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Old 19th August 2011, 10:12 AM   #1
reverse is offline reverse  Scotland
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Default Dolby Decoder Board


I've been looking for ages to find a DIY style decoder for DTS/Dolby. The preamp/power amp is all sorted with remote etc - currently audio supplied from DVD player builtin decoder but want to change to either optical from PS3 or similar.

Ideally, what would be nice would be a simple HDMI --> analogue to get the uncompressed streams.

Was wondering if anyone had pulled apart whats called a 5.1 AudioRush or comes under many other names it seems for about 50 delivered.

Something like this, with absolute minimum settings would be primo. I'd think adjustable delays etc I would put into the analogue preamp stage (i don't know enough about digital electronics to build digital delay), as would be the low pass for the sub channel if this thing doesn't already do that.

How have other people build their home theater sounds without resorting to a standalone decoder box?


looks like this:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 19th August 2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2011
I'm far from an expert in this space - but from what I understand it's almost impossible to make this type of venture work commercially due to the very strict licensing requirements for Dolby decoding technologies, etc.

Maybe I'm wrong and there's a bunch out there - but my brief search into this very thing was fruitless due to this issue.

Most advice seems to be "find a cheap HT proc/amp with pre outs"...

Sorry. Hope it's helpful.
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Old 20th August 2011, 07:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SCOTLAND
You could always rip one of these apart and build into a premp...


or this kit might do:
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Old 20th August 2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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Location: Anonymityville
You want HDMI -> Analog 5.1/7.1?

There's this....

HDMI To Optical Surround Sound 5.1/7.1 Stereo Converter | eBay

BTW, the Chinese don't give a rats *** about licensing. I don't have much sympathy for the licensing agencies in these cases either; I think it's BS what they charge.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 10:44 AM   #5
reverse is offline reverse  Scotland
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Thanks for those links.

With a bit more digging, I ground the following review:

HD Audio Rush 5.1 Decoder Review
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Old 7th September 2011, 12:54 AM   #6
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Location: Vancouver Island
Probably better to buy something like a Technics SH-AC500D. Typically less than $100 on eBay. SGHT rated it class B, which was pretty high praise considering they normally favour things with one or two more digits in the price tag. It makes a fine standalone digital pre/processo since it has a remote control for volume, input selection, and surround modes. A generous 4 S/PDIF inputs (2 RCA, 2 Toslink), and one set analogue pass-through (no volume, but if you can live without DTS, I believe the SH-AC300 did volume control on the analogue input). A bunch of other brands produced similar modestly priced boxes intended as add-ons to "digital READY" AV receivers, but AFAIK only Technics produced a second generation model with DTS. One other gotcha: the speaker management features (phantom centre, bass management) seem to be bypassed when DTS is used: when I was running a 4.2 setup, I added a few resistors to my active crossover to sum in the LFE and Centre signals to L & R so I could watch my two DTS laserdiscs properly.

Supposedly a Creative Extigy can serve as a standalone DD decoder. There's also been a few car audio DD processors; with luck you might find one on the bargain table at a local car stereo store (like I did, with a Technics CY-AC300). And some boxes that were bundled with or intended as upgrades to 5.1 computer powered speakers. Midiland, Klipsch, Roland, Creative. Overpriced on eBay, but you might find a dusty sun-faded box at a local computer store.

But why bother? HDMI audio makes DD obsolete. DTS less so, since it supports much higher bitrates.
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