sold their HQ, and looks to be on the road to bankruptcy.
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Old 04-20-08, 04:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: X-fi to 5.1 Receiver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTorch
Jackpot:

Dolby Digital Live on ALL X-Fi cards!!!!
http://forums.creative.com/creativel...sage.id=111427
Woot the links are back! Now if only there was a vista64 driver. OR does the XP one work on Vista?
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