EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Wed, 30 Jun 2004 12:01:05


Is there a sound card currently available that uses a digital (s/pdif)
connection to send EAX and A3D positional sound data to a Dolby
Digital receiver? I want to play the sound from my computer games to
my rather nice speakers and would like to take advantage of my
surround sound capability. I have heard about the Turtle Beach
Riviera and Santa Cruz models, do either of these have the capability
to output EAX to my receiver? Here are my stereo specs if it matters:

Kenwood VR-405 Receiver
Sony 3-way bookshelf Speakers (front channel)
KLH 2-way bookshelf speakers (rear channel)
Jensen Center Channel Speaker
Yamaha 100 watt powered subwoofer

I'm sorry i know so little about my equipment, i bought most of it
used from various friends. I would appreciate any input you have or
suggestions you may offer.

-Hukuis
P.S. Sorry about the cross-posting... it isn't usually my style but i
hoped i might get good responses from both groups.
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by CrimsonLia » Thu, 01 Jul 2004 04:04:55

Quite a few cards are capable of connecting to your Digital Receiver and
producing glorious STEREO. The problem is that A3D and EAX signals wont be
up-mixed by your receiver to multichanel output. You may be able to get
Dolby Pro-Logic to do some up-mixing for you, but the results are usually
nothing to shout about when compared with real 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 audio.

Regards EAX, this is the King of the hill in terms of positional audio at
the moment, the problem being other than Creative's cards the support on
most cards is limited to EAX 2 which is no where near as nice as the later
EAX variants available to Creative owners. Also, non Creative cards tend to
pay a greater penalty in CPU cycles when producing EAX output.

There is a third option though, in the form of Nvidia SoundStorm equipped
motherboards. While the quality is not equal to the latest of Creative's
offerings, it does manage to output the SP/DIF AC3 signal that would allow
you true surround sound output from your PC to your Digital Receiver. To
the best of my knowledge there are no other Consumer PC sound solutions that
will output the required AC3 signal to your Receiver.

Crimson Liar

 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Tue, 20 Jul 2004 10:16:53

Does the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz audio card support AC3 output? The
specs I have seen are vague, but they have all included the phrase
"dolby digital" and "hardware acceleration", usually in the same
sentence. Does the fact that this card has a DSP and support for
Dolby Digital mean that it can output EAX through the S/PDIF like the
nVidia SoundStorm? Any answers would be appreciated.
Thanks,
-Hukuis
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by dwh » Tue, 20 Jul 2004 16:26:27

No, it does not encode AC3, nor does it decode AC3 (it depends on the
player software, or an external decoder, for that). It _can_ output
EAX as through the S/PDIF like the nVidia SoundStorm, since both can
output 2-speaker EAX 3D positional audio as PCM, but while that's what
you said, it wasn't what you meant.

Are you stuck with AC3 because your receiver isn't one of the many that
has multichannel analog input jacks, or are you one of those folks whose
receiver does have them who is unaware of that method, or are you one
of those folks enamored with "digital"?

-Dave
XXXX@XXXXX.COM


XXXX@XXXXX.COM (hukuis) writes:
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Wed, 21 Jul 2004 01:44:35

> Are you stuck with AC3 because your receiver isn't one of the many that
My receiver (the Kenwood VR-405) is an older model and there are no
multichannel analog input jacks as far as i can see by looking at the
back panel. Would they simply look like a set of 3 stereo RCA inputs
labeled as "Multichannel Input"? Or is there a way you can use
multiple device inputs as multichannel? I have a 5-Disc CD changer
connected to the analog CD/DVD input, and an old Kenwood turntable
connected to the Aux. Input. I am also using my VCR with the analog
Video 1 input. Any help would be appreciated greatly.
Thanks,
-Hukuis
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by dwh » Wed, 21 Jul 2004 04:11:03


XXXX@XXXXX.COM (hukuis) writes:


That's what they usually look like, but labeled as a group of intputs and
identified as left/right front/surround/center/subwoofer. The exact
labeling varies.


I've seen one more-expensive receiver which can assign some inputs to a
selection of purposes, so it's possible, but in practice they're dedicated.


It doesn't sound like your receiver has the inputs. Kenwood's online manual
covers multiple models, and was a bit hard to understand, but it did seem
to say that the 405 didn't have them (the 407 and some others seemed to
have them, so they were mentioned).

If I were in your shoes, I'd replace the receiver. If I was not very
comfortable with the additional expense, I'd focus both on trying to
sell it and trying to find something suitable used.

-Dave
XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Wed, 21 Jul 2004 09:24:13

Just as a second thought, would it be easier (or simply possible) to
connect a y-connector (stereo miniplug to RCA) to the analog sound out
of a 4.1 card like the Sound Blaster PCI128 and thus receive Pro Logic
decoding of the EAX signal? Dolby Digital would be far preferable,
but this solution would be a lot cheaper seeing as I already have an
old PCI128 lying around. Would this give me at least a small sample
of EAX through my receiver?
Thanks,
-Hukuis
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by Sander » Wed, 21 Jul 2004 09:31:44

and an old Kenwood turntable connected to the Aux. Input.

The turntable should need a preamp to match the line level of an aux input
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by dwh » Wed, 21 Jul 2004 12:50:28


XXXX@XXXXX.COM (hukuis) writes:


The Soundblaster Live! used to have support for this called the Live!Surround
speaker setting. It did not survive to the SB Audigy, nor I think to newer
drivers for the SB Live. I suspect that since it was Pro Logic "compatible"
without exactly saying so, Dolby may have been behind its going away without
any real mention/explanation, when granting Creative Labs a license for its
Dolby Digital decoding feature.

You get a "small sample" of EAX even with 2 speakers. It is a 3D positional
audio process even then. It is not simply stereo sound.

-Dave
XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Wed, 21 Jul 2004 21:52:34

> The turntable should need a preamp to match the line level of an aux input
I realized this when i first bought the turntable ($2 at Goodwill).
But it doesn't bother me so much because when the volume is between
-30 and 0 dB I can hear the turntable just fine.
But getting back to the topic...
Does anyone know where I can get the drivers for a SB Live! that
support the LiveSurround! feature? And are there any newer cards that
support a similar feature? Is there any way to turn both the analog
outputs on a sound card into a single set of stereo RCA jacks for Pro
Logic?
Thanks for all your help so far,
-Hukuis
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Tue, 27 Jul 2004 01:42:19

I read on a different thread that a mono headphone plug to coax
adapter
connected from the digital/analog output of the SB Live! to a coaxial
digital input on a Dolby Digital receiver will give Pro Logic output
in EAX games. Does anyone know if: a.) this is true b.) this will
work with my setup c.)this will work with the digital/analog output on
my SB PCI128?
Thanks for the help,
-Hukuis
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by dwh » Wed, 28 Jul 2004 06:08:03


XXXX@XXXXX.COM (hukuis) writes:


Pro Logic decoders "work" on stereo sources that aren't surround encoded
in the sense they will give an effect based on the happenstantial differences
between the channels, so that by getting activity from the center/surround
speakers, you may feel you've got more surround than stereo from just the
front l/r speakers.

However, the 3D Positional Audio part of EAX is computing specific signals
for those 2 speakers, or more signals depending on the speaker settings,
so you will either degrade what those computations are attempting, or you
will do that plus have missing channels going into the process.

-Dave
XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Thu, 29 Jul 2004 03:35:04

>the 3D Positional Audio part of EAX is computing specific signals
If I configure my soundcard to use 4 speaker mode with digital output
(through the digital/analog output), will I get 4 speaker EAX? I read
somewhere that this can be done, but I won't get discreet rear
channels. Is this true? And once again, will this work through my SB
PCI128? Is the degredation you hear noticeable, or only if you know
what you're looking for and are listening carefully?
Thanks for the help,
-Hukuis
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by dwh » Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:24:15


XXXX@XXXXX.COM (hukuis) writes:


In that case, if you attach to a DD decoder input, you will get the
front 2 channels of 4 speaker EAX and the rear 2 channels will be
produced but you won't hear them because they aren't connected.


It's not true. It sounds like a confusion of LiveSurround and the way
the Cambridge Soundworks (CL) DTT2500 speakers accept digital 4-channel
as 2 separate SPDIF signals.


The PCI128 doesn't have a digital jack.


I don't know. I've never heard EAX on an incorrectly connected and
misconfigured setup. In theory, it's contrary to the mechanisms 3D
positional audio is based on.

-Dave
XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

EAX output to a Dolby Digital Reciever

Post by thehukui » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 05:39:38

> >I read somewhere that this can be done, but I won't get discreet rear

Thanks for clearing that up.

I have an OEM version of the PCI128 that does have an analog/digital
jack.
I have heard of other people who have the same OEM version, and Harvey
Fong from Creative Labs has confirmed that such an OEM card existed at
one point.

The last thing i really want to know is if Pro Logic upmixing really
degrades sound quality that much, regardless of whether the signal is
EAX or not.
Thanks,
-Hukuis