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Getting sound from PC to receiver - use Intelix Balun boxes or just run long RCA?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
To get sound from my PC to the receiver in my current home, I come out of the PC back with a mini jack to RCA stereo converter, then I have a long RCA stereo cable running to the living room and into the back of the receiver. Works fine.

Building a new house, and thought I'd ask...is it worth putting Intelix Balun boxes (one in the office and one int he family room)? In this way, I can plug the mini jack from the computer into the box, then Cat 5 from the box to the other box, then RCA stereo out of the second box, and into the receiver.


Thanks!
post #2 of 10
What is the goal of getting the sound from your PC to your receiver? Music? Movies? Video Games? Other?

If it is just Music and Movies, have you considered a media box, for example a popcorn hour or WD TV? A lot of them can run things like Pandora as well as stream your mp3s from a shared folder. Or perhaps an IPod, Zune or Other Mp3 player?

Even if you decide not to get a balun box, I'd definitely wire your entire house with Cat5e, maybe even step up to Cat6 if you don't mind the extra cost. At least 1-2 drops in each room, from there you can add extra switches if you want access for multiple appliances.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Goal is only for music from the PC. I had always just figured that a direct wire into the receiver was the way to go, especially since the RCA wire route is like $25, vs any other wireless sollution that will result in more plugs, boxes, etc etc, not to mention cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aex View Post

What is the goal of getting the sound from your PC to your receiver? Music? Movies? Video Games? Other?

If it is just Music and Movies, have you considered a media box, for example a popcorn hour or WD TV? A lot of them can run things like Pandora as well as stream your mp3s from a shared folder. Or perhaps an IPod, Zune or Other Mp3 player?

Even if you decide not to get a balun box, I'd definitely wire your entire house with Cat5e, maybe even step up to Cat6 if you don't mind the extra cost. At least 1-2 drops in each room, from there you can add extra switches if you want access for multiple appliances.
post #4 of 10
How are you selecting which titles to listen to?

Many modern AVRs and BD players support network connections for access to DLNA servers running on PCs. That way you can select the title from the receiver or BD player instead of doing it on the PC.
post #5 of 10
Selden has another great suggestion, it is possible you might gear that can do this already. You could run RG6 quad shielded and terminate it with RCA ends, if you did 5 cables you could have a component connection between the rooms.

There are a ton of possible solutions for what you want to do, which is basically "Get music on the PC to the receiver."

Perhaps if you provide us with some more detail of what you want and what you are currently working with (budget, gear, etc...), we can tailor the appropriate solution for your situation.

I would still suggest at least 1-2 Cat5e/Cat6 drops in each room for the networking convenience in the future.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I will definitely have the cat5 drops done for each room.

As far as controlling music...I just run iTunes and use my iPhone to run the Remote app and control the music anywhere I wander, via the wi-fi network. Works like a charm, and it's "free"!

I guess my main question was really, is it stupid to run 50+' of RCA vs spending more and converting it to Cat5 along the way. If there's nothing really wrong with it, then I'll just stick to RCA. Today, I run about 30+' of RCA from the PC to the receiver, but, I am just going down through the floor and across the basement ceiling and back up...ghetto install but it works and it doesn't matter. The new house would have the wires run through the walls and possibly near electric wires, etc. Didn't know if cat5 was a lot more reliable or anything.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezatnova View Post

I will definitely have the cat5 drops done for each room.

As far as controlling music...I just run iTunes and use my iPhone to run the Remote app and control the music anywhere I wander, via the wi-fi network. Works like a charm, and it's "free"!

I guess my main question was really, is it stupid to run 50+' of RCA vs spending more and converting it to Cat5 along the way. If there's nothing really wrong with it, then I'll just stick to RCA. Today, I run about 30+' of RCA from the PC to the receiver, but, I am just going down through the floor and across the basement ceiling and back up...ghetto install but it works and it doesn't matter. The new house would have the wires run through the walls and possibly near electric wires, etc. Didn't know if cat5 was a lot more reliable or anything.

There is nothing wrong with running the Audio cable. The only downside I can see, is if you decide to change the room in which your computer stays, you can't take the RCA outlet with you.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezatnova View Post

To get sound from my PC to the receiver in my current home, I come out of the PC back with a mini jack to RCA stereo converter, then I have a long RCA stereo cable running to the living room and into the back of the receiver. Works fine.

Building a new house, and thought I'd ask...is it worth putting Intelix Balun boxes (one in the office and one int he family room)? In this way, I can plug the mini jack from the computer into the box, then Cat 5 from the box to the other box, then RCA stereo out of the second box, and into the receiver.


Thanks!

I did exactly what you are thinking about. The problem I had was hum/noise. Listen to your PC speakers closely to see if there is any kind of hum. If you hear any at all, it will be amplified through your receiver. I have tried and use 2 different options right now. The first I don't think you can get anymore which is Sound Blaster/Creative X-Fi Xtreme. It is a card that goes in the PC and an external unit that has RCA and Digital (optical and coax) outputs. It also has RCA, Digital and a Phono inputs. That piece I really like. I have another system in the bedroom and wanted to listen to the music from the PC there too. I bought a Soundblaster Wireless for ITunes + Receiver kit. It works but I am not totally happy with it. My thought was I could listen to the music on both floors the same time. Well I can't. It's either one or the other. Also the remote control that comes with it does not work very well at all. I just sat it aside as a paperweight. The other minor drawback is it has left and right RCA or mini plug outputs. No digital outs.

Someone asked why listen to the music from the PC. I am not sure of your reson but I ripped my collection to a dedicated hard drive with little to no compression and can listen to the tracks using ITunes, Windows Media Player, or any other Media Player. With just under 74,000 tracks it is easier then pulling a CD off the shelf (drive sizes is 1TB and 2 500GB drives). All I use that PC for is music.
post #9 of 10
from all the datasheets i have seen a balanced connection such as XLR is better for longer runs, but well shielded RCA can work well up to around 40-50 feet. How long is the run and will it be run with any other wires?
post #10 of 10
I forgot to mention that I did use cat5 cable for the long run. I had the cat5 socket and wall plate on both ends where it was converted from that point. The noise/hum I was getting was directly from the PC output. That's why I said check the PC output for noise first.
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