Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Xbox360 -> PC

Last response: in Components
Share
April 16, 2006 12:31:38 AM

:?: I've got a nice 24" widescreen monitor and would like to start playing my Xbox360 on my computer setup. But my audio card does not support optical input... and I need a card that has a DTS/Dolby decoder built in.

I was tricked by purchasing Audio Advantage Roadie by Turtle Beach by the uneducated sales member that told me it would work great. I found out the hard way I needed a decoder. Silly me for not thinking of that before buying it, and their tech support after the fact really annoyed me, so a Turtle Beach replacement is not worth my time or money.

So now I'm returning it and looking for a suitable replacement. I have the Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 speaker setup and that's why I want the optical inputs.. with the 3 mini-jack outputs -- so does anyone have a recommendation for my needs. I know there are sound cars for $200+ that can do this, but would like to avoid spending that much if possible.

Thanks for listening!

More about : xbox360

April 16, 2006 3:02:39 AM

Stand alone decoders are getting harder and harder to find, as more and more of the market if being segmented into 1) Logitech speakers with decoders (such as the Z-5500s which some people refer to as "cheese" speakers, but I don't think they are that bad) and 2) The exodus back to real home theater speakers with receivers.

A couple years ago the computer speaker market was fairly big and growing, but since the ipod craze, there's been more and more people in search of revealing, musical speakers (which is why the computer market is becoming solely focused on 2-channel solutions like Altec Lansing and the Klipsch iFis). This is part of the reason why Logitech is now a niche company as it stands alone as the last company who is trying to pawn off computer speakers as a home theater system--the sound quality just isn't viable anymore, and 90's style, bigger bookshelves and floorstanders with far greater power handling and accuracy are coming back in style.

But back to your particular question, you are slightly confused I think. You don't need a *sound card* and have the signal run from your source (Xbox), to your comp, and finally your computer speakers. You merely need a decoder. All my rambling so far is to point out why stand alone decoders for PC use aren't widely available anymore. The market is drying up for PC speakers. Klipsch used to sell the the DD-5.1 decoder for $249 with the Klipsch 5.1 Ultras. I'm sure there are many more options but this is the only one I can think of right now. Check around for online vendors or used bins. Here's an eBay auction which will last another 38 hours; it's currently at $20.50. I'm no rocket scientist, but I suspect the final price won't be significantly under $150, given previous auctions (although on eBay, this is not a surefire way of calculating things, it might end up alot cheaper).

The decoder is pricy (I expect most to be), and here one thing becomes obvious: computer speakers aren't really any cheaper than home theater speakers, in fact I would say the bang for the buck is quite inferior. For $250 you can have an exceptional receiver that is decoder AND amplifier. For the price of a flagship PC speaker setup you can have a pair of bookshelves and a sub that are several times more linear. It all comes to show, the PC audio market is a little too much flash and marketing, and not much actual delivery.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Klipsch-ProMedia-DD-5-1-Digital-Dec...

Happy hunting.
April 16, 2006 2:56:13 PM

Wait, so are you saying there are no sound cards that do what I want? I really don't wish to replace my speakers or move to a true home theatre setup for my home PC (which I already have). Due to layout reasons, I have my computer in a separate room and have already utilized that to the max. :?
Related resources
April 16, 2006 5:27:39 PM

No that's wrong, the SB Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro which has been out for ages has optical in/7.1 out. My friend uses his Xbox with an optical out through his 7.1 with that sound card just fine.
April 17, 2006 2:16:09 AM

Quote:
No that's wrong, the SB Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro which has been out for ages has optical in/7.1 out. My friend uses his Xbox with an optical out through his 7.1 with that sound card just fine.


Yep. There are soundcards which do this. However, a decoder will reduce the signal path, and also, if you already have a sound card, replacing it is redundant.
April 17, 2006 8:35:23 AM

Yup but when you're expanding the signal path with an optical (read: lossless) cable it doesn't matter that much.

He wants to buy to new card anyway, and it's probably more advantageous to get a nice new card that's going to improve his PC experience as well as mean that he can play 360, whereas a standalone decoder won't do that.

Not saying you're wrong, but in this situation I don't think expanding the signal path will degrade quality, and it seems to suit what he wants to do.
April 17, 2006 10:16:23 AM

Quote:
Yup but when you're expanding the signal path with an optical (read: lossless) cable it doesn't matter that much.

He wants to buy to new card anyway, and it's probably more advantageous to get a nice new card that's going to improve his PC experience as well as mean that he can play 360, whereas a standalone decoder won't do that.

Not saying you're wrong, but in this situation I don't think expanding the signal path will degrade quality, and it seems to suit what he wants to do.


We'll lets see if he really needs a new sound card right now, since he hasn't mentioned what he has.

The problem is more of convenience.

1) Does he want to toggle digital-in on/off and change his settings every time on his PC to run audio through his X-box?

2) Will there be any latency involved in the sound by the extra signal paths, by running audio through the PC then to the speakers?--king-fu lipscynching? In this case, the quality of the audio most certainly degrades.

Besides, theoretically digital isn't lossless. The purpose of digital bypass is generally to lower the noise floor during transport, but it doesn't promise anything about signal integrity, particularly considering the electrical or LED conversion that takes place. The difference is generally minor, depending on who you ask and what they use.
April 17, 2006 10:47:15 AM

I think we can safely assume even a 3m SPDIF/Toslink cable isn't going to degrade the signal.

My friend doesn't experience any 'kung-fu lipsync' on his Xbox with the Audigy.

He's already got the Turtle Beach 'Audio Advantage Roadie'.
AHA! (the penny drops)

The Audio Advantage Roadie can do what he wants.

Kmorness, you need to get a hold of (if you don't already have) 2 S/PDIF optical adaptors for your card. Plug it in according to this http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/audioadv/roadie/indetail.asp page. You should be able to enable S/PDIF connection to the surround this way.
April 17, 2006 2:20:20 PM

Okay, I'm going to look at the SB card. I also seriously doubt that I'm going to have any problems with latency with a sound card signal. It's really no different than going through a receiver.

I have an old Audigy Gamer card which I don't use currently since I'm using on board audio since my last upgrade.

As for the Roadie, it came with 2 adapters that convert SPDIF optical to optical mini. The problem with the Roadie is while it will accept the signal, it cannot decode the signal and results in garbled noise, and the only way I could hear that was to use their recorder program to record the input. It's purely supposed to be a bypass to an output that goes to your receiver. Think of it as a way to connect your computer to your home theatre -- but it only goes PC -> theatre. Therefore, useless for my needs.
April 17, 2006 2:59:30 PM

This might not answer your question perfectly, but I do run my Logitech Z-680's as my home theather speakers through the Digital Coaxial port on the control module, which also has an Optical port. The next generation of Logitech speaks had a similar module, so I'd feel safe guessing that the same inputs are present on those as well.

Now it doesn't involve a sound card, but the Dolby Digital still sounds crisp and clear when watching an encoded broadcast like the Soprano's or an NFL game in 5.1

So for me, I've got DD 5.1 sound without using a sound card, expensive receiver or even the PC, it just works with the speakers right out of the box. And I know the 360 would probably work just as well, but you might want to visit a retail store and ask one of the "sales nerds" to hook up a 360 to 5.1 speaker setup using an Digital Optical connection just to try it out.
April 17, 2006 3:06:05 PM

That's really not a good option for me. My current speakers are the Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 setup -- $400. I like them very much and wouldn't consider giving them up only to replace them with something else. The sound card mentioned above is about $200.
!