What audio cables do I need to plumb for PC to Denon 1910 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-18-2011, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll be outputting audio to a PC that will be used for flight simulation and HTPC. I'll primarily use headphones when I flight simulate but also want the capability to put PC sound through my surround system for flying and/or watching movies.

What types of cables will I need to purchase and plumb from the PC to the Denon 1910 Rx?
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-18-2011, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavemanhead View Post

I'll be outputting audio to a PC that will be used for flight simulation and HTPC. I'll primarily use headphones when I flight simulate but also want the capability to put PC sound through my surround system for flying and/or watching movies.

What types of cables will I need to purchase and plumb from the PC to the Denon 1910 Rx?

I would use HDMI cable, if your video card supports sound processing (and most modern Nvidia and At I cards do).
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-19-2011, 07:11 AM
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if you are going to run cables within a wall, then consider a pair of analog audio cables (red/white), a Toslink optical cable, and an HDMI cable. That pretty much covers all possibilities.

Monoprice is an excellent source of quality longer cables, as is Blue Jeans cable (a bit more expensive).

analog audio http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10218
Toslink optical http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10229
HDMI http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10240
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-19-2011, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

if you are going to run cables within a wall, the consider a pair of analog audio cables (red/white), a Toslink optical cable, and an HDMI cable. That pretty much covers all possibilities.

Monoprice is an excellent source of quality longer cables, as is Blue Jeans cable (a bit more expensive).

analog audio http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10218
Toslink optical http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10229
HDMI http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10240

Yes, the cables will eventually be run in the wall - 20ft should get it. A few questions:

1) Do I need to be concerned with HDMI "speed" (standard vs high, etc)... I may be passing very high pixel counts from my video card...

2) I don't have the vid card yet - I think I'll need Male/Male for cable yes?

3) Does an HDMI give as good as sound quality as the TOS Link?

Thanks for help. Appreciated.
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 08:47 AM
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If the game and your computer supports it, HDMI will give the best audio quality since you can send 5.1 PCM audio. Toslink will only let you send 2.0 PCM audio or Dolby Digital 5.1.

Are you outputting to a TV or a computer monitor?
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavemanhead View Post

3) Does an HDMI give as good as sound quality as the TOS Link?

There is zero evidence to suggest otherwise.

cheers,

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post #7 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

There is zero evidence to suggest otherwise.

cheers,

AJ

amir?
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavemanhead View Post

Yes, the cables will eventually be run in the wall - 20ft should get it. A few questions:

1) Do I need to be concerned with HDMI "speed" (standard vs high, etc)... I may be passing very high pixel counts from my video card...

Well, you can't go past the 1080p resolution that your AVR supports (1920x1080). HDMI speed ratings are not indicative of HDMI quality. Unfortunately not much is. Be sure to test the cable before running it into the wall. And be prepared for occasional issues of the display or AVR not syncing with your PC requiring power cycling, changing inputs back and forth and such to get a stable picture and sound. If all you need is sound going to the AVR, then a more reliable solution is as mentioned: analog audio or digital Toslink, etc.

Quote:


2) I don't have the vid card yet - I think I'll need Male/Male for cable yes?

You don't need a new card. You would be feeding your current PC's video output to the AVR if you use HDMI. If you want to keep your primary display the current computer monitor, then HDMI is a bad idea. Use the audio-only solutions mentioned above.

If you will be using the TV, what connection do you have on your PC now? If it is HDMI, then you would need to switch cables back and forth. And would need wall plugs at either end unless you are going to pass the cable through a hole. If it is DVI, then you can get a simple adapter to HDMI but you won't get audio and you have to route that separate per above.

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3) Does an HDMI give as good as sound quality as the TOS Link?

For playing synthetically generated sounds in a game? No. It is a digital connection and will give you excellent sound. If you can deal with its other issues, it is an appropriate solution to your needs.

Amir
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 10:25 AM
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@Amirm - I haven't had handshake issues in years. I'd choose HDMI every time.

Also, HDMI will give better sound than toslink for everything over stereo sound. As I stated above, toslink only allows 2 channel PCM, while HDMI allows 7 channel PCM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Quote:


3) Does an HDMI give as good as sound quality as the TOS Link?

For playing synthetically generated sounds in a game? No.

Really? Do tell us why amir.
(Fasten your seat belts folks. Jneutron, put on your Ray Charles glasses, here it comes...)

cheers,

AJ
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

@Amirm - I haven't had handshake issues in years. I'd choose HDMI every time.

I accept your observation . But my experience is different. My company Madrona Digital is a custom Audio/Video shop and we install probably 100 to 200 HDMI devices a year. We frequently run into HDMI problems. As I type this, we are working with a major manufacturer to resolve hardware/firmware problems in their unit that cause them to not work with Comcast STBs in certain situations. If you say what you said to anyone in our industry they are liable to punch you in the face and failing that, decide today is a good day to commit suicide over all the grief they experience from HDMI .

We had so many issues we finally decided to get the proper gear to troubleshoot it. From my presentation on video for audiophiles:





Using that Qunatum data analyzer, we find incredible number of problems. Even current products that appear to be working, have buggy implementations such as an AVR not setting the repeater bit. If you get lucky and the display responds fast enough, and all is well. But one day you change the display and the very same set up stops working because it is responding a bit slower. You think it s the display that is broken but it is the AVR in reality. Without diagnostic tool like we have, you or your installer would be blindly swapping devices never knowing what is the cause and what fixed it. All because this so called standard doesn't have tight testing and certification.

Closer to the topic of this thread, I built a HTPC last year using Intel i5 motherboard. I am using onboard video and routing its HDMI connection to an Onkyo AVR on to my Samsung TV. If I do not power things up in the right sequence (TV before AVR), I can either get no picture or one at the wrong resolution. About one out of 10 times if I turn off just the TV, Media Center app on Windows 7 will crash. Almost as frequently I get a blank screen and I have to toggle inputs to get the picture back.

In general, PCs rate far worse than traditional video hardware in HDMI department since manufacturers of TVs never test with them.

Quote:
Also, HDMI will give better sound than toslink for everything over stereo sound. As I stated above, toslink only allows 2 channel PCM, while HDMI allows 7 channel PCM.

Not if he is sending Dolby Digital bitstream. Then again, I am not a gamer so don't know if that is how they encoded the video in his games, Pro Logic or always decoded into PCM as you say. At the end of the day, if HDMI doesn't work, it doesn't matter how many channels it *could* put out .

Amir
Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"

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post #12 of 12 Old 12-21-2011, 06:43 PM
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A digital video connection (aka hdmi) is one of the best things to happen to a PC for connecting to a tv. I've been dealing with pc to tv connections since 1997 (back then with first generation tv output hardware and poor drivers was a nightmare). Analogue connections (composite, S-video and component) don't work well with a computer since there is no feedback from the display. So the computer doesn't know what the supported resolutions are and half the time doesn't know there is a tv connected.

I've spent way to much time booting into safe mode of windows to reset video settings cause it defaulted to wrong settings or won't even acknowledge that a tv is connected.

VGA is pretty much idiot proof as once it reads the EDID, it really doesn't care what is connected and will output continuously until you tell it different. Bring in DVI/HDMI it keeps a constant eye on connected devices. When a display device is disconnected it will disable that device's output until it's reconnected. This is where some software issues can come into effect. Some programs don't like being told there is no display device for output which cause a crash. Its mostly programs with graphical interfaces.

Audio is where most of the problems come in with HDMI as it requires synchronization. Tv's aren't the best in this regard as they don't often say its an audio capable device without a refresh. This is where an AVR can actually come in handy. My Denon AVR gives my computer feedback even when turned off (CEC is enabled). So as long as the AVR is turned on one second before the tv everything synchronizes perfectly.

Back to toslink vs HDMI audio for PC gaming. HDMI wins outright as it is the only digital way to get true lossless 8 channel audio. Some games have professionally orchestrated music tracks and stuffing them into a Dolby Digital 5.1 stream/container isn't exactly the best for sound quality. I've also been fairly unimpressed with on the fly encoding as it often can make it sound dull/hollow.

Myself I'll never got back to analogue connections. Since going full HDMI with my computer I've had next to none issues compared with my analogue days.
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