Only 2 Channel option available in drop down menu for SPDIF playback

Oct 2, 2018
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Hello guys,

I just got my Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card yesterday.
It is connected via an optical cable which goes directly to my 5.1 speaker.

So when I tried to enable Dolby Digital encoder in the SoundBlaster Z control panel, I had to go to Playback setting and make SPDIF-Out my default communications device AND the Speakers my Dedault device (see attached picture, top one). If I do this the other way around, I would NOT get sound when I watch Netflix. The movie won't even play. Is this normal?
(Btw, my speaker is said to support Dolby Digital decoding)

Lastly, in the SPIDIF-out playback setting, I click on Properties and Advanced, but then I only see a drop-down list of 2 channel 16 and 24 bit options (see attached picture, bottom one).
There were no 5 channel although my speaker is 5.1 and the sound card itself also supported 5.1. Is there a way to resolve this issue?

Thank you very much for your time and inputs guys. I truly appreciate every answer.

Attached pictures: https://imgur.com/a/nrn4l7R
 

doolittle

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That's normal, SPDIF output is only 2-channel so that's not going to change. The surround is encoded into the PCM signal, and the speakers will properly decode it.

AFAIK if Netflix is streaming through a browser, the browser audio may not properly encode the signal so your speakers will not decode surround. You will need the Netflix app from the MS store that will properly encode surround audio in netflix to your speakers.
 

doolittle

Distinguished
That's normal, SPDIF output is only 2-channel so that's not going to change. The surround is encoded into the PCM signal, and the speakers will properly decode it.

AFAIK if Netflix is streaming through a browser, the browser audio may not properly encode the signal so your speakers will not decode surround. You will need the Netflix app from the MS store that will properly encode surround audio in netflix to your speakers.
 
Oct 2, 2018
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10
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Thank you, that does clear things up significantly.
I mean it's just really frustrating having to switch between Default Device and Default Communication device for the Speaker and the SPDIF-Out playback. I never really get how this works lol.

Regarding your comment on Netflix, I never thought that streaming through the app from MS store would make a difference but apparently it does. Thanks a whole lot!
 
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