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PC -> Toslink -> My Old Receiver, issue Dolby encode licensing
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 (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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post Mar 30 2013, 23:46
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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.

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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