Hi, i'm trying to find a external USB soundcard for my friend who uses ubuntu. Since his laptop dosen't have TOS link nor HDMI output he needs an external soundcard in order to get surround sound in his home theater. I've been looking for some kind of hardware compatibility list for external soundcards but without luck.
I'm thinking of recommending either a Zalman ZM-RSSC or a TerraTec Aureon 5.1 USB MKII (the latter seems to be working in linux, though not out of the box?). What do you think of these recommendations?
Spdif/Toslink outputs a 2.0 PCM signal by default (due to either bandwith or lack of a spec for uncompressed 5.1). As a result, the only way to get 5.1 using a toslink connection is to encode the signal using either Dolby Digital Live or DTS-Connect. Hence why *most* soundcards offer DDL for free (And sometime DTS-C).