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WHY WONT YOU PLAY THROUGH MY SPEAKERS!!! (surround sound and PC = issues)

GleveGleve Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey. I have a surround sound system that I have conneceted to my PC via an optical cable, but it won't play in 5.1. All I'm getting at the moment is 2.1

I have realtek AC'97 sound card, and my panasonic surround sound is state of the art. If you could suggest anything to fix the issue, or let me know how to find out if my system is capable of running it.

I wants to play modern warfare 2....

Gleve on
telcus wrote: »
!vote for Gleve that was funny that you bandwaggoned yourself mate :)

Posts

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    go to control panel (switch it to classic view). open up the sounds, make sure you are in the playback tab. there should be 1 device with a green checkmark on it, right click on it and go to configure speakers. switch the output to 5.1.

  • GleveGleve Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Im on xp, and I dont have a sounds tab per say. I have a sounds and audio devices, but there isn't a playback tab listed there....

    telcus wrote: »
    !vote for Gleve that was funny that you bandwaggoned yourself mate :)
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    thats fine, open up sound and audio devices. on the volume tab look down at speaker settings and click advanced. then at the bottom of that screen under speaker setup select 5.1 surround sound and click ok.

  • Geek LordGeek Lord Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Be aware that depending on the age of your motherboard, the optical output might really be limited to 2.1. My old Abit NF7 motherboard for my defunct AthlonXP 2400+ had this 'feature'.

    If that's the case, any old discrete sound card from up to 5 years ago (probably more) that fits in any of your PCs slots (PCI or PCI-E) should support 5.1 through the optical-out.

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino omfg Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Geek Lord wrote: »
    Be aware that depending on the age of your motherboard, the optical output might really be limited to 2.1. My old Abit NF7 motherboard for my defunct AthlonXP 2400+ had this 'feature'.

    If that's the case, any old discrete sound card from up to 5 years ago (probably more) that fits in any of your PCs slots (PCI or PCI-E) should support 5.1 through the optical-out.

    actually, relatively few modern motherboards with onboard sound actually output 5.1 through the optical out.

    only a few do, and you have to look at the features to make absolutely sure the onboard sound can process 5.1 out of the optical.

    it's one of the ways MB makers market their boards, by claiming optical out as a feature but not including the more expensive parts for actual 5.1 optical out.

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  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    One important thing to note.
    On my motherboard at least, it does 5.1, but only if a 5.1 source is actually playing.

    So like, when I did the little speaker test in windows it went around the room, but when I played mp3 files in wmp, it did not come out of every speaker.

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  • useruser Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You may still be able to score 5.1 through a series of 3 8mm jack to RCA connectors depending on the connections available on your motherboard and speakers.

  • KoboKobo Registered User
    edited March 2010
    First you need to get into realtek's sound manager, not the windows one. Sometimes there will be a Realtek something or other in the control panel to start it, or it will be in the system tray as a red speaker icon. Look for an audio I/O tab so that you can tell it that you have a 5.1 system, and you have to tell it what is plugged into each jack. You might also need to enable a feature called something like "speaker fill" to have it use all of the speakers when dealing with sources like stereo music files that would only use front left, front right, and the sub normally.

  • GleveGleve Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Unfortunatly, I've done that. I went into realtek and told it I had 5.1. None of the tests play correctly through my back speakers. My assumption is that the optical can only handle 2.1.

    Time for a new sound card if I want to play mod war 2 in surround I'm thinking.... Sigh.... thanks anyway!

    telcus wrote: »
    !vote for Gleve that was funny that you bandwaggoned yourself mate :)
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Ok, you cannot get 5.1 from games through optical, they are not in a format your receiver can decode. Only a few soundcards will actually encode game sound into something it can read. DVDs are already encoded for your receiver to read.

    The easiest thing to do is get 3 "3.5 to RCA" cables, this will give you 5.1.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=5598&seq=1&format=2

  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Cabezone wrote: »
    Ok, you cannot get 5.1 from games through optical, they are not in a format your receiver can decode. Only a few soundcards will actually encode game sound into something it can read. DVDs are already encoded for your receiver to read.

    The easiest thing to do is get 3 "3.5 to RCA" cables, this will give you 5.1.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=5598&seq=1&format=2

    Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it has been my understanding that a 3.5mm cable can come in a few varieties, either mono or stereo, the particular cable you linked to is stereo, and while his receiver might give him sound from all speakers in an "extended stereo" mode, I fail to see how stereo sound (left and right analog channels) is going to equate to five audio channels and a separate bass channel.

    If his receiver doesn't support the audio format he's using, he should probably just change the audio format to one that his receiver can understand.


    OP.

    The exact model of receiver you have,and an example game you're having trouble with would be helpful here.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Please don't try to help if you don't know what you're talking about, you're just adding confusion.

    If your computer has an optical out it'll be capable of 5.1. There will be 3 3.5 outputs in the back of your computer. One for L/R front, one for L/R back, and one for center/sub. Your receiver will have a section for plugging in RCA cables for each speaker. This will give the surround you're looking for in games.

    That first cable I linked may not fit 3 in a row on a computer, I'm looking for a slimmer version.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=665&seq=1&format=2

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino omfg Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Cabezone wrote: »
    Please don't try to help if you don't know what you're talking about, you're just adding confusion.

    If your computer has an optical out it'll be capable of 5.1. There will be 3 3.5 outputs in the back of your computer. One for L/R front, one for L/R back, and one for center/sub. Your receiver will have a section for plugging in RCA cables for each speaker. This will give the surround you're looking for in games.

    That first cable I linked may not fit 3 in a row on a computer, I'm looking for a slimmer version.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=665&seq=1&format=2

    uh, no.

    http://support.asus.com/faq/asus-faq.aspx?no=B2A2F2F2-F3C8-0494-43EE-4B1AF0C54951&SLanguage=en-us

    the problem is in the hardware. the actual hardware necessary to properly decode a 5.1 channel signal for optical out is simply not included on some motherboard designs. like i said, motherboard manufacturers do this to be able to market their mobos as having onboard audio with optical out, but save money by not including the relatively expensive 5.1 decoding hardware for the optical.

    if you're in the market for a motherboard with onboard audio and 5.1 optical out, make sure the onboard audio actually has the decoding hardware for Dolby Digital Live or DTS-Connect.

    otherwise, your on board audio should have separate 1/8in jack connectors which will work fine for 5.1 surround sound, provided you have the speakers or receiver which can take 1/8in connections. this will usually be in the form of three connections, one for the two front speakers, one for the two back speakers, and one for the center and sub.

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  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Cabezone wrote: »
    Please don't try to help if you don't know what you're talking about, you're just adding confusion.

    If your computer has an optical out it'll be capable of 5.1. There will be 3 3.5 outputs in the back of your computer. One for L/R front, one for L/R back, and one for center/sub. Your receiver will have a section for plugging in RCA cables for each speaker. This will give the surround you're looking for in games.

    That first cable I linked may not fit 3 in a row on a computer, I'm looking for a slimmer version.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=665&seq=1&format=2

    uh, no.

    http://support.asus.com/faq/asus-faq.aspx?no=B2A2F2F2-F3C8-0494-43EE-4B1AF0C54951&SLanguage=en-us

    the problem is in the hardware. the actual hardware necessary to properly decode a 5.1 channel signal for optical out is simply not included on some motherboard designs. like i said, motherboard manufacturers do this to be able to market their mobos as having onboard audio with optical out, but save money by not including the relatively expensive 5.1 decoding hardware for the optical.

    if you're in the market for a motherboard with onboard audio and 5.1 optical out, make sure the onboard audio actually has the decoding hardware for Dolby Digital Live or DTS-Connect.

    otherwise, your on board audio should have separate 1/8in jack connectors which will work fine for 5.1 surround sound, provided you have the speakers or receiver which can take 1/8in connections. this will usually be in the form of three connections, one for the two front speakers, one for the two back speakers, and one for the center and sub.

    He's wrong about the optical = surround bit, but he's not completely off base on the idea with the splitters.

    If the receiver has an "external in" it would be able to accept the surround sound in that format. he would just need 3 of those splitters, one to split front left/right one to split surround left/right and one to split sub/center out of the black green and orange ports on the sound card.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I was not talking about surround through the optical. I meant that if the mobo has an optical out it's going to have the 3.5mm jacks for 5.1 output.

    If a person wants to run 5.1 through optical they want something with dolby encoding capabilities, not decoding.

  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Have you checked to make sure all the wires are plugged in?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • GleveGleve Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Im running optical, so yes, the cable is plugged in correctly.

    With regards to the 3x cables, my surround sound won't allow me to send via this method. I can only connect it via optical for some reason....

    telcus wrote: »
    !vote for Gleve that was funny that you bandwaggoned yourself mate :)
  • GleveGleve Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My surround sound system is the Panasonic DVD Home Theatre Sound System Model No. SC-PT875

    My Motherboard is the A8N-SLI standard motherboard.

    I just tried to use the HDMI connection from my graphics card to the system, but the HDMI connection on the surround sound is an out, not an in, and the only other connection available is the optical, which is plain not working.

    With all that information, please help me! if not, tell me which sound card to buy!

    telcus wrote: »
    !vote for Gleve that was funny that you bandwaggoned yourself mate :)
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah that's not a full on receiver, only has a coupla connections. If you want to use those speakers you're going to need a soundcard that does DDL.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829118109

  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Cabezone wrote: »
    Yeah that's not a full on receiver, only has a coupla connections. If you want to use those speakers you're going to need a soundcard that does DDL.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829118109

    People assume that because their games can be played in surround sound through their computer speakers, they can automatically be played in surround sound through their integrated optical port. I would say that is probably the biggest misunderstanding gamers who know hardware suffer from these days.

    Unfortunately, for those who are wondering, I'm not sure if there's a way to encode the sound using that sound card (or any other card) and THEN send it over the HDMI on a video card, so I think for now we are stuck with two cables no matter what for HD video and surround sound coming out of a PC.

    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I mistread your post, you're correct there's no good way to send sound via HDMI for gaming currently.

  • GleveGleve Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Im wanting to do it through the optical, so Ill have to organise a sound card Im imagining!

    Thanks!

    telcus wrote: »
    !vote for Gleve that was funny that you bandwaggoned yourself mate :)
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