Need help connecting a simple HTPC's audio out to an amp - Page 2 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 39 Old 04-30-2008, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I double-checked; all of the properties of the sound card and Windows' mixer settings are maxed out. There are numerous enhancement options available for the sound card, but they are all disabled.

I'm not at all happy with the sound card's output to the subwoofer. I'm wondering if this is just a limitation of the sound card / MULTI CH IN / analog interface?

I suppose the easiest thing would be to try analog cables with a dedicated sound card....or an optical cable with a dedicated sound card that supports digital out; unfortunately, that's not currently an option for me.
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post #32 of 39 Old 04-30-2008, 01:33 PM
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Check the volume/crossover settings in the A/V receiver for the subwoofer and the sub itself.

If all other materials sound okay from the PC, perhaps the MP3's are the weak link.
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post #33 of 39 Old 04-30-2008, 02:39 PM
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Your receiver probably does not apply crossover settings, delays, or anything else when using the Multi-Channel IN. The idea of those inputs are to bypass everything in the receiver and send the audio straight to the amplifier. All of your configuration (except volume) need to be performed on the PC. You may need to boost the level of the sub compared to the other speakers on your PC. There's an issue with a 15db discrepency between different types of audio processing that's expected to be there. I think most receivers handle this properly when sent a digital signal (they detect the format and adjust apporpriately), but if you analog out from a PC you need to be making that adjust ment in the PCs software. Someone else here may be able to explain on which sources the bass in boosted/reduced...

A mod should really move this thread over the HTPC forum...

Multi-channel using analog out tends to be poor quality from motherboards. Is there any chance you can add an SPDIF bracket to your motherboard? Check the manual and see if there is a header on the motherboard diagram. I think you would be much better served starting off with a digital connection from your PC to your receiver and the brackets tend to only cost a few dollars and add a toslink/coax digital out.

What's your motherboard?
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post #34 of 39 Old 04-30-2008, 08:58 PM
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OK, I've read through this thread in addition to others and am still confused about hooking my HTPC to my receiver (I'm also new to the HTPC thing).
I have a SB Audigy 4 sound card with an Radio Shack Phono to 1/8" adapter plugged into the digital i/o and a digital coaxial cable running from that to the back of my Pioneer receiver. First off, I'm not sure this is the correct adapter so that may be the problem.
I have Creative Mediasource installed and in the Creative audio panel I have the decoder marked as passthrough. When playing a DVD via VLC, the Dolby Digital symbol does not light up when the audio output, in VLC, is labeled as 5.1. If I change the audio output in VLC to S82/SPDIF the Dolby Digital symbol on my receiver DOES light up but the sound is horrendously choppy and unlistenable.
So, from what I've told you, do I not have the proper connection (wrong adapter?) or do I possibly have an incorrect setting. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
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post #35 of 39 Old 05-02-2008, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Check the volume/crossover settings in the A/V receiver for the subwoofer and the sub itself.

If all other materials sound okay from the PC, perhaps the MP3's are the weak link.

Thanks. I'm increasingly becoming disappointed with the sound of the receiver altogether--probably due to my fiddling with so many of the settings. Ignorance can be trouble sometimes.

Do most receivers have a 'reset' feature? I'm thinking that might be the best way to proceed--if for nother reason but to get the receiver back to the way it sounded before with my other sources. I'm going to look for that feature in the manual when I get home tonight.
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post #36 of 39 Old 05-02-2008, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naylia View Post

Your receiver probably does not apply crossover settings, delays, or anything else when using the Multi-Channel IN....You may need to boost the level of the sub compared to the other speakers on your PC....if you analog out from a PC you need to be making that adjust ment in the PCs software....

Multi-channel using analog out tends to be poor quality from motherboards....I think you would be much better served starting off with a digital connection from your PC...and add a toslink/coax digital out.

Thanks. I've been wondering whether the multi-channel input using analog might be the crux of my problem.

I'm not aware of a way within the integrated sound card's settings to boost the level of the sub compared to the other speakers, but I'll double-check.

Concurrently, I ordered a low-profile sound card that supposedly supports optical out via a mini-Toslink connector (a Sound Blaster XtremeGamer 7.1). I figure this is worth a try before I give up altogether.

If the optical connection works and the sound is good, however, I won't have enough digital inputs on my receiver--I'm going to temporarily disconnect the input from Xbox 360 to test the connection from the input on the sound card.

FYI: My receiver has audio optical and coaxial inputs for the DVD player (I'm using the coaxial connection; I figure that means the optical connection can't be used--is that correct?) and audio optical inputs for DVR and MD/TAPE (which are used for my DVR and my Xbox 360, respectively). There's also an optical out labeled MD/TAPE. So I would need yet another optical input for the sound card. Maybe I should start looking for newer, open-box receivers at my local electronics stores?
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post #37 of 39 Old 05-05-2008, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clenathan View Post

OK, I've read through this thread in addition to others and am still confused about hooking my HTPC to my receiver (I'm also new to the HTPC thing).
I have a SB Audigy 4 sound card with an Radio Shack Phono to 1/8" adapter plugged into the digital i/o and a digital coaxial cable running from that to the back of my Pioneer receiver. First off, I'm not sure this is the correct adapter so that may be the problem.
I have Creative Mediasource installed and in the Creative audio panel I have the decoder marked as passthrough. When playing a DVD via VLC, the Dolby Digital symbol does not light up when the audio output, in VLC, is labeled as 5.1. If I change the audio output in VLC to S82/SPDIF the Dolby Digital symbol on my receiver DOES light up but the sound is horrendously choppy and unlistenable.
So, from what I've told you, do I not have the proper connection (wrong adapter?) or do I possibly have an incorrect setting. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

I have a Pioneer A/V Receiver hooked up the same way to my Audigy 2 ZS
and it works well with Windows XP. I don't need the xtra Creative box or
a special cable. I definitely get clear 5.1 sound with my HDTV comp tuner
or playing DVDs on the comp.

I definitely had to mess around with the AV receiver to get it all to work right.
Set everything..both in Creative and windows to SPDIF passthrough so your
receiver does the conversion.
I had to read my manual for my receiver and experiment. My receiver works
best when set to extend surround on all sources. This matrixes stereo
for music and has several choices.

Just try different settings. Mine works set to Dolby PL and surround on.
You would think this would leave plain old stereo alone but it seems to
know when it's decoding Dolby or just plain PCM and it does the surround
either way. (Dolby has better surround..plain PCM has good surround for
music without sounding intrusively worse)

If you have Vista good luck..it's gotten better but I still hate it and the big
reason my dual-boot comp runs XP mostly.
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post #38 of 39 Old 05-05-2008, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellsoul2 View Post

I have a Pioneer A/V Receiver hooked up the same way to my Audigy 2 ZS
and it works well with Windows XP. I don't need the xtra Creative box or
a special cable. I definitely get clear 5.1 sound with my HDTV comp tuner
or playing DVDs on the comp.

I definitely had to mess around with the AV receiver to get it all to work right.
Set everything..both in Creative and windows to SPDIF passthrough so your
receiver does the conversion.
I had to read my manual for my receiver and experiment. My receiver works
best when set to extend surround on all sources. This matrixes stereo
for music and has several choices.

Just try different settings. Mine works set to Dolby PL and surround on.
You would think this would leave plain old stereo alone but it seems to
know when it's decoding Dolby or just plain PCM and it does the surround
either way. (Dolby has better surround..plain PCM has good surround for
music without sounding intrusively worse)

If you have Vista good luck..it's gotten better but I still hate it and the big
reason my dual-boot comp runs XP mostly.

Thanks! I needed to change the AC3 filter to pass through and now it works great!
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post #39 of 39 Old 05-06-2008, 02:21 PM
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cg,

Be interested to hear how things work out when you try the digital connection. You may want to just decide on which device has the least need for digital/multi-channel output to your receiver until you upgrade. Your new card might actually have channel leveling in analog mode, might be worth checking out, creative's drivers should theoretically be much better than most onboard audio solutions and maybe you can use analog and your new card.

Also depending on your application, if you can load custom filters, like AC3filter in the audio chain you can do channel leveling/boosting that way (sometimes).
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