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New install of 11.10 on an older rig (Asus P4PE MB) that has the built-in AC'97 sound chipset and in the System Settings>Sound there is only a choice for 2-channel digital sound. I plan on using the system as a media server and need to find a way to enable the ability to send Dolby Digital or DTS bitstream to a surround receiver. I do get 2 channel sound when setting the option to 'Analog Duplex' or 'Analog Stereo Output'. When I set the option to 'Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output' I get 2-channel audio that is faster and higher in pitch.

aplay -l
 List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices 
card 0: I82801DBICH4 [Intel 82801DB-ICH4], device 0: Intel ICH [Intel 82801DB-ICH4]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: I82801DBICH4 [Intel 82801DB-ICH4], device 4: Intel ICH - IEC958 [Intel 82801DB-ICH4 - IEC958]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
lspci | grep audio
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM 
        (ICH4/ICH4- L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)

I already went into alsamixer and made sure S/PDIF level was up, as well as the surrounds and LFE. I am new to Linux/Ubuntu but willing to try anything, so let me have it. Hours of searches yields solutions that either don't apply my unique problem, or to 11.10 or don't apply to the Ubuntu distro altogether. I feel like I'm chasing my tail here.

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1 Answer

Perseverance pays. I found this lovely patch posted at:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DigitalAC-3Pulseaudio

I now can set the device in System Settings>Sound to 5.1 Digital Audio, get discrete channels sent to my receiver via PCM and the resulting audio is at the correct speed/pitch. Tested playback with 5.1 wav files and a couple DVDs...so far so good.

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