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Old 02-11-10, 01:39 PM   #1
ragejg
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Default Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

Receiver:
Denon AVR-3200, currently running in 2.1 mode with a set of NHT SuperOne (midgrade enthusiast) speakers and an old Altec Lansing sub...
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...onavr3200.html


Sound Source:
My Media PC...

either my SB Audigy 2 ZS
http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/creati...-zs/index.html

Motherboard's onboard ALC883
http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/p...nn=4&ProdID=44

Or the audio-out on my HD4870



Questions:

Right now, I have the Audigy 2 running analog out to the receiver. For what it's worth, the system is hooked to my tv as its sole display output through a DVI-HDMI cable.

I remember when I hooked my old cable box up to the receiver that the digital output sounded better than the analog... so I'd like to do the same with the PC.

Since this PC splits its time 33/33/33 between gaming, media playing and web browsing I'd like to hook the sound up in a way that is good for all three.

I figure that the Audigy 2 ZS is good because it still is a good sound card with true hardware acceleration. I'll take all the extra performance I can get. But I don't know if it's really the best option for playing the audio of my media through a digital output.

For what it's worth I WILL very soon hook up a few other speakers so the receiver becomes capable out 4.1 or 5.1 output. I've been ok with the 2.1 output for a long time, but I think it's time to upgrade.

If the audigy 2 is no longer a viable option for any reason, should I instead use my onboard audio, or the audio from the HD4870?

I will be getting a Blu-Ray drive for the system this summer, does that play into this at all with regards to, um.. what is it, HDCP?

And lastly, to hook the PC up to the receiver, I'd need a 1/8 to optical cable, is that right? The receiver has an optical digital in and an RCA-plug style digital in.

Sorry for the mess of a post but I really don't know enough about this and thus have settled for 2.1 analog audio for too long, especially given that my receiver and speakers are dang nice.

Thanks.
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Old 02-11-10, 02:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

That is a fairly nice receiver. If I recall, it goes for high efficiency instead of high out-put... if paired with high-efficiency speakers you will have one heck of a nice sounding across all volumes, and very loud, setup.

I'm using Optical out via my on-board solution, which is feeding into my JVC RX-5030V. Right now I'm only rocking stereo since I'm kinda' in a temporary living situation. However, I was using anolog and the difference seems night and day. I was using analog cause I didn't want to purchase an optical cable (only form of digital out my mobo has), but just got tired of it and finally broke down and bought the cable- was only $20.

My advice- considering the speakers you're using, the receiver they're hooked up to, and the fact you'll be getting blu-ray, I *highly* suggest you go digital. If the Audigy 2ZS has a digital out then that's one option, if not then just use the on-board. You'll not regret it.
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Old 02-11-10, 04:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

Isn't SPDIF out on a sound card digital? I don't quite understand the terminology.
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Old 02-11-10, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragejg View Post
Isn't SPDIF out on a sound card digital? I don't quite understand the terminology.
Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format is digital. If your Audigy has it, then go on and use it.
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Old 02-12-10, 12:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

Audigy cannot encode Dolby Digital, so you would pass through any stream already encoded (DVD, Bluray...), but any source with multiple stream witout encoding (like surround gaming), would only go as 2.1 with the audigy.

This is an old problem. The good news is that most recent on-board audio do DD encoding. The bad news is that I cant tell if yours does. The ALC883D (note the final D, for Dolby Digital Live encoding) does. If you do not have that D, then it does not support it.

About the 4870, I thought it could only output through the HDMI port (using the given AMD DVI-HDMI adapter, NOT a generic one), not though a SPDIF. Otherwise, this would be my solution of choice, as this one DOES DDLive encoding of any source. If your TV/Monitor takes HDMI, check if it supplies a SPDIF output to the Receiver.
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Old 02-13-10, 11:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchy2k1 View Post
Audigy cannot encode Dolby Digital, so you would pass through any stream already encoded (DVD, Bluray...), but any source with multiple stream witout encoding (like surround gaming), would only go as 2.1 with the audigy.
I hooked SPDIF out to the coax digital in on the receiver... set SPDIF Out as default in Sound, and digital audio is playing correctly.

I popped in the dvd "Live Free or Die Hard" and played it in Media Center... I believe I set everything up right, as the Dolby Digital icon is displayed during playback.

I'll post an update when I finally have the receiver hooked up in 5.1 channel mode. Right now it's just 2.0 as I had to pirate the mono 1/8 (sub's output) to RCA cable (receiver's input) from the sub to use for the Audigy to receiver hookup.

For what it's worth there is a clarity to the sound that wasn't there before.
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Old 02-13-10, 07:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Media PC to Home Theatre Receiver questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragejg View Post
I hooked SPDIF out to the coax digital in on the receiver... set SPDIF Out as default in Sound, and digital audio is playing correctly.

I popped in the dvd "Live Free or Die Hard" and played it in Media Center... I believe I set everything up right, as the Dolby Digital icon is displayed during playback.

I'll post an update when I finally have the receiver hooked up in 5.1 channel mode. Right now it's just 2.0 as I had to pirate the mono 1/8 (sub's output) to RCA cable (receiver's input) from the sub to use for the Audigy to receiver hookup.

For what it's worth there is a clarity to the sound that wasn't there before.
That DVD is already encoded in DD- so your receiver just decodes it and plays back the audio.

Trying running a video game, or listening to music, while encoding it in DD- that's what frenchy meant. For example, with the integrated in my Intel DX58SO motherboard I can encode anything in the Dolby Digital format- I can have my music encoded in DD, video games, and even movies from my iTunes account that I've dl'd (that aren't already DD).

Make sense?
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