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Conecting a PC to a Home theatre surround sound system

Last response: in Home Audio
September 29, 2004 9:05:45 PM

Archived from groups: (More info?)

Is this possible? And if so, is it complicated?
September 30, 2004 1:51:39 AM

Archived from groups: (More info?)

Craig James wrote:

>Is this possible? And if so, is it complicated?

The answers to both of these questions depend entirely on how the PC is
equipped for audio.

Michael Kesti | "And like, one and one don't make
| two, one and one make one." | - The Who, Bargain
September 30, 2004 7:14:40 PM

Archived from groups: (More info?) (Craig James) writes:

> Is this possible?


> And if so, is it complicated?

This dpeends on how your PC is equipped, what do you expects
to get (is analogue stereo / dolby surround enough or do you want
digital 5.1 channel sounds) and the installation environment
(what kind of surroudn system you have, are those on same room etc.)

In simplest cases this connection can be done by just
by putting an audio cable with 3.5 mm stereo plug and two RCA plugs
on on it's ends between your soundcard audio output connector
and line level input on your surround system.

On some more complicated cases you could need noise
suppressing components (to get rid of humming noise)
on audio connection to get useable sound quality.

Digital audio connection between your PC and surround
system is another story.

Tomi Engdahl (
Take a look at my electronics web links and documents at
October 3, 2004 4:58:58 AM

Archived from groups: (More info?) (Craig James) wrote in message news:<>...
> Is this possible? And if so, is it complicated?

If you want to get the most out of your surround sound system, you
need to get your computer to output Dolby 5.1 surround sound.
(Or some other surround sound format... but Dolby is the most

Usually, the sound circuitry built into your motherboard only provides
a right and a left sound channel. You don't want this. You'll want to
buy a nice sound card. (The other reason you don't want to use
"built-in sound" is because it's often quite noisy and/or distorted.)

I think every Creative card made after the Sound Blaster Live can
support 5.1 sound outputs. I think their latest card is the Creative
Audigy2. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is also rumored to be an
excellent card, as is the M-Audio Revolution 7.1.

You can pay a lot for a sound card if you want, but remember that the
quality tends to increase logarithmically with cost... i.e., you can
end up paying a lot for something that's really not much better than a
sound blaster in the final analysis.

The real hassle you will probably run into is the difficulty of
connecting stuff to your sound card. The PC world tends to use 1/8"
"subminiature jacks," whereas standalone speaker systems often use RCA
jacks (the chunky round single-core connectors), 1/4" jacks, or even
stranger things. If you need to, head down to your local radio shack
or circuit city and buy an adaptor. Remember, gold-plated connectors
are best because they resist corrosion. Paying for a whole cable made
out of gold is foolish, though. Unless you light your cigars with $100
bills, I wouldn't recommend it.

If you are building your own PC, make sure to get a high-quality power
supply. Analog components still matter, even in a computer.
I could say more here, but the post is already way too long.

Good luck.