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Need advice for speaker/sound card for watching DVDs

Old 06-02-03, 10:05 AM
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Need advice for speaker/sound card for watching DVDs

I don't play computer games much anymore (except for the occasional rampage in GTA3), but I'd like to get a quality sound card/speaker setup for watching DVDs.

I've been looking at the Logitech Z640 5.1 speaker sets with a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card. Less than $200 shipped from NewEgg.com. I'm using Intervideo WinDVD for my DVD program.

I'd like to get DTS, but I'm unsure if that's even possible from a PC. The Audigy 2 does Dolby Digital, which is such a leap from what I have now (SB Live 4.1 with crappy 2.1 speakers).

Anybody have any other recommendations? I'd love to go with the Klipsch 5.1 system, but that's pretty far out of my price range. I'd like to keep it around $200-$250 (speakers and sound card).
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Old 06-02-03, 10:08 AM
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I have an Audigy 2 and it is possible to get DTS on the card, but it requires you to use the SP/DIF to connect the card to a receiver that has DTS decoding to output through its speakers.

As for getting 5.1 speakers, if you want true digital 5.1 I think there are only a handful of speaker sets that can really do Dolby Digital and Sound Blaster is one of them. Go with either a Sound Blaster set or Klipsch .
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Old 06-02-03, 12:22 PM
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I have a set of Logitech Z-640's (from newegg) paired with an old Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Value card. I have a pretty tiny room, and it sounds pretty fantastic. These aren't going to be the greatest speakers you have ever heard, but for $65, they sound pretty damn good.

Also, if you use WinDVD Platinum and have a decent processor, you can have your cpu decode Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS soundtracks just fine. Saving Private Ryan makes the people upstairs stomp every time.
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Old 10-31-03, 09:20 PM
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Is there a way to have a 5.1 set up with a laptop? I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 and would like 5.1 if possible. I don't have a firewire port available, but I do have USB 2.0. Is there such a thing as external sound cards, or is it possible to put a sound card in an enclosure of some sort?

I'm sorry if this sounds silly, but I'd like to know what you guys think. Thanks.
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Old 10-31-03, 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Lethal Nemesis
Is there a way to have a 5.1 set up with a laptop? I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 and would like 5.1 if possible. I don't have a firewire port available, but I do have USB 2.0.
Sound Blaster Extigy
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Old 10-31-03, 10:01 PM
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And oh, as for the original question, I think any good sound card with S/P-DIF output will do. And pick home theatre speaker instead of multimedia speakers.

Last edited by eedoon; 10-31-03 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 10-31-03, 10:47 PM
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Thanks for that link, eedoon. Is that my only option? $150.. I am but a poor college student..
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Old 10-31-03, 11:15 PM
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Hmm that was the only one of the kind that I know.

I know several makers (Altec Lansing is one of them) made speakers with USB connection that doesn't need any sound card. However, there's no 5.1 version of it yet.
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Old 10-31-03, 11:18 PM
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Hm, ok, I'll go for the Extigy then. Thanks man.
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Old 10-31-03, 11:27 PM
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Originally posted by Lethal Nemesis
Is there a way to have a 5.1 set up with a laptop? I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 and would like 5.1 if possible. I don't have a firewire port available, but I do have USB 2.0. Is there such a thing as external sound cards, or is it possible to put a sound card in an enclosure of some sort?

I'm sorry if this sounds silly, but I'd like to know what you guys think. Thanks.
some laptops offer spdif out, in which case you can hook that up with a speaker/decoder combo (like the z680)

as for the original question, i got the turtle beach santa cruz sound card and the z640 speakers for around $50 total.

for a better system, get a sound card with spdif out, and then get the z680s.
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Old 10-31-03, 11:36 PM
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Mine doesn't have the SPDIF out. So I guess it's the Extigy for me.

P.S. I miss you, phammy.

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Old 11-01-03, 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by Lethal Nemesis
Mine doesn't have the SPDIF out. So I guess it's the Extigy for me.

P.S. I miss you, phammy.

well, then it'd be a decent choice. you can get it with the z640.

P.S. it was your decision to leave

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Old 11-01-03, 02:21 AM
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There is also this company M-Audio . The USB Sonica Does supporet 7.1 DTS Audio
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Old 11-05-03, 04:08 AM
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After reading a lot of negative reviews on the Extigy, I decided to look for another external sound card. I came across the Hercules Gaming Theater XP 6.1, but I haven't had a chance to read a lot of reviews on it yet. It's looking pretty nice so far, though.

I looked at the M-Audio Sonica, but it only supports USB 1.1 as does the Extigy, and I'd prefer USB 2.0 if possible. Are there any other cards you guys can recommend? I've heard a lot of people are satisfied with Turtle Beach, so I'll see if they offer any external sound cards that support USB 2.0.
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Old 11-05-03, 12:12 PM
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i have a turtle beach card, and i'm pretty happy with it. i've heard good things about the hercules cards too.
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Old 11-05-03, 04:27 PM
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Did a quick search for Turtle Beach cards and didn't find any external USB cards. Do I just need to look harder?
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Old 11-05-03, 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by Lethal Nemesis
Did a quick search for Turtle Beach cards and didn't find any external USB cards. Do I just need to look harder?
i don't think they make usb cards.
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