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Using PC as a HT receiver

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 JonathanJB



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  • Join Date: Apr 22 2003

Posted July 16 2003 - 07:08 PM

So far I have a Pioneer DVD player and Philips Widescreen TV.

I'm considering building a dedicated PC with the right components to function as a:

* Digital TV receiver/decoder
* Dolby 5.1 receiver/decoder (e.g Sound Blaster Extigy)
* DVD burner/copier

Besides the obvious disadvantage - that a PC is bloody noisy - how well will a PC perform each of these functions ?
What will the sound quality be like ?

I was considering an entry-level Pioneer or Yamaha receiver, and perhaps to buy a Digital TV decoder in the next year or two. Maybe I can save some money this way.

#2 of 6 Ben LG

Ben LG

    Stunt Coordinator

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  • Join Date: Jun 30 2003

Posted July 16 2003 - 09:43 PM

I would not use the Extigy for a home theater, the sound quality is horrible out of the box. I updated the drivers and the surround sound is still horrible with a pair of Megaworks 550. Oh yeah and its USB 1.1 so you will most likely get some kind of distortion in the sound as I did while your cpu is crunching.

#3 of 6 Barry II

Barry II


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Posted July 20 2003 - 02:30 AM

If you want great sound from your PC through a receiver then get a Delta 410 from M-Audio http://www.m-audio.n...io/delta410.php but there is no way you can simulate 5.1 output with same magnitude as conventional receivers. I'm not even sure there is Dolby Decoder you can purchase for a PC unless its software.

--Barry II

#4 of 6 Marty Neudel

Marty Neudel

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Posted July 24 2003 - 02:39 AM

Creative Lab's Audigy-2 handles Dolby Digital-EX and has a THX Seal. Considering the noisy environment presented by a PC, the sound is surprisingly good; however, not in the same league with more expensive receivers. If you add a tv-tuner pci-card (Hauppage even has one with an FM-stereo tuner), your pc can do a passable job of managing ht (for the computer room).


#5 of 6 Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith


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Posted July 24 2003 - 04:54 AM

Creative OWNS THX guyz they bought it from Lucas Films or whatever hes called...

so i would not be jumping up and down about them giving themselves their own seal of approval

there is a rather long thread on the avscience forum about this sombody did it and it could not compare ... not yet anyway

#6 of 6 Sihan Goi

Sihan Goi

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Posted July 24 2003 - 12:59 PM

A HTPC can be great as a media player, but personally I feel its not matured enough to be a full fledged prepro, much less a receiver. In fact, it will never be able to function as a receiver since it has no amplification. Even functioning as a prepro is hard if you're talking about audio/video switching.

However, a HTPC does has its uses. I use mine to as a DVD/CD player/video scaler/media jukebox/TV tuner/digital VCR/among other things.
My Home Theater page. Click on the "home theater" link on the top menu bar.