I am trying to get S/PDIF digital audio working on my Latitude D830.
I am using Dell's S-Video dongle adapter (part # 310-9336). This is the splitter that takes Dell's proprietary 7-pin S-Video plug and splits it into standard 4-pin S-Video, Composite Video, and Coax S/PDIF. Both of the video outputs work fine, but I am not getting any signal at all from the S/PDIF jack - and I mean NONE, a friend who's an electrical engineer even put an oscilloscope on it and there is NOTHING coming out.
OS is Vista 32-bit SP2. Audio driver is SigmaTel 6.10.5614, which is Dell package R171788. (Note: this is NOT the same as R171789, that is for XP and will not work on Vista.)
I have set the Digital Output Device as the "default" in the Sound control panel, and I have checked the "PC Spk Mute" box in the properties for the regular speakers. The green bar graph shows that the digital device thinks it is getting sound from Windows Media Player and other apps, but no signal to the actual jack.
Anything else I need to do? Anyone else with a D830 (or other Latitude D-series) who can confirm that these laptops work with the same dongle that Dell has been using for years? I'd rather not get a port replicator if I don't have to.
I don't know the answer but I can tell you that some forum members reported a physical problem with the wiring of an older dongle when used with a Vostro model. I will paste in their posts:
How to use the 044CTV with a Vostro 1500 -- posted by forum member jcberg
The problem is that the ground on the SPDIF plug isn't actually connected to a real ground on vostro laptops- it's connected to a supply of -3.3vdc, which gives problems!
To fix this easily, take some copper wire or whatever flexible conductor you have laying around and wrap it around the ground of the SPDIF and the composite video plug, connecting them together. If you use both these plugs then wrap it around the bare metal on the connectors. Result: Working SPDIF!
Followup tip from dwonk:
As pointed out by jcberg, the outer yellow (video-composite) to the outer black (SPDIF) will properly ground the SPDIF signal in a Vostro 1500. In my case, I just used a RCA spare I had from the stereo and placed the plug over the wire to the video composite and the digital audio cable's plug to hold the other end; voila, a soldierless connection! Be sure to keep the center plug free of the wire! Thanks for the work around!
"I have set the Digital Output Device as the "default" in the Sound control panel"
There is no "spdif' setting anywhere? I don't remember seeing that "digital output device" in configuration instructions. I'll paste in the instructions from the Dell Technology Guide. Not many of the computer Owner's Manuals have specific instructions but these are typical
Enabling S/PDIF Digital Audio
If your computer has a DVD drive, you can enable digital audio for DVD playback.
1 Click Start, point to All Programs, and click PowerDVD to launch the Cyberlink PowerDVD
2 Insert a DVD into the DVD drive.
If the DVD begins playing, click the stop button.
3 Click the Settings option.
4 Click the DVD option.
5 Click the DVD Audio Setting icon.
6 Click the arrows beside the Speaker Configuration setting to scroll through the options, and select the
7 Click the Back button once, and then click the Back button again to return to the main menu screen.
Enabling S/PDIF in the Windows Audio Driver
1 Double-click the speaker icon in the Windows notification area.
2 Click the Options menu and then click Advanced Controls.
3 Click Advanced.
4 Click S/PDIF Interface.
5 Click Close.
6 Click OK.
Thanks Jim. I can tell you the following results:
1) Trying to ground the S/PDIF output from the dongle by running it through an RCA-plug Y connector that is also attached to the composite out did not work. Nor did trying to wrap a copper wire around the outer plugs.
2) My drivers and audio settings are known to be correct, because S/PDIF works fine when the laptop is docked in an Advanced Port Replicator. It sounds like you are still using XP based on the instructions that you gave me. I am using Vista, and that is why my descriptions of the dialog boxes are different from yours.
Do you know of anyone who has successfully used a dongle to get S/PDIF audio from a D830? I'm starting to wonder if the D830 even has a physical connection between the sound circuitry and the 7-pin plug on the back of the laptop like there is on other Dell models.
"I'm starting to wonder if the D830 even has a physical connection between the sound circuitry and the 7-pin plug on the back of the laptop like there is on other Dell models."
Page 22 of the D830 user guide describes the s-video port as "Connects your computer to a TV. Also connects digital audio-capable devices
using the TV/digital audio adapter cable." It is true that a few of the models with the s-video port did not have the spdif pin connected to anything, but the manuals for those models did not refer to digital audio devices. So I believe the capability is supposed to be there in the D830.
Try it using a dvd and make sure the dvd program is configured for spdif.
Another thing, I have a vague memory of some few posters saying they had to have the dongle connected to a tv before the spdif would work. I didn't put anything about it in my notes and I can't remember which models or OS this might have applied to, if any.
"It sounds like you are still using XP based on the instructions that you gave me."
I saw you configuration instruction in the port replicator thread and have saved them to my notes. Thank you!