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Which soundcard to decode DTS or Dolby Digital?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Horrux, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Horrux

    Horrux

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    I want to play movies and games on my PS3 (and soon PS4), and decode the highest possible audio format for output to analog speakers.

    I also need a high sound quality (currently satisfied with an Auzentech Prelude) for both gaming and movies/music.

    Which sound card is my best bet?

    Thanks
     
  2. Dent1

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    You don't need a soundcard. Your solution has nothing to do with computers or soundcards.

    You need a AV receiver which supports DD and DTS. Your PS3 will connect directly to the receiver via SPDIF or HDMI.


    Your Prelude is as good as a soundcard as you can buy (although buggy), it will connect directly to the AV receiver, likewise will your PS3/PS4.
     
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  3. Horrux

    Horrux

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    Wait, so it's my question that's wrong? Why did I ask that question then? Is this question against the rules?

    I WANT A SOUND CARD TO DECODE DD AND DTS IS THAT CLEAR?

    I know about receivers. That's not the question OK?
     
  4. Dent1

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    I knew what you meant, but your question made little sense. So I had to correct you before I could give you the correct solution.


    A soundcard can not decode DD and DTS from your PS3. You need AV receiver to do what you want.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
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  5. cheesy999

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    To add to this you'll need powered speakers for most sound cards, ordinary analog speakers need far more power than most sound cards provide
     
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  6. Horrux

    Horrux

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    I just happen to have good powered 5.1 computer speakers without a DD or DTS decoder.
     
  7. Dent1

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    What cheesy said was just a general comment. It doesnt effect the outcome of your solution.

    Also DTS cant be transferred through an analogue cable. What speaker system do you have?
     
  8. Horrux

    Horrux

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    The signal is sent from the PS3 to the Auzentech over optical connection, as explained before.

    The speakers are Cambridge, and the amp is something else... I don't know what it is, but it doesn't do DTS or DD, although it amplifies all 6 speakers well.
     
  9. Dent1

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    Understood, but you said the speakers are analogue. Which is already a barrier.

    Either way it won't work, because the soundcard's input will convert the existing DTS or DD bit streams into PCM 2.0.

    In theory you should get audio in stereo through SPDIF-IN. But you can't select Dolby Digital Live or DTS connect as that is reserved for SPDIF-OUT and a DD/DTS compatible receiver.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  10. Horrux

    Horrux

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    I don't understand why a receiver is inherently capable where a sound card isn't. It just doesn't make sense to me.
     
  11. Dent1

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    Because they're two different devices for two different (but similar) purposes.


    Also Dolby Laboratories require that decoding is done on a certified receiver. If soundcard's did this decoding via SPDIF-IN they could be in breach.


    On a positive note.

    The prelude does support Dolby Digital Live, so you could enable that out of the box via SPDIF-OUT. That'll ensure you get DD on your music and games on your PC. A receiver and a digital connection is still needed but that is as close as Dolby will get to licensing their technology. SPDIF-IN won't happen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
    Horrux says thanks.
  12. Maban

    Maban

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    It's a DRM limitation of sorts I believe. A computer is capable but there isn't really any way you could get it to work I believe. I tried it once with a 360. I could get stereo from TOSLINK to PC to speakers but surround was a no-go.
     
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  13. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    All this here is why I can't be bothered with anything beyond stereo. It's a mess.
     
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  14. Dent1

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    No it isn't a mess. People just want short cuts.

    You connect your AV receiver to your Dolby Digital Live supported soundcard via SPDIF or HDMI. Simple. I've been doing it for years.

    Likewise you connect your AV receiver to any other third party devices, PS3, Xbox, Satellite TV etc. via SPDIF or HDMI.

    Just you get people who cheap out, they don't want to buy the receiver or don't want to buy the correct soundcard so they think of a crazy work around. Then they "blame" creative or "blame" drivers then say its impossible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  15. Horrux

    Horrux

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    Well, meantime, until I revamp the entire sound system, which is planned, but not very soon, the AAC sound format will serve. I think it does support 5.1? Should be good enough for now, I guess.
     
  16. Dent1

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    AAC can support 5.1 in theory. But in reality it usually always 2.0. This was the main selling point of Dolby Digital Live or DTS connect, as the user doesn't have to care about the file format because it was getting converted regardless and just works.

    Get an entry level home theatre in a box. The cheapest way to achieving what you want.

    http://www.richersounds.com/product/speaker-packages/pioneer/htp071/pion-htp071
     
  17. Horrux

    Horrux

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    No, that will probably sound much worse than my computer speakers*.
     
  18. Dent1

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    It's a stepping stone. You only want the receiver, the speakers can be upgraded later.

    Even without the speakers 149.95 is good value for money.
     
  19. FR@NK

    FR@NK

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    I agree, thats a good start. Once you get a receiver you can ditch your soundcard and run the audio out of your HDMI video card. HDMI audio is much better then anything you transmit over optical.

    You should be able to use your powered computer speakers by connecting them to the preouts if you think they will sound better.
     
  20. Horrux

    Horrux

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    Really? All the fancy 3D sound processing my X-Fi does will also happen on the video card? I know AMD has announced something for their R9 series, but what about my GTX 580s?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    you're asking about DD/DDL into your PC, decoded, and sent back out as analogue yes?

    cant be done easily. you will need a receiver to make it work properly.
     
  22. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    If you want to use your speakers' integrated amplifier, then get a cheap receiver with analog pre-outs; the quality of the receiver's integrated amplifier doesn't matter since you wouldn't be using it. You can just get three 3.5mm to stereo RCA adapters and then connect your computer speakers to the analog pre-outs. You would just use the receiver as a source selector and decoder.

    Also consider getting one with multichannel analog inputs if you don't want to use HDMI or TOSLINK to connect the sound card to the receiver; that way you can connect the discrete sound from your computer's sound card to the receiver with unprocessed analog cables instead of using DDL/DTS. I know I did the exact same thing with my home receiver about a decade ago, before uncompressed digital audio output on PCs (via HDMI) came out and simplified everything.

    From what I interpret, you care about the audio quality and not just getting this to work. I can understand you wanting to use the audio processing of the computer sound card, but I highly would suggest using a native HDMI output from the Playstation rather than the optical cable. If you have good equipment, which it seems like you do, the losslessly compressed audio (10+Mb/s) does sound much better than Dolby Digital (640Kb/s) or even DTS (1.5Mb/s)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  23. Horrux

    Horrux

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    Oh, thanks, that last bit clarifies a lot! And here I thought DD and DTS were the most incredible experience ever! Thanks for shining the light on the dark areas of my knowledge of audio formats! :)
     
  24. Dent1

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    Me personally as someone that has had the Prelude, and numerous of other soundcards in the last few years as well as experience HDMI-out via my video card(s). I would keep the Prelude just for Dolby Digital Live Encoding if nothing else. The benefit of HDMI is mostly on the HD audio soundtracks found on some bluray discs i.e. LPCM 7.1, DD Tue HD, DTS HD Masters, PCM 7.1. But this is a limited scenario. Better off using the Prelude for Dolby Digital Encoding in windows and PC gaming and then set media player to switch to the video card's HDMI upon detection of a bluray disc so you get best of both world.


    --------------


    It makes little difference whether you connect the PS3 with HDMI-out or SPDIF-out in terms of audio quality because the bitrate of DD and DTS is fixed and compressed even on HDMI-out. The only formats which are uncompressed are LPCM 7.1, DD True HD and DTS HD Masters which not found on PS3 games, they are reserved for (some) blue ray discs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
    Horrux says thanks.
  25. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    That's not exactly true. The PS3 doesn't support encoding of Dolby True HD or DTS HD Master Audio, so it can only pass though pre-encoded soundtracks on Blu-ray discs (and only on the slim or super slim models). However, all PS3 versions can output LPCM up to 7.1 for both games and Blu-ray discs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013

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