: Is a computer signal like other signals?
2008-12-26, 08:54 PM
I have been looking at home theatre systems, as I will soon have to purchase 2 of them for classrooms in a school.
Some systems come complete with a receiver, while others have a combination dvd/amplifier unit instead. In our classrooms, we will need to have inputs for the DVD, and the VCR/TV, and the computer. It would be great if whatever I purchased had enough inputs for each, but my budget only allows me to consider entry level systems. These entry level systems do not usually have a lot of flexibility or input potential. I suppose that it would be no big deal to have an RCA cord run from both the DVD and the VCR/TV into a switch with a single RCA then heading for the back of the receiver unit.
My question is this--could I treat the computer signal the same way? Is its audio signal the same sort of signal that comes from a VCR or a DVD player?
2008-12-26, 08:57 PM
Yes, the analog audio output is the same as anything else.
(Edit: I thought the question was only about audio not A/V)
2008-12-26, 09:05 PM
Analog computer signals, i.e. VGA, are RGB encoded whereas the analog output from a DVD player is usually going to be composite or S-video (for SD) or component for HD. Some DVD players will allow you to send RGB but those are the exception.
You don't say what the receiver is connected to?
2008-12-26, 09:16 PM
I have been looking at home theatre systems with perhaps only 2 sets of Left/Right inputs (which seem to be provided for connecting the VCR and DVD units). If I run my computer into 1 of these, will the theatre's 5 speakers and subwoofer give decent sound?
2008-12-26, 09:20 PM
Not really. Depending on the unit it may matrix the 2-channel sound into 5-channels but it won't be a big difference.
You really need a digital sound input to get the most out of a 5-channel input.
2008-12-26, 09:35 PM
I am not very informed in this field. I believe that any system purchased will live up to its audio potential with VCR and DVD players.
Any suggestions as to how best to connect a computer as well, and have passable audio for its sound?
2008-12-26, 09:43 PM
Can you give a description of what the system is supposed to do and what it will be connected to (TV or projector). That way we could provide more useful guidance.
2008-12-26, 09:57 PM
Each system will consist of a VCR, a DVD player, either a TV or a data projector, and a desktop computer with inadequate computer speakers. These items already sit in the classrooms, and some of them are fairly old. Apart from the computer speakers, the only audio that these rooms currently receive is from the little speakers on their TV sets.
I want to purchase a home theatre in a box that comes with 5 speakers, a subwoofer, and either a receiver or DVD/amplifier unit (which would allow me to retire an existing DVD player). My hope is to set up everything so that the sound will be much improved.
I am working within a budget, and have a fair bit of area (standard classroom) to fill with sound. There are a few systems that have been heavily advertised this season, and I am hoping that one of them might be what I am looking for.
Any help would be appreciated.
2008-12-27, 09:35 AM
The HTIB solution will certainly help with the VCR and DVD.
The PC is going to be the hard part, at least for video. The computer should have analog stereo output on it. This can be connected to the HTIB to distribute the sound to the room. From your description it doesn't sound like quality is really the issue.
For the video distribution from the PC is where it gets difficult. As I mentioned earlier analog RGB won't work with most TVs. If the TVs were newer and they had HDMI inputs you could probably use the DVI port on the computer, assuming it has one, with a DVI-HDMI cable.
Without knowing exactly what the connections on the TV/projector are at this point I can't offer any more guidance.
2008-12-27, 04:30 PM
Thanks. Since the computer's screen currently can be broadcast via the data projector (just a lower model InFocus), I think that the images will be the same as always (quite acceptable). The audio is at the root of my worries, but if the computer's audio signal can be channelled into a HTIB,then I think that I am on the verge of a drastic improvement.
2008-12-27, 04:39 PM
I would question the idea of trying to setup a cheap, 5.1 sound system in a classroom.
First is the difficulty of routing the wires for the surround speakers.
Second is the problem of cheap speakers trying to fill a classroom with a good, surround sound field. As well, a classroom is usually not going to give that good an acoustical experience in any case.
I don't have any experience with this but would think that a better 2.1 speaker system would give as good a sound field as you would get from a cheap 5.1 speaker system. It will lack the surround experience but I doubt you would ever get that good a one from a cheap 5.1 sound system in the typical classroom. I may be completely out to lunch on this so I hope others with experience in this type of situation weighs in.
2008-12-27, 04:43 PM
Your PC has a "stereo Jack" output, where you probably hook the existing speakers up to. You can use that output with a stereo jack to RCA cable to connect it to the receiver (HTIB) you want.