laptop to tv sound

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by brankulo, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. brankulo

    brankulo Agent

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    i have older laptop that i have connected to my lcd through vga cable and 3.5 mm stereo cable. i want to use it for games and dvd playback. i am not sure how to handle sound. does 3.5mm stereo cable transfer 5.1 sound? i am setting up my first ht. i will have receiver connected to tv using optical out on tv and in on receiver. does it mean that sound will go from laptop through tv to receiver and there will be played to ht speakers? or do i need to connect directly from laptop to receiver? 3.5mm on laptop side, black and white cinch on receiver side. or is there other way? again laptop doesnt have hdmi or optical out.
     
  2. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Without HDMI or optical outputs, your laptop will not be able to pass any digital 5.1 audio.


    A 3.5mm jack carries a stereo signal only. You can get cables that have a male 3.5mm jack at one end, and split into red/white RCA jacks on the other for easier connection from laptop to a TV or receiver. You should be able to find these at any Wal-Mart, Target, or Radio Shack.


    As for the optical cable from your TV to the receiver, this unfortunately, will also most likely carry stereo audio if at all. Virtually all TVs downmix any external digital audio to analog stereo before it's output via the digital optical jack. Some TVs don't pass any external audio at all.


    Feeding a stereo signal (either from the laptop, or routed through the TV) into a surround sound receiver will mean that the only "surround" sound you'll experience is simulated surround sound as produced using Dolby ProLogic or ProLogicII.


    In order to benefit from true digital 5.1 surround sound, you will need to run audio via digital coax (single RCA for audio), digital optical (Toslink), or HDMI from your source (laptop) directly to your surround sound receiver.
     
  3. brankulo

    brankulo Agent

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    seems like it is time for new laptop, thanks
     
  4. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    >>> Without HDMI or optical outputs, your laptop will not be able to pass any digital 5.1 audio.

    ...

    >>> In order to benefit from true digital 5.1 surround sound, you will need to run audio via digital coax (single RCA for audio), digital optical (Toslink), or HDMI from your source (laptop) directly to your surround sound receiver.


    Just so it's clear, the 2nd statement is the correct one. And some older laptops might have a digital coax output.
     

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