Upgrading my HTPC living room audio hook-up ideas - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I was considering going to a wireless 7.1 receiver... so It's a bit early for this, as I prolly won't make a purchase until I can get a black friday deal or something.

I'm currently have a wired hook up to the HDTV from my HTPC with:
1) video 75ft wire (wired under the house and back in)
2) stereo 75ft wire left-right (wired under the house and back in)

My current Pioneer audio receiver is a 1st generation 5.1 receiver. Before they had there own decoders on board. In that event I purchased a specialized DVD player to match it, that does the decoding for me and has the discrete outputs. namely --> L,R,SR,SL,C, and Sub... So when I play a DVD I actually have blissfully 5.1 wonderful sound. It is possible to make use of this instead of trashing it, if I find a decoder box or something. However I'm not in the mood to run another wire under the house.... maybe. - ideas please?

Of course right now when receiving sound from the PC for movies or music - I turn on the Dolby Surround mode and play it in 'quadraphonic'. But this is old school at this point.

Another question: If I did purchase a new receiver. There is appox 60ft between where the a new wireless audio deck would sit and the HTPC. Would that work even between some walls? - Sub $500... ? - Next question - Would there be a delay? A delay would be unnacceptable.

Often we are moving from room to room and the HDTV and a monitor are wired together with a video splitter - it is really ugly if there is a time difference. A time difference occurrs if my wife decides she is going to watch something in the living room from that cable box instead of the HTPC. Then she'll go into the bedroom and turn on the same program on the cablecard-enabled HTPC... the two will be a couple seconds apart. Of course my wife doesn't notice glaring issues like those, but it annoys me to my grave.
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 10:20 AM
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Get rid of cable boxes. Get rid of 75 feet of wire.

You already have HTPC with CableCard in it, which probably means you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 WMC Get extenders or XBOX connect throse over the wired network near the locations that they serve. You can have up to 5 extenders/XBOX on at the same time (6 TV's total counting the one connected to the HTPC), but you can associate an unlimited number of extender/XBOXes as long as only 5 are on.

Each extender will be individually controlled feeding independant, yet unified signal to whatever it is connected to. So, if your wife wants to watch "Real housewives" in the living room, and then decides to finish it in the bedroom, she pauses it in the livingroom goes to the bedroom, and continues from where she paused in the livingroom.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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No- no... I do more that just watch video. I use it as a projector for webpages and you name it. My HDTV is attached as a monitor and it will remain that way.

I don't think my HDMI output... My video card is not good enough to be sending audio out... lot of them don't unless they are higher class. My computer does have discrete outputs for 5.1
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 10:42 AM
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By your explanation I really have no idea what you are trying to accomplish. You need to better explain your set up.. PC, CPU, GPU, ethernet, router, switches, etc.

Are you currently running 75 of VGA and Audio cables to your AVR/TV? That's not going to work well unless you get Redmire HDMI cables or an HDMI power booster or something.

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps blueiedgod you aren't completely not helpful. I've given it some though. I should do something like this:
Keep my current setup for regular use... but when I want to watch something with super amazing sound from Netflix or an installed blueray drive:

And I wouldn't have to throw anything out...

1) purchase an extender... Not sure which one to go with cheap is good, but needs to be 1080p , and be able to hit my wireless network, and netflix too...
a) HDMI out (will go with #2...here) b) XBox really? sounds expensive.
2) purchase http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html To break out the channels for my current receiver.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

By your explanation I really have no idea what you are trying to accomplish. You need to better explain your set up.. PC, CPU, GPU, ethernet, router, switches, etc.

Are you currently running 75 of VGA and Audio cables to your AVR/TV? That's not going to work well unless you get Redmire HDMI cables or an HDMI power booster or something.

I'm trying to move from Dolby Surround to 5.1, 7.1... There are a few other threads on here that I went through the highs and lows of my setup, until I reached success. Yes I have a VGA 75ft, that is converted to HDMI and into the tv, and in the end it is a very crisp picture. (you would have a hard time telling the picture difference between the hdmi cable connected directly into a cable box in the living room, and the one from the long cable) I have a power booster actually on the VGA. Yes I have a 75ft audio cord as well - that I've had for many years. I do things unconventionally, but I do find success. I get it done.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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Is there wired Ethernet in the HT location or other locations?

If yes, I'd go with a miniITX or NUC type computer in each location or an Xbox or echo extender depending on the content you are playing.

I have my HTPC in the HT right next to my 7.1 AVR but about 20' from my HDTV. I have a rather bulky but very good monoprice 25' HDMI cable from the AVR to the HDTV. I also have a ceton echo in my kitchen which allows pause in the HT and play in the kitchen as well as simultaneous playback.

You are only going to get 7.1 with a new AVR and the HDMI from your HTPC needs to go into the AVR first. You will need something like the RedMere HDMI cable to get the 7.1 audio to your new AVR that can handle the 7.1 signal as HDMI is the only way to do it. These cables are a maximum of 60' and carry the video and audio signal. To go farther you need a power boosted HDMI cable or HDMI over Ethernet.

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Is there wired Ethernet in the HT location or other locations?
If yes, I'd go with a miniITX or NUC type computer in each location or an Xbox or echo extender depending on the content you are playing.

Nope... wireless...about 60ft physical distance, but the wired cord would have to be longer. I could run a ethernet all that way, that's a possiblity. As far as the other stuff you said - Lets keep with my current equipment, lets stay with 5.1 - and those dreams of grandeur. Why do you say that it needs to be ethernet wired? The wireless just isn't going to be good fast or reliable enough? I guess that makes sense.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 11:42 AM
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Wireless is not reliable for TV signals in most cases.. sometimes it works mostly it doesn't because it is subjected to interference and there's not enough headroom to absorb packet loss so you get stutter.

If you can pull VGA and Audio cables under the house, pull a CAT 5e or better yet CAT 6 ethernet cable to all locations you want your whole home DVR solution. Create a Gig network with your HTPC (PC?) as a central server and put extenders in the forms I mentioned above in each location. If you aren't concerned or don't have Copy Protected content these "extenders" can be a Small Form Factor PC. If you do have Copy Protected content the echo is small and uses little power and there's also the Xbox solution. Both the echo and Xbox don't do well with locally stored Variable or High Bit Rate mkv's though. Hopefully the echo will break this barrier.

If you aren't concerned with HD Audio but want the 5.1 output what is the output capability of your HTPC? Is it optical or digital SPDIF? Is it 6 analog cables?

The only way to do the whole house pause in one room pick up in the other room is with the echo or Xbox, AFAIK.

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post #10 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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The specs on the audio are: Audio front panel — one headphone and one microphone connector
back panel — six connectors for 7.1 channel support (directly from the PDF)

They are 3.5mm connections (I believe) - I actually had another idea... I almost want to scrap all the ideas above, build some long wire connected to the 'six connectors' (or whatever is necessary for 5.1 --- Then these would go into my 5.1 discrete input audio receiver. - This should be relatively cheap, but still upgrade me from Surround Sound to 5.1. - I should get some recommendations for that.

I know most people here are inclined to say... You need to get rid of all your stuff, and buy this and that and spend $1000... like any Best Buy salesmen.

'Whole house pause'... I already do that... because I have WMC with a cable card, and recall that my HDTV is connected as a monito. The monitor is dualed with another in the bedroom so they both act as TVs (there is a splitter/amplfier).
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 02:04 PM
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That sounds perfectly doable. You need long cables..

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10236&cs_id=1023603&p_id=5871&seq=1&format=2

or

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021812&p_id=5584&seq=1&format=2

I think if you use the later because that is what your PC has, you will need an adapter at the AVR end to go from 3.5mm to RCA connectors but I'm willing to bet that your PC is RCA type connector.

We aren't Best Buy sales people. We just enjoy spending other people's money. tongue.gif

One day, when you have the money, you can upgrade but for now, these will do the trick for you but even then you will be spending nearly $100 on cables from monoprice which is about the cheapest source I know of.

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post #12 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes you got the idea... However I would have to buy 3 to 4 of them, run all of through the house, and punch a huge whole... there must be a combined cord that would be much better solution.... Even building a wire myself would be preferable.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-13-2013, 03:14 PM
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There is, but it ain't cheap...RaipdRun Cables...
They have breakouts for almost any configuration...I'm sure they have a solution for yours...I would much rather follow some of the other suggestions here first. The extender thing is the most viable solution. Run another complete setup locally...wire the connection with an integrated home network, transfer the data to your other location...(cat5/6 is cheap...) you're future-proofed for a pretty good while.

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