I have a decent Linux HTPC setup with onboard 7.1 out. It's not high end or anything but I'm happy with it. My only problem is that I have various devices that have Toslink output and nothing to decode them with. I don't want to buy a receiver if I can help it, and the mobo does not have either Toslink nor SPDIF in.
Is there a cheap way to get Toslink/SPDIF in? I'm guessing I don't have many options besides USB, but all my googling tells me that any sort of device that does SPDIF -> USB shows up as a USB microphone when it comes to the OS. Is that the case? If so, is it just a driver issue? I'm willing to hack up a Linux driver that will do the right thing if it's physically possible to get the bitstream to the host CPU with bearable latency.
Any help would be appreciated!
Edit: Forgot to mention, the mobo is tiny and doesn't have space for a regular sized soundcard, so no Creative or Turtle Beach or whatever cards.
Some of the TI/Burr-Brown USB sound chips include S/PDIF in and out options. Finding an off the shelf device that implements those options is another thing. I know of (and have) an ADStech "Instant Music" which I've used for recording from an outboard ADC using S/PDIF; it has Toslink in and out. If you need coax, it wouldn't be too hard to modify. If you need remote switching of digital inputs, an outboard TV source selector box will probably work if you feed the coax S/PDIF through the yellow video jacks.
On the other hand, Dolby Digital A/V receivers have been showing up at thrift stores for as little as $20. 5.1 HDMI A/V receivers can be found new for around $200, although they don't have many S/PDIF inputs any more.
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