Sound through SPDIF


May 21, 2009
Hi, I'm trying to connect my computer to my stereo receiver to get 5.1 sound. I have an Asus P6T motherboard running Vista 64 and I'm trying to use the SPDIF output but it just doesn't work. I'm testing it by playing mp3s in Winamp and no sound comes out. I know that these mp3s are 2 channel stereo, not 5.1, but I would expect the signal to still be sent through SPDIF to my receiver.

I've screwed around with every setting I can find and I've never heard a peep out of my speakers. Unless there is some magic setting somewhere I'm ready to give up and buy a sound card.

What sound card should I get? Here are my requirements:

1. SPDIF output, preferably through a coaxial connection because I don't have an optical cable.
2. I want sound to come out through the SPDIF output regardless of what is playing. Mp3s, dvds, even the windows startup sound. I want everything to play through my receiver.
3. My receiver doesn't decode DTS, so it has to be Dolby Digital.
4. I'd like it to be compatible with Alchemy, so I can get surround sound in older games on Vista.
5. Not too expensive. I don't need it to do much more than what I've listed here.

If anyone could make a recommendation I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Do you have the latest drivers installed for your onboard sound.

But If you are looking for a decent cheap quality card

But there should be no reason its not working off your motherboard so try maybe getting updated drivers for it from the ASUS website. Also in your sound control panel did you make sure you enabled digital out it will not work unless you do. When digital is enabled you will not hear any sound out of the speakers connected to the computer.

SPDIF can only trasmit 2.0 PCM audio, or 5.1 via compressed Dolby Digital or DTS formats.

If the audio isn't DD/DTS encoded, you won't get anything higher then 2.0 sound. Even if the audio is encoded, you need a decoder to uncompress the signal so your speakers can actually output a signal.