what soundcard and connection to my home cinema???

alynch

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Hi,

I have just bought a new home cinema system (Samsung ht-4550) its not a top end model but its decent.

I am wanting to connect it to my computer via optical to a soundcard but after researching i have seen that it doesnt matter if you have a top end soundcard or an average one it will be the exact same quality.

So my question is it better to get an average soundcard and hook it up to the system via an optical or is it better to buy a top end soundcard and connect through analogue?

I will be mainly playing music from these so if anyone could direct me the best possible way to get the best sound quality it would be appreciated.

oh and theres no HDMI in so thats out of the question.

thanks.
 

mauller07

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optical output to the surround sound will give better quality than analogue to it from a sound card, the dacs in the surround should be as good if better than a reasonable soundcard.
 

alynch

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Hi thanks for the reply so would an optical to my surround system give just as much quality as a good soundcard with an analogue connection? i'm guessing the dac is in my system so that does the work?

oh and my soundcard hasnt got an optical output on it i am going to buy a new one anyway just wondering what to buy whether it should be good or really good and whether the optical would benefit the quality or whether analogue would be better.
 

mauller07

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optical output to the surround sound will give better quality than analogue to it from a sound card, the dacs in the surround should be as good if better than a reasonable soundcard.
 

alynch

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Cheers for that mate, see that was my initial thought that optical would be better (plus handy just having one cable). It was just a few people mentioned that it's not as a good as analogue as it gets turned back to analogue before getting passed through to the speakers. Well that saves me from buying an expensive soundcard then (Y)
 

mauller07

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nooo 100 times nooo the signal is digital all the way to the synthesisers then DAC's in your amp before it gets sent to the amplifiers.

if it was analogue out it gets converted from digital to analogue to digital then back to analogue again which will reduce the overall quality, plus any noise that may be picked up along the way which you will not get with an optical connection.

olders receivers would directly amplify then send the sound to the speakers but modern digital AV receivers and surround sound systems convert everything to digital first to apply any sound alterations in the synthesiser then will convert it to analogue again at the dacs and send it to the amplifier.
 

ssddx

Glorious
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there is a limitation of optical spdif. uncompressed audio as found on blueray disks and other high quality sources. optical can only support 2.1 uncompressed while hdmi can support full surround uncompressed audio.

i agree that digital is the way to go since the receiver/control unit does the audio processing. the onboard spdif (on mobo) or hdmi output (on gpu or on mobo if onboard graphics) are typically enough and you shouldnt need to buy any parts unless you do not have these connections or are experiencing some problems with them.
 

mauller07

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the usb adapter i found can output either 5.1 dts or 5.1 dolby so its not a worry, its for connecting his pc to his surround system which does not have hdmi input.
 

ssddx

Glorious
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usb adapter?
sounds like you mean an external soundcard. if there is room for one inside the pc i would go with an internal soundcard or just use the optical on the motherboard if he has it already.

it looks like you are right the ht does not have hdmi input which is common on htib type sets. i was just listing a known limitation of optical. for music or games it shouldnt matter though.

another thing to keep in mind is that most music is stereo only so unless pushing the sound through both the front and rear speakers and the same time (2 left 2 right) most of the speakers will be dead.
 

alynch

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Cheers guys for the info I'll just buy an average soundcard and link up through optical, i thought optical supports 5.1 though(ssddx)? well its what i thought anyway but i'm no genuis when it comes to all this seen as ive got surround sound i would like all the speakers to work when playing music.
 
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