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PC to Surround Sound Receiver Connention

Last response: in Home Audio
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March 20, 2011 6:03:04 AM

I recently picked up a 5.1 surround sound system which I've been using with my home theater system. I would like to hook my PC to the receiver as well. I'm currently using a yamaha YMC-500BL receiver:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and an EVGA P55V motherboard with realtek audio software that claims to have 5.1 surround sound capability:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The issue is that the motherboard audio output consists of 6 standard 1.5mm jacks, while the receiver has coaxial audio, optical audio and RCA audio inputs.

Is there any way I can connect my motherboard to the receiver? Is there a converter or anything that will let me connect the two systems, or do I need to get a sound card or something like that? Thanks

Best solution

March 20, 2011 8:22:25 PM

you can buy some cords that have a headphone plug on one end and an rca plug on the other end.
you can also make your own.

i dont think that realtek soundcard will encode everything to one of the surround sound formats.
usually that means you will get the front left and right speakers only if and when the audio on the PC is not already encoded in a surround sound format.

and all that means is..
using the analog outputs of the soundcard will be needed.

there is software that will encode ALL audio into either dolby digital or DTS
but i dont know if it will work with the realtek soundcard.
you might not need it, unless the digital to analog convertor on the receiver is much better than the digital to analog convertor of the soundcard.

that software can be found here:
http://buy.soundblaster.com/_creativelabsstore/cgi-bin/...

the software supposedly runs on the creative xfi soundcard processor.
but it might run on the computer's main processor.. i dont know, and i dont own the software myself (although i might purchase it in the future).

if you play video games.. you probably dont want to use the software while you are playing the game, because the software will use up some processing power that would normally be used for the video game.

but really.. the software is supposed to be used to get audio from the rear speakers for only two things:
1. video games
2. music converted from stereo to 4.0 or 5.1 or 6.1 (maybe 7.1?)

its probably best to purchase all three cables.
but try to connect the receiver to the PC using the digital connection first.
you can use the front two speakers to compare the digital to analog convertors.
one of them might sound much much more detailed.

once you come to that conclusion,
you will probably either use all of the cables, or grab that software for about $5
perhaps you should email them and ask if it will work if you dont have a creative soundcard.

there are a few DTS encoders.. but none of them appear to encode 'on-the-fly'
you shouldnt have to take each individual file and encode the audio, save it, and play the encoded version.
that means you would have to manually encode all of your music to listen to it from the front and rear speakers.
you would have to download all of the youtube videos and extract the audio from the video, encode that audio into the surround sound format.. then put the encoded audio into the video.
all of that before you can listen to it in surround sound.

streaming internet radio is another example that makes it obnoxious to encode the audio into surround sound.
you would have to record the audio and save it to a file.. then take the file and encode it.


BUT .. having a look at your receiver, it appears to have the option to change stereo audio and turn it into surround sound (playing from the rear speakers).
you might want to use that option, if indeed i read correctly.

you wont get surround sound in your video games though.
and that can be extremely important.
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March 21, 2011 5:26:49 PM

Best answer selected by Sam85.
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March 21, 2011 5:28:20 PM

Thanks for the advice. I grabbed one of the 1.5mm to RCA audio cables and the system sounds good. Like you said, I'm getting stereo and not surround, but I'm not much of a PC gamer, so this is good enough.
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March 21, 2011 7:11:54 PM

good good..

do you have surround sound while watching television?
wondering how you connected the television.

i see that the receiver has 1 coax digital input
and 1 optical digital input.

sometimes you can get surround sound from stereo shows when/if they use dolby prologic.
the dolby prologic uses dividors hidden in the stereo channels that send sounds specifically to the rear speakers.

i dont know if the industry uses it anymore.
i have digital cable and most of the channels have a dolby icon.
but it doesnt say if its dolby 5.1 or dolby prologic.

i'm stuck using stereo analog connection because that is all i have calibrated.
(microphone broke and i need a microphone preamp with a new mic)

funny though, because i just turned on a show to try the prologic II
i dont have a digital connection between the soundcard and the receiver.. but it appears as if there are some sounds coming from the rear.
maybe its the receiver processing the sound.
i think i'm gonna try using a digital connection and see if the surround gets even better.

see, i need to keep my receiver connected to the computer soundcard so that i can use the software equalizer.
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