Sound Card w/Optical Out

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Christo Ramo, May 4, 2005.

  1. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    I need a good sound card for my home theater pc running winxpmce 2005 with hauppauge 500mce. I need an optical connection so I can connect it to my amp. Anyone know of a really good one?
     
  2. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    I don't know how "good" the card is, but Turtle Beach makes a few with optical out with a great price. I have the Riveria or something like that ($27). It sounds pretty good to me on my small HTPC. I have it connected "optically" to my receiver (Sony V444ES) for my small jukebox/PVR PC.

    They actually make a "mini usb" sound card, w/optical connector. I first tried this to see what/how I could hook up to my receiver. It worked great for music, but for DVD's, my system wouldn't recognize the optical because it was an additional apadtor on the usb stick. With the sound card, my system recognizes the 'optical' port and passes DD/DTS to my receiver when playing DVD's. Works great for a small investment. I think their higher end card has optical in and out (about $80 I think).

    I'm actually building me a HTPC from scratch now and my motherboard (Abit A17)I ordered has optical out on it.
     
  3. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    chaintek av710, optical out capable of bit-perfect digital output with no resample, and it's dirt cheap too. I believe it is the same chipset as the turtle beach cards, and probably costs the same or less.
     
  4. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks fellas, I did some research and came up with the turtle beach catalina, it does all sorts of formats - might leave me some room for expansion in the future - what do you think?
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    chaintech 710, nothing beats it for the price
     
  6. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I just canceled the order for the catalina and purchased the chaintech a710 - that card does different formats as well. I should have everything by this friday I will keep you guys posted.

    I also read some reviews on new egg about it - everyone was very happy.

    Does the card come with any decoding software?

    Does it really support dts 5.1?
     
  7. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Because it delivers the digital stream via optical bit perfect, I've had no problems getting DD-EX and DTS-ES through the optical. It does not have decoding software per se (your DVD Decoding software will do that for it once it recognizes it's a multichannel card if you need to use the analog outputs rather then digital output).
     
  8. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Arent the es 6.1? Do you know if it will do dts 5.1?
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    DTS-ES is, in fact, 6.1. However, the card properly passes 5.1 DTS on DTS encoded movies of that sort.
     
  10. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks bro, are there settings on the sound card, is it done by software or does it just know? Everyone that I talk to seems to love this card. Too bad I don't have a cable box with the digital out, but would I have been able to use that or would there have been a delay?

    I have the directv tivo with the digital out, but that one is going in the living room.
     
  11. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    I just watched SAW off the ol' HTPC the other night and the receiver locked onto dts-es discrete 6.1, so yes, the card will pass the audio bitstream as it is, untouched. You might have to do a little bit of reading about getting bit perfect output out of it. Not sure if the driver issues were worked out, but I remember using an older VIA driver set for it when I was installing it, because the newer ones at the time had problems with the resample settings.

    http://sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=654

    This link tells you how to do it, it's on the last page of the article. Like I said though, not sure if the newer drivers still have this bug or not.
     
  12. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Tony, I am going to do the install tonight. Right now I am just backing everything up. I will keep you posted!
     

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