How to get 5.1 From Soundblaster Z card to my 5.1 Samsung reciever

gurasta1

Estimable
Feb 28, 2014
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4,510
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Hey so wanting 5.1 sound I put a Soundblaster Z card into my desktop, but am having trouble getting true 5.1 sound to my samsung 5.1 reciever. Hopefully I did not screw up what i needed!

The soundblaster Z card has the following ports: Optical In(x1) Optical out(x1) AUX out(x3) Headphone out(x1) and Mic in(x1) The aux outs are re configurable to additional mic in lines.

My samsung reciever/blueray player has the following ports: HDMI Out(x1) AV in(x2, two sets of red/white inputs labeled Aux in 1 Aux in 2) Optical In(x1)

I assumed(possibly incorrectly?) that optical from the optical out on soundblaster to optical in on samsung receiver could and would support 5.1 sound, however now I see that SPDIF does not actually support true 5.1 only stereo, is there a way to use this connection to support 5.1? Or is this samsung reciever ONLY able to output 5.1 sound from its blueray drive and i am kind of screwed?

As of now sub and rears are not working.
 

gurasta1

Estimable
Feb 28, 2014
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4,510
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oh the samsung reciever also has usb in and a true AUX in(1/8' stereo cord not the white/red) on the front of it that i forgot
 

gurasta1

Estimable
Feb 28, 2014
6
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4,510
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I also have realtek HD audio manager that came with my computer. The "Realtek Digital output" lists it's "jack information" as: "ATAPI Internal ATAPI Jack" However there is no other optical connection to the mobo(unless it literally is internal and needed case opened.... but assume there is just not one built into mobo)

Speakers(sound blaster Z) lists its jack information as the LR to one aux port Rears to another, sub to another and center to the front aux port, however to my knowledge my samsung reciever is not capable of taking in seperate aux inputs for each channel, the SPDIF(sound blaster z) is working currently but is only 2 channel(subs and rears not working)
 

gurasta1

Estimable
Feb 28, 2014
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4,510
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Okay i have made some progress but not still not sure if everything is correct(this is way more complicated than it should be!)

I learned that uncompressed SPDIF output will ALWAYS be stereo, and therefor Dolby digital live compression is needed, In the "Cinematic" Section of my soundblaster control panel I was finally able to enable Dolby Digital live (it gave me not supported errors many times before finally allowing the switch not sure of cause) This then allowed the test surround sound tones to play in all 5.1 speakers/sub, however my system sounds and sound from web pages were not working. Following a tip from the bottom page of the "cinematic section" of the soundblaster control panel I set "Speakers(Sound blaster z)" as the default playback device instead of SPDIF out(Sound blaster Z) as it was set to. SPDIF (Sound blaster z) has optical out labeled as its "jack" in properties. "Speakers(Sound blaster Z)" has the multiple 3.5mm aux jacks listed. But for some reason it now works even though the 3.5mm jacks are not connected, and these 3.5mm jacks are labeled as the jacks for the "speakers(Sound blaster z)" which is now set as default device. But it is playing though the optical and I now have all speakers working despite this.

So now the question is, is this true 5.1 sound? I presume the Dolby Digital live compression is "fake" 5.1 sound that i am now receiving?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
DDL is not "fake" surround (virtual surround) but is compressed normal surround sound. instead of having full quality uncompressed audio you are instead getting somewhat compressed (reduced quality) audio, however that compressed audio is the only form of 5.1 that optical supports due to bandwidth.

you have a htib (home theater in a box) set which often have the receiver/blueray player as an all-in-one unit. often you are very limited in terms of connectivity and even getting them to accept 5.1 is hit or miss so count yourself lucky that yours supports it.

your next question is likely... well how do i get uncompressed 5.1? use a standalone receiver and connect via hdmi out your motherboard or video card. this would not require a soundcard at all but would require a new receiver.

you might have been able to get 5.1 over optical if your motherboard supported DDL or DTS-C. even if it did not you could have bought a cheaper soundcard to do the same thing your Z is doing now. the Z is more than what you need however if you ever plan to get good headphones it is certainly a good choice.

 
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