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Multichannel output to monoblock amps

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Risuun



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Posted February 13 2010 - 10:04 AM

Hey. I am new to this forum, so I'm not sure if this has been covered before (didn't find it when I searched).

I was talking with a friend and he mentioned setting up a  HTPC with a nice Creative Fatality soundcard and outputing to monoblock amps for each speaker. He said that the sound quality is much better than a receiver since there aren't single dedicated amps for each channel on the receiver. Also, something about the low end white-noise cancellation built into each amp that allows you to push speakers without breaking them regardless of wattage. I was skeptical of that remark. Any thoughts on these?

Since I'm still doing the research, I don't have any monoblock amps. However, I have switched to multichannel audio output from my soundcard into my Onkyo receiver. Everything sounds great and I can now listen to multichannel encoded audio files and get so much more out of my games. Up until then, I ran everything through optical SPDIF, but it's only capable of stereo unless encoded properly in a Dolby format. I'm happy with that much so far.  What I haven't figured out is if I run the DTS audio track on supported movies I get no sound whatsoever. Is the computer still trying to keep the DTS track unencoded for a receiver? Is there any way for the computer to decode the DTS and output to multichannel? I would hate to have a HTPC incapable of DTS!


EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to mention I want to run everything through Windows Media Center on Windows 7 (I am aware that there are some software dvd players capable of decoding and outputing DTS over multichannel, but there's no interface to run it all by remote like WMC.)

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

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Posted February 14 2010 - 10:21 PM

I run WMC on Windows 7 through my HTPC via HDMI into my Pioneer receiver. I get all the surround formats except DPL IIz. I use Total Media Theater for DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD and it passes all recorded sound fields to my Pioneer without a hitch. I also get a nice 5.1 audio from my HD channels. So I just bypassed the sound card and used the HDMI off the video card. The nice thing about Total Media Theater is that it has a plug-in for WMC that will drop you out of Media Center to play the disc and then back into Media Center when you are done watching a movie. I haven't tried my XBox via HDMI into my receiver but I am sure it would work and give my all the sound fields.

I never had any luck with the multi-channel out from my sound card into my receiver so I have been using HDMI and it works great.

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