Need ANALOG audio output on my computer. How do I do it?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I just bought a brand new treadmill.

    It has a function where you can run preset
    workouts from streaming programs off of the Internet.

    These streaming programs send "audio cues" to
    the treadmill, telling it when to change speeds
    and inclines.

    Problem is, I can't get it to work because my
    Sony Vaio notebook computer outputs DIGITAL audio,
    and the treadmill will only understand "analog"

    I have searched everywhere through the Windows XP
    control panel under SOUND DEVICES to find a way to
    switch to ANALOG audio. I can't find anything.

    Is there a way to switch to analog output? Should
    I buy a new computer with a soundcard that is
    capable of doing such?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    If you just need regular analog audio output and it doesn't need to do anything special (I have no idea how it sends sounds to the treadmill or how they are interpreted), and you want to keep your current computer, get a USB sound card. I find it hard to believe, though, that your laptop does not have so much as headphone outputs. If it does have a headphone output just use a minijack to RCA converter from there and be done with it.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    My laptop has all that. I am using the headphone
    output to treadmill input via RCA mini plugs

    The problem, as I understand it, is that the signal
    being outputted is DIGITAL. The treadmill does not
    understand the digital audio cues. It needs an analog
    signal.

    Here is what the website suggests:

    Analog signals should be turned on and digital speakers should be turned off.

    Does this make sense?



     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Ron:

    If you're using the analog (minijack) output from your laptop, then the signal is analog and the digital-to-analog conversion has already taken place before the signal exits through the minijack. Unless the output is via an optical output or digital minijack output (such as are found on many soundcards; my card, the Chaintech 710, has both types of digital outputs plus analog output), then it is not digital output. My soundcard drivers allow for the digital output to be turned on or off, but the analog output is always active.

    My treadmill (NordicTrac) allows for the same type of connection, but I've never tried it. I almost always use "Runner's Challenge" or a custom program.
     
  5. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I'm completely baffled by what you're saying Ron. Obviously your computer isn't going to send digital data to your headphone jack, it's got to go out in analog or else you'd have to have special headphones with a DAC built in.

    Possibly if you are sending this to the type of speakers that have their own DAC, like USB speakers or something, the speaker could get really screwed up and that's what they're warning you about. Kind of like how it's bad to put a CDROM with data on it into a normal CD player.

    My guess is that whatever this analog signal is, it's either unfit for human ears, or could damage speakers, or both.

    I just thought of something else. Did it come with a special app to run on your PC? Perhaps it speaks directly to the analog output device, if that's possible. And that may be dependent on your computer's sound card. A USB type sound card or something similar might not work at all.
     

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