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Help me for “Digital Output Device (SPDIF)” and “Digital Output Device (HDMI)” RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,
                    I have “Realtek” sound card installed on my system with Windows Vista OS.
                    In Playback sheet of sound property there is out put device “Digital Output Device (SPDIF)”  and “Digital Output Device (HDMI)”
                    I want to know the functionality of these devices.
                    Can you please explained me what is “Digital Output Device (SPDIF)”  & “Digital Output Device (HDMI)”and how can end user use it?
                    “Speaker” is selected as default device by default. So in which type of case user have to use “Digital Output Device (SPDIF)” or “Digital Output Device (HDMI)”?
                    There are connectors available for each hardware on soundcard (Eg. Mic, LineOut, LineIn, Headphone etc.) Is there any separate port is available on sound card for these two devices?
                   

    Regards,
    Jignesh.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 2:10 PM

Answers

  • Yes, they would be the same, with a couple of exceptions.

     

    Honestly, I haven't seen a working SPDIF connection in Vista; and when I've used SPDIF connectors in XP, I've used ASIO drivers rather than WIndows drivers.

     

    SPDIF and HDMI outputs are digital outputs (audio is sent in digital form).  Allegedly, in addition to PCM data, they also allow encrypted un-decoded AC-3 and/or Dolby digital audio to be transmitted over the connection. (They have to be opened in a special mode to do this).

     

    They are also subject to content protection. Un-encrypted content-protected audio cannot be sent over these connections (or it must be degraded before sending it over an SPDIF connector).

     

    But, yes, you can select an SPDIF port as an output port or a capture port, and, otherwise, they behave the same from a software point of view.

     

    I'm not clear on how the Vista control panel volume button works. On pre-vista driers, An SPDIF output may not have a hardware mixer, like an analog output does. It just transmits or receives the raw PCM digital data. Maybe that's why it doesn't have a control-panel volume slider. If the realtek control panel controls the hardware mixer levels (it makes sense that it does), then it would make sense that there is no level control on the control panel. And you really wouldn't want one. You would set final volume on the audio device at the other end of the SPDIF cable.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Monday, August 6, 2007 10:36 PM

All replies

  • These settings control features of the chipset that may or may not be implemented on your audio adapter. The chipset has pins for SPDIF and HDMI output connectors, but your system builder may not have connected the pins on the chip to actual SPDIF or HDMI connectors. Both connectors allow audio to be streamed to another device in digital format. Currently, systems with and without SPDIF connectors are common. It seems to be about an even bet as to whether system builders will include the extra $1 of components required to bring out the SPDIF connector. I've never seen a system with an HDMI audio connection (the digital audio signal would be passed on the HDMI video cable) but I'm sure such systems exist.

     

    SPDIF connectors would be used with pro-audio systems, or high-end consumer audio systems. Both of my pro-audio cards have SPDIF inputs and outputs; and my stereo system has SPDIF inputs and outputs as well. HDTVs would have HDMI connectors with both video and audio inputs. 

     

     

     

     

     

    Sunday, August 5, 2007 4:48 PM
  • Hi Robin,

                    

    Thanks a lot.

     

    - Basically I am developing Sound Card test application.
    - In this application different rendering port (Eg. LineOut, Speaker, Headphone etc.) is connected with capturing port (Eg. Microphone, LineIn etc.) by loopback cable and tests the sound card for different tests like "MonoTest", "StereoTest", "DynamicRangeTest", "LatencyTest" etc.
    - Are "SPDIF" and "HDMI" ports same as other rendering ports like LineOut, Speaker, Headphone etc. or these two are different?
    - Can we use these two port same way as other rendering device (LineOut, Speaker, Headphone etc.)
    - In Windows Vista If I set "SPDIF" or "HDMI" as default device in my "Sound->Playback" property tab then my sound will render through selected port or not?
    - SPDIF has no volume slider only mute button is available for mutr or unmute, so how can I set volume of this device.
     
    Thanks & Regards,
    Jignesh Sakariya.
    Monday, August 6, 2007 7:08 AM
  • Yes, they would be the same, with a couple of exceptions.

     

    Honestly, I haven't seen a working SPDIF connection in Vista; and when I've used SPDIF connectors in XP, I've used ASIO drivers rather than WIndows drivers.

     

    SPDIF and HDMI outputs are digital outputs (audio is sent in digital form).  Allegedly, in addition to PCM data, they also allow encrypted un-decoded AC-3 and/or Dolby digital audio to be transmitted over the connection. (They have to be opened in a special mode to do this).

     

    They are also subject to content protection. Un-encrypted content-protected audio cannot be sent over these connections (or it must be degraded before sending it over an SPDIF connector).

     

    But, yes, you can select an SPDIF port as an output port or a capture port, and, otherwise, they behave the same from a software point of view.

     

    I'm not clear on how the Vista control panel volume button works. On pre-vista driers, An SPDIF output may not have a hardware mixer, like an analog output does. It just transmits or receives the raw PCM digital data. Maybe that's why it doesn't have a control-panel volume slider. If the realtek control panel controls the hardware mixer levels (it makes sense that it does), then it would make sense that there is no level control on the control panel. And you really wouldn't want one. You would set final volume on the audio device at the other end of the SPDIF cable.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Monday, August 6, 2007 10:36 PM
  • Hi Robin.
    Maybe you are the only person on this planet who might be able to help me. I have a Dell XPS 420 with Windows Vista Home Premium. I have had this computer for 14 months. Yeah, out of warrenty. Anyway, last week I thought I eould copy some music from tape cassetts to my hard drive and then make DVDs to play in my truck. Got enerything hooked up [I thought]. Cable from the front of my stereo system to the "Line in" port on the back of the computer. Opened the "Roxio Easy Media Creator Premier" software looked in the dropdown menu to enable "Line in" and there isn't anything there. A tech I know told me to download software called "Audacity" and try again, I did and came up with the same results. I looked in "Device Manager" at the sound [audio] card and found this computer has what is called "Digital Output Device [SPDIF] High Definition Audio Device. Checked for a better driver for this and wes told "Driver is up to Date". Where can I get the appropriate driver for the software? Thank you form the bottom of my heart if you can help me with this matter.

    Please contact me at : TomrFord@Comcast.net
    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:16 PM