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PC -> Toslink -> My Old Receiver, issue Dolby encode licensing
MikeFord
post Mar 30 2013, 09:57
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Do I need to pick a newer, better card/usb/motherboard toslink output with better support for encoding formats my receiver wants? Toslink required due to distance and bad house wiring making trouble with a common ground like coax or analog.

I'm on my 3rd iteration of MediaPC / HTPC, resisting starting my 4th. The issue is Dolby encoding licenses, and manufacturers not getting them with no end user path. What is my best/cheapest option to getting toslink out with as full of Dolby formats encoding as possible?

My old receiver which I do NOT want to replace anytime soon, is a Sony STR DA3000ES, no HDMI, but both flavors of SPdif coax and toslink with a claimed Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Digital EX, dts®, dts-ES, dts-ES 96/24, dts: Neo6, Dolby® Pro Logic® II Decoding It seems to work just fine and sound great with DVD player and cable box, but not fully PC.

PC is currently MSI 880GM P51, Win7 64, Foobar2000 , Winmedia and player, but currently focusing on audio and only have Foobar2000 configured. No real support for on board Spdif other than pass thru, so I have added a Diamond XS71DDL card (uses CMI8768+), fussing with drivers right now, but showing 7.12.8.1740 (trying to get newer to actually install/download).

Problem, when I attempt to setup the sound card in the Win7 dialog after selecting digital out via the cmi I get three options; DTS, Dolby Dig, WMA and only Dolby makes any sound and seems limited to two channel. I think this is a license issue regards Diamond Multimedia only supporting DDL.

***Mucho sorry this post is not very clear. Brain was working MUCH better a few hours ago, now very sleepy, but I've been working at it for 6 hours, and at 2am I have to leave the stereo off so I can't test til tomorrow.
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LithosZA
post Mar 30 2013, 11:25
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The dialog is only meant to test which lossy codecs your receiver supports. Not how many channels.
As far as I know Windows 7 does not encode 5.1 channels to lossy Dolby Digital on-the-fly. It only outputs PCM at 2 channels unless your drivers can encode 5.1 channels to Dolby Digital before sending it to the receiver.

You can still bitstream lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital audio to your receiver even when the Windows settings are set to 2 channels when watching movies. You just need to make sure you enable your player to do bitstreaming.
The only problem would be games will output at 2 channels unless the game natively supports outputting 5.1 Dolby digital.

Hope this helps.
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LithosZA
post Mar 30 2013, 20:56
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If you do want to play games at 5.1 channels then you could tryout this guide:
http://www.reaper-x.com/2011/04/25/how-to-...ding-for-games/

It seems that the CMI8768+ software/drivers has Dolby Digital Live support that can do real-time Dolby Digital (AC3) encoding: http://www.cmedia.com.tw/ProductsDetail.as...8&PSerno=34

I assume you already tried the Vista or Win7 drivers from C-Media?
http://www.cmedia.com.tw/EN/DownloadCenter...0&dtype=ALL

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MikeFord
post Mar 30 2013, 22:32
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DDL is working fine, encodes to 7.1 I think even, using the CMI or Diamond supplied driver for the XS71DDL cound card.

DTS isn't working at all, except maybe in some pass through fashion. What I am wondering is if I need to upgrade motherboard or sound output device to get DTS and 24/96 working.

I also have some questions on passing raw PCM to the receiver, but right now don't know if I am having format issue with the file and foobar (oscilloscope view looks like noise, output sounds like noise), or a driver issue or setup/configuration issue.

Thanks for link, I am familiar with the guide, but as I said, that part is working.
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LithosZA
post Mar 30 2013, 23:46
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QUOTE
DTS isn't working at all, except maybe in some pass through fashion. What I am wondering is if I need to upgrade motherboard or sound output device to get DTS and 24/96 working.

I am not sure, but do you really need 24bit/96Khz? There isn't going to be any audible differences between 24bit/96Khz and 48Khz/16bit. Higher sampling and bit rates might even hurt the lossy compression quality of DTS/AC3 at the same bitrates that are used at 48Khz/16bit. Unless it doesn't encode the higher frequencies that humans can't hear like most sane lossy encoders do. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of using higher sampling rates.

As for DTS I am not sure why your receiver isn't accepting it. Usually the max bitrates of AC3/DTS are sent to the receiver and were designed to be transparent at those bitrates. Although that all depends on the encoders. The included DTS encoder that 'DTS Connect' uses might give better quality than the AC3 encoder that 'Dolby Digital Live' uses or vice versa. So the only reason to use DTS would be if the quality of the AC3 encoder is worse than the DTS encoder.
If you are just watching movies with included DTS/AC3 streams then none of the above matters, because it will just be bitstreamed anyway.

QUOTE
I also have some questions on passing raw PCM to the receiver, but right now don't know if I am having format issue with the file and foobar (oscilloscope view looks like noise, output sounds like noise), or a driver issue or setup/configuration issue.

You could try resampling to 48Khz in foobar2000. Only 2 uncompressed LPCM channels can be sent to your receiver. More than 2 channels would require lossy compression such as AC3/DTS.

This post has been edited by LithosZA: Mar 30 2013, 23:48
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MikeFord
post Mar 31 2013, 07:53
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QUOTE (LithosZA @ Mar 30 2013, 15:46) *
QUOTE
DTS isn't working at all, except maybe in some pass through fashion. What I am wondering is if I need to upgrade motherboard or sound output device to get DTS and 24/96 working.

I am not sure, but do you really need 24bit/96Khz? There isn't going to be any audible differences between 24bit/96Khz and 48Khz/16bit. Higher sampling and bit rates might even hurt the lossy compression quality of DTS/AC3 at the same bitrates that are used at 48Khz/16bit. Unless it doesn't encode the higher frequencies that humans can't hear like most sane lossy encoders do. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of using higher sampling rates.

As for DTS I am not sure why your receiver isn't accepting it. Usually the max bitrates of AC3/DTS are sent to the receiver and were designed to be transparent at those bitrates. Although that all depends on the encoders. The included DTS encoder that 'DTS Connect' uses might give better quality than the AC3 encoder that 'Dolby Digital Live' uses or vice versa. So the only reason to use DTS would be if the quality of the AC3 encoder is worse than the DTS encoder.
If you are just watching movies with included DTS/AC3 streams then none of the above matters, because it will just be bitstreamed anyway.

QUOTE
I also have some questions on passing raw PCM to the receiver, but right now don't know if I am having format issue with the file and foobar (oscilloscope view looks like noise, output sounds like noise), or a driver issue or setup/configuration issue.

You could try resampling to 48Khz in foobar2000. Only 2 uncompressed LPCM channels can be sent to your receiver. More than 2 channels would require lossy compression such as AC3/DTS.


I have ripped files that are native 24/96 DTS, without regard to audibility I have no desire to convert them or mess with them at all.

Receiver is fine, works fine with DTS DVD player etc., issue I am almost certain is the Diamond Multimedia didn't pay for more than a base DDL license, so that is all it supports.

No guess on the DTS vs DDL encoding quality, and that is not main goal, multichannel and just making all the modes work so I can compare etc. is what I am after. DDL was also first gen and likely never upgraded, so good chance quality is improved. Same could be true for decode on the receiver end.

I am having some success using WASAPI and setting it to 16 44 stereo, but I am getting hard freezes that require a power off and reboot, and that can't continue even for much testing. Fodder for a WASAPI specific thread though.

*** Watching movies from DVD, I don't use HDMI, ancient TV with Svideo, getting that to work don't seem like its worth the trouble vs a new TV. Right now its DTS music I am after.
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