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Old 26th March 2011, 09:53 PM   #1
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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Default How to! TV sound through the computer?

I'm planning on getting myself a HTPC in the near future.
To keep things simple for myself, is there a easy way to rout the TV sound through the computer? I'd like toslink out!

I'm thinking TV -> PC -> DAC -> Power amps -> Speakers.
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Old 27th March 2011, 02:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusA View Post
I'm planning on getting myself a HTPC in the near future.
To keep things simple for myself, is there a easy way to rout the TV sound through the computer? I'd like toslink out!

I'm thinking TV -> PC -> DAC -> Power amps -> Speakers.
My Gigabyte boards have optical SPDIF outputs but I must confess to using the analog outputs. Nothing to complain about even in analog. The onboard video out (VGA,DVI-D or HDMI) does 1920x1080 flawlessly. I'm sure other manufacturers have the same.

You should be able to get a respectable machine <$500. Get the biggest drive(s) you can as TV eats space - about a gigabyte every 10 minutes.
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Old 27th March 2011, 12:41 PM   #3
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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My main concern is getting the audio signal from the TV into the PC and then getting that signal to the DAC.
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Old 27th March 2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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What audio outputs are available from your TV?

Manufactures of TV's and Blue-Ray DVD players are rapidly changing what inputs and outputs are available on their units. Composite and "S" video are gone. Component video, analog and S/PDIF audio are disappearing. Soon the only connections may be HDMI.
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Old 27th March 2011, 06:04 PM   #5
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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I have optical S/PDIF and the jack for the head phones.
There are a gazillion other connections including 4 HDMI as well but I don't know if they're all inputs?
It's a Samsung UE37C5105.
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Old 28th March 2011, 04:40 AM   #6
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Every TV HDMI port I have seen has been an input. What are you expecting the PC to be doing regarding the TV?

It is not typical to record an HDMI signal as the data rate is staggering - 1.5 Gigabits / second. It is far more common to record Over The Air (OTA) or cable clear QAM - at least for the US. The cable / OTA feeds are a tame 8-19 Megabits / second so it's not a big deal to record it.

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Old 28th March 2011, 07:29 AM   #7
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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My needs are very small.
I just want to avoid building a separate switchbox for the optical S/PDIF.
I would like the PC to work as a preamp.
My DAC only has one input, a toslink connection and there's no room to add any more.
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Old 28th March 2011, 08:30 AM   #8
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusA View Post
My needs are very small.
I just want to avoid building a separate switchbox for the optical S/PDIF.
I would like the PC to work as a preamp.
My DAC only has one input, a toslink connection and there's no room to add any more.
It is a rather unusual request. You can either use the analog inputs of your card, but that will reduce quality of your TV signal sound. A better option would be using a sound card with SPDIF input and routing this input to its SPDIF output internally to minimize the card - PC - card round-trip delay which could break lip sync. E.g. cards with Envy24 and spdif input offer this functionality (ESI Juli, various cards with the mio/dio addon card). Still it would require manual reconfiguration of the card mixer when sourcing from TV. A trivial single-click/single-shortcut script in linux, a few clicks in the mixer window in windows.

But this way you would circumvent the PC volume control. I do not know if your TV spdif output is a subject to the TV volume control. If not, you will have to route the incoming signal into your PC, do the volume control and feed it back to the card. I am afraid you will have to fight latency in such case. IMO it is an ugly solution in any case.

Last edited by phofman; 28th March 2011 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 28th March 2011, 08:36 AM   #9
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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It's only TV, I don't need great audio quality. I just need it to work.
All my quality material will be on disc...

I guess I'll have to look around for a small and economic soundcard then?
Space is a premium since it's a tiny build. Passive mini-itx...

Any suggestions?
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Old 28th March 2011, 08:39 AM   #10
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusA View Post
It's only TV, I don't need great audio quality. I just need it to work.
All my quality material will be on disc...

I guess I'll have to look around for a small and economic soundcard then?
Space is a premium since it's a tiny build. Passive mini-itx...

Any suggestions?
What mini-itx model?

What OS do you use?
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