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Swapping Speakers Between TV and Computer

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  • Sound Cards
  • TV
  • Speakers
  • Computer
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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April 5, 2006 7:16:43 PM

I am not sure if any of you will even have an answer to this question, as I feel I should be asking someone at the local radio shack as opposed to a computer hardware forum. Yet from personal experience the dregs of retail stores are far from helpful in complex matters such as this one.

I am moving into a new house and am desperately trying to deck out my bedroom. I currently own a PC containing the modest Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS. I also own a pretty decent widescreen TV, and a set of Logitech Z-5300 5.1 speakers effectively granting me surround sound.

Now what I am trying to do is to find a way to convienantly swap the speakers from the TV to the computer. I have never plugged them into a TV before as they come with the stanard 3-wire harness which plugs into the sound card of most higher quality systems. So not only do I need a way to convienantly swap, but I need a way to plug it into the TV period. With the way the computer is set up it is a true pain in the ass to constantly reach behind my desk and fish wires if I wanted to switch to say watch a movie, then switch back to play a game or listen to music.

I am not sure if anyone could provide me with a model of a good adapter which will affectively allow me to plug my speakers into both the computer and TV at the same time (providing me a link would be awesome) but it would be much appreciated. I am a computer enthusiast, yet still a novice when it comes to this whole multimedia home thing.

Thanks for the long read and any help you guys may provide!

More about : swapping speakers computer

April 5, 2006 8:07:41 PM

you can buy a 5.1 receiver/decoder and connect your speakers to it. this device has several input sources, so you can connect your soundcard to one input and the tv to another one. you could use your computer as this device, but if you want to watch tv you must have your computer turned on... or switch cables behind your desk.

if you dont mind leaving your computer on, you can buy some adapter cables and connect your tv to your computers. i belive a female rca to male mini jack would solve your problem.. then you connect this cable to the "line in" in your sound card.
April 5, 2006 9:36:46 PM

My knowledge of the Logitech speakers is weak but I'm pretty sure those speakers have a digital input and a decoder. So heres what I would do - connect the soundcard to the speakers digitally and benefit from improved sound there. Then a 2x PHONO to 3.5mm (or PHONO if the speakers' decoder has that socket) Cable to connect the TV. Then if your logitech model has the capability use the Dolby Pro Logic II decoder to upmix stereo sound to 5.1. Simply change the input to digital to hear PC sound and then change to Analogue to her TV sound
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April 5, 2006 11:40:08 PM

Thanks for the input guys but thats still a little confusing, I would rather avoid buying a whole new 5.1 reciever. I will have to check the inputs on my speakers to see if they can take multiple inputs, I don't know if it helps any, but here is a link to the exact model of speakers I have:http://gear.ign.com/articles/440/440574p1.html

This also struck me just now reading your posts, since my computer can in fact support dual displays (even though I would not recommend using both at once) couldn't I essentially hook the TV up to my computer and use the computer as a DVD player, and then switch back to my regular monitor for other uses. Only problem I can think of is that while regular movie sound would in fact come out the speakers, regular cable would not.

Thanks for the sound (no pun intended) advice all, keep it coming!
April 6, 2006 12:01:54 AM

well, i've read your review and i guess the second option i posted would solve your problem...
you can connect your tv's audio output to your sound card line in. that would give you sound through your speakers, even cable.

then you can connect your video card tv out to your tv's video in and use your computer as a dvd player.
the problem is you would have to have a video card with tv out and leave your computer on while watching tv.
considering that a video card with video out is pretty common, you would have to buy a cable and leave your computer on
April 6, 2006 12:12:16 AM

My video card does have video out, and really leaving the computer on is not much of an issue, so that is in fact one possibility, thanks for the help!
April 6, 2006 4:42:12 AM

Here's my question, you don't want to move the wires, but don't have you have to move the speakers for TV or Computer use?

You could get a simple audio switch from Radioshack and use RCA to stereo mini adaptors to to connect the Logitechs to the switch. Then, you'd need some really really long RCA cables if you are going to move the speakers around without disconnecting anything all the time.
April 6, 2006 2:10:10 PM

The speakers are in fact screwed into the wall and are not moving, I simply want to use the speakers for both computer and home theatre use without having to disconnect them from one device and reconnect them to another constantly. My tower and television are both kind of inside cabinets so going back there requires like the moving on furniture, which is a pain in the ass.
April 6, 2006 2:45:58 PM

The easiest way is to use Line-In>Line Out>Speakers with the PC on. You won't be able to use surround, though, only an upmixed version which isn't really the same. If you've got a satellite/cable box check that for any RCA/SPDIF outs which would help. Most people use an AV Reciever for this, though.
April 6, 2006 11:14:57 PM

I would like to enjoy true surround sound, not just an upmixed or matrix version, anyone else have any ideas?
April 7, 2006 11:22:16 AM

Quote:
I would like to enjoy true surround sound, not just an upmixed or matrix version, anyone else have any ideas?


For you to switch and get true surround sound, you are probably better off getting a seperate set of PC speakers for your TV, as the price of an AV receiver is more in line with home theater speakers and thats a totally different ball game.
April 7, 2006 11:40:49 AM

you mean surround sound from your tv or computer?
i dont know if your catv actually delivers surround sound or just stereo.
do you have any kind of set top box?
April 7, 2006 12:11:06 PM

Yeah, like others suggested a reciever would be needed. Get the one with Digital I/O and jack it up to the sound card and presto you got sorround sound.
April 7, 2006 12:32:42 PM

Have you considered a media server. I use a Dlink dsm 320. It streams media to my home entertainment system (mp3s, video, photos etc) from my pc in another room.
April 7, 2006 1:52:47 PM

Quote:
Have you considered a media server. I use a Dlink dsm 320. It streams media to my home entertainment system (mp3s, video, photos etc) from my pc in another room.


I think the whole point here is a cost effective solution. If it's getting to or beyond the point where he can simply buy another set of those speakers, it's kind of pointless.
April 7, 2006 3:07:00 PM

I mean a media server may be cool, I actually considered upgrading the speakers anyways, the only problem with the idea of simply owning two sets of speakers is the fact that I would have two sets of speakers attached to the wall, and two subwoofers on the floor, kind of excessive.

As far as cost goes, yea I'm on a budget, but I'm open to new ideas.

Quote:
you mean surround sound from your tv or computer?
i dont know if your catv actually delivers surround sound or just stereo.
do you have any kind of set top box?


Excellent point, something I completely overlooked. Yea, if I did jack the speakers directly into the TV it would just be stereo sound come to think of it, so the only 3 solutions I can see are using my computer as my media center/DVD player and hooking the TV up to it, getting a whole new reciever, or getting a media server.

Thanks for all the great input guys!
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