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5.1 Setup Help Required

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    Posted: 13 October 2011 at 10:53pm
Alright, I want to try to set up my Logitech X 540 speakers to my new Macbook Pro and actually use it for 5.1. I have optical out on my laptop, and I know I'll need some sort of external sound card or adapter, but can't get a decisive answer on what I will need and what will work. I figure someone here probably will know,

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2011 at 10:56pm
buy a cheap home theater receiver 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2011 at 7:30am
Yeah, you need a 5.1 receiver. The optical out sends out a 5.1 signal, without a receiver to split that signal to the proper speakers (including the subwoofer) you won't get 5.1 surround sound, only the same signal to all speakers...
 
The receiver is the "brain" of a surround system, it handles breaking the signal up into all the proper parts, and allows you to manipulate each channel for proper sound reproduction, to "imprint" your room and the sound reproduction from your speakers.
 
Many receivers today come with a mic that plugs into your receiver, and once you set it all up it will program your room with one button. Those work well for getting in the ball park, then you can manipulate the sound based on your preferences.
 
 
I think that logitec system you are looking at would work, but I would bet that you use the regular headphone out jack to run it, as most low end systems don't use optical out. (me personally, I never use the optical out, as the regular output works fine. Optical is slightly faster, and was sold as "better" but it really isn't that much of a difference. (other than a much more expensive cable and sends a true 5.1/7.1 signal which most people can't handle with their low end systems).
 
Now, HDMI on the other hand is a HUGE difference from RGB cabling. but, that has to do with a better reproduction of the video signal based on much more data going thru the cable, but that is a topic very different than digital sound vs analog sound.


Edited by FreeEnterprise - 14 October 2011 at 7:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2011 at 1:08pm
Originally posted by Lightningbolt Lightningbolt wrote:

buy a cheap home theater receiver 



I know...that was the question: which do I need.

Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Yeah, you need a 5.1 receiver. The optical out sends out a 5.1 signal, without a receiver to split that signal to the proper speakers (including the subwoofer) you won't get 5.1 surround sound, only the same signal to all speakers...
 

The receiver is the "brain" of a surround system, it handles breaking the signal up into all the proper parts, and allows you to manipulate each channel for proper sound reproduction, to "imprint" your room and the sound reproduction from your speakers.

 

Many receivers today come with a mic that plugs into your receiver, and once you set it all up it will program your room with one button. Those work well for getting in the ball park, then you can manipulate the sound based on your preferences.

 

 

I think that logitec system you are looking at would work, but I would bet that you use the regular headphone out jack to run it, as most low end systems don't use optical out. (me personally, I never use the optical out, as the regular output works fine. Optical is slightly faster, and was sold as "better" but it really isn't that much of a difference. (other than a much more expensive cable and sends a true 5.1/7.1 signal which most people can't handle with their low end systems).

 

Now, HDMI on the other hand is a HUGE difference from RGB cabling. but, that has to do with a better reproduction of the video signal based on much more data going thru the cable, but that is a topic very different than digital sound vs analog sound.


Yeah, exactly, thank you. Currently I just use the normal green headphone plug using the standard jack, but I can get an optical out adapter no problem as well. I am looking around online and keep finding ones with two inputs, or optical only, etc. Just want to make sure I get the right thing first try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2011 at 1:25pm

hmm... receivers are like underwear... Everyone has it, and argues that THEIRS is the best, but they all have issues.

 
I have an old sony from 15 years ago, that is 5.1 dolby surround with optical in's that would work fine...
 
What you want is lots of power in a receiver, and if you want to go to a projector (low end theater later) buy one that does video as well... As they are cheap, and down the road you don't want to get a different one if you go that route.
 
I like Sony's of old (craigslist) or newer I like Onkyo, you just can't beat their power for the money...
 
But, not sure what you are looking for exactly, way to many questions.
 
AVSForum.com is a great place to go for all your AV questions.
 
Here is a thread I did years ago when I built my theater.
 
 
Onkyo 606's are old now, and you can get them for around $240 today... But it is 7.1 (will do 5.1) and it has HDMI (3 in and 1 out)
 
Buy that, and a low cost projector... You could have a movie theater for less than $500... Use your mac as the media center, and just project it on the wall.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2011 at 1:31pm
Yeah I would definitely be looking the cheaper route. I wont need it for video for a good long while to come. I did find this just now:

http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi-Surround-5.1/M/B0044DEDCA.htm

The using my mac as a media center is tempting though since I still have my other one sitting here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2011 at 2:02pm

There are quite a few to choose from and I guess it comes down to price.  

I was thinking about how you could stack the laptop on the receiver and somehow use a chill pad to cool both down at the same time.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boss_DJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2011 at 6:37pm
2 channel analog :)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2011 at 8:45am

there's two 5.1 systems on sale at K Mart   

80 watt system with speakers $60

250 watt for $99 dinero

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