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Building a HTPC using a Logitech Z-680 speaker system?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am looking to build a HTPC using my Logitech Z-680 or some newer PC speaker system instead of going the receiver route. I want to use a Bluray drive and an AuzenTech X-FI Hometheater HD HDMI 1.3 Sound Card in my system but is my Z-680(or other PC speaker systems) HDCP compliant? and since my Z-680 uses Dolby digital and Digital DTS can it decode DTS-HD Dolby TRUE-HD?
post #2 of 13
No, you can't get HD audio unless it has a HDMI port. For HDCP compliance I doubt it but it shouldn't matter anyways.

You should really get a decent reciever with 5.1/7.1. You'll get a lot better sound. Even if you only start with 3.1 then eventually upgrade to 5.1 or 7.1
post #3 of 13
Those speakers are good if you're in a small office or something but it's nothing compared to a reciever with some decent speakers.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well it will be in a small living room; about 12 x 12 and the Z-680 was rated as being the best PC speaker system around(at the time). The audio card outputs several different types; Optical, Coaxial, Hdmi, DVI to analog why would it only do DTS-HD Dolby TRUE-HD from the HDMI and not the other since the audio card itself is HDCP?
post #5 of 13
If it has analog out you can get those formats but it will be downconverted by the player software (which mostly doesn't matter as most movies aren't full res sound anyway).

That said, you probably wont be able to tell a difference with those speakers with the newer formats. They aren't terrible but they still have limitations.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
So are you saying that I will be able to hear proper 5.1 surround with this setup? And that since all digital signals have to eventually be converted to analog that I should use the audio card's DVI to analog instead of going optical and have the Z-680 convert it to analog?
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky69 View Post

Well it will be in a small living room; about 12 x 12 and the Z-680 was rated as being the best PC speaker system around(at the time). The audio card outputs several different types; Optical, Coaxial, Hdmi, DVI to analog why would it only do DTS-HD Dolby TRUE-HD from the HDMI and not the other since the audio card itself is HDCP?

HDMI is the only way to send HD audio to the reciever/audio. There's no other way to get HD audio if your reciever or other audio device doesn't have HDMI. HD audio isn't much better than dolby digital or DTS but it is better.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky69 View Post

Well it will be in a small living room; about 12 x 12 and the Z-680 was rated as being the best PC speaker system around(at the time). The audio card outputs several different types; Optical, Coaxial, Hdmi, DVI to analog why would it only do DTS-HD Dolby TRUE-HD from the HDMI and not the other since the audio card itself is HDCP?

HDMI is the only way to send HD audio to the reciever/audio. There's no other way to get HD audio if your reciever or other audio device doesn't have HDMI. HD audio isn't much better than dolby digital or DTS but it is better.


My living room is 10x13 and I couldn't imagine using those speakers. They're designed to use in a small surround setup like a 6'x6' office cube or desk.

I have a similar 4.1 logitech system I use on my desk for listening to music and it sounds good but nothing compared to my Harman Kardon stereo. I'd think a cheap $300 HTIB (Home theatre in box) would be a lot better than these.
post #9 of 13
If you go analog out it will convert the dts-ma and dolby hd to iirc 16bit 48khz, full spec is iirc 24bit 96khz (maybe 192?). Anyway, most current titles are apparently encoded as 16bit 48khz so you arent losing anything with those titles.

Yes you will hear 5.1. Your soundcard will do the DAC, your speakers will just amplify the small signal analog,which is preferable to using optical/coax to your speakers.

Basically no matter what you should use the analog out of your sound card as its likely to have better DAC capabilities than the decoder box that came with the speakers.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your replies, I have finally decided that it's just not worth going Bluray since most of the movies I watch are fine in DVD quality. This solves the whole PAP crap and futhermore, Bluray is going to be dead in about 5yrs or so with the advent of streaming, no more need to watch Bluray for 1080P.
post #11 of 13
I know this is an old thread about an old product, but I'm hoping to get some advice anyways.

I currently have the Z-680s set up in our living room connected to our cable (via coax) and Panny BDT210 blu-ray player (optical). I know some will say "get real speakers", but these really do a great job for us and we've never had a complaint from anyone coming over to watch movies, except perhaps our neighbours.

At some point I'd like to add an HTPC to the mix so I can stream blu-ray rips and do some streaming. I'm guessing that decoding DD/DTS at the HTPC and connecting via analog will be the best way to go, though I'm open to bitstreaming if there's a good benefit. If I decode at the HTPC, and output analog, should I have a sound card? Any other thoughts in terms of configuring the HTPC? Thanks!
post #12 of 13

If you're only going to watch movies then have the media player bitstream Dolby Digital and DTS to the Logitech Z-680.

post #13 of 13
Thanks for the reply! I actually would like to do some gaming too, plus I don't think I want to disconnect the cable and blu-ray player unless it makes a lot of sense otherwise. Do you anticipate problems decoding DD/DTS at the HTPC?
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