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Connectivity Help (1 Viewer)

MMarte4

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Hello, I plan on buying either a 5.1 or 7.1 home audio system in the near future. I know it's possible to use the audio system with the computer, television, and xbox 360, but I do not know how. I could pay for the installation, but I would much rather learn how to do it for myself in case I ever have to again. So I would REALLY appreciate it if someone could walk me through (basic instructions) connecting a home audio system to be usable through my pc, my xbox 360, and TV. Thank you.
 

Robert_J

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First you need to identify the audio and video outputs on your source components. I think the xbox has at least component video as well as digital audio. Your PC will vary by model. You need a receiver that has at least those inputs and probably more. Will you add Blu-Ray later? You need a receiver that has HDMI inputs. Do you want the BEST sound? Then you need more on a receiver than HDMI pass through. You need one that will decode sound via HDMI. Do you want to add other source components like a cable box, HD Tivo and satellite receiver? Get a receiver that is has enough inputs to handle future expansions.

What inputs does your TV have? RF, composite, s-video, component, DVI, HDMI or a combination of all of them? Do you want only one cable between your receiver and TV? Then the receiver you choose must be able to upconvert everything to HDMI.

I have been mentioning a receiver rather than home theater in a box (HTiB) because a stand alone receiver usually has more features. You just have to add speakers and a sub. That also gets you much better quality. But with additional features and quality comes a higher price.

If you want to get into specifics, we need a budget and a list of the equipment that you already have (with manufacturer and model numbers) and equipment you plan to buy in the future.

-Robert
 

MMarte4

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Alright, thank you for the explanation so far.

I'm thinking about purchasing this:
xxx.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120081

Equipment I already have and want to include:
xxx.zzounds.com/item--KRKRP5 for the front left and right channels

- sound card in PC is xxx.soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=205&product=14103

- i'm either replacing the tv with an lcd display with hdmi inputs and 1080p display or just using a relatively new samsung crt tv that is 480p


also, i would like as few wires as possible and prefferably as many HDMI connections as possible. if you need more info please ask.

thank you very much for the help so far.
 

JohnRice

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There won't be any use for the powered speakers. You just don't use those with a traditional receiver. It probably doesn't even have the capability.

The receiver in that HTiB is a pretty good one, but the hdmi switching is pass-through, referring back to what Robert said. This means more wires, since you have to run an hdmi and a digital audio to the receiver for each source. If you have a wireless computer network, you can use an Apple AirPort Express to run sound from it to the receiver wirelessly.
 

Robert_J

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So you want to use your PC for audio? Then the Apple product that John mentioned will work without the need for using your PC. I'm not familiar with the AirPort but there are dozens of other media players that will also work. The Popcorn Hour Media Tank is a very popular model. Linksys, D-Link, Buffalo and a dozen Chinese import brands will work similarly.

When planning a system, you need to look at not only the connectivity but also the ease of use. How were you going to control the PC without using the keyboard or mouse? At least most media players come with a remote.

-Robert
 

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