1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Yamaha AMP via PC optical audio

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by techguy31, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. techguy31

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    500 (0.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    Hi, So I am going to purchase a z68 board that has a optical input. I was wondering if I would lose quality of sound while the sound transfer from the optical to the amp? Will there be a significant drop in sound quality because the audio coming out of the integrated audio is just HD and there is no DTS or THX. Will the amp I get then transcode the audio? Please help.
  2. techguy31

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    500 (0.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    Hi, so this is what I meant if no one understands. I plan to buy a receiver to replace a sound card (HT Omega Claro Plus) so the z68 board has a optical however it does not decode dolby digital or dts and others. My question is will the sound that goes out the optical input to the receiver, will it decode the dolby digital and dts from the movies I watch on the z68 mobo?
  3. techguy31

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    500 (0.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    Hi, well I am going to get the GA-Z68A-D3 --->GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb.... I plan to use an ATI Sapphire 5670 (no Crossfire). I am confused as I have researched extensively about my topic and could not find a straight answer. I only plan to movies that are on my hardrive that have Dolby Digital and DTS audio in the movie file. I was wondering if these formats will be able to decode through a SPDIF/Digital to a reciever (Yamaha RX) -->http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QQXDVC/?tag=tec06d-20 Is this possible? I ask this because I do not want to buy a sound card.

    Thanks.
    Law-II says thanks.
  4. twilyth Guest

    here's what I have and this works with my GT210 card.

    1. run hdmi cable from hdmi port on video card to receiver hdmi-in
    2. run second hdmi from receiver hdmi-out to a monitor.
    3. no #3, that's it, you're done, chillin like a villain.

    Any decoding will happen in the receiver since that's where the digital to analog conversion will take place. They only thing you have to check is if the card is able to pass the protocols you care about from the computer to the HDMI cable. I think any semi-decent card will but as of 4 or 5 years ago I think, it varied from card to card.

    However, I'm not an audio engineer so for all I know some things might be digital to digital conversions. In that case, that might have to happen in the video card. I've never heard of this, but like I said, this isn't my area of expertise.
  5. Law-II

    Law-II

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,566 (1.30/day)
    Thanks Received:
    641
    Location:
    Mainland Britain
    bump - updated

    atb

    Law-II
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. techguy31

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    500 (0.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    I like your idea; however, I have heard of picture quality loss if I was to run your setup up. I do not know if it is a big deal but that's just what I heard. Wouldn't it be a better setup if I plug spdif straight from computer to receiver? Because I have read about the Realtek chipset on the Z68 mobo and I did see Dolby Digital and DTS; however it does not say it decodes it so I do not know if I should run your setup or my setup. I also play music from itunes which the when the sound comes out of the logitech z550, it does not sound really good. That is why I plan to buy a receiver and a Klipsch Home Theatre 1000 Speakers to be able to hear the sound quality. Is this worth it?
  7. twilyth Guest

    I do have an issue with drop down menus on the monitor that has the HDMI hook up from the receiver, but otherwise, no noticeable difference. I don't game or watch movies on it though so don't put much stock in that observation.

    I'm far from being an expert on computer audio, but IIRC, there are built-in limitations with SPdif so that's a no go if you want top quality sound. The person here who really knows their audio is Wile E. I think he's the one that told me about spdif so he could give you more info on that.

    As for DD and DTS, I have no idea. I did some research about 6 months ago to make sure the video card I was going to use (GT220) would support all the conventions and protocols I would use, but as soon as I made my decision, I forgot everything. {shrug} Wish I could be of more help. :toast:
  8. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,125 (2.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    899
    All sound cards or integrated sound solutions can decode and output Dolby Digital and DTS as long as it has SPDIF (coaxial or fibre) outputs. You'll need to configure your movie player (VLC Player or Windows Media Player Classic etc) to SPDIF out in the audio options. You'll only get Dolby Digital and DTS on a actual store bought DVD disc or on high quality movie rips which have retained the original DD/DTS 5.1 sound. Unfortunately this doesnt extend to itune because MP3s are generally produced in stereo so you'd need a specialist encoding soundcard for that.
  9. techguy31

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    500 (0.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    So which sound card would be the best to decode DTS-HD, Dolby Digital HD and mp3s? I have a HT Claro Plus; however, the sound coming out of the Logitech z5500 is not really good. I was also planning to buy a p67 board with a ALC892 audio chip. Would this be good alternative to hook to a receiver that decodes almost every kind of audio? Any good setup you would suggest?

    Thanks
  10. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,606 (1.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    524
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    its very simple,

    Use HDMI, no sound quality loss, no video quality loss.


    HDMI is far Superior to Optical/spdif.




    you might also be surprised to find that even if you run Optical/HDMI it may still sound worse then analogue! your Sound card might have better DACS then the AMP/Receiver your buying.








    only HDMI would support a decoded DD / DTS / DTS-HD audio stream as that would be LPCM (uncompressed audio) Optical does not support more then 2 channels of uncompressed audio, HDMI supports 8.
  11. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    845 (0.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    309
    HDMI really is the best way to go, provided your graphics card supports everything it should (since that's going to be your audio device now if you go with HDMI), and your HDMI enabled receiver is a quality one. I'm not sure for nVidia, but I know ATi's cards can do DTS and Dolby decoding to LPCM if your receiver can't, given the neccessary software. That means you can still enjoy DTS-HD Master audio lossless tracks on Blu-rays even if the receiver can't decode the format itself. As far as sound/picture quality when running PC>Receiver>TV via HDMI, it really depends on the receiver (and attached speakers), for both picture and sound quality. The receiver's DACs and decoding (for DTS-HD, DTS, DDL, Dolby Master Audio, etc etc) are what matters in terms of audio quality. Look for reviews, get to know what matters to you.

    Any receiver supporting HDMI will also have some sort of video processing functionality. The basic ones would just have a repeater. SO for digital video its video in = video out (but perhaps more latency, and some other bad things). The better ones, like my overkill Onkyo TX-SR876 have a built in video processing chip such as the excellent HQV Reon, for example, which will do pulldown conversion, color calibration, noise reduction, upscaling, cadence detection, deinterlacing and a bunch of other complicated math to make "Poor quality video in = somewhat better quality video out" and "good quality video in = same or slightly better video out" with very little latency added and no reduction in quality.

    There's really a LOT more to it than just buying a receiver and hooking it up with digital, whether you go optical or HDMI, and getting a better sound. Like has been said, if the DACs in your receiver aren't better than the DACs in your Sound card, it won't sound much better if at all - this is true for Optical and HDMI. (it should be better in some ways since the receiver/amp should drive speakers better, and you'd likely hook better speakers to your amp)
    If you are already using optical your sound card isn't doing much at all. Whatever the optical is plugged into is doing the Digital>Analog conversion and much if not all of the signal proccessing

    Really the ONLY difference between using Optical or HDMI is that HDMI:
    - HDMI has HDCP to protect the audio/video stream (DRM!)
    -HDMI supports many formats that Optical does not
    -HDMI supports 7.1 (8 Channels ) uncompressed LPCM along with support for a bunch of other compressed formats (so the receiver doesn't NEED to be able to decode things, the computer can do it and send LPCM which is an effectively lossless process. Depending on the capabilities of the receiver, with HDMI some software can also send the data directly to the receiver and allow the receiver to decode the DTS, DOLBY, or whatever stream you happen to be using. That's called bitstreaming, which depending on your what your receiver can handle as a bitstream, can be better or worse than LPCM. the Optical is limited to 5.1 compressed or 2.0 stereo uncompressed, so less channels and lower quality.)
    -HDMI requires the reciever to also handle the video, whether by processing it, or just passing it on.

    All of this said, I use my Radeon 5870's HDMI out into my Onkyo receiver, and the sound is far better than what I got out of my previous $250 XFi with some small powered speakers. Why? The speakers I have now are better, the receiver has as good if not better DACs onboard (not to mention no noise picked up because there's no analog signal until it's already out of the EMI rich PC case and into the receiver), and the video proc is top notch. My advice would be to take an HDMI equipped laptop, if you have one, to a local audio store and ask to test out receivers. Find the one that sounds and looks the best to you for what you're willing to pay, and then buy it from wherever is cheapest. Pair it with some decent speakers and you'll be grinning ear to ear. I was when I finally saved up for my setup. Truly the best I've ever heard a computer sound. Remember though, better quality sound hardware won't make crappy mp3 files sound much better. Games, blu-ray discs, lossless audio files will sound FANTASTIC. The hardware only makes the reproduction better. If you start with crap, don't expect anything but a polished turd (i.e. don't waste your money)

    Check out this thread, and ask specific questions to get quality answers
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
    techguy31 and BumbleBee say thanks.
  12. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    4,841 (2.43/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,286
    Location:
    Cybertron aka Canada
    Anchor Bay 2015. not that it's a competition :p
  13. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    845 (0.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    309
    That was merely an example that I have personal experience with, and can confirm quality. I'm well aware that technically superior ones do exist
  14. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    4,841 (2.43/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,286
    Location:
    Cybertron aka Canada
    Denon is stingy on inputs but not on chipsets. Onkyo reputation for overheating scares me.
  15. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    845 (0.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    309
    My Onkyo has overheated, twice. Result is HDMI garbled. Reset fixes it, almost never happens, and a pc fan makes it never.

    That said, it is an issue they should do something about, I feel comfortable fixing it myself but an end user should just have to USE the product, no? :rolleyes:
  16. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,125 (2.01/day)
    Thanks Received:
    899
    Hey techguy31,

    Just to clear a few things up because you seem a tiny bit confused. A few other posters have gave you some good advice already but there is a few mistakes which I will try to clear up also.

    Dont confuse DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 with DTS HD Masters and Dolby Digital True HD. All four are different technologies. DTS HD Masters and DD True HD were optimal for 7.1 conditions and you need to run it using HDMI. Whilst the Yamaha RX-V371 amp supports DTS HD Masters and Dolby Digital True HD the amp only supports upto 5.1 whereas the standard is supposed to be upto 7.1 - This isn't a big deal for most people as alot of BluRay discs are still using 5.1 whilst still using the higher quality audio bitrate.

    You can't decode MP3s to the Dolby Digital True HD or DTS Masters HD because MP3s are stereo.

    You can't encode MP3s to Dolby Digital True HD or DTS HD Masters because because no such upmixing technology or soundcard that exists (yet)

    However you can encode MP3s regular Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 (using Dolby Digital Live & DTS connect with soundcards like your HD Claro Plus via SPDIF)


    The Logitech's amp doesn't support the HD standards (True HD/Masters) only regular DTS 5.1 and DD 5.1






    This isn't 100% true. Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 is compressed even through HDMI. Only True HD and DTS HD Master are lossless through HDMI.



    Going the graphics card route. ATI or Nvidia cards will allow decoding (not encoding) of DTS/DD and DTS True HD and DTS HD Masters 7.1.

    Bear in mind there is no encoding so MP3s will be in stereo and you'd need an authentic physical DVD/BlueRay disc to play back the above technologies - or download extremely high quality versions of the movie via a torrent which have retained the original audio.


    Techguy31, I would recommend the Auzentech Theater HD or Xonar HDAV because they have HDMI output and supports encoding of regular DTS/DD. This means that on your physical and authentic BluRay (or high quality BluRay rip downloads) you can decode DTS HD Masters and True HD via passthrough, whilst listening you MP3s in regular DD/DTS using it's encoding.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
    m4gicfour and techguy31 say thanks.
  17. techguy31

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    500 (0.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    THANK YOU ALL for the very in depth information about my question.
  18. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    845 (0.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    309
    Yeah that's correct. I don't know where I read that ATI's newer cards could encode (and I did read that, somewhere on a reputable site, but the page doesn't seem to exist anymore, or at least I can't find it on google with the same search terms. AMD's specs page is kind of ambiguous, but if it could do encoding (and physically it should be able to, encoding can be done basically all in software, if they ever decide to get the licence) they'd have said so. Either way, there should be no reason to want to encode to any of the DTS/Dolby formats unless you're a content creator. All it does is compress the sound and add DRM, in some cases. LPCM is as good as you can get, and every bit as good as DTS-HD MA, given an equal quality soure.


    Sorry about the misinformation, and good luck with your sound.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page