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Opitcal Out = No Configuration Options?

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#1 Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 14:32

I have just connected a new 5.1 surround system, which sounds okay so far but when I go to check the configuration and test each speaker the "Configure" button greys out.  Is this normal?

 

I am using the S/PDIF out with a bog standard optical cable.

If I go back to analogue cables then I can test each speaker fine.

 

Thanks



Best Answer Roger H. , 13 December 2013 - 14:37

Yea as mentioned Windows does do anything with digital connections - it just passes the audio as it's stored in the file to the receiver to be processed. That's kinda the point of being digital, you get to hear it as it was intended (unless of-course you change it up at the receiver).

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#2 Lord Method Man

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 14:35

You can't configure S/PDIF out like other speakers in Windows. The output will always be 2-channel PCM unless you have a Dolby Digital or DTS source in which case it will be passed through.



#3 Harrison H.

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 14:35

I'm pretty sure this is normal for digital connections. That's because the configuration is supposed to be done on the system that converts it to analog, which in this case in the 5.1 surround sound system.



#4 Roger H.

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 14:37   Best Answer

Yea as mentioned Windows does do anything with digital connections - it just passes the audio as it's stored in the file to the receiver to be processed. That's kinda the point of being digital, you get to hear it as it was intended (unless of-course you change it up at the receiver).



#5 OP Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 15:06

Hmm.

Not sure it was a good thing moving on from the three cable solution.

 

I have it connected to a HTPC.  Sometimes the movies will have DTS, other times it might just be AC3 audio.  I'll have to have a play around with different videos that I know are surround, DTS or AC3.



#6 Lord Method Man

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 15:10

They should all play. What you're doing with S/PDIF is offloading the analog to digital conversion from your PC to an external receiver, hence there are no speaker Configuration options for it.



#7 +FiB3R

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 15:27

Do your PC and surround sound receiver both have digital coaxial? If so, that is the better option, rather then optical.

What is the make and model of your surround sound system?

What software are you using to play back your movies?

#8 Roger H.

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 15:36

Hmm.

Not sure it was a good thing moving on from the three cable solution.

 

I have it connected to a HTPC.  Sometimes the movies will have DTS, other times it might just be AC3 audio.  I'll have to have a play around with different videos that I know are surround, DTS or AC3.

 

That depends on the file you are trying to play. If the audio is only encoded in AC3 then that's what the HTPC will pass to the receiver. If it's DTS sound then it will pass that based on what's selected (usually Dobly Digital 2.0 is included as well). 

 

So has nothing to do with optical or anything. Use your receiver to tune the audio as preferred or leave it in it's original form to be enjoyed.

 

Also optical vs coaxial shouldn't be any different as they are both digital, 1s and 0s. Coax doesn't send a "nicer" 1 than Optical and vice-versa. It sends it exactly as it is stored in the file.



#9 MillionVoltss

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 15:38

Its good though for DTS, Dolby etc sound, the external system will automatically detect the new signal and change accordingly.



#10 +FiB3R

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 16:40

Also optical vs coaxial shouldn't be any different as they are both digital, 1s and 0s. Coax doesn't send a "nicer" 1 than Optical and vice-versa. It sends it exactly as it is stored in the file.

There are tons of debates about that. This one seems to give a decent argument to both sides without getting ridiculously technical.

 

http://www.avforums....-optical.22163/



#11 OP Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 17:22

Well, not very HTPCish but it's a Logitech Z906 system connected via an optical cable to the PC motherboard (no sound card).

It also seems VLC was confusing things by selecting "Stereo" instead of S/PDIF out.  When I switched to that, sound was much better and very well rounded.

 

I tried out a couple of different files but as they were all using S/PDIF out then it was hard to tell what was proper surround and what wasn't.  However after running a number of different tests using various DVDs and Blurays then I should think the Logitech will sort itself out with whatever is coming through the wire.

 

For testing, I connected the old 3-cables but there was little difference when running the surround sound test.  I guess I will really notice when I watch something that is true 5.1... although it'll probably creep up on me like it did on my ancient Creative iTrigue 5600.



#12 Lord Method Man

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 17:27

Ah, so VLC was decoding the AC3/DTS itself and passing it along as stereo PCM. That would be an issue. Best to just use S/PDIF passthrough for everything.

 

I have a Z906 system though I very rarely use digital inputs as I use multichannel analog output instead. If you just keep it on the optical input it should handle all the switching just fine.

 

I don't know what your intended use is, but keep in mind you will only get multichannel sound over S/PDIF from AC3 and DTS sources. If you plan to use it for gaming you will only get stereo PCM over optical.



#13 OP Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 21:52

Thanks :)

No gaming though.  Movies / TV series only.

Just got to go through the collection and see what has what type of sound and how many channels!  Although I did find one movie tonight had about 3 second delay time for the rear speakers which was strange.  Only happened at a couple of points so I guess something wrong with the file.  Will have to try copying from the disc again.



#14 HawkMan

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 22:34

Do you have a sound card or built in, in some cases it might be better for you to use a sound cards DD live or DTS interactive to encode for the digital out, as you would get surround from all sources including games that normally wouldn't give surround out for digital out.