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what is spdiff and do I have it on my pc?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by godzoooky, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. godzoooky

    godzoooky
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    Hi, sorry if this comes across as a silly question.

    I have been browsing the boards and have been toying with watching dvds using my pc, connected to tosh 46". It id currently connected via vga but I presume their is a better connection? As far as sound goes i have read a few posts that mention spdiff and how must motherboards have it now. My PC is 3.06 gig Advent and just under 2 years old - I have had a look at the back and can see line in/oujt sockets but no spdiff - i guess i dont have it? Would i need to get a 5.1 (or greater!) sound card? If so will the quality/cost of the card affect the sound eg soundblaster live/audigy2 platinum.

    Look forward to reading your posts and thanksin advance for any assistance.

    Oh 1 more thing. I am currently using itunes/ipod and have the ipod hooked up directly to my receiver. If i the sound from the pc using the existing itunes library from my pc will i notice an improvement in sound quality?

    Phew! Cheers.
     
  2. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi,

    SPDIF is the Sony Philips Digital InterFace. It is used to pass either 2 channels of uncompressed or 5.1 channels of compressed audio in digital format between a source (your computer) and a decoder. Since you have not mentioned that you have any kind of decoder (This would normally be a 5.1 or 7.1 channel home theater surround sound decoder) you probably don't need this interface.

    As for the connection between the display and your computer, you are not going to get a better conection than VGA unless your display has a HDMI or DVI digital input on it (Which is quite unlikely). So I would just load up your DVD and enjoy the show.

    If you want better sound a 5.1 channel sound card will give you this and almost certainly a SPDIF output as well. However you will need a 5.1 speaker package to use the sound card (about £50 gets you started). If you want to use the SPDIF output you will need a home theater amp, £150 will get you started here, and a set of speakers for it about another £80. From here you can spend as much as you like on better sound quality if you want to.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  3. godzoooky

    godzoooky
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    Hi Andrew, thanks for your response. I dont think that I worded my post very well so here goes again....!

    I am considering running a HTPC. Sounds like I will need to install a soundblaster live 5.1 card and run a lead from this to my receiver. i currently have surround sound and am just thinking whether or not i could improve the picture quality using the dvi socket on the graphics card? I have an HDMI input on the Tosh telly.

    Also, graphics card dependant will this accept hi def DVDs or will I need to purchase a hi-def DVD drive or DVD player?

    Thanks for all your help :confused: :confused:
     
  4. DaveP

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    What "Surround Sound" do you have? If it is "Dolby Surround" then the SB Live will be fine. However if you mean a 6.1 or 7.1 channel surround then you would be better getting a sound card that supports this.

    I have just ordered an Audigy 2 ZS from the Creative refurbished shop for less than thirty notes.

    You should notice an improvement using the HDMI input but you will need a graphics card with a DVI output. You would probably buy one that has dual monitor support: VGA and DVI. You'll need a special cable or a cable and converter.

    M$ recommend at least a 3Ghz processor to run HD. The files currently available will be in a Windows format, available for download or on a DVD (I just took delivery of T2 Extreme which has the HD format on the second disk.

    I can see confusion arrising as a result of Toshiba bringing out HD DVD to compete with Blu Ray!

    Dave
     

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