The ADS decoder I got was the 3000 series. Approximately the same size as a cdrom drive. The decoder is power by 12 volt dc directly from my home computer 350W psu while the computer is running. It takes analog input as well as digital spdif and output through 6 rca at the back. I followed the instruction posted by Antimatter to enable digital 5.1 sound for my epia m1000 board. Plugged in the spdif from the epia to the decoder and the 6 rca's to my home amp, turn on powerdvd select a movie and voila crystal clear sounds from all 6 speakers. My amp which is a sony something can also decode DTS. It accepts 6 opitcal and 2 spdif input as well as 6 channel rca analog. I had to pump up the volume quite a bit before hearing the sounds. When optical was selected the volume knob was set at 5, switch over to 5.1 analog the volume had to be turned up to 25 to get the same effect. One more thing, volume CAN be controlled through powerdvd. As I mentioned before, the decoder can also accept analog stereo input. This is nice when just listening to mp3's or playing games. In this mode, only the FR, FL, RR, RL and SW can be heard, the center speaker is disabled. Switching from digital to analog is done throught the unit's remote. Another nice feature from this unit is the balance. It is possible to individually adjust volume level of the 6 different channels. I find this feature useful if I'm sitting in the front seat and can't hear the rear speakers or not enough of the sub.
Before purchasing the ADS3000, I also tried the analog miniplug straight from the epia board. I had to go and buy miniplug to rca wire to do this. The sound qaulity is not even close, worse the movie was choppy.
Final thoughts. I am very pleased with this product. Very cheap solution for digital 5.1 dts sound. I bought this item used for $50.
powered by 12 dc
small light weight.
no volume knob on the unit
every function has to be done by remote
have to press power to power the unit. (Thinking of a solution to turn on automatically after windows starts.)
Hope this inspire someone