PC audio setup for home office

Hi all, clearly after my last question (about speaker cable sockets - http://tinyurl.com/ruup ) there are lots of audiofiles out there.
I've now got a supplemental question:
Can anybody recommend an audio setup for my home office which would allow me to hear 5.1 audio from my PC, CD's from my PC, and radio? My PC has 5.1 optical output.
So, I could buy a radio card for the PC, together with a 5.1 amplifier and have the whole thing controlled from the PC. Alternatively I could look out for a cheap home cinema amp/dvd player which has built-in radio, and just use the PC as an aux input to it. Having a non-PC controlled volume control does seem an advantage.
Anybody have any opinions?
I'd like to keep the budget to under 200 if I can.
Cheers, Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 07:29:23 +0000 (UTC), "Ian Mayo"

Not sure on the 5.1 stuff but I got a multi-input/output Marantz amp from Richer Sounds so I could have the PC as both a CD recorder (input) and playback (output). This was primarily to allow me to re-record all my old vinyl and cassettes.
I can use Musicmatch Jukebox software on the peecee which simply feeds into the amp which has the speakers connected. If you had a TV card with built-in radio it would work the same way since I get TV sound out of my TV card.
Added bonus is game sounds also get fed into the amp so much loudness can be had :)
If your PC sound has the optical SP/DIF connectors you can feed those directly into a 5.1 amp can't you? Guessing here.
-- cheers,
witchy/binarydinosaurs
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:> --

Great advice - separate amp/receiver it is, I was thinking that having it PC controlled meant it would be easiest to quickly turn the vol down (mute key on keyboard), but if I have the amp within arm's reach I'll that'll do the same.
Just got to find an amp & speakers now...
cheers, Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Most amps/receivers will come with a remote control these days, and in the unlikely event that they don't you can get a generic one that'll work for 10 or so. So you don't even need to keep it in arm's reach.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 19:31:38 +0000 (UTC), "Ian Mayo"

For me it works both ways - there's the master volume on the amp plus instant silence from Musicmatch by hitting the Pause key on the peecee keyboard....once it's the main app obviously, but that's what CTRL-TAB is for :) -- cheers,
witchy/binarydinosaurs
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

me
out
control
I would go the standalone amp/receiver route if 'twere me. Take a look to see what Richer Sounds has on offer if you don't want to spend too much.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian Mayo wrote:

We have had some very good reports from customers with the Creative Labs "Creative Inspire 5.1 5100" speakers.
These are active (i.e. built in amp) systems with 5 x satellite, and 1 x sub. When fed from a suitable sound card with a 5.1 compatible output they are capable of producing a surprisingly good sound considering the cost. Separate volume control, but no separate digital input (i.e. you would need to use a digital input on your sound card for feeding an external digital signal in).
Details here:
http://uk.europe.creative.com/products/product.asp?prod36
They do other sets set with a separate decoder box that provides digital in as well - these are a bit more pricey though:-
http://uk.europe.creative.com/products/product.asp?prod75
(ignore the prices on the creative labs site - they can certainly be had for less!)
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.