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Terratec SoundSystem SiXPack 5.1+ Review

TerraTec Electronics are a semi-well known company, depending on where you happen to live at least. If youíre living in Germany then you probably have heard of them before Ė they are the largest manufacturer of Soundcards in Germany . The SoundSystem SiXPack 5.1 + is one of their latest Soundcards & aimed mainly at the Gamer, & those with 5.1 Speaker Systems.

Installation

Installing the SiXPack 5.1 was fairly simple, find a free PCI slot & insert it in. Should you wish you can also connect the MIDI/Gameport bracket up to the Soundcard as well Ė this will also require a space to insert it as well (Not a PCI slot itself though), the cable itself is long enough so that it shouldnít be an issue (In my case I wrapped the cabling around my Hollywood Plus to place it in the free slot beneath it). Upon booting up Windows 2000 the Soundcard was detected & prompted to install Drivers for it (Windows 2000 comes with CrystalFusion Drivers, although I had deleted these, so rather than being auto-installed I was prompted for Drivers). Later on Iíll talk more about the Drivers themselves.

Hereís a shot of the Soundcard itself, along with the separate MIDI/Gameport bracket.

Bundled Software

The SiXPack 5.1 comes bundled with the following variety of Software:

  • InterVideo WinDVD

  • Musicmatch Jukebox

  • Emagic Logic Fun

  • Free- & Shareware

As you can probably guess by far the most compelling Software bundled with the SiXPack 5.1 is WinDVD 3.0 MultiChannel. A high quality, albeit resource intensive Software DVD Decoder (Compared to Power DVD 3.0 in my experience with it anyway). With regard to Audio playback the bundled version of WinDVD 3.0 supports the following Audio Output modes.

Itís worth noting that this is the non-DTS version of WinDVD 3.0, although as can be seen on the InterVideo website, the DTS version costs $20 extra so itís safe to assume that bundling the DTS version of WinDVD 3.0 would just serve to increase the price of the SiXPack 5.1. If youíre connected to a 5.1 Speaker system with the available Analog outputs on the Soundcard you can always use the 6 speaker mode for 5.1 playback of DVDs. It is of course worth mentioning that this is the only situation in which you can get 6 Speaker output from the SiXPack 5.1 (More on this later on), or with other Software DVD decoders, e.g. Power DVD 3.0.

 



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