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Chaintech Av-710 (uses via envy 24ht/pt)5.1 configuration
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Author:  Thermopyle [ Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Chaintech Av-710 (uses via envy 24ht/pt)5.1 configuration

Chaintech AV-710 7.1 audio card walkthrough (uses Via Envy 24HT/PT chipset)

The Chaintech is a lot of card for the money ($25 from newegg). I'm using the optical out for DVDs and music and I've got the pvr-350 audio to the line in passing through to the optical out. The quality is amazing. Also this card has the ability to output analog and digital at the same time. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to make MythTv output directly to ALSA (I'll update this if I do). ALSA does not support this card out of the box. You have to manually configure ALSA. One of the issues I had was the sample rate. As far as I can tell all music played by mythmusic is in 44100Hz. Initially my card was set for 48000Hz. This had 2 effects. When not playing anything there were little cracks and pops coming off the optical out (weird since optical acts like a ground loop disruptor). When playing music everything was a little higher than normal. This was very obvious. The solution is to set the rate to 44100Hz in ALSA. What this means is that anything using ALSA as an output needs to be outputting 44100Hz. Specifically DVD output. I'm using xine as my DVD player. There are instructions at the bottom for forcing xine to output at 44100Hz.

The first thing I did was disable the onboard POS audio. I doubt this is necessary but it made setup a lot easier having only one device to deal with.

You may not need to run alsaconf but I did so I'm putting it in here

Follow the prompts. Basically it'll show you a list of devices, pick the right one and say yes when it asks a question.

Replace /var/lib/alsa/asound.state. You can download asound.state by doing the following (I suggest making a backup just in case):

load new settings:
alsactl restore

Adjust mixer.

You must at least do the first two the rest are up to you YMMV. M key un-mutes, up/down arrows increase/reduce volume.
1. un-mute iec958 output
2. set multitrack internal clock to 44100
3. set all un-muted volumes to 60 or less (there is an issue in Linux where this card clips above 70. Best explanation I could get was that ALSA was bugged (what else is new).
hit esc to exit.

save new mixer settings:
alsactl store

If you're using xine you'll need to force it to 44100 Hz
edit /home/mythtv/.xine/config
find the following settings and change their values to the following:

Here's my dvd player command:
xine -f -I -V xshm --audio-driver alsa --no-logo --no-splash dvd://

Author:  jimmyfergus [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Sounds good. I have a few questions, though I suspect you'll only know the first one since you use the digital output, still, I'll ask because you sound knowledgeable :):
  • Which Knoppmyth version are you using?
  • Are your analog outputs working? Other people have had problems.
  • Further to that, if your analog is working, do you know anything about getting the high quality 2-channel analog output this card should be capable of (special hi-res mode using the 2-channel Woolfson DAC). As mentioned in the above thread, the config that used to work for that, doesn't any more.

By all accounts, this card can give exceptional 2-channel analog audio quality, especially for its price.

Author:  Thermopyle [ Mon May 02, 2005 2:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

1. I'm using r5a12.
2. The analog outs are working although I haven't spent much time listening to them.
3. This question is rather hard to answer. All audio sources that are internal to the PC (DVD, mpeg, etc) are digital. What you're asking is which DAC is being used to convert digital source to analog. I can't say for sure.

As far as I can tell it must be using the Wolfson DAC on the Chaintech for some sources because when it's using DVD source it's still in the original digital format (e.g. DTS) coming out of the Chaintech as the DVD drive was outputting. This tells me that it's not converting a multi-channel analog source to digital (which would probably change the format). If that's true then it must be receiving the DVD audio as digital. Therefore it must be converting to analog on the Chaintech because the Chaintech is getting its input as digital and would have to convert it to output as analog.

On the other hand I'm using the analog output of the pvr-350 patched into the line-in of the Chaintech. The pvr-350 is encoding the analog signal as digital, storing to the HD, playing from the HD, decoding from digital to analog on the pvr-350 and the Chaintech passes the analog signal to the "analog to PCM pass-through". In this case it won't be using the Wolfson DAC for the analog output. There's no need for it since the signal is already analog. This would not be true if the Chaintech converts all analogs to digital and then back to analog for the analog outs (although that seems HIGHLY unlikely). The only way to really tell would be to disable the Chaintech's DAC (not sure if that's possible). If you get audio from a digital source on the analog output then it's coming into the card as analog. Then you'd know it's being converted before it gets the card.

You're right the Wolfson is a great DAC and this card can produce a fine analog out. Why don't I use it? Because all my audio source is digital (except the PVR-350 output) and I guarantee that my Marantz SR5500 can do a much better job of handling the digital source.

Hope this helps rather than just confusing the hell out of you.

Author:  jimmyfergus [ Mon May 02, 2005 2:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi, thanks for the answers - sounds promising.

Sorry, I didn't give many details about the Wolfson DAC thing. Apparently, the card has two types of DACs onboard: the high quality Wolfson DAC for 2 channels, and then much more ordinary ones for the other channels. On Windows, with some jiggery-pokery of the driver, you can make 2-channel use that DAC in a "high resolution" mode (that's a good thing, apparently :)), and oddly is connected to the rear channel's output. Why they'd connect the best DAC to the rear 2 channels I don't know.

Whatever, if your guidelines get analog audio coming out, that's a good start. I can worry about squeezing better quality out of the card once it's working. That only leaves me to worry whether I'll get my PVR350's TV-out working easily on upgrade... That's another story.

Author:  jimmyfergus [ Mon May 02, 2005 2:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

... hmm, rereading your post, I may have been informing you of things you already knew... :oops:

Anyway, I'm sure your setup is the most logical. No matter how good the Wolfson DACs are, the ones in your Marantz are sure to be much better. I haven't acquired a nice hifi DAC yet though. One day.

Author:  Thermopyle [ Tue May 03, 2005 1:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

The tv-out for the pvr-350 is pretty basic now with the script that comes with all r5a15 and later revisions of knoppmyth. I also have a type 47 350 which had been working like a champ until recently (I'm 90% sure it's hardware related though). Upgrading to the newest knoppmyth will definately improve things. Let me know how it goes with the Chaintech.

Author:  vtphilk [ Thu May 05, 2005 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  No working ;(

I bought the CHaintech card and can't disable the onboard sound for my MBoard cuz my bios sux! I don't think that is the problem however cuz I follow the directions above and in r5a15 I have spdif working for MythMusic but don't work for mythvideo or recordings.

Any ideas ???

Alsamixer shows this:

Card: AMP Ltd AUDIO2000 x
x Chip: ICEnsemble VT1616i x
x View: Playback x
x Item: Master

aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: AUDIO2000 [AMP Ltd AUDIO2000], device 0: ICE1724 [ICE1724]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: AUDIO2000 [AMP Ltd AUDIO2000], device 1: IEC1724 IEC958 [IEC1724 IEC958]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

cat /proc/asound/pcm
00-00: ICE1724 : ICE1724 : playback 1 : capture 1
00-01: IEC1724 IEC958 : IEC1724 IEC958 : playback 1

cat /proc/asound/version
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC).

--Plzzz help!! I bought this to replace the stupid onboard sound which I couldn't get the spdif working either ;(

Author:  Thermopyle [ Mon May 09, 2005 8:53 am ]
Post subject: 

if you're getting sound from spdif when playing music you're almost there. 1 of 2 things should get you where you need to go. In Settings - General - TV Playback - try setting audio device to /dev/adsp, ALSA, ALSA:digital, or ALSA:Digital. If none of those work for tv playback, plug the analog out (from pvr-350 for me) into the line-in of your chaintech. This will at least pass all audio through the same cable so you don't have to switch inputs on your receiver. If you have a pvr-350 set the Video Player to Internal and it'll use the same settings. If you don't you'll have to configure mplayer to use ALSA as the output.

Author:  Xsecrets [ Mon May 09, 2005 10:29 am ]
Post subject: 

also some use ALSA:spdif

Author:  vtphilk [ Sun May 15, 2005 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  more fun

Ok...So got it working with /dev/adsp. However, that one change did not fix it. I went into alsamixer and changed the:

View: Playback x
x Item: IEC958 1


View: Playback x
x Item: IEC958

to PCM. It seems to give me audio on mythmusic and video if they are set to H/W in 0 and H/W in 1 respectively. However, mythtv playback needs them set to PCM> Is this something that can be set in the .asound?

Also, on a side note. Seems like my mythvideo is delayed a bit. Video is just a tad ahead of sound. Really annoying and did not have this problem with the onboard sound. Just couldn't get spdif working with the ONBOard.

THANKS in advance for all your help!!

Author:  Thermopyle [ Sat May 21, 2005 9:52 am ]
Post subject: 

I tried setting IEC958 and IEC958 1 to PCM out and I still don't get sound with tv playback.

Author:  vtphilk [ Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Still have the crazyness mentioned above. Can't get it to mix the two so I can watch both mythvideo/music and mythtv. Also, stupid sound still a little weird sounding...

Author:  finger51 [ Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:16 am ]
Post subject: 

vtphilk wrote:
Still have the crazyness mentioned above. Can't get it to mix the two so I can watch both mythvideo/music and mythtv. Also, stupid sound still a little weird sounding...


I'm getting the same thing here. MythVideo and MythMusic both play out of my optical out on my a7n8x-vm (onboard nforce2 MCP)

It seems that no combination of ALSA, ALSA:digital, ALSA:Digital, ALSA:spdif, ALSA:Mixed-Digital, ALSA:mixed-digital-- and on and on. I think I've tried every permutation along with plugging the analog out from the pvr-350 into the line-in of the mobo.

Whenever it's set to ALSA I get 'file not found' error. If I set it to /dev/dsp or /dev/adsp, mythtv produces no error but no sound either. Tried re-installing alsa too- no joy.

I see that vtphilk got it going making the changes to alsamixer but I've not had any luck with that route. I guess I'm confused over exactly what changes he made, I'm not understanding what he means by:
View: Playback x
x Item: IEC958 1


View: Playback x
x Item: IEC958

to PCM. It seems to give me audio on mythmusic and video if they are set to H/W in 0 and H/W in 1 respectively. However, mythtv playback needs them set to PCM> Is this something that can be set in the .asound?

well, I'll keep at it. thanks for the leads/clues
running R5A15.1[/quote]

Author:  finger51 [ Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Thermopyle wrote:
If you have a pvr-350 set the Video Player to Internal and it'll use the same settings. If you don't you'll have to configure mplayer to use ALSA as the output.

How are these two settings accessed? I'd love to give them a try! TIA

Author:  scottd34 [ Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

I used this guide and I was able to get audio on the TV but not in xine. Xine kept giving me errors.

"The audio device is unavalible. Please verify if another program already use it."

I know I have to have missed something. I set up myth as per the instructions above.

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