X-Fi Titanium HD 5.1 over optical?

ICXRa

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
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#1
I've just finished one of two media PC's in Silverstone LC-17's. I intend to primarily use these to watch DVD's as well for connectivity to a HD Homerun for OTA HDTV. I have my X-Fi titanium HD connected to the TV input 3 via the RCA connectors for R & L stereo for watching TV without surround, and the mini optical jack to the optical input on my AVR-3803 for movies in 5.1. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong, but I cannot get sound from the center, sub or rear channels. The rear surround lights up and says "right rear", but it comes from the front right speaker. It's maddening, and I would appreciate any input! My AVR is configured correctly for outputting this over optical 1 input.

I currently using Windows 7 media player. I installed the X-Fi Software from the disk, as I was told by Creative Support this is the only way to get the Power DVD that was bundled with the card (although this isn't the case), but have upgraded to the latest drivers via the creative web updater.

Thanks!
 
Aug 17, 2012
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#2
What motherboard and processor are you using?
 

ICXRa

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
5,924
0
71
#3
Yeah, that might help, repurposed CPU's with P43 chipset motherboards.

Intel DP43BF
8 GIG Corsair DDR3
E6750, which is soon to be replaced with a E8500
 
Aug 17, 2012
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#4
So why do you use the Titanium at all? If I were you I'd yank it out. Your motherboard has 7.1 analog and digital optical audio outputs built in.

You could either run a digital optical cable from your motherboard to your AVR and bitstream Dolby Digital 5.1 to be decoded by your AVR, or you could have your PC do the decoding and use the analog outputs of your motherboard and analog inputs of your AVR to get 5.1 audio.

Frankly, you have no need for the Titanium and you're just introducing an unnecessary complication.
 

ICXRa

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
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#5
After working on this problem a bit more, I finally decided to take your advice and use the on-board sound. I didn't yank the X-Fi, because it's a pain to get the system out of my rack, but I did disable it in device manager. Before disabling it, I noticed that it will not let me select DTS encoding, it acts like it is going to, but reverts back to stereo.

The on-board card is showing similar issues. It will let me select DTS encoding, and 5.1 speakers, but the only way I can get surround is via Matrix, I cannot get DTS.
 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
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#6
5.1 speaker setting implies analog ouput rather than the S/PDIF, no? For simplicity and quality, why not skip the RCA cables and only use the S/PDIF to the AVR?
 

truckerCLOCK

Senior member
Dec 13, 2011
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#7
With HDMI and the majority of motherboards having on-board 5.1/7.1 it boggles my mind why anyone would buy a soundcard.
 

ICXRa

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
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#8
5.1 speaker setting implies analog ouput rather than the S/PDIF, no? For simplicity and quality, why not skip the RCA cables and only use the S/PDIF to the AVR?
I'm using going over optical, the tab I am clicking is for DTS encoding. I was only going to use the RCA's to my TV for OTA HD via a HD Homerun. I've since removed these connections as a means of trouble shooting, so currently the only thing out is optical.
 

ICXRa

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
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71
#9
With HDMI and the majority of motherboards having on-board 5.1/7.1 it boggles my mind why anyone would buy a soundcard.
AVR-3803 doesn't have HDMI capabilities, and on-board sound is experiencing the same issue as the sound card. Please go troll elsewhere!
 

truckerCLOCK

Senior member
Dec 13, 2011
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#10
So why do you use the Titanium at all? If I were you I'd yank it out. Your motherboard has 7.1 analog and digital optical audio outputs built in.

Frankly, you have no need for the Titanium and you're just introducing an unnecessary complication.

I think I pretty much said the same thing.....you have no need for an aftermarket soundcard when your mobo has build in 7.1. So I guess that makes me a troll. Good luck. :rolleyes:
 

thelastjuju

Senior member
Nov 6, 2011
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#11
You don't output DIGITAL from good sound cards, because then you bypass its DAC.. You output ANALOG from a good sound card, and use a receiver purely for amplification for the best sound quality you can get. Unless you invest in an external DAC, or have a higher end receiver, chances are your sound card's DAC is the better DAC.

But this is mostly a popular route for those of us who listen to music in 2.1. Sound cards are indeed completely useless for 5.1-7.1 digital audio, since outputting digital = bypassing all the sound card's efforts.

But digital does not mean better.. most audiophiles would probably agree digital is almost always inferior to analog stereo sound.

If you want digital 5.1, and are trying to pass the sound along by outputting DIGITAL to your receiver, you could be missing an option in some control panel somewhere to enable what's known as BITSTREAM.

Creative audio drivers can also be a bitch to get working. Especially when you have installed multiple drivers onto the same computer. I had to reformat because I couldn't rid my rig from old lingering drivers messing things up once.
 

joode

Junior Member
Mar 8, 2014
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#12
How to enable X-Fi Titanium HD 5.1 over optical.

1. Volume control (Right Click) -> Play control -> Creative SB X-Fi Speaker (Right Click - Property) -> Sound Blaster -> Configure -> Speaker -> 5.1 -> Select Creative SB X-Fi Speaker as defualt
2. Encoder -> Dolby Digital Live
3. Toslink Female to Mini-Plug Male Adapter
http://www.amazon.com/Toslink-Female.../dp/B000FMM8TO
 
Last edited:
Sep 3, 2009
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#13
First, to clear up a little confusion - Dolby Digital vs DD Live (and DTS / DTS Connect).

The encoder tab on your sound card s/w controls DDLive and DTS connect. These take non-encoded multi-channel audio and encodes it on the fly so that it can be sent over the optical cable. This is great for games and general system sounds. The trick to getting it to work right, as joode said, is that the Creative speaker output must be selected as the default sound device instead of the optical output.


Because you are talking about watching DVDs, or movies with pre-encoded DD sound tracks, you do NOT want to use the encoders built into the card. The audio has already been encoded, you just want to bitstream it through the optical output. For this you will want to set the optical out as default, and make sure everything is turned off on the decoder tab.

Next you need to configure windows to bitsream the selected formats instead of just down-encoding it to stereo. Honestly, first I would download MPC-HC. This has all of the encoders built into it, and will at least let you verify that you can get audio to bitstream correctly over your hardware.

Once you install MPC-HC, go to Options -> Internal filters and click audio decoder under Internal LAV filter Settings. Check the boxes under Bitstreaming that your AVR supports (note that TrueHD and DTS-HD require HDMI). Now playing a movie with a proper AC3 5.1 soundtrack should get you surround sound.

To get the same to work in media player or media center, you might need to install codecs to get it working right. I believe I am using LAV filters for everything (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=156191) . You might be able to get Media Center to stream DD with out filters if you go through the speaker setup and tell it you are using optical, but it's been a while since I fooled with it.
 

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