Alienware X51 5.1 Dolby Digital Problem!

Alienware Club

Alienware Club
Share your Alienware experiences and join in the conversation with other Alienware users.

Alienware X51 5.1 Dolby Digital Problem!

  • I am currently playing battlefield 3 in Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound:):0. Woooohoooooo. I am using the sound blaster x fi 5.1 pro. This game is now officially the dogs testicals! I am absolutely delighted to say the least

  • Irishlad147

    I am currently playing battlefield 3 in Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound:):0. Woooohoooooo. I am using the sound blaster x fi 5.1 pro. This game is now officially the dogs testicals! I am absolutely delighted to say the least

    Moral of the story is that the Optical Port on the X51 is useless for anything other than DVD/Bluray.

  • Irishlad147

    I am currently playing battlefield 3 in Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound:):0. Woooohoooooo. I am using the sound blaster x fi 5.1 pro. This game is now officially the dogs testicals! I am absolutely delighted to say the least

    Is that the usb adapter?  How did you get that so fast?  Is it easy to set up for dolby digital live?  How is the channel separation for games?  Did you attach to a rear usb port or do you need it in the front to use the remote?  Can you leave card in and by pass the dolby digital live when watching a dvd/bluray that is already dolby encoded without having to unpliug the card?  

  • Here is a person that accidentally got 5.1 surround working in BF3, because he was using HDMI.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/324160-28-dolby-digital-live-sound-card-video-card-hdmi

    Also, read to the bottom of the thread:

    GameK316 says:

    Dolby Digital live is ONLY need to get 5.1 over the OPTICAL port; you can get surround sound just fine out of HDMI/Analog without having to bother to down-convert audio to Dolby/DTS standards. [Optical does not have the bandwidth to carry multi-channel PCM audio].

    So in this case, your HDMI output from the GPU is doing all the audio processing, and sending 5.1 PCM over HDMI. The soundcard is doing nothing.

    I think that's why it's hard to find much on the net about this issue. Since everyone is using HDMI in the Living Room (with their nice amps) these days, it's turned into a "non-issue" (it just works).


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • GEO147

    Moral of the story is that the Optical Port on the X51 is useless for anything other than DVD/Bluray.

     
    I think your statement is fairly accurate ... all sound cards are becoming useless as people move to HDMI.
     
    I think companies like Creative are worried because the need for their products is disappearing. Sorta like Hayes and US Robotics (modems). At least Realtek has networking chipsets and got the contract with AMD.
     
    Even the nice USB headphones come with a "sound card" built-into the cord. Unfortunately, due to licensing costs, they don't decode every format under the sun either.

    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • @MG1959. Sound is perfect 5.1 Dolby digital just like you get on Xbox 360 or ps3. I went to a store to buy it. Very easy to set up. Just install software from disk that comes with it. Just enable Dolby digital live by ticking a box and away you go:). Sound is amazing. You can use it for everything. I'm getting Dolby digital 5.1 while listening to the music I have on my computer!!! I am watching YouTube videos in Dolby 5.1!! It's a brilliant little device. Remote works fine no matter where you plug it in. It's about the same size as your typical external hard drive. It's really sweet looking too. Sleek black colour and it has a nice little blue led light when turned on. Looks great sitting beside my x51, they were made for each other;). The control panel of the sound card is very nice. Clear hd images and text and very user friendly too. Sound blaster do different versions of external cards or USB sticks so make sure your looking at the right one.

    Sound blaster X fi surround 5.1 Pro is the one you want. I cant believe how well it works and how easy it was to set up. Much prefer this set up to the hdmi way which Does not work for me or my equipment anyway. The remote is really nice too. The sound on battlefield is amazing MG. order yourself an X51 tonight and buy this little device. You won't be dissapointed I promise you. Regarding your other question. The sound blaster just appears as another audio device in your list. Can easily be disabled and changed to the Realtek card in 2 clicks. Although I don't think I'll be switching from this little beauty as it can play all audio on my x51 in Dolby Digital 5.1:):):). The gaming experience I am getting now is complete and in my mind the pinnacle:). Very happy gamer here. I am not blaming Alienware for anything. They simply did not have the space to fit a discreet sound card inside and if they did we would then be losing space for future upgraded and vital airflow space needed for graphics cards etc. now stop posting in this thread and get the credit card out will you!

  • Glad you found something that works for you.

    One of the best examples of "Directional Surround Sound" that I have found so far is in Fallout New Vegas. So, (as a simple test) if you walk straight up to a stationary object that is making noise, the sound comes from the Center speaker. As you slowly turn around, the sound that object is making shifts to each of the other 6 speakers. This also applies to moving objects like people talking. Like you said, it would definitely work to hear someone sneaking-up behind you. Ambient music seems to be coming from Left, Right, and Back. SubWoofer is working also.

    Not really required when playing in the office on headphones, but in the Living Room, I can see why you would want it.

    As I check different games, I am seeing a few different implimentations of surround technology. Of course, total number of discrete channels available, but also other small things. You can definitely see that each game is in-control and only delivers the sound experience that the developers programmed into the game.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • It looks like the version of OpenAL (3D suround sound environment) that comes with GRID on Steam, might not be the right one (maybe because of Windows7-64 or something else). All I know is I got it to work nicely.

    What I had to do is:

    Download and Install GRID and supplied OpenAL

    Run GRID once

    Uninstall OpenAL and reboot

    Go to Creative Labs and get the latest OpenAL version, and the ALCaps Viewer/Tester.

    http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/Downloads/Forms/AllItems.aspx

    Install this new version of OpenAL. Might as well run the Viewer tester and make sure it tests ok

    Run GRID.

    Notes:

    No surround until you get to the real game interface menu.

    GRID won't even start if OpenAL is not installed.

    Leave Sound Hardware Acceleration option "Off". These means it will just use "Software" ... as in OpenAL software.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • So check this out ... I got my Onkyo 607 (7.1 channel) amp to display Dolby Digital EX instead of Multi-Channel. Still connected via HDMI of course. The amp still says PCM, (and the Dolby Digital EX is probably just the "Listening Mode") but it seems to think it's the same.

    But there is another part to this ...

    I'm pretty sure Mikeklimek's amp is also 7.1 channel or better. So, in Windows Control Panel Sound Speaker config ... we naturally set it to "7.1 Surround", instead of just "5.1 Surround". I know I do because I also use this HTPC for 7.1 Blu-Rays.

    So, if you set Windows to 7.1, the amp says Multi-Channel PCM . If you set it to 5.1 ... PCM- Dolby Digital. Actually, the amp is reading Dolby Digital EX (which is a little better ... almost 6.1 IIRC or meaning 5.1 with a single Back channel). According to some other docs I recently found at Dolby.com, it might also be Dolby Digital Plus.

    So, if a game has 6 channels of sound (5 + .1 sub = 6) they get distributed among the speakers in different ways, depending on the above setting. Like this:

    7.1 Surround (8 channels available) Multi-Channel PCM

    Left, Right, Center
    Back Left, Back Right
    Sub
    - Surround Left and Surround Right stay off (because we are out of channels)

    5.1 Surround (6 channels available) DolbyDigital Plus

    Left, Right, Center
    Surround Left, Surround Right
    Sub
    - Back Left and Back Right stay off  (because we are out of channels)

    But if a game has 7 channels of sound (5 + .1 sub + EX = 7) they might get distributed like this:

    6.1 Surround (7 channels available) DolbyDigital Plus

    Left, Right, Center
    Surround Left, Surround Right
    Back Left and Back Right (playing the same EX channel so this counts as one-channel)
    Sub

    For gaming, (even with a 7.1 amp) ... I'm kinda liking Windows set to 5.1 (DD 5.1 EX or DDP) I think. The only problem is this might not provide to optimal speaker config when playing Blu-Rays (with True/Master HD 7.1 audio) from the HTPC (I'll have to look into and test this later).

    Edit: I guess I should mention that this testing was done on GRID (running OpenAL). Other games will might provide different sound channels. However, GRID is pretty old, the CodeMaster devs generally know what they are doing, and OpenAL is a common standard ... so it should be a good test of games from 2008 forward.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • More interesting info:

    Windows 7 featuring - Dolby Digital Plus (up to 7.1 surround)

    www.dolby.com/.../microsoft-windows-7.html

    www.dolby.com/.../dolby-digital-plus.html


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Wow  I went from page one  to the end  !!!!

    Conclusion?????  

    Do we need to buy an USB Sound card to make the X51 work as it supposed to?

    Or we have a software solution?

    Thanks  for your enlightenment, after reading  all i ended up confuse ,,,   Sheers  all and  thanks!!!

     X51/i7-3770GTX670 Phantom-The Shadowy Beast/ 8GB1600 MHz DDR3/ Intel SSD 160GB/ Momentus XT 500GB/Blu-Ray/Samsung Galaxy S3

  • solrac135

    Do we need to buy an USB Sound card to make the X51 work as it supposed to?

    No, of course not.

    But if you want to connect it to your home theater system (amp), you should use the x51's nVidia mini-HDMI port.

     


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Sorlac As the thread has progressed what should becaparant is that the X51 will do everything over HDMI through your amp and then to TV (according to some including Tesla) including Dolby 5.1 for games. However this is NOT the case for everyone and may depend on your amp. The X51 has Optical/ Toslink connection also and this will also provide Dolby 5.1/DTS for movies or as they are encoded with 5.1 on the disc. But if your setup over HDMI via amp does not give 5.1 for games you may need to get an external sound card like Irishlad147 did as the optical connection will NOT provide 5.1 for sure, as it does not have Dolby Digital Live support and can not pass Multichannel PCM which is what games seem to use. The sound card used in the machine is a middle of the road card and in my opinion a better card should be in the X51 as standard that supports DDL as then this thread would not even exist.
  • Thanks GEO  and  thanks TELSA  i really read  it all, but as there was so much info  i swear at the end i ended up confuse LLlolLL

     X51/i7-3770GTX670 Phantom-The Shadowy Beast/ 8GB1600 MHz DDR3/ Intel SSD 160GB/ Momentus XT 500GB/Blu-Ray/Samsung Galaxy S3

  • @tesla. The best example I have found of directional surround sound is with every game I have tried so far with my USB sound card. I love Dolby digital surround sound, always have and always will. I feel my solution of using the external sound blaster sound card is by far the most straight forward to be honest. I'm getting Dolby digital with YouTube videos and music too! It's absolutely brilliant. I have the X51 connected directly to my TV as its supposed to be. The hdmi route will not work for everyone but my route will. Furthermore, in my opinion the sound blaster sounds better then any of the sound devices on the X51. I read that having the video signal running through an amp can cause input lag which is not nice.