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PC Surround Sound Home Entertainment System !

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July 29, 2011 10:36:38 PM

Hi All,

I want to connect My PC to my 5.1 dolby home theatre system how ever i keep reading in other threads and websites that the pc only outputs pcm stereo,

therefore to enable all 5 speakers to work as surround i would need a sound card with enabled dts or dd and also outputs 5.1 sound through a toslink (optical) .

plus my home theatre system needs to be a decoder for Dolby digital , which is so it can send the signal to all 5 speakers. i have a system that does that already, how ever i dont have the correct sound card, could anybody recommend me one ? for my needs.

and also can give me a brief understanding on how to get surround sound from my pc to a home theatre system. because the things that i have explained may be wrong as i have just read them from somewhere else.

surely it shouldn't be this complicated, because i have connected my PS3 to my home thetre system via optical cable and 5.1 real surround on that works fine. :??: 

Any advice would be greatful please.

Thanks alot. :) 
July 30, 2011 2:46:20 AM

youssef22 said:
Hi All,

I want to connect My PC to my 5.1 dolby home theatre system how ever i keep reading in other threads and websites that the pc only outputs pcm stereo,

therefore to enable all 5 speakers to work as surround i would need a sound card with enabled dts or dd and also outputs 5.1 sound through a toslink (optical) .

plus my home theatre system needs to be a decoder for Dolby digital , which is so it can send the signal to all 5 speakers. i have a system that does that already, how ever i dont have the correct sound card, could anybody recommend me one ? for my needs.

and also can give me a brief understanding on how to get surround sound from my pc to a home theatre system. because the things that i have explained may be wrong as i have just read them from somewhere else.

surely it shouldn't be this complicated, because i have connected my PS3 to my home thetre system via optical cable and 5.1 real surround on that works fine. :??: 

Any advice would be greatful please.

Thanks alot. :) 


This isn't going to be a very educated response but I have a surround sound system hooked up to my PC via an optical cable. When games output 5.1 surround sound, it plays 5.1 surround sound. Stereo is converted to play on all 5 speakers (because I set it that way). I do not have a sound card but Windows 7 figures it all out within the sound settings. It outputs in DTS Audio as well as Dolby Digital and my receiver recognizes it. I don't know how much this impacts it but my motherboard apparently has realtek audio controllers and I hear that's fairly typical. Let the guru's correct me if i'm wrong.
July 30, 2011 6:46:58 AM

What is the sound chip on your motherboard? I don't know where you read that the PC only outputs stereo - that's not been the case for years. I have had surround sound on my motherboards for a long time now.

They typically offer optical and/or coax digital output, which should be all you need.

Or you can configure the sound as 5.1 (in the sound configuration utility), and use (typically) three sockets on the back of the motherboard: one for front left/right, one for surround left/right, and one for sub and centre channel; you'd plug in three cables that went from 3.5mm plugs to a pair of RCAs each, and use the 5.1 input on the amp (assuming your amp has a 5.1 input; not all do).

If you have a really old (or really low end) motherboard, then it's possible that you do only have stereo output, and then yes, you'd need a sound card.

My current builds all have 7.1 sound (which can be configured as 5.1 or 2.1, or even more exotic setups) on the motherboard.
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July 30, 2011 1:31:41 PM

compulsivebuilder said:
What is the sound chip on your motherboard? I don't know where you read that the PC only outputs stereo - that's not been the case for years. I have had surround sound on my motherboards for a long time now.

They typically offer optical and/or coax digital output, which should be all you need.

Or you can configure the sound as 5.1 (in the sound configuration utility), and use (typically) three sockets on the back of the motherboard: one for front left/right, one for surround left/right, and one for sub and centre channel; you'd plug in three cables that went from 3.5mm plugs to a pair of RCAs each, and use the 5.1 input on the amp (assuming your amp has a 5.1 input; not all do).

If you have a really old (or really low end) motherboard, then it's possible that you do only have stereo output, and then yes, you'd need a sound card.

My current builds all have 7.1 sound (which can be configured as 5.1 or 2.1, or even more exotic setups) on the motherboard.


Yes your right i just looked at the back of my computer my mother it is the ASUS P6T SE i only purchased it 7months ago. it does have an optical and coaxial outputs . does that mean i can connect my surround sound via my optical output, and it will just configure into 5.1 sound via windows 7 which i already have. here is a pic of my motherboard, it has optical on the left and spdif coaxial on the right.

so what you think ?



Thanks.
!