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Gadget Blog Corrections Blog

An actually-researched look at gadget blog bullshit.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Creative speakers

Evan Blass of Engadget wheels out the righteous anger:
Here’s a good way to alienate your established user base: release a highly-touted new product that is incompatible with previously-released peripherals made by your very own company.
We'll ignore that every company on Earth does this routinely without that happening, and focus on the problem. Certain Creative speaker systems don't work properly with their new X-Fi soundcards. Engadget's explanation:
Apparently the problem lies in the DIN interface used in the new cards, which won’t play nice with the older speakers.
You'll notice how Blass has conferred his ignorance of what a "DIN interface" is onto the reader by writing as if he knows what it is. This will be confirmed by a little research, where you'll discover that the problem isn't with the DIN interface on the cards but the fact that they don't have one. Or rather, that the digital output on them can't be connected to the "Digital DIN" input on the speaker system. Older cards had a specific output for this signal ("6-channel SPDIF Output to Creative digital speakers"). Unfortunately, the "Digital DIN" port is the only way to get 5.1 audio into the speakers besides encoded Dolby Digital, since (slightly bizarrely) they only have analog inputs for front and rear speakers, and not center or subwoofer.

So the problem is with that the speakers are mostly dependent on a feature of the soundcards, and Creative's new cards don't have it, and nothing like Engadget's explanation.


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