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View Full Version : 5.1 Surround on G74?



Doan
12-08-2011, 11:33 AM
I was using a 5.1 surround sound on the PC that this laptop is replacing.. the one thing I didn't take into consideration during purchase. But with HDMI, I could run it into a receiver, yea? Audio is currently playing through my monitor's (terrible) stereo speakers via HDMI, so I assume this would work. It was an "okay" $80 surround system when I bought it two years ago, so I don't need anything fancy, just something to run the HDMI into and audio/video out through their respective ports. Has anyone done this, and have any hardware recommendations? Or a better idea? I've tried looking, but I can only find receivers designed for full-on entertainment systems, which are too large to comfortably fit somewhere on my desk.

JRd1st
12-08-2011, 11:56 AM
A USB sound card may do it for you. I have one built in to my Toshiba DynaDock and it sounds quite good.

Doan
12-09-2011, 02:44 AM
After posting this, I was messing around trying to plug the audio jack for the two front speakers directly into the laptop, to at least get some basic stereo, which I couldn't get to work. So I grabbed a USB sound card from an old headset and plugged it into that. It's much better than my monitor's speakers, but not quite the sound I've become used to.

I thought about trying a USB card for full surround, but I only have one spare USB port, which I would like to keep open for things that I use on occasion, such as printer, phone, external drives, etc. If I could take advantage of HDMI for audio, it would be more convenient. I'm also a bit perfectionist, so even if I won't notice the audible difference, I'll feel better knowing that it's coming through a higher quality port.

Surely someone makes a simple box or adapter that splits up the different HDMI video/audio channels.

I'm picky, I know.

BrodyBoy
12-09-2011, 03:01 AM
Surely someone makes a simple box or adapter that splits up the different HDMI video/audio channels.

I'm picky, I know.No, they actually don't. HDMI audio and video packets aren't in discrete channels like that....the digital information actually has to be decoded before either signal is available.

Does it have to be separate? If you have a receiver with HDMI in, have you tried outputting from the G74, even if just for the audio?

Another option would be to feed the headphone out to powered speakers.

It's kind of ridiculous that a gaming/entertainment laptop with such second-rate, after-thought internal audio offers so few options for outputting to an external audio setup. (Seems like laptops always used to have optical out.)

Doan
12-09-2011, 05:48 AM
Does it have to be separate? If you have a receiver with HDMI in, have you tried outputting from the G74, even if just for the audio?Does what have to be separate? Outputting the audio from the G74 to a receiver via HDMI is what I'm wanting to do. But I need something small, basic, and cheap.

I tried using the headphone out, that's what I meant when I said I plugged the cable for the two front speakers (of the 5.1) directly into the laptop. Realtek HD Audio Manager recognized that I plugged in an audio device, but it didn't show up under 'Playback Devices.' But since it worked with the USB sound card, I'm fine with it as a temporary fix, for now.

BrodyBoy
12-09-2011, 07:21 AM
Does what have to be separate? Outputting the audio from the G74 to a receiver via HDMI is what I'm wanting to do. But I need something small, basic, and cheap.
You had asked if there was a simple device or adapter that would split the audio & video in HDMI data......suggesting you wanted the audio to be separate.

You mean you're looking for receiver suggestions?


I tried using the headphone out, that's what I meant when I said I plugged the cable for the two front speakers (of the 5.1) directly into the laptop. Realtek HD Audio Manager recognized that I plugged in an audio device, but it didn't show up under 'Playback Devices.' But since it worked with the USB sound card, I'm fine with it as a temporary fix, for now.
The stereo of the headphones or two built-in speakers isn't the two front channels of 5.1.....stereo is a different mix. When you use the headphone out, Realtek wouldn't recognize it as a different kind of device.....it just recognizes that the headphone jack's in use and disengages the speakers. From the computer's perspective, you're using the headphones.

Doan
12-09-2011, 09:37 AM
I want the basic features of a receiver: To receive HDMI from the laptop, and to feed that information to my monitor and 5.1 system.

BrodyBoy
12-09-2011, 09:55 AM
I want the basic features of a receiver: To receive HDMI from the laptop, and to feed that information to my monitor and 5.1 system.
AH, okay. All this time I thought you were asking about getting an audio feed out of the computer! There are about a zillion receivers.....probably more models & info than for laptops! I'd suggest a site like AVS Forum to get lots of suggestions and advice.

But it's worth noting that this isn't quite as basic and simple as your question implies. With HDMI, all audio processing occurs in the downstream component....in this case, the receiver. D/A conversion will take place in the receiver you buy, and frankly, cheap ones sound.....bad. The receiver will also be your amplifier. Maybe HDMI-capable receivers start as low as $100 or so these days....and of course there's almost no upper limit.