How to connect my laptop to my 5.1 home theater ?

rathathian

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Hello ! Firstly I am french so I apologize in advance for the grammar mistakes ^^

I do have a Medion MD 40205 home theater (yes it is an old model) which does have a RCA port and a coaxial one (for the audio ports) and my laptop is a MSI gs70 2qc (its soundcard does support 7.1 do not worry).

I am currently using the home theater with a RCA/jack cable but the issue is : it does not support 5.1, when I set the "2.1 mode" it does work perfectly but when I set the "Dolby pl2 mode" the subwoofer does not work and the rear speakers provide a sound but not a surround one.

My question is the next : Which cable or whatever you want should I use to have a 5.1 sound ?

Thank you for your answers !
 
that auna is no better than what you have now. it only has stereo input so it will not work and is the same as what you have now. if it only has a red+white input its no good.

also, the really cheap units like that auna are junk. the specs are overrated heavily and they often lack features or support. you get what you pay for. would a cheap unit like that work provided it had 6ch input? probably as long as its rated for 8ohm impedance at over 50wpc

to use your current speakers in true 5.1 mode you only have two options alone:
- get an actual receiver (new or used) with 5.1 support. nowadays they all have hdmi input so you will use that output on your laptop to receiver. you might be able to find older analog 6ch input models as well used which could work if you have 6ch output on your laptop. either that or use a soundcard to provide it. optical can be used for 5.1 if both devices (laptop or soundcard and the receiver) both support it. otherwise it would be 2.0 so i did not suggest it so as not to throw more confusion into the mix.
- get a 5.1 amplifier with 6ch analog inputs. you would then need to hook this up to your laptop if you have 6ch output or to a soundcard if you have 6ch output. finding such amps of both reasonable price and decent quality is hard though (hence why i suggest receivers normally given prices)
 
from a google image of that model it looks like it supports only rca inputs and stereo at that. my guess is that it fakes surround sound with dolby processing as it lacks analog 6ch inputs and along with any digital inputs (which would have been stereo only if optical/coax and that old)
 
Unless your Medion has a DIGITAL AUDIO INPUT in the form of an optical Toslink connection or RCA labeled SPDIF or AC3, this Medion box has no facility to take in surround information externally. Boxes that are labeled "home theater" tend to be limited like that. You need an honest to God, Audio Video Receiver with multiple Digital inputs.
 

rathathian

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The thing is, I remember it to work very well more than 10 years ago connected to a TV but I don't have any idea about the cables used :/
But don't you think it could work with an external sound card ? (Because there are more ports on it)
 

rathathian

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Oct 15, 2016
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This is exactly this model that I own and you are absolutly right about it. What I was thinking is to use an external sound card to replace the receiver and connect it with the spdif port to my laptop, there should be no problem about it.
Anyway thank you a lot for your answers !
 
soundcards and home theater do not work like that. the output from soundcards is much lower (less powerful) than on home theater receivers. depending on the sensitivity and wattage of the speakers, you may not get much volume or may not get much output at all. a true receiver unit is much more costly than a soundcard and even then, some htib systems were low 4ohm impedence and not all receivers are rated for that (most are 6 or 8... but you can find 4 if you look) so may run outside the spec (may run hot).

the cheapest solution? a 5.1 set of pc speakers
 

rathathian

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Oct 15, 2016
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rathathian

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Oct 15, 2016
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Yeah you are absolutly right about the fact that an external sound card is less powerfull than a receiver but a 5.1 set of pc speakers would be more expensive, no doubt about that.
I checked my speakers and the sub and together, the wattage is equal to 350W and the impedance is 8 ohm so last question, what do you think about this sound card ?
https://www.amazon.fr/CSL-haut-parleurs-enregistrement-transmission-analogiques/dp/B00WKAYXZQ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Edit : Well I apologize, I don't think that you will be able to answer my question properly because the "wattage supported" (sorry, I know this is horrible english) is not written even in the manual.
Re-edit : OK, that was definitely a stupid question, of course it could not handle it. But how about that ?
https://www.amazon.fr/CSL-haut-parleurs-enregistrement-transmission-analogiques/dp/B00WKAYXZQ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
 
did you not read the part where i stated that a soundcard will not power those passive speakers? those speakers require an amplifier.

5.1 pc speakers are powered and take a low level signal input. soundcards thus do not need any high power outputs so lack them. the most they need to power are 5-10w pc speakers or headphones on the front ports alone.

pc speakers are cheaper than a receiver. i'm not sure about french prices but a 5.1 set of pc speakers can be as low as $60-70 while receivers are about $180+ at minimum. even with the cost of a cheap soundcard for 5.1 support (if you lacked it) its still cheaper.

those soundcards are meant for connecting up to either 5.1 powered pc speakers or 5.1 powered speaker sets. both require no power input from the soundcard and accept low level signals.

receivers are things like this https://www.amazon.fr/Yamaha-RX-V481-Ethernet-HDMI-Noir/dp/B01DDNQ2VQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476920304&sr=8-1&keywords=5.1+receiver and tend to be fairly costly (at least $200 generally). given the speakers you have now arent all that great its really not worthwhile spending that much just to power them which is why i suggested just going with cheap pc speakers like the z506 and a cheap soundcard if you needed one (or no soundcard if you have the analog jacks and support for 5.1 on your laptop which isnt too common)
 

rathathian

Commendable
Oct 15, 2016
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rathathian

Commendable
Oct 15, 2016
10
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Yes I do understand ! But what I wanted to show you before is a receiver ( it can be powered) and not a soundcard ! and th z506 is not a bad model but it is not as powerful as mine (or maybe it is what I think because it needs less power) so a good 5.1 speakers set as good or better than mine would be more costly than a receiver.
there is also this one : https://www.amazon.fr/Auna-AMP-218-Amplificateur-puissance-t%C3%A9l%C3%A9commande/dp/B01LD34YCM/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1476984444&sr=8-8&keywords=amplificateur+5.1
I know that I am may be a pain in the ass for taking your time but I want to thank you because you are really helpful.
 
that auna is no better than what you have now. it only has stereo input so it will not work and is the same as what you have now. if it only has a red+white input its no good.

also, the really cheap units like that auna are junk. the specs are overrated heavily and they often lack features or support. you get what you pay for. would a cheap unit like that work provided it had 6ch input? probably as long as its rated for 8ohm impedance at over 50wpc

to use your current speakers in true 5.1 mode you only have two options alone:
- get an actual receiver (new or used) with 5.1 support. nowadays they all have hdmi input so you will use that output on your laptop to receiver. you might be able to find older analog 6ch input models as well used which could work if you have 6ch output on your laptop. either that or use a soundcard to provide it. optical can be used for 5.1 if both devices (laptop or soundcard and the receiver) both support it. otherwise it would be 2.0 so i did not suggest it so as not to throw more confusion into the mix.
- get a 5.1 amplifier with 6ch analog inputs. you would then need to hook this up to your laptop if you have 6ch output or to a soundcard if you have 6ch output. finding such amps of both reasonable price and decent quality is hard though (hence why i suggest receivers normally given prices)
 

rathathian

Commendable
Oct 15, 2016
10
0
1,560
0


 

rathathian

Commendable
Oct 15, 2016
10
0
1,560
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Yes you are right, precipitation blinded my judgement. So I am going to look for what you said. (Is there a difference between receiver and amplifier ? I thought it meant the same thing).
I will tell you if I find something.
 
an amplifier only strengthens (amplifies, gives more power to) an existing analog signal.

a receiver is a combination box including a dac (digital-analog converter), amplifier, digital/analog switches and hardware to produce different sound modes.

while technically you would only need a 6ch amp, finding a decent one is hard. you might be able to find something cheap and make it work, they are not so good. i know pyle and other brands make some low end products like this.. but they are generally dismal.
 
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