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24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering a 7.1 surround sound system for my new home I'll be moving into the first of the year.

Would like to hook an HDTV and my PC to an audio receiver.

Don't have a TV yet, but will get a late model, higher end HDTV sometime in the future. Also, do not have a receiver yet, and don't really know anything about them and don't know what to look for.

The PC I have has an ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard (NewEgg.com Item # N82E16813131365R ), which has an S/PDIF Out, 1x Coaxial, 1x Optical.

I don't have a speaker system yet (what I have now is several speaker sets rigged into one system for my PC, but only as a left and right channel, not "true" surround sound). A friend has a couple BOSE Acoustimass (they are the AM-5 if that matters) hooked to his laptop PC, two for the "center" speakers on his HDTV home theater, and a couple on his golf cart. They sound INCREDIBLE on each application. I'm thinkin' of going with the BOSE Acoustimass cube speakers for my setup because they sound great, are compact, and look nice.

By the way, I first posted this on another website (before I found this one) and I was recommended an Onkyo HTS system. On this website, I read 7 or 8 pages out of however pages there are on the thread about the Onkyo HTS990 system. It seems to be an excellent system, but, perhaps something better could be done by buying everything separate. I just need some help on everything! lol

On the PC and TV I'll be playing games, watching shows and movies in SD and HD via cable, Netflix, and DVD and BD-ROM, and listening to music via HDD, cable, and iPod/iPhone.

So, is it just a matter of getting a nice receiver that'll do 7.1 and getting the right cable to make it work?

Receiver(s) that I should get considering? HDTV(s) I should be considering (thinkin' a Samsung 46" LED-LCD would be sweet, myself )?

Do I need anything special to make this system easily switchable between PC games on the PC and movies on the TV?

The TV'll also be hooked to the PC, by the way. Although gaming, e-mail, Internet surfing will be done on my three 27" monitors.

I hope this ain't too confusing. lol

Thanks, ya'll!!!


Here's my PC specifications:

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme 1366 RT CPU Cooler

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

ASUS EAH5870/G/2DIS/1GD5/A Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity

mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Times 2 (RAID 0) - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit for System Builders

LG Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 6X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA

Internal Blu-ray Burner 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive Model GGW-H20LK

Logitech G19 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard

RAZER DeathAdder Precision Optical Gaming Mouse - 3.5G Infrared Sensor

Times 2 - Western Digital My Book Essential WDH1U10000N 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

Times 3 - LG W2753V-PF Black 27" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 50000:1 w/ Smart Package

APC BR1500G 1500 VA 865 Watt 10 Outlets Power Saving Back-UPS RS 1500

· Registered
3,121 Posts
I would run your HDMI from the 5870 into the receiver and then from the receiver to the TV. Have the audio and video both over HDMI. This way if you have Blu-rays with HD audio formats (DTS-MA/Dolby TrueHD/etc) it can be decoded. Otherwise, Dolby 5.1 is the best you can do over optical. There is a whole other thread on here about getting the HD formats to work with the ATI 5xxx videocards. Make sure to get a receiver that can decode all those formats.

Onkyo is a good choice. Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon also seem to be favorites. Look around for reviews, prices, features and get one that has what you want. It sounds like you might need one with two HDMi outputs, one for the TV and one for your PC monitor(s).

As for the TV, get the biggest one that'll fit in your space and budget. You don't really need the internet connectivity but it's hard to get a higher end set w/o one. My two plasma TVs work fine with my HTPC so it's not necessary to get an LCD to have HTPC connectivity work. You tweak the overscan through ATI CCC if you need. The TV might even have a PC mode (though I found on my LG TV that turns off 3:2 pulldown leading to frame dropping on some sources).

· Registered
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, man.

I had been told on another thread that the HD 5870 only puts power to three of the four hook-ups. Is this true or will it still power my three monitors leaving the HDMI to power my TV (not all at the same time, of course)?


· Registered
2,421 Posts

Originally Posted by palehorse /forum/post/19579299

Your video card is limited to three (3) monitor output using Eyefinity, so it will be difficult to add a fourth monitor with your current equipment.

Do you have a free PCIe slot to add another video card? Perhaps a passive (fanless) ATI 5450 with HDMI would do the trick -- costs roughly $30 to $50.

Any receiver you buy would then be seen by Windows as a fourth monitor, and you could output all audio over the 5450's HDMI, as well as video if/when you also want the PC to display on the TV (by manually selecting it via a tray application in Windows).

Your best bet would be to post this question in the Home Theater Computer section of these forums. Perhaps someone who has more experience with ATI's Eyefinity, specifically, could help you there...
Originally Posted by palehorse /forum/post/19580807

I read the specs for your card and it said "up to three monitors." But, since you're not currently using the HDMI, you could probably use that for the receiver and just manually switch to that port in Windows whenever you want to output to JUST the TV.

I think you'd have to choose between the TV, -or- the other three monitors, at any given time.

You also don't need a 5870 for home theater. If you go with a second card, in order to run all four monitors at the same time, a 5450 is sufficient for full 1080p and HD audio bitstreaming to your receiver.

Make sense?

Above are the posts I made in your other thread, and they're based on the specs listed for your card here:

Under "Features," it says:
Eyefinity Technology for 3-monitor output!

So, since you're already using the two DVI ports and the Displayport connection, I'm guessing that you can hook a 4th monitor (the new receiver, actually) to the remaining HDMI connection. But, based on the limitation of only being able to run three monitors at any given time, you'd have to manually switch to the 4th monitor in Windows, and that would inevitably turn off output to one of the other three.

Make sense yet?

The other option -- adding a second video card -- still seems to be the only viable option to run all four monitors simultaneously.

Perhaps someone here has more experience running 4 or more monitors... I think you should limit the scope of your post to just that one issue before you move on to selecting the rest of your home theater equipment. It's better to create threads specific to the specialized forum you're posting in. (computer questions here, speaker questions in the "speakers" forum, receiver questions in the "amps, receivers.." forum, etc)

First and foremost, your goal should be to figure out how to hook up and run a receiver/TV as your fourth monitor on your specific PC. For that, you're in the right forum...

· Registered
2,421 Posts
I have an alibi... I know I suggested a 5450 as a second card, and that would work for your basic HD needs. But, if you want complete video processing power, you may want to go with a 5570 instead.

Thus as far as we can tell, the 5570 is in fact the perfect Radeon HTPC card that we have been looking for. It’s the cheapest, smallest, and coolest running 5000-series card that can offer the full suite of post-processing abilities, and of course it has the 5000-series’s audio bitstreaming capabilities. Since the whole point of this exercise was to identify the lowest 5000-series card that was still perfect for HTPC use, we have found it. And the best part is it even fits in a low-profile case.

This is the one I'm running in one of my systems:



· Registered
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's all coming together now.

I really appreciate you taking the time to baby me through this process. It took about six months of research, reading, and asking (lots!) of questions to build my computer. You're breakin' this down quick!

I may just get another 5870 and Crossfire 'em. My graphics were gettin' weak anyhow.
However, it says on NewEgg that that item is 'Deactivated'. That can't be good!

Also, I apologize for being impatient/lazy and posting in several threads and trying to have all my questions answered at once. I reckon hooking the PC and HDTV up should be the starting point. I'm just so excited to spend some money! lol I've got a wish list that's thousands of dollars long.
By the way, if ya'll're in a giving mood, I want a Ruger Alaskan, an 80 gallon 25CFM air compressor, an HDTV......

Thanks again
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