1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Connecting PC to Amplifier

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by bwillsher, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. bwillsher

    bwillsher
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    What's the best way to connect a PC to a home cinema system?

    I've got a shuttle XPC with optical & 5.1 analogue out (3x3.5mm) and a Teac AG-10D + 5.1 speakers.

    I might get a new sound card (Audigy 2Zs etc) if neccessary. Ive got the video sorted, just the sound now.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. hebawom

    hebawom
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    187
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    19
    Location:
    Matlock
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have an nforce3 ATX board with a coaxial output - this goes straight to my amp.
    I'm guessing your optical out will give you full digital sound. I don't think you'll need to buy a seperate sound card.
     
  3. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Agreed, the optical SPD/IF should be the way to go, I had an SN51G (nForce2-based) IIRC and that worked great.
     
  4. bwillsher

    bwillsher
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I watch DVDs through the player on my PC, so I definately want 5.1 surround.

    Here is a pic of my amp:

    [​IMG]

    You think the best way would be through the 7 channel direct in (left)? That would be 3 cables (phono to 3.5mm).

    The only thing with that is I can't use any effects from the amp.
     
  5. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Connect the optical output from the XPC to Optical 1 or Optical 2 input. :)
     
  6. bwillsher

    bwillsher
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The guy in the hifi shop told me 5.1 through optical isn't that great quality. Any truth to this?
     
  7. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I'd have no idea about that particular receiver, as a general comment applied to PC it's rubbish. :) .. I'm not sure it applies even to high-end systems like Arcams, Denon A1s etc. but I don't have that sort of stratospherical equipment to know. ;)
     
  8. hebawom

    hebawom
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    187
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    19
    Location:
    Matlock
    Ratings:
    +0
    Well, the digital signal is just a load of ones and zeros - I don't really see how you can get poor quality.
    Unless, the signal is so distorted that it reads a 1 as a 0 or vice versa, but I can't see that happening. This is why I don't get why some coaxial cables cost 10 times more than others!! I may be way off the ball here, but this is my perception of a digital transmission, any alternative ideas?
    Basically I think you should be fine using the optical method.
     
  9. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    There's a feature of digital audio transmissoon called 'jitter', I've no idea what it's supposed to be but it can cause audio glitches .. as far as I can ascertain it's a fluctuation in transmission rate but that's as much as I know (if indeed that's what jitter is).

    The argument for using coax is simply to eliminate 2 conversion steps between electronic and optical transmission, however optical has the benefit of earth isolation which avoids potential earth-loop noise.
     
  10. bwillsher

    bwillsher
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yup I know, but I got this system 1/5 of normal high street price and had to take it! Using a PC is only temporary until I can afford more!

    This is what the guy said. You think its worth investing in a separate DVD player? Would even a 30 pound one be better than through the computer?
     
  11. hebawom

    hebawom
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    187
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    19
    Location:
    Matlock
    Ratings:
    +0
    I used to have a toshiba SD-220E (when I bought it new it was about 150 quid) when I started using a PC I thought it looked about the same, as time went on and I learned more techniques and software to enhance the picture (most notably FFDshow) I was amazed at how much better the picture coming from my PC was over my DVD player. I've read that using a PC as your source can rival the most expensive DVD players.
    And definitely don't buy a 30 quid one, my dad bought one for christmas, and it doesn't even support DTS!!!
     
  12. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I wasn't saying the Teac's rubbish, I was referrng to his comment about digital 5.1 being inferior. :)

    As for buying a DVD player I agree with hebawom, with enough tender loving care you'll get a PQ far better than most DVD/project/whatever combinations will deliver without a separate scaler if you're using larger than SD resolution (ie. 480 or 576).
     
  13. klr10

    klr10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    801
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Sawbridgeworth
    Ratings:
    +27
    As Kragorn says, it's generally accepted that the electrical co-axial (phono) 5.1 connection is better than the optical because there is no need to convert the signal into light and then back again, so less likelihood of unwanted distortion caused by the LED used to generate the signal in the DVD player, or the phototransistor being used to pick it up at the AV amp. However, IMHO there is not that much difference unless you have a very top end system and very sensitive ears!

    Incidentally, 'jitter' does refer to very small variations in transmission speed which under extreme circumstances can cause a 1 or a 0 to be read incorrectly. Very basically, the data is counted in one bit at a time and the DVD player initiates this counting by starting each data transmission with what is known as a 'pre-amble' which is a series of 1-0-1-0-1 (etc) which establishes the speed pf the data and lets the receiver know when to expect the next 'bit'. If the clocks get slightly out of sync, errors can occur. Bear in mind this counting is extremely fast!
     
  14. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Thanks for the explanation of jitter, I did wonder what the cause of the data transmission error was .. do they re-sync periodically to counter this?
     
  15. klr10

    klr10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    801
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Sawbridgeworth
    Ratings:
    +27
    Hi KraGorn, they resync all the time (at the start of each data block or 'sub frame') There's a lot of other stuff going on as well, like error detection and correction (where possible). The sophistication to some extent depends upon the quality of the hardware, you pays yer money and makes yer choice! If you want to get into detail suggest you google on S/PDIF (Sony/Phillips Digital Interface). Try this link for a primer on S/PDIF jitter...

    http://www.audiocraftersguild.com/AandE/npt.on.jitter2.htm
     
  16. bwillsher

    bwillsher
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks guys on the info.

    I tested an optical connection between the PC and the amp and I get loads of popping sounds when I change songs on the PC.
    Also, if I there is a silence for a while, and I play sound (ie opening media player) then it takes about a second for the amp to pick up the sound.

    I think I might put in an extra bit of cash for a non-onboard soundcard that has coax outputs. I think the Soundblaster Audigy ZS Platinum Pro has Coax out but its a bit pricey. Anyone know of others?
     
  17. bwillsher

    bwillsher
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I was thinking of getting a new soundcard that would let me connect digitally to the amp (coax). Any recommendations? So far the only one I've seen is the Soundblaster Audigy ZS Platinum Pro.
     

Share This Page

Loading...