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Please help me with my HTPC

Old 05-08-06, 10:51 AM
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Please help me with my HTPC

Here is the back of my receiver: some yamaha model. Anyway I want
to get my computer to do 5.1 but all the sound cards I found have
headphone jack outputs. Right now I have the computer 'headphones' going
out to the 'CD' R and L speaker with a splitter wire.

Heres my question: What kind of sound card should I get?

Im thinking of plugging it into the "6CH INPUT" section because that one isnt taken.

Input 1 and 2 are taken by DVD and Xbox so I cant use those.

Please help! thanks


Last edited by Save Ferris; 05-08-06 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 05-08-06, 11:12 AM
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That should work just fine. You will still need the appropriate adapters since 5.1 sound cards have miniplugs, too, just more of them.

Or, if you have a digital input available, you could use that from the soundcard. I wasn't sure from your description.
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Old 05-08-06, 11:17 AM
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Well the problem is, the soundcard plugs are mini like the kind for headphones. I need something that can plug into the bigger plugs I think.
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Old 05-08-06, 12:05 PM
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All you need is a "basic" 7.1 chanel sond card with spdif output (available from tigerdirect for $25), and an optical switcher (available from partsexpress for aroun $30 I think). This will give the most accurate, most pure digital sound reproduction. You could use adapters on all those mini plugs, but you'd have signal loss and sound degradation.
For everything you'd ever care to know about HTPCs and then some, check out avsforum.com... for info and talk about R1 dvds and movies, stick with dvdtalk
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Old 05-08-06, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SMART-ASS
For everything you'd ever care to know about HTPCs and then some, check out avsforum.com... for info and talk about R1 dvds and movies, stick with dvdtalk
Maybe there would be more discussion about HTPCs here if people didn't send members to other forums when they have questions about them.

Depending on the subject the Tech Talk Forum can also be an appropriate place to discuss HTPC. This is one of those cases.

All you need is the most basic soundcard that has an optical or coax digital output. Then hook that up to a digital input of your receiver. Your coax digital input is free so you can use that and a card with coax-out is easier to find. Given their reputation I would not buy components from TigerDirect.
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Old 05-08-06, 12:13 PM
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If you want the pc to do "5.1"?... do you mean play dvds through your avr? Why do you need the dvd input on the back of your avr for a dvd player? The htpc would eliminate the dvd player, thus not needing the optical switcher.
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Old 05-08-06, 12:30 PM
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Not trying to step on anyones toes or take food out of any mouths. Sorry. Just trying to help with the little knowledge afforded me. I'll always go the best source that can benefit the most from for whatever project I am in need of assistance. I'll leave it at that.

I was not aware of any problems with tigerdirect. I have ordered several things from them and never had any trouble. I don't know where else you can find that soundcard though. It's a quality spdif enabled soundcard for a great price. Anything else is going to cost double or even more.
Good luck to you SF and let us know if you get it all worked out.
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Old 05-08-06, 12:32 PM
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I just want my get a little better sound presentation out of my HTPC when playing video files and DVDs. Right now its just got the headphone jack splitting into R and L channels. thats it--lame I know but its mainly for surfing the web while watching TV and such.

I want to get it running all speakers correctly somehow. Both my optical inputs are taken already. Can you split an optical input?
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Old 05-08-06, 12:34 PM
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Yes, with an optical splitter. You'd only have one input at a time though.
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Old 05-08-06, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Save Ferris
I just want my get a little better sound presentation out of my HTPC when playing video files and DVDs. Right now its just got the headphone jack splitting into R and L channels. thats it--lame I know but its mainly for surfing the web while watching TV and such.

I want to get it running all speakers correctly somehow. Both my optical inputs are taken already. Can you split an optical input?
What is the problem with using input #3, the coax digital input?
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Old 05-08-06, 12:59 PM
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$19 for an optical output from a reliable company.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829130002

$24 for optical and coax.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829117107
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Old 05-08-06, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by X
This is like one I picked up over the weekend, unless im missing something, theres no optical or coax All those plugs are the size of a headphone jack. Do I need a cable that converts the plug size to that of a coax?
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Old 05-08-06, 01:18 PM
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Look at the pictures on Newegg's site. There is a bracket that supplies the digital connections. In and out it appears. Nice.

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Old 05-08-06, 01:34 PM
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ahh so you can attach this piece to the card and use it instead? I havent seen cards like this before. And I didnt even have to leave the forum

Cool thanks!
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Old 05-08-06, 02:16 PM
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I've never seen that before either. Pretty nifty. Too bad it's only 5.1 instead of 7.1, but of course that's all that is needed right now I guess... plus you'd also have an spdif in. The cheaper one is what type I was referring to. I'd go for that one just in case you decide to upgrade to 7.1/6.1 later, but that's me.

X, isn't the sound quality better via spdif as opposed to coax? This is what I have been led to believe. I am no "expert" though.
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Old 05-08-06, 02:25 PM
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5.1, 7.1, doesn't matter. The card isn't doing the decoding, the receiver is. It's just data as far as the card is concerned unless you're using its analog outs.

Sound will be the same via either type of connection. There are arguments both ways but for all practical purpose, especially with the equipment we're talking about, it doesn't matter. Expecially since what is being transferred to the receiver is not decoded DD audio. It's a data stream that the receiver decodes.
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Old 05-08-06, 02:25 PM
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Actually, the more I think about it, I think X's way makes more sense for right now. Use the coax input. It will still sound good and solve your problem easily. I was taking it unnecessarily to a higher level. If you do upgrade later, another $20-$50 on the sound card will pale in comparison to the cost of the other upgrades. Sorry for all the misconception and confusion.
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Old 05-09-06, 04:46 AM
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The optical upgrade seems similar to the original Sound Blaster Live! daughter card.

Anyway, I have a similar situation to the OP. However my sound card manufacturer provide a y splitter from mini-jack to coax and DIN. I'm not sure if it's easy to find, but it's out there somewhere.
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Old 05-11-06, 10:06 PM
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I believe that aopen card doesn't give you true 5.1. It forces your to use stereo output (to headphones or stereo speakers) to enable to SPDIF outputs. Go read their forums at aopen.com(i think thats the site) and read how many people got to learn this firsthand.
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Old 05-11-06, 10:22 PM
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You're right! I just looked at their forum and found the same information.

http://club.aopen.com.tw/forum/searc...&Action=Search

That's the strangest thing I've seen in a long time. I guess you really have to check up on any card to see if it passes AC3/DTS through its digital output. It's hard to imagine why they'd have digital out if it didn't.
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Old 05-11-06, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Here is the back of my receiver: some yamaha model. Anyway I want
to get my computer to do 5.1 but all the sound cards I found have
headphone jack outputs.

[. . .]

Please help! thanks
A mono miniplug-to-RCA adapter, available from Radio Shack for a few dollars, will adapt a miniplug-format SPDIF output for use with your receiver's co-ax digital input.
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Old 08-05-06, 01:05 PM
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I just wanted to update this thread with a card that people seem to like. Optical out only though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829120103

Use VIA Envy24 drivers for the latest updates.
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Old 08-05-06, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by X
I just wanted to update this thread with a card that people seem to like. Optical out only though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829120103

Use VIA Envy24 drivers for the latest updates.

Yep. That's the one I have and it works flawlessly. Great choice for digital audio from your htpc for a very cheap pricetag, but definately a quality product. Need more digital audio outs?... just add an optical splitter, so easy yet so efficient.
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Old 08-07-06, 06:07 AM
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SMART-ASS, since you are using this card, I will ask you so you can give me a definitive answer.

I want to play dd and dts 5.1 movies from my hard drive. I have tried a couple of sound cards have had no luck getting 5.1 sound out of them. I want to go out of the sound card via digital optical, and into my A/V reciever's digital optical input. Will this card pass thru the dd and dts 5.1 digital signal to the reciever?

Thanks!

Last edited by buffotoad; 08-07-06 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 08-07-06, 08:54 AM
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I never knew you could get an optical splitter--are they as easy to use as it sounds?
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