Creative Sound Blaster 16 PCI heeft stiekem een S/PDIF uitgang

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Onderzoek van Anders M. Olsson heeft uitgewezen dat de Creative Sound Blaster 16 PCI geluidskaart, zonder dat Creative het ons laat weten, een S/PDIF uitgang heeft. Deze kun je bijvoorbeeld gebruiken om het geluid van DVD's digitaal naar een Dolby Digital versterker te sturen. Onderstaande tekst geeft aan hoe je de S/PDIF uitgang moet aanzetten:

Sound Blaster 16 PCI (CT4740) is now Creative's entry level sound card. It's much more powerful than Creative Labs care to advertise. So powerful is the card that they named it inconspicuously and crippled the drivers, probably to avoid contention with some of their more expensive cards. It even incorporates a fairly well hidden digital port. When activated, the left channel in the analog line out socket doubles as S/PDIF out. This port can be used to output an AC-3 digital audio stream to an external decoder. To accomplish this, you need several things:

  • A decoder (amplifier, receiver) for Dolby Digital (AC-3)
  • A 75 ohm cable with the proper connectors
  • The OEM drivers for the ES1373 chip (
  • The latest version of DVD Genie (
  • ATI or CineMaster player with the latest decoding engine (v1.0.29 at the time this article was written)
Connect a 75 ohm cable from the left channel of the line output (green jack) of the sound card to the S/PDIF input of your AC-3 decoder (amplifier, receiver). The impedance of the cable is critical. A 75 ohm video cable is OK, but don't use regular audio cables. A ready made cable will probably come with RCA-plugs at both ends, so you may have to use an adaptor to fit the sound card's 3,5 mm stereo-jack. The right channel in the jack stays unconnected.

Support for digital output is absent in the drivers that come with the card, so you need to install the ES1373 OEM drivers instead. Once the drivers have been installed, you can enable digital output: Open Control Panel and double click the System icon. Select the Device Manager tab. Click the + box at the "Sound, video and game controllers" heading to expand it. Double click the item "Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI 64D". Select the Settings tab, and change Output Mode to Digital.

With that done, all you need to do is load DVD Genie and go into the extended CineMaster settings (More...) and as an S/PDIF output select 'Ensoniq / SB live'.

Now, fire up the ATI or Cinemaster player, and enjoy true 5.1 channel Dolby Digital (AC-3) sound without the need for any dedicated DVD decoding hardware in your PC!

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