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Old 30th June 2004, 09:34 AM   #1
Robin is offline Robin  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: East Midlands
Default Multichannel SPDIF soundcard?

Does anybody out there know of a pc soundcard that provides full 5.1/7.1 outputs in digital format (discrete digital channels rather than the AC3/DTS digital stream).

My interest in this is a project to use a HTPC to directly drive digital input active speakers in multichannel configuration. At present it seems only systems like the processors from Meridian offer discrete multichannel digital output.

I guess the other alternative would be to use an existing multichannel soundcard and pull of the I2S signals to drive SPDIF transmitters.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Robin
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Old 1st July 2004, 02:58 PM   #2
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The only card with multiple spdif outs that I'm aware of is the Lynx AES16 (www.lynxstdio.com). It actually uses AES outputs, so you'd need adapters/xformers for normal coax input spdif devices.
Unfortunately, I don't know whether it's compatible with typical DVD decoder software.

You could also consider a card with an ADAT port and an Alesis AI4 ADAT->SPDIF box, but once again I'm not sure which ones are compatible with DVD software.

Some versions of the SBLive and/or Audigy series apparently had multiple digital outs as well, but I don't know much about those. The resampling problems with these cards wouldnt' be as much of a problem with AC3/DTS material, as these are 48kHz to start with.
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Old 1st July 2004, 03:53 PM   #3
Robin is offline Robin  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: East Midlands
Many thanks for your input dwk. It seems crazy that there aren't more products, pc-based or hifi decoders that offer multichannel digital out, as it seems like the way forward for digital input amps or digital active speakers. Meridian obviously does it for their DSP speakers but I don't think I have found any other products that offer it.

Maybe it is because of the copy issues with outputting high resolution data digitally (i know that some companies have got round this by offerring encoded, proprietry outputs on fire wire like pioneer and denon).

Cheers

Robin
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