Cable suggestions for htpc? How do you guys do it?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Brian.Huep, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Brian.Huep

    Brian.Huep Agent

    Jul 25, 2003
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    Hello, I am looking to add a pc to my ht. I would like to use it to watch higher res dvd's, tv, and maybe some internet surfing.

    What I am a tad confused about is how to wire it up. I use a front projector that does have a RGB input, so I would like to use it.

    I had planned on placing the PC behind the watching area, so I can use a wired keyboard and mouse and plug in my existing monitor cable from the pc to projector. This means I need to run audio all the way to the front to my receiver.

    This means I need roughly a 50 foot optical or digital coax cable. The only part I need to add to my PC is a sound card with digital out. Do these cards normally accept digital coax or optical? Would a 50 foot cable be unrealistic?

    I am currently using a 60 foor component from my current dvd player to projector.

    The other option of course is to install it next to my receiver up front, however then I need a cordless mouse/keyboard, which I hate hassling with batteries. I would also need a 60 foot+ monitor(rgb) cable and run a cat5 also.

    Which route would you guys recommend? Long video, or long sound?

    Also which sound card is the common among this forum?

    I am also thinking about upgrading my video card so I can run a tivo setup, looking at the ati all in wonders. Which video card is the common here?

    Sorry so many questions,

    Thanks in advance.
  2. GrahamJW

    GrahamJW Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 15, 2003
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    Hi Brian:

    I run a 40 digital coax cable to my receiver and I haven't had any problems with it, so you shouldn't have any problems running a 50 digital coax cable (I imagine it would be cheaper than running a 50 foot optical cable). I couldn't find a 40 foot digital coax cable at the time, so I went to Home Depot and picked up a 40 foot length of 75 Ohm double shielded coax and went to Radio Shack to purchase RCA ends. I soldered the RCA ends to the coax; I found this a very economical way to run long lengths of digital coax and haven't had any problems with it (I have had it setup for 3 years now). I have a composite out on my video card, so I run that to the input on the receiver to get my PC screen on the TV. This works great for watching DVDS; you will have a better setup running it through a front projector.

    As for Sound and video cards. I would recommend something in the SoundBlaster Audigy 2 series. These cards provide you with the digital outputs needed (I believe the Audigy 2 platinum series has digital inputs as well). You are on the right track with the ATI All in Wonder card. It pretty much will do everything you want. I would probably recommend something like a Radeon AIW 9600 pro or a Radeon AIW 9700 Pro; the AIW Radeon 9800 Pro is out, but unless you plan on playing a lot of PC games, I would wait as the AIW 9800 Pro is a lot of money at this time (although as with all PC components, it will be half the price in 6 months). If you have gaming in mind also the Radeon AIW 9600 Pro will play any game on the market with all the texturing etc turned up. I hope this helps...Cheers..John
  3. JasonRuiz

    JasonRuiz Auditioning

    Aug 20, 2003
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    I look into the MAudio Revolution 7.1 has much betterS?N than any of the Creative cards(Audigy 1orII,5.1 etc...). I've also heard the AudigyII cards can be extremely buggy using thier SPDIF output as well. As for your run, 50 coax would is workable, just make sure it's 75ohm cable. Some other coax cables will work, but audio performance wil be degraded (if it works ar all)...In my first DIY digital coax cable I didn't use 75ohm cable and it worked...but when I built other cables and used cable that was 75ohm (it was made for digital) I immediately noticed the differance. Needless to say I don't use that first cable anymore for digital duties (it does fine on analogue).

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