Question New Laptop, Old AVR, need 5.1 surround sound

NEILABCD

Estimable
Dec 15, 2015
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Hey experts, i need your advise here. i have a very old Onkyo AVR that doesnt have a HDMI input. It has tons of RCA and an optical input.
i have a HP 6 mn ths old basic laptop with HDMI, USB, Aux output, no fancy sound card in it.

Now since i cannot use the hdmi channel into my old AVR, i am using a RCA cable(Red & White) with one side into the AVR, and input from my laptop Aux using a "RCA to 3.5mm Aux ".
The sound that i am getting is pretty good, but what i want to know here is.
1 - Am i getting true 5.1 sound?
2 - Is my AVR able to convert the input from this model into True 5.1 surround? (i set the surround mode as PL2 movie).

If no,
3 - Should i get one of these "HDMI to Optical" converter and use that as a source from laptop to AVR?

Like i said the sound i am getting is very decent sound, and i have a feeling that the rear channels are producing sounds that should be like in a 5.1 🙃 ,
however since i have all these tools i want to make sure i am getting the very best.
Experts, pls let me know.
Regards
Neil.
 

NEILABCD

Estimable
Dec 15, 2015
4
0
4,510
0
i did some research, and i think that the AVR is taking stereo input and converting with prologic to surround sound.... correct me if i am wrong?
Also buying a HDMI to Optical box and connecting to the AVR will provide a lot betr output?
cost involved is arnd $40 USD.. and i am on a tight budget.. please let me know...
 
You are not getting discrete digital surround sound with the analog stereo output of the laptop. Dolby Prologic2 is made to work with a stereo input that has the center channel and surround channel encoded out of phase in the stereo signal or to synthesize surround sound from standard stereo audio.
If you are using a TV with an optical audio output then you can use that to connect the AVR.
If you are using a monitor then an HDMI Audio extractor will provide the optical output you need. That will get you discrete 5.1 surround sound that will be much better than what you are hearing now.
 

NEILABCD

Estimable
Dec 15, 2015
4
0
4,510
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Thanks a lot... so i need to extract the sound through my laptop and thts the only option i have.... so u suggest i should go ahead with tht investment... its a hdmi to optical converter which i will connect to laptop hdmi... take a optical wire tht will run to my avr....

Another quick questn here...,will tht hdmi to optical converter also generally improve the sound quality of my laptop? For ex tht also has an aux... if i connect a headphone... will it sound betr thn how it sounds directly from my laptop?
The reason i m asking is ... now suppose i play a YouTube song through my laptop aux, it sounds not so great... the same song on my iPhone sounds much betr....
Thanks again
 
If your headphones are connected directly to the laptop it won't be affected. You can't connect them to the converter but you can connect them to the AVR and they will sound better.
It should improve the sound on all content.
If it's cheaper you could use a USB external soundcard with optical output instead of the HDMI audio extractor.
 
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NEILABCD

Estimable
Dec 15, 2015
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4,510
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Ok... so i got the hdmi to optical... and the sound quality is mind blowing now😊
Howevr the is a problm....
When i connect thru this, i get the option to select 5.1 on the sounds on laptop settings... howevr when i select 5.1 and click on yhe speakers while still in settings... only the left and right plays... centre or rear dont give any sounds.... what amni doing wrong.
before connecting this converter i used to get only strtre option now atleast the 5.1 option is selectable....
Can u pls help... also want to know whr can i upload some pics if u need to see or if i need to explain?
 
Check any audio settings in the playback software or streaming app.
If the content is stereo selecting 5.1 doesn't convert it to 5.1
Select a surround mode on the AVR like Dolby ProLogic2 which is designed to do that. Not as good as discreet 5.1 but may be better than stereo.
 
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