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Digital SPDIF connection -> A7N8X Delux

By Captain_Jon ยท 12 replies
Dec 1, 2003
  1. Need some help... I recently bought a Plextor PX-708A (an internal recordable DVD and CD writer) and I would like to connect this unit to the motherboard (A7N8X Deluxe). However I have no idea where I can get the proper cable...

    The Plextor has a 2-pin Digital Audio Output connector. The board has a 6-pin SPDIF connector (only 5 pins are active). The 5 pins are SPDIF In / Ground / +5v / SPDIF Out / Ground.

    Are there special SPDIF cables that allow me to do connect these units? If so where and what are they called?

    If not, what do I need to connect... do I only need a 2-pin cable to connect the Plextor to the SPDIF In pins on the motherboard or do I need to connect the +5v also?

    Am I right in thinking that I have to make this digital connection in order to have my DVD player pass the digital audio signal to any SPDIF output ?
  2. Hitman`

    Hitman` TS Rookie Posts: 41

    The SPDIF connector is external only. If you are trying to play cd's or dvd sound from the drive, you will have to buy a sound card with a digital imput because the A7N8X doesnt have one. (I own the board too) the drive should have a 4 pin analog output on the drive too. Use this one instead. There is not difference because it comes out the SPDIF connector the same digital or not. If you really want to use it, you should buy a sound card that supports digital in instead of forcing it through the SPDIF connector, because it is coded.
  3. Captain_Jon

    Captain_Jon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hitman... thanx for the reply... however you have me confused! Are you telling me that I cannot use the digital output of the DVD unit because the sound board built into the motherboard doesn't support digital in?

    What then is the purpose of the 6-pin connector on the board, which clearly has In and Out connections? What is the SPDIF connector on the back panel for if I don't have any Digital In connectors?

    Sorry, but I don't understand your comment when you say not to force the digital connection through the SPDIF connector, because it is coded... what do you mean by "coded"?

    Am I correct in assuming that if I cannot get the digital audio signal from the DVD player (i.e. by using the analog output) then I cannot get 5.1 playback?
  4. Hitman`

    Hitman` TS Rookie Posts: 41

    The output on the dvd drive is digital and so is the SPDIF connector, but the SPDIF connector is a 5.1 channel digital output, so you will have to more than likely have to solder the wires to the connector, but you first must know which wires do what, so its a major pain. Its would be best to use the analog out to your sound card, and then use the SPDIF out connector to yor home theatre. (if that is what it is for) The signal is then processed by the sound card into a digital 5.1 channel stream (if your codec supports dolby surround, it obviously does, due to the digital in and out) There is little difference between the two drive connectors, so it doesnt matter much.
  5. Hodsocks

    Hodsocks TS Guru Posts: 382

    There is a SPDIF connector on the motherboard as you suggest but it may only be present on the deluxe version of the board, hence the confusion. It is designed to work with an optional SPDIF card that can be purchased for the board which connects to this connector and will allow you to connect your cd-rom.
  6. Captain_Jon

    Captain_Jon TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Yes, I have the deluxe version and it does have that SPDIF connector on the motherboard... what confuses me is that the optional SPDIF module, that you refer to, would appear to give me SPDIF connections at the back of the PC (SPDIF In & Out). However, I have an internal DVD player which I would like to connect digitally and internally.
    Shouldn't I simply be able to connect my 2-pin out digital connection from the DVD player to this SPDIF connector's In pins (Board has a 6-pin SPDIF connector (only 5 pins are active). The 5 pins are SPDIF In / Ground / +5v / SPDIF Out / Ground)?
    Now, of course the next question would be, if I can connect it in this way, will I get the digital sound, from the DVD player, through the existing SPDIF out connector on the back panel? My guess is that it should work given the following note that Asus makes in the manual:

  7. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Cant you use digital output of the DVD in the Driver on the control panel? That is how CDROMS work.
  8. Captain_Jon

    Captain_Jon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm not sure what you are referring to?? Can you be more specific.. Which Control Panel program? Is this the NVidia nForce Control Panel?

    Just for clarity... What I'm trying to determine is how I should best connect my internal DVD/CD player to the sound card. On any of the CD players that I have used, in the past, the connection was a wire from an analog output to an analog input on the sound card. However, my new Plextor DVD/CD player has both analog and digital connectors at the back. My simple logic is that a digital connection to the sound card (the motherboard in my case because the sound card is integrated into the board) would seem to make more sense than making an analog connection and then doing some form of conversion to simulate digital output to my speakers.

    Maybe I'm way off base (technically speaking) but this approach seems logical if it can really be done. Now the question I am asking is can it be done?

    As an aside, I am sure that if I use the analog connection, from the Plextor DVD/CD player to the Mboard, that the sound output would probably be great... However, if there is another way to do it that technically produces better sound then I would like to know that.
  9. lfcolon

    lfcolon TS Rookie

    In searching for SPDIF I came accross this tread. If you have not solved the problem of you digital connection of you DVD, this is what you need to do.

    The digital connection of DVDs and CD Roms is done internally by the OS and the mother board, you don't even need analog cable hook up.

    Do the following if your are using WinXP.

    1. Click on START.
    2. Click on Control Pannel.
    3. Click on Performance and Maintenance.
    4. Click the System icon.
    5. On the windows that opens, click the Hardware tab.
    6. Click on Device Manager.
    7. Click on the + sign on DVD/CD ROMS to expand it if not allready expanded.
    8. Right click on the device (DVD or CD ROM)
    9. Click on Properties.
    10. On the windows that opens click on the Propeties tab.
    11. Click on the box for "Enable Digital CD Audio for this CD-Rom Device" if it is not allready checked.
    12. Click OK.
    13. Close all windows.

    This should enable you to use the digiatal ouput of your DVD or CD-Rom. (You have to do the same thing for the CD-Rom).
  10. rcarson

    rcarson TS Rookie

    the digital output on your dvdrom has two pins, one is for data and one is ground, to connect your digital out on your dvd you will need to find which pin is data/ground on the dvd. Once you have figured that out you will want to get a cable that has 2 wires that looks just like your analog cable (the 3 pin cable). What I have done is take a pair of scissors and cut the analog sound cable connectors down so that I have one piece with two wires and one piece with one wire, you will then be able to connect the digital out of the dvd to the proper pins (2) on your A7N8X-Deluxe mobo.
  11. Thosking

    Thosking TS Rookie


    Hi Captain_Jon,

    Did you get this problem resolved? I am wondering if you tried rcarson's home-made 2 pronged wire, and if it worked.
  12. rcarson

    rcarson TS Rookie

    < snip >

    Okay so I didn't know what to write and wrote it in the wrong thread...
  13. Thosking

    Thosking TS Rookie

    Digital output

    Here is what I am trying to do, and why:

    I put my new DVD R/W - CD/RW installed on IDE2 as Master... (I want it to have its own IDE cable).

    I put the old CD-ROM as slave on IDE1 with the HDD. This CD-ROM is just for listening to music.

    I hooked up both Optical devices' anolog connector to the mobo - 1 via "cd-in", other via "aux". Both work fine (haven't gone beyond testing CD audio yet).

    I have 2, (maybe more) software players available to listen to music. The one I like has a neat graphic equlizer feature, and (of course), it is the cause of the problem...

    ...When using it, the IDE activity light on front panel lights up solid. (Nero audio player, or some such thing). When I use the microsoft media player, the activity light just gives an occasion blink. Default sound w/out equalizer is so, so, but with it's great, so I really want to keep this feature.

    I don't want all this IDE traffic (to?) and from my "simply for music" CD-ROM to be "hogging" the data cable to my HDD.

    How's this for long winded, so far?...

    Anyway, I figured the Nero product was sending the music digitally via the IDE1 cable, and if I provided an alternate digital route, I'd have the best scenario - Digital quality music, fully adjustable via equalizer, a quiet IDE1 cable, and an isolated DVD R/W that can send digital via IDE2 to it's heart's content.

    ..thus my interest in how this digital to S/PDIF setup worked out. (I too have the The 5 pins: In / Ground / +5v / SPDIF Out / Ground).
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