Hey guys. I will soon be converting my main rig to an HTPC/Gaming machine, and I have alot of confusion and uncertainty about how to configure my audio hardware. Most specifically, I'm confused about my soundcard's output format, and which audio streams I should save when making digital copies. I plan to connect the soundcard to the receiver via digital-coax, so the receiver can do all the decoding. I don't plan on going beyond a 2.1 setup for the foreseeable future.
Soundcard: Asus Xonar Essence STX
Receiver: Pioneer VSX-D811S
Speakers: 2-Channel Stereo Floorstanding Speakers and 10" Self-Powered Sub
The receiver can decode Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and Dolby Pro Logic II. The soundcard seems to be a bit more limited with output formats. It has Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Pro Logic II, and PCM. I'm not sure how many channels are used for PCM. The Dolby Digital "Live" gives me the impression that it's re-encoding all audio signals, which would be a huge drawback for me. Dolby Pro Logic II also sounds like a bit of a hack.
So to lay things out, here are my main questions:
- Does Dolby Digital "Live" re-encode ALL content (even Dolby Digital)?
- How are Dolby Digital or DTS signals handled when sent through PCM output?
- Is this card capable of sending more than a Stereo signal through PCM?
- Considering that I might possibly add speakers to this setup in the future, which is the best audio stream to save when making digital copies?
- Is an LPCM stream the same thing as PCM, and can my card output LPCM?