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Thread: 4 Channel Surround Sound?

  1. #1

    Default 4 Channel Surround Sound?

    I have a 4.1 surround setup that the computer sees a 4 channel setup (stuff going to subwoofer is split out in hardware so all the computer sees is the front and rear l/r channels).

    All well and good, but phonon isn't giving me an option to set my output to 4 channels, only stereo (which means my rear speakers are useless) or 5.1 (which makes me fear losing channels if I play anything with actual surround sound).

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: 4 Channel Surround Sound?

    I have a 4.1 surround setup that the computer sees a 4 channel setup (stuff going to subwoofer is split out in hardware so all the computer sees is the front and rear l/r channels).

    All well and good, but phonon isn't giving me an option to set my output to 4 channels, only stereo (which means my rear speakers are useless) or 5.1 (which makes me fear losing channels if I play anything with actual surround sound).

    Any ideas?
    If what you have is a sound card/sound chipset directly connected to a set of amplified speakers, I think that for normal listing, you will not be hearing anything from the back speakers. Now, there may be some way, in a configuration file, to manually channel front sound to the rear, but such a modification will be custom to your exact computer sound device. For what it is worth, most such functions are part of the sound utilities and/or driver package in Windows. In Linux, if the manufacturer did not write a driver or the basic driver was just open sourced, such extras as you would like just do not exist. Now, the ability to deal with Dolby Digital 5.1 does depend on a built-in decoder being present and the ability to use that from a movie player and this is a different issue from turning stereo sound into four channel sound.

    So, my direction was to find a sound card that can connect to an external receiver using coax or an optical connection. I have had some luck with built-in chipsets and 5.1 sound such as Realtek ALC892 & ALC893 even as I have found ALC889A codec's to suck in every way. I have had the best luck with Creative Labs Audigy and real X-Fi sound cards in which many have both coax or optical connections that work well with receivers. For such a setup, you must use standard speakers with no amps, many of which can be found for little money (as little as $30 a pair). These receivers can be set to deliver sound in what Sony calls multi-stereo mode yet automatically switch to Doby Digital 5.1 when the right signal arrives.

    What does this mean to an inexpensive setup using a built-in audio chipset and a less than $100 set of speakers in Linux? I am thinking that you need to learn a lot more about your audio chipset to determine if sound configurations can provide you with what you want. You might consider looking around for a 5.1 receiver on sale to match with your computer. For instance I found a Sony 5.1 model, 100 watts per channel for $129 at Christmas. What I see is that an outlay of about $600 might be required going the discreet way to achieve 5.1 sound. There are lots of other options and a really good set of computer speakers can be had under $250, but it is hard to determine just what they will do in Linux. Since I use my setup to view movies, I feel is a good investment, but perhaps not for an occasional Linux used system.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  3. #3

    Default Re: 4 Channel Surround Sound?

    3 Things :
    1. Sound already comes out the rear speakers when it's set to 5.1 mode
    2. Quadraphonic mode has worked out of the box with several other ditros
    3. My sound card is a Realtek 7.1 built into the motherboard

    Do you know there the config file for Phonon lives? I tried googling for it but I wasn't having much luck actually finding it...

    PS I have looked at discrete 5.1 setups, I've always kinda wanted to build a triple Leach amp actually (though my electronics skills aren't really there), but in any event that kinda financial outlay just isn't possible for me right now considering my bank account doesn't even have 200 dollars in it and I'm between jobs...

  4. #4
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    Smile Re: 4 Channel Surround Sound?

    3 Things :
    1. Sound already comes out the rear speakers when it's set to 5.1 mode
    2. Quadraphonic mode has worked out of the box with several other ditros
    3. My sound card is a Realtek 7.1 built into the motherboard

    Do you know there the config file for Phonon lives? I tried googling for it but I wasn't having much luck actually finding it...

    PS I have looked at discreet 5.1 setups, I've always kinda wanted to build a triple Leach amp actually (though my electronics skills aren't really there), but in any event that kinda financial outlay just isn't possible for me right now considering my bank account doesn't even have 200 dollars in it and I'm between jobs...
    So I am thinking you may be wanting to find an Alsa configuration file as it is still there, but I am not the expert on that subject. However, can you tell me the chipset used on your Realtek 7.1 sound setup and let me find out what I can on it? As for spending money you do not have, please don't do that due to anything I have said. I might also add that I never went out and spent that much at one time either. I am the kind that finds a single item on sale, buys it and puts it away until I have purchased the last item I need. Speakers, sold it pairs, are always purchased on sale, but buying only two at a time creates a kind of Frankenstein system of sorts, though not made from any dead body parts so far.

    For instance, my bass speaker is a Kicker 12" auto model I found on sale at Fry's for $40. It sits in a speaker box I found on the side of the road meant for the trash. I pulled out the dead drivers, plugged the unneeded holes, filled it with sound absorption material and put in a shaped port tube. I matched it with a 120 watt RMS amp I found online for $90, intended to be installed in a home brew sub. The result is a homely looking but a very solid 12" powered bass speaker for $130 US.

    I have built regular speakers before, but with the use of satellite type speakers and a big bass unit, building home speakers don't really pay for the trouble in my opinion these days. However, since I also put together my computers, I would do the same for speakers if I were any better with wood than I am now. But, I think you get the picture. Work with what you have now, but plan for your system in the future and realize it is an adventure, that can be taken in small steps and does not need to be done all at once.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

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