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What's this port do?

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Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
I recently picked up an SB Live! 5.1, and I've got a question about it. There's a Digital out port on the card, I just want to know what's required to use it. Do I need a digital tuner or something for it to output to? I tried enabling it and plugged my speakers into it, but all I get is static. Did I do something wrong?
 

pip

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Location
Oregon, The InteLinux State
Oni said:
I recently picked up an SB Live! 5.1, and I've got a question about it. There's a Digital out port on the card, I just want to know what's required to use it. Do I need a digital tuner or something for it to output to? I tried enabling it and plugged my speakers into it, but all I get is static. Did I do something wrong?

pic?
 

pip

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Location
Oregon, The InteLinux State
Oni said:
What do you need a pic for? I just wanna know how/what the port is used for.

well I'm not particularly sure what port you are talking about so it would be nice to see it but if you could describe what it looks like that would probly suffice
 
OP
Oni

Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Well, it's just a regular jack for speakers, just digital.

I think I'll check the documentation on the CD later. That might shed some light.
 

pip

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Location
Oregon, The InteLinux State
Oni said:
Well, it's just a regular jack for speakers, just digital.

I think I'll check the documentation on the CD later. That might shed some light.

ok I get it now, I would just try getting the latest drivers for it that's pretty much the only thing you can do
 

JimboZ88

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Location
Vancouver B.C. Canadia...yes, Canadia
I'm pretty sure you need digital speakers for that. The old fps2000 speakers used that digital port, but i don't think speakers use it these days. Oh, and another thing, you have to select digital-out on the soundblaster setup dealy...(sorry about not being descriptive, i don't know how to do it, but remember seeing it somewhere in the Creative sound setup)

<edit>Ok i know how to do it. OPen up the play control menu, pull down the options tab select 'advanced'. Go to the advanced menu, and at the bottom it should have a checkbox to select digital out<edit>
 
OP
Oni

Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
I know it's not an IR port, 'cause I can plug my speaks into it. I guess I don't have digital speakers. Meh. My headphones might work, however.

Now my question is, will my sound quality improve if I use this particular port? If I get a set of digital speakers and enable the digital out, will I get better sound?
 

Movax

Member
Joined
May 25, 2002
Location
Ontario
You may be able to get dolby 5.1 out of the digital port if you plug it into a digital receiver. I think that's the idea.
 

Slaught

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2001
Location
UK
Just because u can plug ur speakers into it doesnt mean its not an "ir" port. It may still be the laser jobby, but just in a 3.5mm jack. My minidisc player has the same sort of port. U can get a 3.5mm jack to the other sort of optical connection cable.

Generally u need a dolby digital receiver to plug it into. No idea about digital speakers as i havent seen any myself, but i guess they probably exist.

As for sound quality i dont really know, i guess it should be better as its passing digital data instead of analogue signals...
 
OP
Oni

Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Well, it doesn't have a cap, or laser light coming out of it, so it's not an Optical port.

Meh. I guess it'll go unused for now. Still sound 100% better than my onboard sound
 

OC Noob

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2002
Location
Phoenix, AZ USA
For my audigy you would use the 3 sound outputs (2 analog and 1 digital) to connect all the creative inspire 5.1 speakers. 2 front out of 1, 2 rear out of another and center/sub out of the third. The digital out worked fine with analog speakers for 5.1, but using it for 2.1 or 4.1 I'm not sure.

If you used the digital out with digital speakers the sound quality is suposed to be a bit better because the signal doesn't degrade like analog signals do, but I don't think there is much of a difference in sound quality. Not nearly enough to get new speakers unless you already plan on buying a new set.

If you have 5.1 with 3 1/8 " jacks you should be using the digital out tho.
 

DaddyB

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Location
Toronto, Canada
Just to clarify...

Its called digital coaxial and it serves the same purpose as digital optical, that is it sends the SPDIF signal from the card to the (digital) speakers/receiver which will decode the dolby digital or PCM signal into sound. You may need a minijack -> digital coaxial adapter to use it. Basically it sends a digital signal rather then analog so it won't get any EMI, just like using DVI rather then a regular analog monitor/cable.

You can use it to output to a digital reveiver (ie home theater receiver with digital in meaning it would have a digital decoder) or you can use it to output to digital (computer) speakers (which also have their own digital decoder).

Some digital speakers are THX certified which means that not only are the speakers THX certified but the digital decoder (that is IN the speakers) is also THX certified and presumably better then the decoder on the soundcard itself, not to mention that digital speakers (with built in digital decoders) have a decoder which is chosen for that set of speakers and one would assume more complimentary of the speakers.
 

timmyqwest

Disabled
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Location
illinois
exactly, furthermore you need a digital cable...it's not just a regular RCA chord...not sure if that came up (i'm sure it has but, just in case)
 

OC Noob

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2002
Location
Phoenix, AZ USA
Its probably not a digital coax if he was talking about pluging headphones into it. Audigys have a 1/8 " digital out port and I'll bet its the same for the Live 5.1.
 

Diamond4D

Registered
Joined
May 7, 2003
Location
NH
Ok, no offense but you guys are talking about a different port. Oni I have the same thing on my Sound Blaster 5.1 Live, and the only thing I've seen that port used for is my 4.1 Logis where it uses the digital for the output on the rear speakers when you set the sound settings for 4.1 speakers in windows. There are some Boston Acustic speakers that came with Gateways that require "digital only" and use this port instead of the regular one. But I havent seen/ heard of using this port for anything else. And for the people that want to know what it looks like it looks just like a 1/8 RCA, it is not optical or coaxical. I hope this clears things up. Its just an older card and digital then did not mean what it means now.

*Edit* It is not a "laser" b/c laser=optical and is not for a reciever.
 

HotKoala

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Location
Between Heaven and Hell
DaddyB said:
Some digital speakers are THX certified which means...

And that means nothing lest your room is THX certified as well=P

Speakers are also analogue by nature, and it is only parts of the receiver that are digital. Just picking on words.