Help required for HDMI, home theatre, LCD TV, PC

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Hammer278, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Hammer278 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    Okay, it isnt as complicated as the title...would really appreciate help here.

    I have a LCD TV, and a pioneer surround sound...and about to purchase a Desktop CPU.

    What i really require is for the desktop pictures to show up on my TV, and the audio to go through my surround system. I have 3 HDMI ports for my TV, HDMI port for my surround and will surely get a HDMI port for my video card. I have 2 HDMI cables.

    I want my TV to be my monitor and my surround sound to be my audio for both normal TV and from whats happening from the CPU (games)

    What do I do? Many many thanks...

  2. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Why not get a motherboard that supports HDMI out and optical? And then use the optical to your receiver and your HDMI out for your video to your TV. That's what I'm doing.
  3. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    Thanks for your reply!

    So far as I know, I can get a video card with a converter that can use the HDMI cable (from CPU)

    Motherboard? I'll have to check that out...but what do you mean by optical? I dont understand..
  4. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006

    Use a HDMI cable to connect your PC to one of the HDMI inputs on the TV.
    Use an optical digital cable to connect your PC's sound card to the surround sound system.

    Job done.

    If your PC's graphics card doesn't have HDMI out, you should be able to buy a DVI to HDMI cable. If your PC's sound card doesn't have digital audio out (most do now) then you can use an ordinary set of audio leads to connect to the surround sound system (but obviously you won't get 5.1, just stereo).
  5. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    Thanks mate. That sounds about right for what I would require.

    Though let me just enquire, the HDMI out from the PC would be from the motherboard? Or graphic card? Would I have to change any settings? I'd have to go through the control panel, settings, etcetc to change the resolutions to match the TV right? Would there be anything else? Or just plug in the HDMI and ready to go.

    Also, my surround consists of 6 speakers. So I would want to utilise them all...since Im only about to get the PC, I should make sure I have a video card/motherboard/sound card which allows for a HDMI output correct?

  6. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    Would appreciate some kind answers for my last minute questions....;)
  7. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Sorry about the delay in response. I've been busy because of class. So my question to you is what kind of PC are you looking to get? Links to the PC you are looking at? Or one to build?

    I can show you my build that I just did for about $750 but I did get a discount on some items, such as my power supplies. If you actually go into your local Best Buy at times they have decent cases on sale cheaper than I have seen New Egg go.

    And are you looking to see about ripping DVDs or other formats into the computer as well so you have the digital content instead of needing the physical content?
  8. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    My aim is to hook up my PC to my TV in order to game. That's my main interest in all of this... :)

    If you could inform me which part (grahic card, motherboard, etc) should have the HDMI out, it could help me out significantly.
  9. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Most graphics cards that support HDMI out do it via an adapter from the DVI port on the card (e.g. the Nvidia PureVideo ones): don't know if some motherboards have the same support for HDMI built in or not, sorry. You can get some cards with an ordinary HDMI port on them I think, but I've never had one.

    p.s. remember the resolution of your TV will limit your gaming resolution to significantly lower than you could achieve with a monitor. I'm assuming you're set on an all-in-one solution for space reasons etc. though.
  10. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    Well, I'll be having a lousy monitor nearby just for backup. But I'll be using my TV as my monitor whenever this CPU is turned on.

    I'm assuming you can achieve the video out to the TV either by graphic card or motherboard then?

    So what I would require is simply to get a good video card with the HDMI converter, plug in the male to male with this port and the TV port....and connect that wire (which you usually connect from the CPU to your speakers, in this case connect from the CPU to the DVD player of the surround)....will I be all set by doing this? I'm going to purchase my CPU this weekend.

  11. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Where are you going to buy your CPU from?

    Okay, there are a ton of routes I know of going about to connecting a PC to a TV. You can go VGA (not going to give you the best quality), DVI to DVI (as long as your display device supports it) or DVI to HDMI or even HDMI to HDMI.

    If you are going to a TV, which I mainly suggest because most media (games or movies) are mainly 1920x1080, and gives you the biggest screen for the lowest price. That and it's enjoyable to watch movies on your TV through your computer.

    I built my own computer and it has HDMI out. Most laptops and even desktops are now coming with HDMI out video and audio because people see media center. One of the easiest ways to set it up for people as well because they are familiar with the OS. It allows them to see free content, stream Netflix (even though most TVs come with that now), and other things.

    This is how I do it, I use HDMI out from my computer to my TV. I'm going to be using optical for my audio after I get my receiver for my sound system. Optical provides better audio and mainly suggested when you have a sound system.

    Keep in mind, DVI will NOT do audio out for most computers. Now, DVI out is more of a standard on graphic cards on the higher end ones. Personally I just bought a graphics card that supported 1080p out that was built on the motherboard and was HDMI because that was the connection I wanted. I can always upgrade if I want but it's for movies.

    To be honest, I'd slow your sale down because you need time to look around, invest in learning about what you are about to buy and then make a smart decision. I work retail and I hate selling on a whim to people. I prefer to teach them and then help them narrow their choices down and then they make the decision for themselves.
  12. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm getting my PC from Malaysia.

    I just need to know, is it okay if the HDMI port is from the video card? I fully intend to connect HDMI to HDMI as my LCD is one of the latest version, its the LH50 from LG. They have 3 HDMI ports.

    So to game, if I get a graphic card which has a HDMI out, it would be good enough right? As for the sound, I'm still a bit confused, I haven't heard of this 'optical' option, I thought it would be enough to connect the usual sound wire (not sure what its called) from your PC to your DVD player which then outputs the sound to your surround system...

    I appreciate your advice. Wish the person I am buying from thinks like you.
  13. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006

    Yes, it will support 1920 x 1080 which will be the maximum resolution of your TV.

    You can do that, it's just that if you use an ordinary audio lead you won't get surround sound (it does depend a bit on what outputs your sound card has and what inputs your surround system has) unless you use multiple cables. The optical option is a TOSlink cable (google it) which will carry all the surround info via one single cable. It just needs your PC's sound card to have an optical out (most modern ones e.g. from Creative do) and your surround system to have an optical in (again, I'd be very surprised if it didn't). Have a look on the back of your surround unit and you'll see the connector.

    p.s you wouldn't connect it to the DVD player, you'd connect it to the surround sound amplifier (unless the DVD and amp are integrated into one unit, of course).
  14. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009

    I am very grateful for your help. I will confirm what I'm getting with the salesperson and purchase the PC. Thank you very much for your kind assistance.
  15. Hammer278 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2009
    I just found out my surround system does not possess an optical input...its the Pioneer HTZ181... :(:(:(

    Is there no other way to achieve 5.1 surround sound from the PC? :confused:
  16. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    This is one of my last post folks on MacRumors here guys so I'll try to help you out as best I can. The only way I know how to get true surround sound is through the optical version, I'm not sure if there is any other way. (Anyone else know?) You might want to upgrade your receiver.

    What the guy said above is right except about one thing. Sometimes video cards do not have a built on sound card to carry audio as well. My graphics card does because it is integrated on the motherboard and they have recently updated that on my chipset though it isn't the best for gaming.
  17. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    The problem is that most sound cards have a subset of the following colour-coded outputs via 3.5mm jacks:

    • Pink Analog microphone audio input
    • Light blue Analog line level audio input
    • Lime green Analog line level audio output for the main stereo signal (front speakers or headphones)
    • Brown/Dark Analog line level audio output for a special panning,'Right-to-left speaker'
    • Black Analog line level audio output for surround speakers, typically rear stereo
    • Orange Analog line level audio output for center channel speaker and subwoofer
    • Gold/Grey Game port / MIDI

    While most surround amps have the following inputs, typically each with a pair of 5mm banana plugs:

    • Front centre
    • Front L
    • Front R
    • Rear L
    • Rear R

    So, as you can see there isn't an easy way to connect one to the other: the plug sizes are different and there isn't a one-to-one correlation between the outputs and inputs. You might be able to get a set of adapter cables, but I've never done it - you might be better asking about that somewhere like AVforums.

    As a possible (easier) alternative, check and see if your amp has a coaxial digital input on it. If it does (and your sound card has a coaxial digital out) you can use a single coaxial cable to carry all the surround info. I don't think coaxial outs are as common on sound cards though.

    Sorry, I think that's my knowledge on the subject just about exhausted!

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