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I'm thinking about moving my PC into the living room to use it as a HTPC. I have a Creative Titanium now, but it does have any digital outputs. Does anybody have any recommendations for HTPC sound cards?
 

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ATI 5700 series does Bitstream over HDMI. Or wait until early next year for the 5600 series which will likely be quieter, use less electricity, and be less expensive.
 

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Actually I found out that my card does have a digital out. But when plugged into my receiver its only PCM 2CH. Do you know of any accesories that can convert the signal to allow me to use 5.1?

My card is the Creative XFi Elite Pro Fatality Series
 

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Can't convert 2ch into 5 channel dedicated, so your AVR will just use dolby pro-logic to look at phase and such to spread the sound to 5 channels.
 

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Can't convert 2ch into 5 channel dedicated, so your AVR will just use dolby pro-logic to look at phase and such to spread the sound to 5 channels.
Hmm... Ok well it doesn't do that very well. LF, center, and LR come out of the LF speaker. All others come out of the sub. Something's messed up. What kind of sound would I get straight from the motherboard? It's a EVGA 780i. Thanks for the help by the way.
 

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What AVR do you have? What surround Field are you using?

If you mobo has analog outs and your AVR has analog 5.1 inputs, use those.
 

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What AVR do you have? What surround Field are you using?

If you mobo has analog outs and your AVR has analog 5.1 inputs, use those.
Ok I'll do that. And what sort of sound quality should I expect?

I have a Rotel RSX1065. I don't know what a surround field is. I'm guessing the answer you're looking for is 5.1?
 

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There are various technologies to process surround sound, Dolby (Movie, Music, etc.), DTS (Neo 6 and other jazz). It's not really important as a reason why you'd only be getting sound from the left channel, but could explain poor bass management or lack of surrounds.

As far as sound quality of analog vs digital, unless you are pickup interference in your cables, it should be equal quality. Do understand that you'll likely need to manage crossovers and surround processing in your computer as most AVR 7.1 inputs pass the audio straight through to the amp section with little to no processing.
 

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I'll do that then. Thanks a lot for all your help Marshall. By the way, do you know of any good KVMs? My wife is getting tired of seeing my computer in the living room.
 

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Why not use this http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/ (better than mediia player 11 but you can use that as well) and this http://ac3filter.net/ . Documentation is there for setup , you can use an Toslink cable to AVR sending bitstream using that Titanium card and acfilter , i do this with my Xfi Prelude if i want to watch a film on my Pc works a treat .
 

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the only problem with the x-fi cards is that you have to toggle between digital IN and OUT, cannot use at same time. For me that means either use my tv tuner in or didital bitstream out .
 
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