DIGITAL 5.1 surround sound in games using an amp and speakers, possible?

By Hybrid ยท 8 replies
Aug 27, 2003
  1. I have an amplifier with the usual digital inputs (optical and coaxial). I have some 5.1 speakers coming out of the amp. I already use digital optical connections to the amp for my PS2 and separate DVD player, now I want to hook up my PC to it for 5.1 surround sound in games... However, ideally I want it digital.

    I currently have the Soundblaster Live 5.1 DE, and am aware that I'm going to need to upgrade that as it only has the Creative digital output which can only go into Creative speakers :(.

    Is there a soundcard out there that will plug into an amplifier via a digital connection and give me true 5.1 digital surround sound in games? Is that even possible?

    The closest I have come to realising this *dream* is the Hercules Game Theater XP, but that only allows for analog 5.1 connections, is there a card out there that can do it digitally. Remember this is for games only, I have a separate DVD drive for DVDs.

    Much thanks to anyone that can help/advise. :)
  2. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    If you amplifier can decode Dolby Digital then your only option would be to get a nForce/nForce 2 motherboard which supports Dolby Digital encoding. No other Soundcard will give you what you're looking for - though if your amp. supports 5.1 analog input you could always use that.
  3. Hybrid

    Hybrid TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Unbelievable! I just got an nForce2 mobo and luckily this one does have the Dolby Digital output.

    I'll read about it and the mobo in particular just to be extra sure. But you're convinced the Dolby Digital output will work for surround sound in games, rather than just DVD's?

    Thanks, your reply was of great interest and help.
  4. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Yup, it'll encode everything to Dolby Digital. I've got the nForce APU control panel applet covered here as regards setting it up.
  5. Hybrid

    Hybrid TS Rookie Topic Starter

    wow, thanks for the quick reply, and that little article is great. I never even knew Dolby Digital was a lossy format. Sounds like a pain turning it off and on all the time between playing games and listening to MP3's though.
  6. Mork Engel

    Mork Engel TS Rookie

    Ignore previous messages.

    Don't waste your money on what they told you to get. Get a Creatvie Soundblaster Extigy External Soundcard, It supports 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and can use both analog and digital speaker systems, it has four 1/4" speaker outputs ( digital out, Center/Sub, Rear, Front), one SPDIF IN, a MIDI IN and MIDI OUT, and of course a USB connection in the back. The front features a Fiber Optical In and Out, three 1/4" stereo jacks (Line In, MIC In, and Headphones), a Mic Level control, a Master Volume Control, a CMSS Mode ON/OFF button, and a Power Button. CMSS is a feature that upmixes any mono or stereo source into 5.1 Digital Sound. The Extigy also let's you have as many sound sources going into the speakers as you wish and it even comes with a programmable remote which can even control any PC application! But the best feature is that the Extigy doubles as a Reciever, what I mean by that is that you DON'T NEED A PC to USE ANY OF THE FEATURES and the sound quality beats just about any $20,000 HiFi Home Theater provided you get excellent speakers. I am able to play all my Playstation 2 and PSX games in full 5.1 Surround Sound even if the games don't support it!

    For more information go to
  7. Mork Engel

    Mork Engel TS Rookie

    Another suggestion

    Buy an Extigy even if you have than Nforce MOBO because if you use the Extigy as a reciever your audio quality will be better than any soundcard on the market, even better than the Extigy itself, all you need to do is hookup a cable to the Digital Out of the Extigy to the Digital In on the Nforce APU or Vice Versa, whichever works best. You won't even need to use the USB connection!
  8. Enforcer5150

    Enforcer5150 TS Rookie

    I know im late on here but the sound card i use is a sound blaster audigy 2 zs platium it comes with an expantion bay for digital output i love it love it :). everthing that was mentioned on the pervious post is in this card optical in and optical out also has SPIDF cant go wrong. theres an augity 4 out now wish i would have waited 2 more months :(
  9. lifeshard

    lifeshard TS Rookie

    dead post? lol sorry =(
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