Getting PC surround sound through my reciever.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Justin Ward, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    How do I get 4 point surround to my receiver in PC games that support it? I beleive there are 2 options but I am not sure which one would work.

    1) Digital Input: my receiver has a coax digital input and an optical digital input, the soundcard(SB Live) has a digital output but it seems to be in mini-plug format. I think this way would requre a converter. Also, what format does a PC output over the digital connection? Is it compatible with a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver?

    2) 5.1 Channel-Input: I could get (2)miniplug-to-dual RCA converters and plug it in like this. Front channel analog out(soundcard, miniplug format) to the front left and front right(receiver, RCA connectors) analog inputs. Rear channel analog out(soundcard, miniplug format) to the surround left and surround right(receiver, RCA connectors) analog inputs. But I have some concerns about this way of doing it. 1) I would get no center channel, not a big deal but after watching a lot of movies I like to have central sounds coming from close to the screen. 2) No bass management for surround speakers. I have heard before that receivers to do not perform bass management on 5.1 channel inputs, is this true?

    Thank you all for any advice.
     
  2. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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  3. Phil_Lunar

    Phil_Lunar Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I can try to help you....
    first, your digital out on your SB card can be used to output true Dolby digital and DTS but I is not simple(got to www.doom9.org for some tips on that)
    but I really dont know about 4 points surround comming out of PC games
    maybe try a PC game board.
     
  4. Felipe S

    Felipe S Stunt Coordinator

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    First, I don't think using a mini plug to double RCA cable will give you a full digital multichannel signal, It'll just give you a stereo signal. (I've tried it thinking it would...) You'll need a cable like this one
    http://www.americas.creative.com/pro...aincategory=10
    [​IMG]
    Also, you'll either need a software decoder or even better a hardware decoder (like the receiver for example)
    I'm still looking for that cable, it's kinda hard to find where I live. I guess I'll have to order it over the internet...
     
  5. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    This is what I meant for the RCA to mini plug convertors. I would connect the ones that go to the front speakers for PC surround sound to the L/R inputs of the 5.1 ch inputs. And the same for the rear speaker output. It would be analog but it should be multichannel.
     
  6. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Justin,

    If your receiver has a 5.1 channel analog input, then you can do just as you thought. Radio Shack, for example, has adaptors that go from a stereo mini-jack to two female RCA connectors. They have both Y cables and rigid assemblies, whichever you prefer. Then just connect cables to the appropriate input channels.

    As you suspected, this won't provide any bass management. All of your speakers would have to be "full range" to get the benefit of the lowest frequencies. You might want to consider getting one of Outlaw Audio's ICBM bass management units. They're not extremely expensive, and you'd be able to redirect the lowest frequencies to your subwoofer through the receiver's .1 input.

    An alternative is to configure your soundcard for "surround sound." That uses just the front speaker output channels and generates a matrixed signal containing audio for right front, center, left front and a single rear channel. It's compatible with ProLogic decoding. If your receiver supports Dolby ProLogic II, then you can even generate a 7.1 signal from that, although the result might not be quite what the game designers intended.

    My understanding is that very few games actually produce a DD5.1 digital output signal, or even DD4.0 for that matter.

    I hope this helps a little.
     

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