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Sound card/5.1 surround sound not getting along

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  • Home Theatre
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Last response: in Components
March 19, 2010 4:06:04 AM

Hey guys, newbie here hopefully what I'm asking isn't a dumb question...

So a few months back I purchased a new tv and home theater system. The home theater I purchased is the 5.1 BD-1250 blu ray home theater. Anyway I hooked up my PC to my new tv as well. To make the sound come out of the 5.1 speakers I plugged in a headphone jack/rca cable to the receiver to make it work, which it did, but only 2 speakers out of the 5 worked (sub worked as well)

The ones that worked were the 2 fronts and woofer, the 2 rears and the center speaker did not.

I have a basic sound card in the system, so I purchased the sound blaster x fi extreme (which has optical output slot). I plugged in the optical into the optical 2 of the receiver and it still doesn't work, only 2 + the woofer works, nothing else, am I doing something wrong or was I misinformed that a sound card with optical out should do the trick?

Also is there such thing as a cable that has all the pc speaker connections into regular speaker connections? That way I can just plug it into the sound card and plug it into the audio of the blu ray home theater, help me guys, I'm desperate, thanks.

Long story short I want my 5.1 to work through my pc as well, I have a bunch of songs and movies I'd love to get the full benefits of these speakers, what needs to be done?

More about : sound card surround sound

March 19, 2010 5:37:41 AM

The headphone jack you speak of is known as a stereo minijack (3.5mm) cable. Going by the name alone, it obviously is only going to carry the signal of 2 discrete speakers.

Optical output is capable of carrying a limited bandwidth signal. It can either carry 2 channel stereo or a compressed signal such as Dolby Digital or DTS.

If you have a movie encoded in Dolby Digital or DTS, it (should) play back in 5.1. If that's not working, I recommend downloading AC3 Filter and using Media Player Classic - Home Cinema.

What kind of songs are these? If they are encoded into DTS, a regular movie player should work (WinDVD, CyberDVD). If they are DVD-A, Creative comes with a DVD-A playback program with your driver suite.
March 19, 2010 2:21:34 PM

The kinds of songs are regular MP3's I'd say, some ripped, mostly downloaded over the years.

I use Winamp for songs
For movies I use either windows media player or vlc (VLC usually for blu rays)

But when I play songs in winamp, I get nothing, just the 2 speakers and the woofer, also if I play shows or movies online, or youtube videos, how do I get all 5 speakers working thru the internet? Or I can't?

Thanks for any help, thanks
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March 19, 2010 5:30:25 PM

Samsung's website failed to download the user's manual for your system, so I can't say exactly what to do, but the specs say you have Dolby Pro Logic II, so you might be able to set your DVD player to upmix your stereo input to 5.1. Look at your manual, or monkey with the menus. If that works, you will be getting phoney-baloney surround with a stereo input, and true surround from DVDs and anything else encoded in Dolby Digital or DTS. I don't think that any YouTube content is in 5.1 yet, and precious little else online is, either. (Your mp3s are in vanilla stereo, which your HT-BD1250T is smart enough to make into 2.1 all by itself, I'm guessing.) Your Sound Blaster has X-Fi CMSS-3D Virtual, too, which should also do the trick.

Going by the scanty information I was able to glean from the Samsung pages whipped up by the marketing department without reference to the technical department, you don't have separate discrete inputs for the audio channels. Use an optical (TOSLINK) cable from the PC to the HT-BD1250T.
March 19, 2010 7:14:53 PM

Regular mp3s are 2 channel so unless you are specifying your speakers to use some kind of speaker fill processing, it should only come out as 2 channel. 5 channel speaker fill causes destructive interference and reduces sound quality, so I doubt sound engineers would think its a great idea to turn on DSPs unless you specify that's something you want. They can't read your mind.

Youtube videos are 2 channel stereo. As far as I know, most stuff online is 2 channel, like Hulu and Netflix streaming.

If blu ray movies aren't working right, you might want to try downloading AC3 filter. I don't really like VLC, it runs off of software emulation, the video quality is lower than other players, and isn't very flexible. You should try Media Player Classic Home Cinema, it's the number 1 choice for HTPC.