Connecting old Receiver to PC

I have a somewhat older, but still in good shape 5.1 Yamaha RX-V870 receiver, along with a Polk Audio 5.1 speaker system. I want to connect the system to my PC and take advantage of the 5.1 surround for games and blu-rays.
I'm kind of a noob at audio still, so I'm trying to figure out how I should connect the audio system correctly to get all 6 speakers functioning. Currently, I have a red/white connection plugged into the "CD" output on the receiver, which ends in a regular audio cable in my computer. The 2 front speakers and the sub are playing, but I get no sound from the 2 rears or center, even if playing 5.1 audio.

Do I need a different connection to unlock 5.1? My mobo is pretty new, so has all the standard audio stuff, including SPDIF.
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  1. you are probably using the microphone or LF/RF output 3.5mm port on the pc. this is stereo only. the same is true with two rca cables (red/white) this is stereo only.

    you will need to use hdmi, spdif or component cables for surround sound.

    what is most important is what type of inputs your receiver will accept.

    if your receiver has a spdif input then you would want to use this.

    if your receiver has hdmi then you could also use this and video passthrough to your monitor. your video card would need to support sound out via hdmi.

    if your receiver has component cable inputs you might be able to use your speaker ports via adapter cables. i am not sure how component cables carry audio but the pc connections carry LF/RF, C and LR/RR on three cables.
  2. I'm afraid the receiver is too old to have SPDIF or HDMI inputs. That leaves a component cable solution.

    What do I need to get 5.1 audio coming out of the receiver?

    Here are my available outputs:
  3. Sorry but the computer supplies only Left and Right outputs and you are hearing them correctly. If you receiver can synthesize a surround, you might try those settings.
  4. You could buy an inexpensive sound card with the components out to input to your receiver.

    The real problem is that this receiver is using simulated surround sound not discreet sound meaning that the audio info being sent to each speaker is simulated instead of a "direct info". I wish I could describe it better.

    So you can get sound from every speaker but it won't be true directional audio. It is like taking a stereo sound source and adding some echo.

    Happy Listening, the Prisoner.
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