Creative card w/ Optical Out on board?

mpjesse

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I've been browsing thru Creative's website and I can't seem to find a card that has S/PDIF Optical Out on board the card. They keep pushing their farking I/O panel. But I'm building a HTPC and can't use one of those.

Anyone know which Creative card has Optical Out on board?

-mpjesse
 

ziscwg

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They only have coax out. Most AV rec have digital coax. Why not just use that? Also, if you just want digital out, you don't have to spend the cash on Creative stuff.
 

mpjesse

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For whatever reason I cannot get coax out to work on my panasonic receiver. So, optical out is the only solution.

I did find a "Maya 7.1" sound card that does optical out. It's like $20- which worries me. You get what you pay for.

Do you know of any other non-creative solutions w/ optical out?

-mpjesse
 

astrallite

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One, you need to enable digital-out on your sound card.

Two, you need to buy an RCA to stereo-mini 1/8" converter, for $7, say at Radioshack. Use the 1/8" stereo mini end on the digital out of the Creative sound card, and RCA mono (white) end on a digital in. (As a digital coax cable is just a 75-ohm video RCA cable).

When you go optical (or digital in general) you lose discrete channels. Digital is 1 channel. In effect it can only carry a stereo signal. Dolby Digital and other encoded algorithms can pass through because they are like ZIP files--all the channels are compressed and if you have a decoder at the other end for the process, a Dolby Digital or DTS decoder, you will get all channels outputed. If not, the uncompressed stereo channels are the only ones that pass through.

For gaming, if you want all 7-channel glory to pass through the digital medium, you need something like a real-time Dolby Digital encoder, that takes all the discrete analog channels and compresses them into this encoded format. A couple of sound cards do this, such as the Blue Gears X-mystique, and the Turtle Beach Montenegro. I believe both these cards are near the $100 threshold (or beyond). They are also limited to EAX2, but I wouldn't worry too much about EAX, it really just maintains two primary functions--1) an equalizer that exaggerates reverb effects 2) combines the sounds of two environments as you are leaving one into another, for a transitory sound. They aren't terribly exciting.

If surround sound gaming is not at the top of your list (and it wasn't for me, and avid gamer; I just use headphones for that kind of stuff), and stereo for music, and dolby digital for movies alone is satisfactory content for you, then you could check out the Chaintech AV-710. It has an optical out, as well as line-outs for analog 7.1, and a secondary stereo output that has very high quality DACs. All this for about $20. A thin digital optical cable (about 4.5 feet) is included with the package, but it is kind of frail and you might want something beefier.

If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to (attempt) to answer them for you.
 

mpjesse

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This card would be for a HTPC. I'm connecting my 500W receiver to my HTPC/sound card. Receiver has a DTS and DD decoder. So I don't need a dolby decoder on the card.

I would prefer to use DTS as the output format. As you probably know, DTS's stream isn't as compressed as Dolby's. However this HTPC will also function as a HDTV tuner. Currently no one broadcasts HDTV using DTS; it's all Dolby. So I may end up settling w/ Dolby which sucks if I wanna watch a DTS encoded DVD. And as far as I know you cannot easily switch digital output formats on soundcards on the fly. Correct me if I'm wrong.

:)

-mpjesse
 

mpjesse

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Two, you need to buy an RCA to stereo-mini 1/8" converter, for $7, say at Radioshack. Use the 1/8" stereo mini end on the digital out of the Creative sound card, and RCA mono (white) end on a digital in. (As a digital coax cable is just a 75-ohm video RCA cable).
The problem isn't that I'm not enabling digital out on my sound card (I'm not even trying to hook up my sound card to my receiver at this point). But I know my coax digital connection on my receiver doesn't work because I've tried using 2 different DVD players. Both had Coax out enabled. The problem is with the receiver. It's out of warranty and I don't care about coax enough to get a new one. Optical digital is just as good and is more popular.

Thanks though.

-mpjesse
 

sslusser

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I had been looking for one of those Creative Digital I/O modules, but I heard a rumour that Creative had intentially stopped selling them in the US to "encourage" people to purchase a XFI with a Live Drive.

Nice find.
 

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