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Need help with audio and receivers for my new setup

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC' started by gdubb85, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. gdubb85

    gdubb85 Member

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    I just bought a 42" hdtv and a 360 elite and now I would like to invest in some surround sound (5.1). I noticed that the only receivers are A/V at places like bestbuy and circuit city, but I have like 8 inputs on my tv and am all set on the video side. However, I need to be able to hear surround sound audio on:

    -my pc which has stereo out and "digital out" (which is a 3.5mm plug, not optical)
    -my tv which has stereo and optical out
    -the 360 which has optical/stereo
    -the dvd/vcr which has stereo and also coaxial (but Im not sure if this is just for running out cable since it's labeled antenna out)
    -and last my wii which has stereo out

    Anyway, I have a few very noob questions. Am I really going to notice the difference between optical, digital, and stereo out?

    Also, do any receivers accept this "digital input" as my computer calls it?

    Do any receivers have just audio so I don't have this expensive piece of equipment I am only using half of?

    Lastly, what is needed to actually HEAR surround sound (5.1) as far as the source. If I have a QAM tuner getting HD from my cable in the wall and run an optical or stereo out from my TV to my 5 channel speakers, will it have surround sound or is that just reserved for things like DVDs and the 360.

    Also, if I have an older dvd player will it be able to output sound to the speakers as surround sound or just stereo?

    I know there are a lot of questions, but to you all who know a thing or two they are probably answered by a simple yes or no since I am just now figuring all this stuff out. I'm assuming the word Dolby will be in someone's response, but I have no idea what that means...

    Thanks guyss!
     
  2. H0bbes

    H0bbes Member

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    Only with the last one. Depending on the source programming, Optical and digital are capable of carrying surround sound and stereo. Stereo out is generally just red and white (or black), carrying at best a downmixed signal=quality loss.

    Yes, most do accept at least one, many more than one. Do your research on any model you are interested in.

    Yes, quite a few. One of my personal favorites is the Bose line of surround receivers.

    What is needed is any device that will pass on a digital audio signal from the program you are watching, to your receiver by way of optical or coaxial digital wire. Oh and no, it is not limited. Any device playing content with a digital audio signal is normally compatible.

    Yes, IF that player has a digital audio out.

    More info on dolby...

    http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/movie-sound.htm

    Hope this helps! :)
     
  3. gdubb85

    gdubb85 Member

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    Alright wow your awesome man. So, what I am understanding is that by definition anything STEREO (the red and white jacks) is not surround sound and not digital. So, I need optical, digital, or coaxial?

    And yes, I just realized that Bose is one of the premiere sound companies so they must have receivers for just audio, but then again I will pay more for just that than another brands A/V receiver...so I'll have to do some research...

    Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  4. H0bbes

    H0bbes Member

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    What I like to do is snoop around in Curcuit City/Best Buy ands see what they sell, then find a cheaper company on Amazon and buy it there.
     
  5. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    H0bbes, edit your sig to conform to forum specs ASAP. your's is 180x180 pixels.
    4. If you want to use both text and image in your signature the image should not be more than 500 pixels wide and 100 pixels tall, and you can use up to three lines of text.
     
  6. gdubb85

    gdubb85 Member

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    I just started looking things up and this Onkyo system seems perfect for me.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...ils.asp?EdpNo=3169600&CatId=353#exchange_info

    Looks like it has two optical inputs and two digital inputs tons and tons of stereo and coaxial. The review on cnet said:

    "The 7.1-channel receiver delivers 110 watts per channel and supports the usual assortment of Dolby Digital, Dolby EX, Pro Logic IIx, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS Neo:6, DTS 96/24, and Neural surround-processing modes. The HT-SR800 is somewhat limited when dealing with the soundtracks on HD DVD and Blu-ray players, however--if your player doesn't have built-in decoding and 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs, you'll be stuck with the low-res DVD soundtracks listed above (see below for more detail)."

    Now my computer came with an HD-DVD player and has a digital output so is it safe to assume that the processing required is already installed? I know I also have three analog outputs for speakers for a 5.1 setup in addition to the digital output.

    I am assuming if I use standard dvds in my 360 elite it will be able to output the required digital signal to the receiver for surround sound...not sure though.
     

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