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Dolby Digital LIVE Technology Overview

by August 04, 2005

We are consistently asked about connecting a PC to a home theater system. It's not as easy as it sounds. For example, while many sound cards on the market can pass Dolby Digital and DTS "raw" signals for decoding by the receiver, most EAX/A3D surround games are only able to be output via the sound card's analogue outputs. Dolby Digital and DTS have both offered solutions to allow for a real-time, digital 5.1 encoded signal from a PC to be made to your home theater system.

Dolby Digital specifically solved this dillemma recently by announcing its Dolby Digital Live. This technology has been integrated into select 915 chipset-based Intel® Desktop Boards featuring Intel High Definition Audio and is also available on select audio cards. Sound cards currently supporting Dolby Digital LIVE technology include BlueGears' HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 Gold Sound Card and Turtle Beach's Montego DDL.

The Dolby Digital LIVE Technology

A real-time encoding technology, Dolby Digital Live converts any audio signal into a Dolby Digital bitstream for transport and playback through a home theater system. With it, your PC or game console can be hooked up to your Dolby Digital-equipped audio/video receiver or digital speaker system via a single digital connection, eliminating the need for multiple cables and ensuring the integrity of the audio signal.

The real-time interactive capabilities of Dolby Digital Live technology are ideally suited to PCs which, until now, only output multi-channel EAX/A3D audio via analogue multi-channel outputs. Video game consoles are also able to utilize this technology to provide real-time surround output.

In addition to select sound cards, Dolby Digital Live technology is also integrated into the motherboard audio chipsets of many high-performance PCs. These PCs provide an S/PDIF connector and use a digital cable for one-step connection to a home theater system. Dolby Digital Live can also enable other future entertainment capabilities on the PC because of its ability to deliver any audio source via a single digital interface to an existing home theater system.

Also see our article on DTS Interactive.

For more information, please visit www.Dolby.com.

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About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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