Help! Can't get 5.1 output with SBLive and PowerDVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave K, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. Dave K

    Dave K Extra

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    I'm trying to put together an HTPC. It's a brand new Dell 8200, which came with a SB Live sound card. I'm guessing this card is 5.1 capable. (?) The PC is running WinXP Pro and I've installed the latest SB drivers from the MS website.

    I've connected the digital out of the card to one of my processor's digital coax inputs via a mono 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter. I've connected the digital and analog outputs of the DVD drive to the sound card. Using the Control Panel applet, I've set the speaker config to 5.1 and selected the "Digital Output Only" option. I've also tried various combinations of muting/unmuting the digital and analog inputs in the volume control applet.

    PowerDVD (XP 4.0 Deluxe) gives me only 3 choices for audio output: 2 channel, 4 channel, and SPDIF. I do NOT get the 6 channel option as indicated in the manual. (I do have the 6 channel DD/DTS version of PowerDVD, apparently.) Could PowerDVD be thinking the sound card is not capable of 6 channels?

    When I select the SPDIF output option in PowerDVD, I get NO sound. Zippo. Nada. I've tried every combination of settings I can think of, with no luck. The 2 and 4 channel settings work OK.

    Can anyone offer some advice on whether I've hooked up the hardware/software correctly? Is this lowest end SB Live from Dell not 5.1 capable?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I've got a SB live value card and i don't think it is 5.1 capable. I looked at creatives site and they have a live 5.1 card, but it is specifically labeled 5.1. I don't remember the live cards before that I've seen labeled as this.
    Here is the link to it. Does your card look like this?
    http://www.americas.creative.com/pro...11&product=143
     
  3. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    there are non-5.1 capable SBlives. in fact i have one. however, i doubt they are even making any of them anymore, so either Dell is still getting rid of old stock or you do have one. at any rate, you probably are going to want to use the spdif output and just pass the whole ac-3 stream to your receiver.

    im not familar with that program so i will have to defer to someone else, but i am guessing you are on the right track.

    i earlier had problems getting my digital output to work at all. if i were you i would play around some more with every possible place there to change settings, because i know with mine it was finding that last elusive one. im not at home at the moment so i cant help you more than that. but i think i had to set things in the creative drivers, audio properties, and one more place i think. if someone else cant help you i will try to help again later...
     
  4. Dave K

    Dave K Extra

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    Mike,

    It's pretty close, but not exactly like that. I guess the important parts (the connectors on the back of the card) are the same.

    Upon further checking, it appears to a SBLive Value, not a SBLive 5.1 card. I say this because there is no "Decode AC3" option in the software like there is with a 5.1 card. I would think that, for digital output, this would not matter. (?)

    David,

    Thanks... I did order the cheapest possible options from Dell since I was intending to rip out the video and sound cards anyway. Perhaps I should get a retail 5.1 card instead of the OEM stuff.
     
  5. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    id guess you can probably get better decoding (and sound) by just outputting the whole undecoded stream to your reciever and letting it handle the decoding, rather than letting your soundcard decode and using the multichannel inputs.
     
  6. Jeremy-P

    Jeremy-P Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the same card and have used a similar setup in the past, except with WINDVD, but they're basically the same. I had no problems, but I used one whole RCA cord and no adapter. Maybe try a different connection and see if that solves the problem. Let me know any other details and I might think of a problem, but it sounds like it should be working.

    Just needed to add this to clarify, both ends have RCA inputs right?
     
  7. Dave K

    Dave K Extra

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    Mystery is SOLVED...

    The sound card that Dell is currently putting is their machines is NOT capable of 5.1. I selected the lowest end card with the lowest end speakers (since I wasn't planning to use them), and as a result the card I got is capable of 4 channel surround, max.

    I bought an Audigy card, dropped it in the machine, and was playing DD 5.1 and DTS tracks minutes later...

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  8. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    mmmmm... audigy.... firewire...
     
  9. Jeremy-P

    Jeremy-P Stunt Coordinator

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    It's good to know that your problem is solved, but it's still possible to send a 5.1 AC3 signal thru a Live! value to a reciever, I just don't know why it didn't work for you.
     

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