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is it possible to hook up my laptop to an older home theatre 5.1 surround?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 BadsantaKQ

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Posted December 09 2011 - 02:49 AM

Hey guys, I'm not very versed in audio technology. I have an acer aspire 5252-v440 laptop and an older pioneer home theater surround 5.1 system circa 2004-2005. Now the laptop doesn't hve this S/PDIF port that I seem to have been reading about. It does, however have HDMI. On the flip side, my older 5.1 system only has the following inputs: Optical in And the standard component ins you would expect I don't believe there are additional ports on either machine. I do have a realtek HD audio driver and it's a newer laptop so thus I believe it supports 5.1 audio. Plus I have played movies in Media player and it displays as dolby audio. My concern is the older 5.1 system and whether it is capable of support true surround sound. Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Ivan

#2 of 6 Jason Charlton

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Posted December 09 2011 - 03:45 AM

To get true digital 5.1 you will have to find a way to feed the optical input on the surround sound system.  There are HDMI switches that can extract the audio to an optical cable, but they aren't cheap.


Your surround sound system can simulate surround sound (using Dolby ProLogic) for audio connected using the analog stereo (red/white) RCA inputs, and it will be a bit easier to get audio from the laptop to the analog stereo inputs - you could even use a headphone jack to r/w RCA cable that you can find at Radio Shack or Target.  I'm assuming your laptop has a headphone jack.  But again, this would not be true digital surround sound.


Finally, "Dolby" only refers to the encoding method.  It does not imply a certain number of channels.  Dolby Digital can be anything from mono to 6.1.  Throw in lossless audio formats, and you can get up to 7.1 channels.


Beyond that, I can't offer much help on the laptop side of things.  I'm just not up to date on all the hardware advances in laptops lately.


Hope this helps.


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#3 of 6 BadsantaKQ

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Posted December 09 2011 - 04:34 AM

Hey Jason, Thanks for the quick reply. Now, if I do find this HDMI splitter with optical routing capabilities, this would work? Would this be true 5.1 sound? This is my ONLY option? Thanks again!

#4 of 6 Jason Charlton

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Posted December 09 2011 - 05:47 AM

To the best of my knowledge, yes, this is your only option.  Something like this.  You'll need an optical cable, and one additional HDMI cable to add this between your laptop and TV/surround sound system.  You can get good, inexpensive cables from monoprice.com.


The only input on your surround system that will support true 5.1 is the optical input.  The only output you have on your laptop that supports true 5.1 is the HDMI output.   HDMI <--------> Optical is the only way to get 5.1.


The only other consideration (and I'm not really sure how this would factor in) is the HDCP copy protection that is part of the HDMI spec.  I really don't know how laptops figure into the equation.  There's a chance that copy protection might not like the laptop in the mix, but you'll know immediately if it works or not (so it could be returned if there's a problem).


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#5 of 6 BadsantaKQ

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Posted December 09 2011 - 06:43 AM

Hey Jason, You have been very helpful. I did a little searching on google and figure i can get this splitter with optical and all its associated cabling for around $60. Perfect. Thanks again man! Have a good holiday season, Ivan

#6 of 6 kenchi

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Posted December 15 2011 - 05:50 PM

Please check the device and driver for your sound ----------------------------- y8 games




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