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  SPDIF-out on my laptop? 
 
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A_Pickle Jan 20, 2009, 08:57pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Hey, all.

As of late, I've been trying to get better audio to come out of my laptop, after discovering that my Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit External [http://www.soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=1&am...duct=10702] (it's a USB sound card with analog 5.1 outputs, and a full optical SPDIF-out) is nigh useless in Windows Vista for everything but music listening. Now, my laptop is an Alienware Area-51 m5790 [http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3586&revi...ware+m5790] -- it was advertised to have 7.1 surround sound audio, and sure enough it possesses a Realtek ALC880 HD Audio chip. Now, I completely lack the analog 5.1 connectors (most laptops do), but I do have a blue 3.5mm analog Line-In jack, a green 3.5mm analog Headphone jack, and a red 3.5 mm analog Microphone input jack. And, according to my Realtek HD Audio Control Panel, I have a digital SPDIF output -- seemingly integrated into the green 3.5mm analog jack somehow.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v176/A_Pickle/SPDIF.jpg <-- Pic of Realtek HD Audio Control Panel
It appears to have some digital output coming from the green connector?

My question is, how would I use this SPDIF? Is there an adapter that I could purchase that would turn this 3.5mm "digital" output into a standard SPDIF Toslink connector?


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Liquid Shadow Jan 20, 2009, 10:05pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Many soundcards integrate SPDIF output into the analog 3.5mm jack, as in the case with the SB X-Fi. What you need is a digital coax SPDIF cable, and a 3.5mm-Mono RCA adapter, remember it has to be mono and not stereo, you can get it from RadioShack. You will then connect the adapter to one end of the SPDIF cable, and plug the adapter into the 3.5mm output jack, and the other end of the cable into your digital speakers or receiver.

I'm using this setup with my SB Audigy 2 ZS and Logitech Z-5500 speakers, the Audigy 2 has a 3.5mm digital out jack but it's not integrated into the analog output jack. Hope this helps.



--------------------------------------------------------------
ADK 1Q AR Laptop
Core i5 520M | 4GB RAM | ATI HD4570
A_Pickle Jan 20, 2009, 10:13pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
....that sounds complex. Any way you could link to some products?

Jan 20, 2009, 10:28pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 20, 2009, 10:30pm EST

 
>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
"Digital coax" is a scam. Any old RCA coax cable will work.

You don't even really _need_ a mono cable. I forget which channel mono cables pull from, but any 3.5mm->RCA cable
(eg. http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/3026/355mm20to20rcawg2.jpg)
will work, just try one channel and if that doesn't work, use the other. :P

You can find those cables around here even at the dollar store. You can probably find a mono3.5mm-to-RCA cable at RadioShack on the cheap.

Going to TOSlink will be a bit more complicated (and expensive).

A_Pickle Jan 20, 2009, 11:48pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
...and that outputs 7.1-channel digital audio?

Jan 20, 2009, 11:59pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
If that's what your soundcard supports, then probably. I've gotten them to run PCM and 5.1 Dolby and DTS signals, with 7.1 you might have to use a cable closer to the 75ohm spec.

Dr. Peaceful Jan 21, 2009, 03:56am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Buy some Coaxial RG-59 cable, crimp 3.5mm plug on one end, then crimp RCA plug on the other.

El cheapo "RCA cable" for composite video, analog audio are having too little shielding, may be too prone for interference for multi-channel digital audio use.

A_Pickle Jan 21, 2009, 12:30pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Honestly, all I want to do is use the S/PDIF on my laptop to output to a set of 5.1 Logitech Z-540 speakers (as far as I know, they're analog only).

Jan 21, 2009, 12:39pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Uhh ... well, if your speakers/reciever don't have a digital input/decoder ... that's not going to work old bean.

Liquid Shadow Jan 21, 2009, 01:05pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
MkFly's right. Although I wonder if there are digital to analog converters out there that can do what you need.



--------------------------------------------------------------
ADK 1Q AR Laptop
Core i5 520M | 4GB RAM | ATI HD4570
Jan 21, 2009, 01:12pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 21, 2009, 01:17pm EST

 
>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Yeah, there are, but they're not very cheap. I was looking at one a few months ago for $80 that would convert PCM on optical or coax to stereo analog RCA.

Although for your situation, going from SPDIF to 2-channel analog would be worthless lol ... since the laptop can do analog stereo just fine in the first place. :P

EDIT: Here's the one I was looking at a few months back:
(DTA) http://tinyurl.com/gefen-dta
They also have an ADT just like it: http://tinyurl.com/gefen-atd

A_Pickle Jan 21, 2009, 04:42pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Is there a way I can go from the 3.5mm S/PDIF-out to a standard TOSLink-out, and then just hook up a set of Tritton AX360's?

Liquid Shadow Jan 21, 2009, 04:52pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
I don't think you can convert digital coax out to TOSlink because the actual optical component is missing, but please correct me if I'm wrong.



--------------------------------------------------------------
ADK 1Q AR Laptop
Core i5 520M | 4GB RAM | ATI HD4570
Jan 21, 2009, 05:38pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 21, 2009, 05:38pm EST

 
>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
You can ... but not with a simple adapter. You'll need an active converter.

The website for those headphones states that it will take a coaxial input ...

A_Pickle Jan 23, 2009, 09:30am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
So, to connect those headphones with my computer via the coax, all I'd need is that 3.5mm --> RCA mono cable? The one you linked a few posts up?

Jan 23, 2009, 11:39am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Yes, but as DP said, if you cram enough channels into it (like 7.1), the low amount of shielding on the cable could be a problem. I personally used generic RCA cables just like that for years for 5.1 and never had a problem, though.

I would buy a cheap RCA cable and see if it works well enough -- if it doesn't, you're only out 1 or 2 clams.

A_Pickle Jan 23, 2009, 12:46pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Eh, 5.1 is good enough for me. I don't need or plan to get 7.1, my laptop just... apparently... has that capability. Whee, but... feh.

A_Pickle Feb 15, 2009, 01:51pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Sweet! Alright, I just comprehended this entire thread. I rock. :D

maulik vyas May 17, 2010, 06:44am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: May 17, 2010, 06:45am EDT

 
>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
Hello guys, this is my first post.

I just got logitech z-5300 (pre-owned). Its a pretty neat system. It has SPDIF output. it doesn't have any digital inputs.

I have a sony fw490 laptop and it has just 2.0 speaker config. So in order to get 5.1 surround, what options do i have?

Should i be getting a 5.1 sound card? If yes, what are my options?

Also i have a 64-bit Vista and would be upgrading to 64-bit Win 7. Is there are any sound card that supports 64-bit version?

I would really appreciate if someone helps me out of this mess

Thanks

A_Pickle Apr 27, 2013, 02:50pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
You MIGHT need a 5.1 sound card, but you may have the same situation I had with my laptop. I only had three 3.5mm analog audio outputs -- but one of those audio outputs (the green speaker output) was dual-mode. It could function as a standard, two-channel analog audio output (for regular headphones and speakers), or it could function as a 5.1/7.1 digital S/PDIF audio output.

Unfortunately, as you noted, your Logitech speaker set does NOT have a S/PDIF audio input... so you would need some device capable of converting the digital surround sound output from your laptop to analog surround sound that you could then plug into your speakers.

It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that such a device is unbelievably rare. I've searched long and hard for one, and actually ended up owning one entirely by accident -- the "amplifier" and/or control box for the Tritton AX360 5.1 surround sound gaming headphones just so happens to have this capability -- but they're reallys**tty headphones, so don't buy them just for that box (besides, the box only accepts OPTICAL S/PDIF, not electrical over RCA).

Your best bet would be to probably purchase this sound card:

http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi-Surrou...4DEDCA.htm

john albrich Apr 27, 2013, 04:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SPDIF-out on my laptop?
A_Pickle said:
...(besides, the box only accepts OPTICAL S/PDIF, not electrical over RCA)....


Even though old thread, some folks might not know that SPDIF converters
Optical==>RCA(coaxial) or RCA(coaxial)==>Optical
are available as well. I don't remember the brand I bought but I got them for about $15 each and all have been working great for years. (brand is not printed on the ~1.5"x2.5"x0.5" box)


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