Soundcard for PC / Home Cinema setup

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chrishow

Guest
I’ve recently moved into a new apartment which I had designed from scratch. As part of the build, I worked with a CEDIA installer to design my AV setup. This incorporates sound into every room, AV cabinet hidden out of the way housing all equipment, Plasma in the living room (which can display my PC output) and LCD in the bedroom.

My setup consists of a Bose Lifestyle 35, Sky+, Pioneer PDP 434HDE, Sharp LC-22SV2E and Compaq Evo D500 SFF PC and Kef speakers in each bedroom and bathroom. I’ve been very happy with the setup and have just purchased an Ipod so have been busy converting many of my CDs to MP3.

I’d now like to connect the PC to the Bose, so that I can listen to the MP3’s in any of the rooms and looking for advice on a sound card. The Bose has a single optical input, which is currently connected to the Sky+.

I’m guessing my best option will be to take the audio out from a sound card into one of the aux inputs (phono) of the Bose LS 35. Any suggestions on a better way of doing this? Would the optical make a significant difference? Would it be worth moving the optical from the Sky+ and onto the PC?

Any suggestions gratefully appreciated.

Chris
 

owain_thomas

Active Member
You'd probably be best putting a decent souncard (like the mAudio revolution 7.1) into your PC and using its analogue outs into the Bose. I'm sure it will have a better DAC than the bose, whilst I'm fairly sure the Bose's should be better than the one in the Sky+ box. You can get one of these cards from www.kustompcs.co.uk for about £70 delivered. Also (if you ever needed it in the future) it is able to process and output a 7.1 dolby digital signal.

If you wanted to spend more money then there are soundcards which have better reviews (not used them myself), but if it's just MP3s you're looking at I doubt there'd be much point.

HTH
Owain
 
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chrishow

Guest
These are the inputs on the back of the Bose. Could I utilise a SPDIF?

Media center inputs
TAPE: 2Vrms, maximum
AUX: 2Vrms, maximum
VCR: 2Vrms, maximum
TV: 2Vrms, maximum
DIGITAL: SPDIF (1 each for TV, VCR, TAPE, and AUX)
COMPOSITE VIDEO: NTSC or PAL format 1Vp-p with sync 75 §Ù
S-VIDEO: Luminance 1Vp-p, Chrominance 0.3Vp-p
Component video: NTSC or PAL 1Vp-p with sync on Y
OPTICAL INPUT: SPDIF digital, mapped to input
 

owain_thomas

Active Member
Are you saying there are several optical or coaxial digital inputs on the back of it? If so then I'm sure you could use a digital output of a soundcard (or even a lot of motherboards) to playback mp3s on your Bose.

Owain
 
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chrishow

Guest
....Is an SPDIF a generic term for a digital connection? And you can have optical SPDIF and other types?

I had assumed that there was just one optical so therefore only one digital input. The Bose spec mentions a SPDIF per input do I will have one available for the PC.

What does SPDIF stand for? Which delivers the highest quality, coax or optical?

Thanks again for your help!
 

dgc

Standard Member
Sony/Philips Digital Interface - I think

It can be optical or electrical signal.

Your bose looks like it has 4 electrical SPDIF inputs and 1 optical

The sound card mentioned above has 1 electrical output so should connect ok
 
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chrishow

Guest
OK, on the rear of the Bose there is a digital input for each source, below is an excert from the installation guide and I've attached a shot of the rear.

With this info, which would be the best sound card for me? What type of cable would I require to connect the two?

Using digital audio connections
If your TV, VCR, tape deck, or AUX component has electrical digital audio connections, you
may connect them to the media center using the corresponding DIGITAL connector. You will
need a 75§Ù cable with RCA connectors (such as a video cable).
Note: Your system¡¯s DTS decoding is limited to playing back CDs and DVDs with DTS audio
tracks. DTS decoding of bitstreams from external sources is not supported, and your system
cannot provide DTS bitstreams to external devices.

Using optical digital audio connections
If your TV, VCR, tape deck, or AUX component has an optical digital audio connection, you
may connect it to the media center using the OPTICAL INPUT/OUTPUT connectors. You will
need an optical digital cable to make this connection.
Note: Before you can listen to a source through the OPTICAL input, you need to assign the
OPTICAL connection to TV, VCR, TAPE or AUX. See your operating guide for instructions on
using the system settings menus.
 

owain_thomas

Active Member
either something cheap like this (which I have never used myself) or spend a little more on the MAudio Revo (which I own and would definitely recommend).

It's up to you really. Not sure which type of SPDIF the philips has out (optical or coax) and the picture doesn't help much (its either the wrong picture or there is some kind of breakout cable to connect the digital lines to the card). The revolution definitely has a coaxial SPDIF (which is what you need, looking at that picture).

HTH
Owain
 
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chrishow

Guest
I've purchased the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 from Kustom and ordered the Digital Coaxial Cable from www.audiovisualonline.co.uk

Looking forward to setting it all up and listening to the quality from the PC!

Thanks for your help!

Now I'm off to the Plasma section for questions on caballing the Bose to the Plasma.
 

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