I'm trying to understand sound systems and whatnot. For such an important part of games, I know dick all about it. I'm going to pick up an Astro headset in the immediate future, but I see it only accepts a toslink input. I don't want to buy something and have no idea how to hook it up. So that's where this tale begins.
First, a terminology question. If I say toslink, optical, and spdif, are those all synonyms or what? I know exactly nothing about all this.
Ok. The sound system I have hooked up to my tv is hooked up via an optical connection. It works fine. I have a port that looks the same on the back of my computer, so I figured I'd try it out. Plugged it in, went to the sound devices on the control panel, switched it to spdif out. Nothing. Honestly, I'm not even sure what that port on my computer goes to, since the sound card is lower on the case. I'd have to open it up and look, maybe I'll do that in a minute, but I think it's connected to the motherboard, maybe? I don't know if it even outputs sound through there. I mean, I don't think I missed something obvious, like leaving the caps on the cord or something.
I've got a soundblaster x-fi card in there, and I'm not sure if stuff has to be physically plugged in to the card to work, or what.
So here are my questions:
1. Toslink, optical, spdif, are they the same thing?
2. What ports on a computer output sound? That sounds really dumb as I type it, but someone has to ask the dumb questions. Would a port not on the card itself work? If not, why are there ports not on the card? Or how do I make that port work and screw the card?
3. I heard soundblaster cards only do stereo via optical anyway. Is that true? I've read about a flexijack thing? What is that?
4. I've got a million control panels installed, and I don't understand any of them. Am I missing checking a box somewhere?