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PC to Home theater

Last response: in Components
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June 18, 2001 10:23:49 AM

Hi everyone

I am trying to set up a Home theater system through my PC. I will use it mainly for DVD, but also listening to some music, and perhaps a game or two here and there.

I have a PII system with 256 Memory.
-(do you think the processor is a bit slow?)

In addition, I am in the process of ordering a Radeon 64 VIVO (since it had hardware DVD decoding, I was hoping to get some of the load off my CPU), and alos a poineer 106C DVD player.
(any other similarily priced DVD player you would recommend that it better than th 106C?)
-(do you think that the Radeon would now support DTS straight throughput or should I instead not install the Radeon software, but something else like powerDVD that does have straight DTS throughput? Would I then be loosing Radeon's hardware DVD decoding and it's advantages of speed and quality?)

I am also planning to upgrade my sound blaster live value to a sound blaster live platinum. I am doing this mainly in order to get the 5.1 output functionality. I am also leaning towards this card because of it's excellent software bundle (my girlfriend could use the card to plug in her keyboard and other music making stuff and use the software to edit...)
-(can I get away with using my current SB live value or should I opt for a 5.1 card for the DD/DTS sound for my speakers?)
-(what are your impressions on Hercules XP, or Philips, or Santa cruise cards?)
-(would I be intruding more distortion by going through a sound card VS a stand alone DVD/Cd player to reciever?)
-(would I be connecting through a optical out from the sound card to the speakers?)

I am planing to somehow connect everyting to a DTS /DD reciever (I am thinking of getting a Yamaha model (5440), but please tell me of any better ones for aournd 300-400 price range.)

I am also planning of getting some JBL speakers (it's been a headache deciding on good quality and value speakers, but I have heard good things about JBL's and am leaning toward N26 for front, N24 for back, N-center and their 10" subwoofer.)
-(any thoughts on any other speakers that might be better for my setup?)
-(are you familiar with the S26' and S38's by JBL? Was thinking of spending some more money and go with S38 front, S26 back, and S center.)
-(do you think that I might be able to mix two different series of the JBL speakers? ie, S26 front, N26 back, S center...?)


So, this is my plan in short. What do you think? Would I be better off just buying a stand alone DVD player and plug it in straight to the reciever or is it better to do what I am planning now? Sorry for the long winded questions, but I am at a impass right now and just don't know what to do... It's very tempting to just get a DVD/reciever/5.1 speakers and set them up seperate from my PC, but I think I might get better quality (not to mention be able to play games using my sound system

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Anonymous
June 18, 2001 5:18:03 PM

have you listened to the jbl's? Speakers, like music have to be bought to match your personal taste. JBL are fine as low end economy speakers. If you want something more decent, try paradigm, boston acoustic, klipsch, and the list goes on. I'd recommend you try a couple of local audio specialty shops and audition the speakers by bringing music you like. The general rule is if the store carries washing machines chances are they carry crappy speakers.
oh and just to be sure - NEVER EVER BUY BOSE. NEVER.
Anonymous
June 18, 2001 5:23:05 PM

oh and as far as mixing the front/center/back speakers, the only thing you have to make sure is that the fronts and center match. Most of the time if they're from the same company they'll match. you don't really have to worry about matching the rears. oh and bose doesn't mix with anything, 'cause bose sucks. Just go to the store and listen to the speaks yourself. compare them with the others they have. Don't buy speakers on recommendations from others, you have to listen to them yourself.
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Anonymous
June 19, 2001 12:46:18 AM

the 'newer' 116 Pioneer 16x is the successor to the 106 model. Comes in two flavors: tray and slot(slot has digital out).

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June 19, 2001 2:09:48 AM

The register report that Creative Labs will release their next generation sound card the SoundBlaster Audigy sound system soon. Maybe you want to wait for it.

Here is the link to the story.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/19792.html
June 19, 2001 5:44:05 AM

I have a p2 w/ dvd, and it was quite unimpressive in my opinion. It impressed me enought though to go out and buy a real dvd player with composite video to my tv and superior sound. If you already have a TV and a reciever then this is definitely the way to go. It'll be cheaper and much more impressive.

Just buy a DVD player with DTS and all the connectors you need (whether you want composite video or S-video, digital coax or optical for sound).

I have mine setup with Composite and digital coax and along with my home entertainment system it blows anything my computer could output away. Make sure you buy Monster cable. The system is only as good as the cables running between the components.

Granted I was doing all of this back in the day with a voodoo3 3000 that couldn't handle the matrix, so videocards today might be able to pull off more with the p2, but I personally don't find the investment you are about to make a worthy one.

I forgot speakers, I have a 5 speaker JBL setup and I love it.

<font color=red>We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it. - Eisenhower</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by dhlucke on 06/18/01 10:45 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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