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Connecting a sound card with a Home Theater System

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May 9, 2007 10:41:08 AM

Hi,

I have a RealTek 850 onboard sound card and I'd like to connect it with my surround system. Since there are no coaxial or optical outputs, is there a possible way this can still be done with one connector yet with a full surround sound? Oh and on the way if could someone explain to me what's this "SPDIF" plug and is it possible to pass 5 channels in one 3.5 jack, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks
May 9, 2007 12:57:59 PM

Maybe I'm missing something but I've never seen a home theater receiver with front/rear inputs. Anyway, converting a single stereo output to 4 (if there are front/rear inputs on the receiver), will not get you the full surround sound effect, such as noise in the left rear or something similar. You need to get a better sound card with the appropriate output.
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May 9, 2007 1:13:26 PM

Whats the model of your reciever? I'm using a Pioneer VSX-D514 w/5 speakers and a sub and the results are AWESOME! Currently just useing the streo out form the on board sound of my comp, GigaByte GA-7N400, looking toward a mega upgrade in the near future to include a sound card with 7.1 output. Need to find two more speakers.
May 9, 2007 1:38:34 PM

Most receivers have at least one 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 direct input which will allow connection from the analog multichannel out from onboard audio analog outputs. 3 of those radio shack 3.5 mini to stereo rca cables will send front L/R, center/sub, and suround L/R over to the receiver's 5.1 input to deliver accurate 5.1 surround via standard cabling. Sometimes the jack assignment needs changing in the audio software but isnt too difficult. Optical or coax digital is easier if present and a little more appealing but Ive gotten great results from the realtek using this method. Bass management depends on the program, especially games, but dvd sound usually is great using this method.
May 9, 2007 2:18:49 PM

Thank you all for the replies.
I know I can use the regular 3.5 jacks but I rather not as my sound system is located a bit far from the computer so one cable would be a bit more estetic. Also could someone care to explain what's the difference between a regular 3.5 jack and a SPDIF one?
May 9, 2007 3:09:15 PM

Quote:
Maybe I'm missing something but I've never seen a home theater receiver with front/rear inputs. Anyway, converting a single stereo output to 4 (if there are front/rear inputs on the receiver), will not get you the full surround sound effect, such as noise in the left rear or something similar. You need to get a better sound card with the appropriate output.


I never thought otherwise.
I dont mind investing in a new soundcard upto 100$.
Just make sure it has either optical or coaxial outputs in it.
May 9, 2007 4:05:36 PM

Here is a link for probally your best bet at a easy, single wire, good sq setup.

http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/RCA-mini-spdif.html

I've never used a SPDIF with a mini pin end like this one, but I do use one one with the RCA style ends to connect my PC to my Kenwood reciever. I don't see why the single mini pin would change anything you should still be able to send Dolby Digital and DTS (what I belive you to mean when you say fulll surround) to your reciever. Oh yeah, using those POS mini pin to dual RCA pigtails suck.
May 9, 2007 5:00:00 PM

There are many give and takes in hooking your computer up to a receiver depending upon your application (game or video).

The two basic options are analog over multi-wire 3.5 to rca jacks or digital over optical or coaxial out.

Analog obviously requires that your receiver has analog inputs (many of the HTIB's don't).

Gives - Easy setup, your sound card handles all the audio just like it was hooked up to a multichannel computer speaker system. Your output limitations are based on what your sound card can handle (e.g. EAX is available based on your sound cards abilities).

Takes - Bass management is poor in most applications... things aren't optimized to take advantage of sending a signal to a ht subwoofer. DVD audio is hampered by the fact that your soundcard is handling the DD or DTS signal rather than sending the pure digital stream to your receiver to process. Lots of wires.

Digital output obviously requires a coxial or optical out on your computer but it can also be broken down into to sub categories - with and without DDLive or DTSConnect solutions.

Without DDLive or DTSConnect, digital output is very limited. It can handle sending the pure digital DD or DTS signal for DVD's, but it won't send surround sound from games (in-game surround doesn't get converted into a DD or DTS signal automatically).

DDLive and DTSConnect are technologies that come in and do the conversion on the fly with the sound card hardware (measurements have shown a small hit of under 5% on CPU). Surround audio that isn't already setup as a signal will be converted into a DTS or DD signal for your HT receiver to process.

Gives - All surround sound from your computer is converted into a signal which your HT receiver is designed to understand. Bass management is better because the appropriate frequency range is taken and sent to the .1 channel of the signal. 1 wire from computer to receiver and it is a digital transport.

Takes - MB's that have incorporated a DTS or DD Live solution have had horrendous driver support. There is a sound card from Auzentech (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) which does a capable job though. EAX 3 and up are not supported technologies because EAX is a proprietary standard of Creative Labs and has been locked from full industry participation since EAX 2.
May 9, 2007 5:20:45 PM

Quote:
There are many give and takes in hooking your computer up to a receiver depending upon your application (game or video).

The two basic options are analog over multi-wire 3.5 to rca jacks or digital over optical or coaxial out.

Analog obviously requires that your receiver has analog inputs (many of the HTIB's don't).

Gives - Easy setup, your sound card handles all the audio just like it was hooked up to a multichannel computer speaker system. Your output limitations are based on what your sound card can handle (e.g. EAX is available based on your sound cards abilities).

Takes - Bass management is poor in most applications... things aren't optimized to take advantage of sending a signal to a ht subwoofer. DVD audio is hampered by the fact that your soundcard is handling the DD or DTS signal rather than sending the pure digital stream to your receiver to process. Lots of wires.

Digital output obviously requires a coxial or optical out on your computer but it can also be broken down into to sub categories - with and without DDLive or DTSConnect solutions.

Without DDLive or DTSConnect, digital output is very limited. It can handle sending the pure digital DD or DTS signal for DVD's, but it won't send surround sound from games (in-game surround doesn't get converted into a DD or DTS signal automatically).

DDLive and DTSConnect are technologies that come in and do the conversion on the fly with the sound card hardware (measurements have shown a small hit of under 5% on CPU). Surround audio that isn't already setup as a signal will be converted into a DTS or DD signal for your HT receiver to process.

Gives - All surround sound from your computer is converted into a signal which your HT receiver is designed to understand. Bass management is better because the appropriate frequency range is taken and sent to the .1 channel of the signal. 1 wire from computer to receiver and it is a digital transport.

Takes - MB's that have incorporated a DTS or DD Live solution have had horrendous driver support. There is a sound card from Auzentech (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) which does a capable job though. EAX 3 and up are not supported technologies because EAX is a proprietary standard of Creative Labs and has been locked from full industry participation since EAX 2.


Thanks for your help man.
That sound card seem to really fit my needs.
Problem is I cant seem to find anyplace that delivers internationaly. Even Auzentech's official website doesnt deliver to my country - which is Israel for that matter.

Can anyone help me locate a global store?
!