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Stereo output???


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   gamepsyched

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Posted December 21 2006 - 10:30 AM

i just got a new surround sound system and i got it all home and unpacked it . But now it says i need to buy another thing with 5.1 channel stereo output ................. And i looked it up and all i could find were dvd players !!!! i already have a dvd player and i dont want to get another one are there any other devices that have 5.1 channel stereo output that are cheap and dont take up alot of space?

i appreciate any help Posted Image

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 21 2006 - 11:53 AM

Hi Nolan. Welcome to HTF! Posted Image

Your question is a little ... odd.

Normally you feed your surround-sound system with a 5.1 signal. This is with a 'coaxial-digital' cable or a 'toslink-optical' cable. This 1 wire carries the signal for 5 speakers and a subwoofer.

Your 'surround-sound' system should take this signal, split it to 5 speakers and a sub to give you glorious sound.

Nowadays - there are lots of devices that provde a 5.1 signal:
  • DVD player (as you have noticed)
  • High Def CATV box
  • High Def Sat receiver
  • Xbox/Xbox 360
  • Playstation 3 (and Playstation 2 I think)
The only things that dont provide a 5.1 signal are old-style VCR's, or standard-def CATV box's or Sat receivers. Even my standard-def Sat receiver from Dish Network has a optical output for 2.0.

Look on the back of your DVD player. It should have a small, square black opening for a toslink-optical wire. Or a female RCA jack with the words "coaxial-digital" or "DD" or "Dolby Digital" or "SPDIF". Both of these jacks can provide a digital signal.

Hope this helps.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   gamepsyched

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Posted December 21 2006 - 12:01 PM

ok i have an xbox 360 ... but my speakers and sub the cable that goes into the tv .. or whatever is 6 different cable 3 white and 3 red and they are for front left/right back left/right and center and sub . so i donno what to do ... and i guess my question was odd because i dont know the first thing about all this . im an expert on comps and video games. not so much this stuff Posted Image so i donno what im supposed to be askin. so i guess what im trying to figure out is where i plug those 6 cables into .

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Nick:G

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Posted December 21 2006 - 01:00 PM

Microsoft and several 3rd-party vendors make an "HD component A/V cable" kit for the XBox 360. It breaks out into five wires: Y/Pb/Pr for component video (these would normally go either straight into the TV or into a receiver that switches component video signals) and L/R analog audio (straight to TV or receiver). On the end of the cable that plugs into the XBox itself, there is an optical output that's covered by a safety plug that just pops up. All you have to do connect a Toslink cable to it and plug the other end into an available optical input on your receiver.

You'll most likely need to go into your receiver's setup menu and assign the optical input to the correct source. (for example, "Optical 1 ---> Video 2")

It would help vastly if you can provide us with makes and model numbers of all your components so that we can help you connect your system correctly.

Cheers,

Nick

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   gamepsyched

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Posted December 21 2006 - 01:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick:G
Microsoft and several 3rd-party vendors make an "HD component A/V cable" kit for the XBox 360. It breaks out into five wires: Y/Pb/Pr for component video (these would normally go either straight into the TV or into a receiver that switches component video signals) and L/R analog audio (straight to TV or receiver). On the end of the cable that plugs into the XBox itself, there is an optical output that's covered by a safety plug that just pops up. All you have to do connect a Toslink cable to it and plug the other end into an available optical input on your receiver.

You'll most likely need to go into your receiver's setup menu and assign the optical input to the correct source. (for example, "Optical 1 ---> Video 2")

It would help vastly if you can provide us with makes and model numbers of all your components so that we can help you connect your system correctly.

Cheers,

Nick

what is a reciever?

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted December 21 2006 - 02:54 PM

>>> what is a receiver
The amplifier unit if it has a built in tuner for AM and/or FM radio (almost none have tuners for TV channels).

The advice above also applies to amplifiers without radio tuners.

If your DVD player is an older model without optical output, you will be stuck with just two channel (2.0) sound, left front and right front with possible provision in the amp for a subwoofer (2.1 sound) or possible electronically synthesized rear sound channels (a pseudo 5.1).
.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 21 2006 - 05:53 PM

Posted Image

See the 3 plugs that are white+red+yellow?

The red & white plug carry right & left stereo sounds. You would normally plug these into the R/L audio inputs on your TV. The yellow plug is for composite video. You would plug this into the single RCA jack on your TV.

These plugs are for lower-end televisions. Ignore them.

See the 3 plugs that are Green+Red+Blue? These are component-video cables and these carry the HD video to a set of 3 plugs on your HDTV.

This is what you want.

Thanks to Nick:G - look at the big plug that on the other end. Notice how the wires come out of one side and there is a little black hole? That is a 5.1 optical output. Look on the back of your Surround Sound system. The main receiver should have 1-3 similar little square holes. Go to RadioShack/Best Buy and buy a toslink optical cable long enough to reach from the plug to the back of your Surround Sound and hook it up.

Now tune your HDTV to see the video from the 360. You may have to mess with things untill you tell your XBox to output HD video and your TV to expect HD video. but eventually you should get a video signal.

Go to your Surround Sound system. Find the little black hole labeled "DVD" and plug in. Turn the system on and change the input to "DVD". You should be getting sound.

Here is a link to Microsoft's support pages about how to hook the 360 up:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906303



Hope this helps.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   gamepsyched

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Posted December 22 2006 - 09:02 AM

i dont see any little black hole on the back of my sub woofer ..... is this a problem?


the one on my 360 i see .... but none on my subwoofer ......

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 22 2006 - 09:35 AM

Not a problem. Your connection from the receiver to the sub will be an analog connection.

-Robert

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   gamepsyched

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Posted December 22 2006 - 09:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_J
Not a problem. Your connection from the receiver to the sub will be an analog connection.

-Robert

um i dont have a reciever . i still dont know quite what a reciever does . i just want to connect the speakers and sub straight to my 360 can i do that ? if not can u give me some info on what recievers do ... because i see them for like 400 dollars and i dont want to spend that on a speaker sustem i just want for a small room


( im a total noob on audio so sorry if im making this hard )

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 22 2006 - 11:43 AM

Quote:
i just want to connect the speakers and sub straight to my 360

You cant.

Your audio sources (CD, MP3, DVD player, CATV box) all produce what are called "line-level" signals.

Your "Surround Sound" system has a box called a 'receiver' or 'amplifier'. This box adds power to the signals to drive speakers. It should have:

- RCA jacks for input
- Speaker wire connectors for output

What "Surround Sound" system did you buy? Did it just have 5 speakers and a sub? That would make it a 5.1 speaker set. You still need a receiver.

Here is the "Surround Sound" system I just bought one of my daughters:

Posted Image

See the box on the bottom? that is the receiver.

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   gamepsyched

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Posted December 22 2006 - 03:42 PM

o ok i just bought the set i guess ... do i really need a reciever or can i just use a dvd player with 5.1 channel output?


because recievers are expensive and all they do is make the audio of your speakers louder and hook it into tv ... that kin da dum

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted December 23 2006 - 02:26 AM

Quote:
because recievers are expensive and all they do is make the audio of your speakers louder and hook it into tv ... that kin da dum

Quick, someone fetch the vapours, I'm feeling faint!

A good receiver is designed around flexibility.

Let's imagine a bargain basement all in one system, with small cubical speakers, a passive subwoofer, and a built in dvd player.

Sometime later, you find that you're dissatisfied with some aspect of the all in one system. Maybe the DVD tray broke, or on a favorite movie, it delivers a less than prefect picture. Or maybe you purchased a new TV-- and the video output doesn't cut it any more.

So, you search out a new DVD player. No problem, correct? Well no. You have special requirements, like a 5.1 analogue output, that can't be found on all DVD players.

Or maybe you have a new game system, or television tuner that uses a digital coax or optical cable to stream dolby digital.Yes, you can fake the surround sound with dolby prologic, but this is only a rough approximation of what dolby digital sounds like.

Or perhaps you get curious when someone describes what a real subwoofer can do, and you want to feel, rather than merely hear the bass. But your system doesn't have a LFE pre-out-- the subwoofer connects with speaker wire.

Or perhaps you get tired of listening to your home theater reduce your favorite music into tinny approximations, and want to replace your speakers. Most speakers are 8 ohm. Your little home theater is 3 ohm...

Generally, the more flexible the receiver is, the more useful it is. For instance, there are speakers on the market that sound wonderful, but generally require a "power amplifier" to sound good. The better receivers have pre-outs, so that you can connnect power amplifiers. The more inexpensive ones (including my own), do not.

A good receiver sounds good, but it also allows you to try out new game systems, new disc players, new TVs, new speakers, new subwoofers, without getting in the way. The basics forum is full of queries from people who can't hook up their new Xbox 360, or new Playstation 3, or whatever because a couple of months earlier, they decided to go with the cheapest "solution" they could find. Budgets are painful, but so is wasting your money.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted December 23 2006 - 04:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamepsyched
because recievers are expensive and all they do is make the audio of your speakers louder and hook it into tv ... that kin da dum

All the stuff in the surround sound set you bought, assuming the items correspond to what is in the picture above, is enough to go with your 360 and your TV.

If you did not use any receiver at all, then the DVD player or 360 connected directly to the speaker won't make the audio loud enough to hear even with your ear right up against the speaker. And there is no volume control.

It is possible that your set has the DVD player and receiver all in one unit (imagine in the picture above that the two wide boxes at the lower left are really one box) and it will do for now (no additional receiver or other equipment purchased other than perhaps a few cables) until you decide to upgrade for one of the reasons in the preceding reply.

Some subwoofers are connected to the receiver with an RCA cable while other subwoofers are connected using speaker wire with two bared wire ends or pins at each end of each cable.

If your receiver is 3 ohm, it will still work with higher impedance) speakers such as 8 ohm . If your receiver is 8 ohm, it should not be used with any lower impedance speakers such as 3 ohm unless enough speakers are wired in series for each output channel to at least equal the impedance and then you will have to buy more speakers so you will have enough for all of the channels and by this time you may as well upgrade.
.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 23 2006 - 06:02 AM

Quote:
because recievers are expensive and all they do is make the audio of your speakers louder and hook it into tv

(Ok guys, lets be nice.) Posted Image

The reciever is the center and most complex part of a HT system. It will:
  • Decode digital data (PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS) into analog
  • Amplify analog signals to power speakers
  • Provide controls to level-adjust the sound to the speakers
  • Take Video and Audio and let you switch both with a single remote
  • Manage the subwoofer with a crossover
  • Some will up-convert Composite, SVideo, Component video to digital
  • Translate sound designed for 1/2/4/5/7 speakers to whatever combination of 2/3/5/7 speakers you have.
  • etc
We even have a fourm dedicated to the discussion of the receiver/ampliifier because they are so complex & important.

My advice: take back your "speaker system" and get one that includes the receiver. The unit in the picture above was about $700. Or check on CraigsList/eBay to get a used receiver. You can get a decent-but-older unit for $150-$300 that will do everything you need. Just make sure the unit comes with a Manual. You will need it.


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