Using 5.1 in Windows through Optical Audio

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by palebluedot, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. palebluedot macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    I just got the Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speakers and I have a mini-toss link optical audio cable plugged into it. It seems I cant get my Realtek HD control panel in Windows XP SP 3 32 bit to allow me to use 5.1 Audio. It only has headphones and 2 channel, does anyone know of a way to enable 5.1?

  2. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    i believe the decoder in the z5500's should decode it as the soundcard on the pro (afaik doesnt, just btistreams it down the optical line)

    You can try changing the output on the control pod to PLII Music or Movies depending on the source or what sounds better for your preferences.

    the source has tobe encoded in 5.1 in order to distribute the the bitstream to the sound matrix in the z5500.

    ive tried a few dvds with 5.1 dts encoding and it properly distributes it out the z5500 fine.
  3. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    Ah dang, everywhere I read/everyone I talked to said Optical Audio could do 5.1. I didn't realize there was a difference. That really stinks. So there is no point in setting the games to be 5.1 then? Like what I really wanted was to hear someone walk behind me in, say, TF2 or CS:S from my back speakers. I dont think DTS II or whatever on my logitech system does that. I figured if I could set the system to be 5.1 it would output as 5.1

    Man, I just blew a lot of money on this system for nothing haha! :mad:
  4. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I use DTS II with my PS3 - it works fine in game for surround. Fire up a game, and no matter what the Z5500 is set to (stereo, movie, music ect) it switches to "Digital" and I'm off and running in 5.1. Afterwards, it goes back to whatever I had it set to.
  5. Catch Them macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    No, what that is being stated is that, optical does carry the stream for surround, think of it like this:

    the last couple posts kind of clear up the confusion...atleast for me in regards to it.

    I aswell have 5500 set up and get 5.1 under encoded audio files.

    optical is capable of it, it just needs a DECODER and the source to have the file for it too justbecause you get a Stereo dvd or regular CD doesnt mean it will instantly turn it into 5.1

    So lets say you get a dvd that has an audio options menu.
    Stereo or 5.1

    If oyu select stereo, it will output L & R channel feeds only, no matter how many speakers you have. so lets say on the z5500 you only have a stereo audio track/file/film...even if the sound is coming out all the speakers its just duplicated L&R stereo mixes.

    now selecting 5.1
    the control pod decodes the "wrapped" file on the disc/medium itself across the sound matrix (like stated above) to properly allocate to each speaker and through the proper digital decoding.

    SO it has to be ENCODED on the medium (Dvd, audio-cd, audio-track, movie-file) so the decoder (Z5500 controll pod) can pan them out properly.

    the optical is only acting as a LINK in the chain. or a bridge if you will.
  6. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    That is why I am confused. Shouldn't there be an option under the Realtek HD audio panel to indicate I HAVE a 5.1 system. Thats how it was with analog 5.1 ... once you enable that option you can then enable games like Teamfortress 2 to be 5.1 and then they output 5.1...

    but there is no 5.1 option under the Realtek HD panel taht comes with bootcamp. So Windows has no idea i'm running an optical audio cable to a 5.1 system

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