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Thread: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

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    Re: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

    Ah, so you're using analogue now and want to get surround sound?

    As mentioned above, either you just need anything with an optical output if you're bitstreaming or DTS Connect/Dolby Digital Live if you need to do transcoding from 5.1 sources that aren't provided in a format your receiver understands over S/PDIF.

    Does your Surround Sound system have an HDMI input? If you're only using one monitor then you can use clone mode so it sends video + audio over two HDMI cables.

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    Thumbs up Re: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    Ah, so you're using analogue now and want to get surround sound?

    As mentioned above, either you just need anything with an optical output if you're bitstreaming or DTS Connect/Dolby Digital Live if you need to do transcoding from 5.1 sources that aren't provided in a format your receiver understands over S/PDIF.

    Does your Surround Sound system have an HDMI input? If you're only using one monitor then you can use clone mode so it sends video + audio over two HDMI cables.
    Great, thanks for clarifying.

    N HDMI inputs on DVD Surround player. and my TV won't send full DTS or Dolby like this
    Xbox (for example) Dolby Surround Source Deivce -> HDI Cable -> Panasonic TV -> Optical Cable -> Panasonic Surround Sound DVD play <--- you DONT get the surround sound like this.... the TV is LAZY and just gives out stereo.

    So no HDMI for me, hence optical solution needed.

    Right, so if AC3 is Dolby Digital, then my amp can do all of them... now I just need optical out...

    The total cheapest optical out I can find is £12, so might as well get the Asus or sound blaster for a little more and hopefully have proper drivers...

    Now, is it worth getting this more expensive ones. I'll update you on what I do. but...

    THANK YOU ALL who helped here for explaining how this works. Much appreciated.

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    Re: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovol2 View Post
    The total cheapest optical out I can find is £12, so might as well get the Asus or sound blaster for a little more and hopefully have proper drivers...
    Asus were being very sluggish about getting their Windows 10 drivers up and running, I don't know if the situation is fixed yet.

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    Re: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    Asus were being very sluggish about getting their Windows 10 drivers up and running, I don't know if the situation is fixed yet.
    The Windows 10 drivers for the DGX have been available since October last year. I don't have Windows 10 so haven't tried them, but the 8.1 drivers have been very stable for me...

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    Re: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

    Well, I got one of these cheap from ebay just to test this out... http://bgears.com/b-enspirer.html
    it's basically an Asus DGX 2 I believe, as it has the CMI8788 chip.
    The windows 8.1 drivers are available from CMI, and work ok, even the little configuration tool.

    I have now Dolby Digital sound as normal 'windows' sounds, e.g. adjusting the volume slider etc.
    i.e. it's using Dolby Digital Live, and creating Dolby sound from 'normal' Windows sound, and then encoding it, sending it to my DVD Player Via Optical Cable and we have surround sound... of sorts.

    As for playing a movie, playing a movie with Dolby Digital is flawless, Plex just sends out the bits and hey presto, we have proper surround sound.

    I can't get Plex, or the sound card, to convert DTS to Dolby Digital on the fly though

    Apparently it's possible, apparently Plex Home Theater is supposed to do that for you, but no joy yet.

    But thought I'd update you all.

    Thanks for all your help so far. Will post final solution.
    PS, turns out that Panasonic DVD Receivers don't decode DTS audio via Optical at all, hence why I need Dolby Out!

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    Thumbs up Re: Your Soundcard suggestions for HTPC with Optical Out, please

    It turns out in Kodi you can simply change the setting of the client player... 'my receiver supports AC3', then right below this... 'If it's not AC3 sound you're playing, would you like us to convert it to that' Yes please.... done.

    Basically for playing movies, you get the software to decode it and recode it (transcode)...

    Plex just dosn't get this right, and defers to 'aac' sound, which I set the option to say my receiver does not support this.

    I prefer plex's user interface, but Kodi does the job right...

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