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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 4th February, 2005, 05:05 AM
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Need help from an Audigy 2 ZS wiz!

Hi,

I've been building a movie/music/gaming machine and picked up an Audigy 2 ZS with built in DD and DTS decoding -- unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get the card to actually deliver 5.1 sound from either DVD's or DTS DVD-A's. It's always stereo. I have the digital data cable installed between the DVD ROM and the Audigy card -- Now what?

Ideas anyone?

Thanks -- Trevor
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Old 4th February, 2005, 09:54 AM
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use the analogue 5.1 connection to a 5.1 input. problem is the card already decodes it to 5.1...it doesn't encode it for the PCM signal.
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Old 4th February, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS
Hi,

I've been building a movie/music/gaming machine and picked up an Audigy 2 ZS with built in DD and DTS decoding -- unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get the card to actually deliver 5.1 sound from either DVD's or DTS DVD-A's. It's always stereo. I have the digital data cable installed between the DVD ROM and the Audigy card -- Now what?

Ideas anyone?

Thanks -- Trevor
Hi TrevorS
The audio cable from the DVD drive may not pass 5.1
I dont use the Audio cable and havent for years!
Remove it, the audio data will be passed through the Ribbon cable. Once you have sound, you should be home and dry as all 5.1 channels will be present when the sound card is configured correctly.

I could of course be going off on the wrong foot.
Let me know.

Chernobyl
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Old 4th February, 2005, 11:07 PM
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Hi Cadaveca,

Not sure I understand you correctly, but the digital connection I mentioned is between the DVD/CD ROM drive and the card, not the card and the speakers. The speakers are connected via the 5.1 analog outputs, which have been verified to be working properly (all six channels).

Hi Chernobyl,

I realize the stereo analog cable is not typically used anymore (left it off), but since the multichannel signals from the drive are probably present on the drive digital output, it seemed logical to route them to the designated internal card input. The Creative documentation provides no clue as to what path is actually used for that data (digital cable versus IDE data path), so at least I should have those bases covered.

Yes, I have sound when playing back DD5.1, and DVD-A DTS, but only stereo. With DVD DTS, there is no sound at all. The only 5.1 media I can currently play successfully is MLP 5.1 using the Creative DVD-A Player. (As long as I skip the many titles which appear to be incompatible with their player )

As a new owner of an Audigy 2 ZS card, I have configured it as well as I can determine (configuration is largely automatic). But since nothing I've found points me towards a solution, I can't tell if I'm overlooking something. However, I can definitely tell I'm stuck.

Ideas?
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Last edited by TrevorS; 4th February, 2005 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 4th February, 2005, 11:27 PM
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In the audigy AudioHQ’s applet, there is the option to change what happens in this case. I have never been able to get a DTS signal to work yet, not in 5.1, beside selecting the PCM passthrough option in the audigy AudioHQ, and allowing my stereo to do the decoding itself, mind you i currently use and AudigyLS, and not the same card as you.

Creative hardware does DD or DS only, afaik, and no DTS. getting the stereo dvd-a is probably a seperate pcm stream there, i dunno. I had thought a while ago about replacing alot of my home theater gear with a pc, but it just does not seem to work. I'm hoping that the audigy4 will work for me, whenever it arrives, if it arrives.


Quote:
DVD MOVIES AND DVD-AUDIO
  • Soft-DVD player: Intervideo's WinDVD® 2000 or CyberLink's PowerDVD® 3.0 and above recommended
  • DVD Drive: 2nd generation 6X DVD-ROM drive or later with DMA support for DVD Movie and Audio playback
Quote:
The Digital Output is always active except when playing DRM encoded content, at which point it is disabled. This is a requirement of DRM support otherwise the Audigy 2 would simply not be able to play DRM encoded content, e.g. DVD-Audio, as would be the case for other non-supporting soundcards.


Quote:
If you happen to like Creative MediaSource as your preferred media player, an online update adds DTS Neo: 6 Surround support as another optional up-mixing feature.
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Old 4th February, 2005, 11:47 PM
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ZS platinum pro will do it, i believe. Maybe i am missing something, and yours is the same card, but your question is one that i have been meaning to have answered for a while. BEst i can give is what i have found.
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Old 5th February, 2005, 06:36 AM
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The card used in the ZS Platinum is the identical card that I have with the Audiogy 2 ZS Gamer. The Platinum includes the 5-1/4" I/O panel which expands hugely on the limited I/O options on the rear of the card alone.

All versions of the ZS package provide DTS and DD 5.1 decoding, including THX matrixed and DTS discrete rear centers (though it generates two rears -- don't ask me how that works ). It appears the thing with the 5-1/4" panel (equivalently the external I/O box) is you can use the card decoders to support external sources (DVD player, etc).. That's perfect for a home theater box, but doesn't appear to include sources internal to the PC itself -- which was my expectation.

I tried switching the output to digital instead of analog and got a series of video/DTS fragments -- chopped up and missing alternate slices, freeze frames in-between. Frankly, I'm not sure if even that output was 5.1, but at least it was clearly DTS.

In my case, I have no external decoder to accept a digital signal -- the speakers are driven directly from the card (all analog). My expectation was the Audigy 2 ZS would perform the digital audio conversion task. Looking at the retail box and the provided documentation (including the website), there is no reason to suppose it won't.

However, I'm developing the suspicion that despite the wonderful decoders the card includes, they are worthless without either an external source for Platinum (or its I/O box sibling), or a full blown video playback program such as WinDVD Platinum for an additional $69 to support PC internal sources.

However, even if that's the case (which I don't understand), it seems to me WinDVD Platinum will drive a mainboard's native 5.1 channel outputs with decoded DD5.1 and DTS anyway (using software algorithms) -- it doesn't require hardware decoders. In other words, if it's necessary to use a full blown WinDVD to playback DD5.1 and DTS 5.1 with a ZS, what is the point of the ZS? Offloading the CPU from having to crunch the DD5.1 or DTS? If so, why can't they simply say so?

Are they afraid people won't buy the Audigy 2 ZS if they realize it's necessary to buy top-of-the-line third party software as well?
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Last edited by TrevorS; 9th February, 2005 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 9th February, 2005, 01:59 AM
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I ordered a copy of WinDVD 6 Platinum which arrived today. Installed it, got it configured, and guess what. Everything works just right, full surround DTS, and DVD-A and everything.

So, if you decide to buy a Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS, just remember you also have to buy WinDVD 6 Platinum (or a same level competitor) if you actually want your money's worth.

-- Trevor
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Last edited by TrevorS; 9th February, 2005 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 9th February, 2005, 02:42 AM
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Ain't that a joke? Thanks for the info..i have power dvd, and am seriously considering a ZS gamer. I'll give it a whirl, and we'll see how it goes..i have recieved a copy of power dvd with every videocard and dvd drive i ever bought, and that's quite a few!


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Old 11th February, 2005, 12:29 AM
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I tried a few things before giving up. Neither my WinDVD 4 nor PowerDVD 5 enabled me to get more than stereo sound. However, you probably won't notice that at first because Creative's EAX console features CMSS 3D which simulates the other channels in your speaker configuration. I wasn't able to really see what the situation was until I disabled that. Even a DTS music recording played multi-channel with the CMSS treatment (though not a DTS sound track on a DVD movie/video -- couldn't make that work regardless).

The card is perfect for gaming, and the five included full games are a great deal. It's just the other advertised capabilities that I couldn't find a way to tap. If you discover something, please pass the word.

Trevor
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