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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2007, 08:37 AM
garyellis garyellis is offline
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Do I need a receiver?

I've had Sage for a year now. I connect from my video card and my sound card to a highend Sony receiver.

The receiver is having some problems and I am wondering why I need the receiver. Since my video card outputs Component video, I could just go straight to the TV from the card and I could go from the sound card to an AMP for the audio. I use AC3 filter and Optical sound output.

So, the question is, given I'm using AC3 filter, does the receiver give me any extra? Am I missing something here?

Thanks,

Gary Ellis
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2007, 09:06 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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So you have a receiver and an amp? Well my experience with amplifiers is that they do nothing but augment the sound. They generally do not have any decoding properties such as Dolby Digital and DTS. If you just output the sound to an amp (which I suppose would work), it will just be stereo or however you hook it up and all audio decoding would have to be done with the sound card......

In my case, I am only passing digital audio to my receiver via a digital coax connection and the receiver does all the decoding.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2007, 10:44 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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There have been some huge threads on AVS about this (HTPC as a Pre/pro), and I highly recommend looking through them to get an idea of the situation. But to sumarrize....

As most of us know, there are a few things PCs can do quite well:
Playing/decoding/scaling video
Deinterlacing video (with PureVideo/AVIVO).
Audio decoding (DD/DTS)

There are a few things that could be problematic:
Bass management is somewhat rudimentary still on PCs, probably several years behind the receiver/pre-pro industry.
Processing external HD inputs - essentially impossible.
Switching external intputs - I'd say impractical
Decoding external digital sources - Creative is the only game in town.

Basically my recommendation is this, if you've got external sources, especially ones with HD video or digital audio that you need to handle in a processor, an HTPC can't replace a reciever/processor. For example I have an Xbox 360, HD video and digital audio output, that's basically impossible to handle with a PC, it's far easier (and better) to use a pre/pro or reciever.

Now, if your HTPC is your only source, then eliminating the pre/pro becomes practical. The question is does it become logical. I'd say that depends on your definition of "high end". If it's under $1000, then you're basically stuck with recievers, as multichannel amps are almost unheard of at that price (there are a few). In the $1000-2000 range, I'd probably still argue that just getting a mid-fi reciever and letting it handle the DD, DTS, and DPL IIx processing is the way to go.

Beyond $2k it gets tricky because you're approaching separates territory and you're in the range where you can get really nice external amps. Of course I've kind of lost my "faith" in the need for external amps, after some experience with them (Anthem MCA50, Crown XLS 602, T-Amp, Outlaw 7125...), but I'll not drag this thread down with that.

I really like the idea of replacing a pre-pro with an HTPC, but I'm just not convinced the PC is really "there" on the audio side like it is for video.
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2007, 06:26 AM
garyellis garyellis is offline
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Thanks....I worked alot with my receiver this afternoon and things sound good. I am trying to figure our how to get the audio even better and as I get into the "gains" by bass, midrange, tremble,etc. I get confused. So, I need to look for some help with that. I bought a sound meter and am trying to figure out what the results of my sound tests tell me. The equalizer function is also a mystery to me.

Thanks,

Gary Ellis
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2007, 10:04 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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The room itself plays the single biggest role in the sound you hear. You might want to take a look at this to get an idea what's going on in your room.
http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2007, 10:24 AM
corykim corykim is offline
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Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyellis
I've had Sage for a year now. I connect from my video card and my sound card to a highend Sony receiver.

The receiver is having some problems and I am wondering why I need the receiver. Since my video card outputs Component video, I could just go straight to the TV from the card and I could go from the sound card to an AMP for the audio. I use AC3 filter and Optical sound output.

So, the question is, given I'm using AC3 filter, does the receiver give me any extra? Am I missing something here?
Your receiver is decoding the AC3 digital input to an analog signal for amplification. Personally, I don't think Sony receivers are that great, but that's just my opinion.
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