[mythtv-users] Audio configuration question (hardware)

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Fri Jan 26 05:12:41 UTC 2007

On Thursday 25 January 2007 22:59, Justin Luitjens wrote:
> I am trying to get digital audio on my system at home but i'm unsure of
> the best way to go about it.  My Tv is connected to my computer over VGA
> connector and a stereo analog audio connection.  Unfortunately the
> manual says the HDMI/DVI inputs do not support PC input.  The TV is a
> Samsung LN-S4092D.  I also have a Panasonic home theater system which is
> fairly old but is capable of 5.1 surround sound (only has RCA inputs).

By "RCA inputs," do you mean separate inputs for each channel, for a total of 
6 input jacks? Or do you mean a single RCA/coaxial digital input jack? I'm 
guessing the former, but I'm not positive of that.

> Right now I route the audio through the TV and then into the home
> theater system.  My PC has both coaxial S/PDIF and optical S/PDIF
> output.  I would like to somehow use my 5.1 surround sound speakers
> provided by my home theater system but am unsure of what hardware I need
> to do this.  Is my best option to buy a 5.1 receiver and replace my home
> theater system with it?  Or are there other ways I could get 5.1 audio?

If my assumption above is correct, then I'd suggest you first check your 
manuals to see if you've got outputs with your current computer sound 
hardware for separate channels. Some motherboards have these as headers, even 
if there are no external output jacks; you could then buy or build an 
appropriate cable and bracket to give yourself access to the outputs and run 
wires from the computer to the receiver. If you have no separate outputs, 
then you should be able to buy a sound card that has them relatively 

Of course, this will give you analog connections between the computer and the 
receiver. I've not researched this in any depth, but I suspect you'd get 
better sound by using your computer's SPDIF outputs and a receiver that's 
designed to accept SPDIF inputs. Whether it's worth spending (potentially) 
several hundred dollars on such an upgrade is a subjective matter. Given the 
minor expense of running an analog link (particularly if you've got a few 
spare cables), you might want to try that first, and only replace your 
receiver if you're not satisfied with the results.

If my assumption was wrong and you mean your receiver already has a coaxial 
SPDIF input, then just run a cable from your computer to the receiver and use 
it. (This assumes the Linux drivers for your sound card support 5.1 SPDIF 
output, and you'll probably have to muck with mixer settings.)

Rod Smith

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