xbox360 surround + computer sound?

JerryKnight

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Dec 6, 2006
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Jerry Knight
I'm planning on improving my audio setup for my computer and xbox 360. Currently, I'm running analog stereo from the 360 to my computer's line-in, but I'd like to get an entry-level system that can handle the 360's digital audio output. The video is going straight to my monitor through a VGA cable, so I'm only looking for an audio system.

My question is this: Is it possible for a HTIB/receiver to output sound from two sources at the same time? I've gotten used to being able to hear sounds from my computer while using the 360, and I'd prefer not to have to keep my existing speakers+sub along with the system for the 360.

Thanks,
-JK
 

Jeff Gatie

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Some receivers allow for two "zones" of audio with different sources, but they are more expensive than your usual HTIB receivers and wouldn't give you what you want because they output the different sources to separate speakers. What you want to do is probably impossible, because you'd have to incorporate the digital sound coming from the X-Box with the sound coming from the PC and then output it to the receiver, incorporating the PC sound into the the 5.1 digital stream so as not to lose the 5.1 effect. Unless you have a sophisticated soundcard capable of digitizing 5.1 sound on the fly, you are probably out of luck.
 

JerryKnight

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Jerry Knight
Thanks, I wasn't sure. It seems like it should be possible, if not fairly simple, for a receiver to mix an analog stereo signal with the main L-R channels of a 5.1 signal, but it's not something that most people would want.

Any ideas on what would be the best thing to do? The only alternatives I can think of are keeping the existing speakers+sub or learning to live without computer sound while the xbox is on. Neither would be ideal.
 

Jeff Gatie

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The only solution would be to run a set of computer speakers at the same time as the HTIB. The speakers could hook up to the analog out on your PC soundcard and the HTIB would hook up to the digital out on the X-Box. That way you could control the individual volume any way you like. The only other way I can think of would be to find a soundcard that decodes digital 5.1 and sends it (along witht the PC stereo sound) via 5.1 analog line outs to a receiver that accepts 5.1 analog ins. That's getting kind of involved when you can just use a pair of PC speakers and I don't know of any soundcard that does that, but I'm no exeprt.
 

JerryKnight

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Dec 6, 2006
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Jerry Knight
With a bit of research, there may be a solution...

http://www.soundblaster.com/products...6&product=1780

The sound card I have is the SBLive Audigy 2 (Value, I think). This add-on gives digital input and output capability. I'm not sure about how the mixing would work, but it might be possible to send the digital optical to this box, mix it with the computer's sound, and then pass it all through to the speaker system.

Either way, there's no law against having two speaker setups at the same time, and it would give me time to play with getting digital out to work on my computer's sound card.

Surely I can't be the only one who's come up against this situation...
 

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