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quality sound cards

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Matt_Beals, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Matt_Beals

    Matt_Beals Extra

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    I'm building up a HTPC and I need help picking a sound card. I would just use a high end Soundblaster, but those cards don't support bitstream through the optical port. The only way to get 6.1 or above from it is through component audio. I heard that Yamaha made some good ones. Any ideas?
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

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    I have an original Soundblaster Live Value that supports bitstream through SPIDF... i find it hard to beleive that newer higher end soundblasters do not. Actually even most cheaper 5.1 cards offer bitstream out via either optical or SPIDF. I know Turtle Creek makes some very high end cards if that's still the route you want to go, but if the computer is just passing bitstream and not doing any sound proccessing then it seems an expensive soundcard is a waste.
     
  3. Matt_Beals

    Matt_Beals Extra

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    well i heard from a few people (have not personally verified) that the SB audigy's when hooked up through the optical port would not transmit anything other then 2 channels. You had to use the component jacks to get surround sound.

    Just did some research on it. Appearently Creative uses a format of digital transmission unique to it's products. Only the first left and right channels match the convention used by DD and DTS, so the rest are dropped. Of course the signal works fine with Creative's speakers
     
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    There are numerous cards that support digital out that conforms properly. I can't give you any more specific details; ours is built into the ABIT motherboard (coax SPDIF out.)

    At work, I've a 'Card-delux' that treats all inputs and outputs as independant, but I don't know that it'd handle the DTS or AC-3 properly.

    We used to have a Turtle Beach that worked very well.

    Leo Kerr
     
  5. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Matt -- the SB Live cards are still available and they're cheap if you want to try something without investing a lot of money. And yes, both Yamah and Turtle Beach make very nice cards but they're not what I'd call cheap to find out if they'll suit your needs.
     

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