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PC to home theater/PC surround to dvd... choices


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 Mando-R

Mando-R

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Posted September 15 2003 - 09:57 PM

Me and my friend bunk a room upstairs. Aside from the set up downstairs we're wondering if for our room it would be better to get a PC speaker system and connect the DVD to it, or get a small HTIB and connect the computer for it.

The real question is:
How can you connect your DVD Player to PC speakers correctly?

How can you connect your PC to your Home Theater system and have full use of the 5 channels and crossover and such?

Would it be better to run a basic 2.1 system upstairs for movie watching and use a intermediate 5.1 for PC? I want 5 channel for PC because I play games that make full use of surround sound.

Help is all appreciated.

Oh and I've decided on my home theater set up. I'm going to pick up the Onkyo receiver - Either the TXSR501 or the 601 depending on whether I want to spend the extra 50, and I'm going to get two Polk Audio media towers, and two Infinity center channels (for front and rear) and a set of bookshelfs for the rear surrounds. I'm going to wait on the subwoofer because we don't want to get noise complaints, and I'm planning on going with a Velodyne sub. ( I can get them for a relatively good price at store cost, so even though they're expensive, they're not necessarily expensive for me )
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#2 of 7 Brian Ruth

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Posted September 16 2003 - 12:25 PM

Mando:

I'd say a nice intermediate between computer speakers and a full-blown HT system is the Logitech Z-680 set... it's expensive (~$299 online), but I've heard it blows most computer speakers out of the water, plus they're surround and they can take DVD player/HT inputs as well as computer.

If you'd rather not spend as much for that sort of thing, you can get the Z-640s (also surround, but with much lower power) for about $60.

As for hooking up the computer to the HT system... it should be pretty easy if you have a card with Digital Out. I know the Audigys can output DD 5.1 for most titles using either Coax or Optical, but my experience with the audigys is that they have been EXTREMELY EXTREMELY buggy.

If you don't have a surround sound card, you can take a minijack-to-RCA splitter and hook it up that way.
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#3 of 7 GrahamJW

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Posted September 16 2003 - 12:53 PM

Hi Mando:

In order to hook your PC up to your home theatre system your PC must first have a sound card that has a digital out or SPdiff out. The SoundBlaster audigy series would be a good example of this as Brian mentioned above

My setup is going from the SPdiff out(This is were you need the minijack-to-RCA plug) on my SoundBlaster Live value card to the digital coax input on my surround 5.1 receiver. The distance between my PC and receiver is about 40 feet, so I went to Home Depot and purchased a 40 foot length of 75 Ohm double shielded coax and bought some RCA ends to put on it. I have had no trouble with this setup and I played many DVD (using Power DVD software)movies through my PC on my home theatre setup. My video card had an composite RCA video out, so I was able to view the image on my TV.

Brian menioned the Logitech Z-680 speaker set...Posted Image Posted Image to this set. They may even blow some "home theatre in a box" speakers out of the water. Anyway, the Z-680s get excellent reviews in PC magazines (MaximumPC pubication used these speakers in their Dream Machine September 2003 issue).

Anyway, I hope this helps with connecting your PC to your 5.1 receiver....Your MP3s will sound that much better Posted Image
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#4 of 7 Mando-R

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Posted September 16 2003 - 05:49 PM

What kind of cable would you need to use the digital out and what kind of connection would the receiver need?

This is what I was thinking for a PC/Room Theater set up:
Panasonic SAHE70K (Not 6.1 but it's only for my room)


Now I need suggestions on a speaker + sub set. I already have these really old Hitachi towers... I was thinking I could just recycle those for the rears, and just get two floor standings for the front and a center channel. Any suggestions? I was thinking of Polk R30's and maybe a Pioneer center channel?
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#5 of 7 Brian Ruth

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Posted September 17 2003 - 12:24 AM

Mando:

For your receiver, you'd probably need either a coaxial/optical cable if your sound card has digital output, and a miniplug-to-Stereo-RCA (White/Red) connector if it doesn't. I'm pretty sure there are miniplug-to-digital-coax converter dongles you can use somewhere to convert miniplug (the headphones-sized 1/8" plugs you find almost everywhere now) to something you can hook to your receiver.

For speaker suggestions, I'm sure the people in the speaker forum would be much more helpful than I would since you already have speakers. Posted Image
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#6 of 7 GrahamJW

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Posted September 17 2003 - 04:11 AM

Hi Mando:

The Coax digital cable that goes from your digital out on the sound card to the digital input on the receiver has to be 75 Ohms. You can buy them already made up with rca ends, but if you have to go longer than 10 feet they can be costly. That is why I went to Home Depot go get a 75 Ohm coax cable for the 40 foot run. I bought 2 RCA ends (at Radio Shack) to put on either end of the 75 Ohm Coax cable (had to soldier them on, but I think you can get some that crimp on). Brian mentioned the miniplug to Stereo-RCA adapter; you may need this on the PC sound card digital out plug (some sound cards come with RCA digital output plugs, but the majority of them have the miniplugs). The digital Coax input on the reciever is usually RCA, so you can plug an RCA type plug into it. I can't give you too much advice on speakers, only that if you use a centre channel speaker next a PC monitor, make sure it is shielded otherwise it will destroy the CRT monitor. If you have an LCD flat screen monitor speaker shielding is not an issue. As Brian mentioned you may want to start a tread in the "Speaker and Subwoofer" section; there a few folks over there with a wealth of speaker knowledge...Hope this helps....cheers...John
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#7 of 7 Mando-R

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Posted September 17 2003 - 05:23 PM

I thought to myself, "Why the hell am I gonna go over kill for a PC/DVD in my room set up?" So I just spent 48 bucks and got a Logitech 5.1 computer system that comes packaged with an RCA-Front/Rear adapter that allows 5.1 support for game consoles and dvd players.

It's really good sounding for a cheap system.
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