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What audio setup is best for true 5.1 surround via PC

Last response: in Home Theatre
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April 30, 2010 3:01:04 PM

Hello chaps and chappets, i'm searching for some advice on a good setup to have decent audio 5.1 surround maybe support for 7.1 in future on its current setup. Don't know if I should go for a premade home theater system and hook it up or buy individual speakers or get an AV reciever with speakers.

After researching sites i'm still no the better..

Budget £350, £50 more maybe £100 less ideally.

My motherboard http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/Manual_M...

Support for Dolby home theater, it says
1. Realtek ALC889A codec
2. High Definition Audio
3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
4. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
5. Support for CD In

Has a lot of connections on back and I know one is optical. My graphics card even has HDMI, this is linked to my LCD TV but I also have another graphics card as they are in crossfire (2 x Radeon 4850)

Help me oh wise ones,
Best wishes
Paul Blythin
April 30, 2010 6:06:21 PM

I would look in your graphics card manual and see what audio formats it supports over the HDMI output, if any. I think the newer AMD cards support quite a few formats.

I just finished my home "office" setup (basically a PC & PS3 - I don't do no stinkin' work at home for free :D ), and I have an Onkyo AV receiver with 2 Klipsch reference bookshelf speakers, a Klipsch subwoofer and the Klipsch Synergy Quintet II speakers for a 7.1 setup. I think that's probably about double your budget however, but I did get the Onkyo and Quintets at a discount on Amazon. The Onkyo itself was almost half-price, probably because the video processor got mediocre reviews on CNET and various AV review sites, but that didn't bother me as I just pass the video through to the Pioneer plasma TV anyway.

Unfortunately I have yet to find any BD movies with actual 7.1 surround-sound support - even Avatar is just 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, but BD does support that mode. As for PC games, I haven't really looked yet - too busy watching Avatar, Star Trek and various other BD movies now that I have a decent home theater - er, "office" as I explain to my wife :D .
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