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  1. #1
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    Connecting 5.1 audio via Optical

    So I've been thinking about this all night.
    I recently purchased a Creative INSPIRE T6100 5.1 Surround Sound system, which connects to an audio card (which I do not have). I have an Xbox 360 (which is capable of optical audio) and an HDTV (which accepts both RCA input and digital coaxial).

    The 5.1 audio system connects via the standard black, green, and orange cables and I know any Logitech sound system comes packaged with an adapter to hook it up to anything you might want to, so my question is this: What is that adapter and how do I hook the Creative up to either the 360 or the TV directly.

    I've considered chaining adapters but that's just way too messy and the only decoder I could find was discontinued (Creative DDS-100).

  2. #2
    You need a sound card, I believe, that handles 5.1. That will get your Creative connected, via pc, to the tv. The xbox is another animal. It has only 3 ins: L/R stereo (thats 2) and digital. I think you can get an s-card with a digital input into which you can plug the x. The s-card's outs would go to the surround, then to the tv, according to xbox & Creative sites. Just a guess, not really my bag ya know? anybodyelse?
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  3. #3
    Basically, you'll need something with a 5.1 decoder in it. What that is may be dependant on your situation. If you're using it for your computer, some sound cards have that built in; my computer says it'll do that, but I've never tried it. If you're using it for your XBOX360 or tv, most people would go through a surround receiver of some type; hook all of your components up to the receiver, as well as out of the receiver to your speaker system.

    Based on how you and pennies made your statements, I would suggest taking a closer look at your gear to determine if what you're looking at is actually an input or an output. There's no reason for audio inputs on an XBOX unless it can record or act as a pass-through to another piece of gear, so they're probably outputs on the XBOX. Same thing in regards to the TV... while TV may have a simulated surround sound that would (sorta) make use of the internal surround, it's more likely an output in case you hook your cable tv directly (no cable box) and need a way to get the 5.1 audio from your tv to a surround receiver. Not many channels broadcast in 5.1, but some do.

  4. #4
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    All the available decoders (Klipsch and Creative) have been discontinued.

    Let me try and state this more clearly.

    I have a set of Creative T6100 5.1 surround sound speakers, which connect to an audio card via black, green and orange 3.5mm inputs. But I don't have a sound card and don't play games or movies on my computer so I don't need one.
    The Xbox 360 has standard RCA L/R inputs and an optical Toslink output for surround sound. I need to get the three speaker inputs (o, b, and g) to the Toslink output on the 360.
    I don't watch TV and as such do not have a cable box. The TV has the RCA output for HDMI and another output for coaxial.
    If I purchase a receiver would I be able to make Class 2 wiring out of the speakers (seeing as the sub does not have a direct wiring solution from it) or do I have to keep looking for a decoder? Or is there some other solution that I could use to achieve this?

    Or should I just look for another system that makes my life a whole lot easier.

  5. #5
    Having an older computer that is just hooked up in stereo myself, your earlier comment about having the "typical back, green and orange wires" didn't make much sense to me at the time, but having done some looking around now I have a better impression of what Creative is doing. The T6100 is a computer surround system, so it has wiring that isn't typical for a normal home theater type of application.

    If my understanding of their system is correct, they're putting the front left and right speakers on the green wire, the rear left and right on the black wire, and the center and sub on the orange wire. Since they're on stereo 3.5mm cables, they should have 3 wires internally... for instance the orange has wire for ground, for center signal, and for sub signal.

    Unless someone else has a better or less expensive idea, what you'll need is a surround receiver with the 5.1 analog preamp outputs, and three wires that go from 2 RCA connections to 1 stereo 3.5mm jack. Plug the six RCA wires (five speakers plus sub signal) into the preamp outs of the receiver, and the 3.5mm into the three jacks on your sub. Green is front left/right, black is rear left/right, orange is center/sub. You'll probably need to test your lefts and rights to make sure you didn't get those swapped at the RCA outputs, but otherwise should have a working system. Plug your XBOX optical into the receiver and the receiver has the decoder built in to tell what sound to go to what speaker.

    Don't use the speaker outputs from the surround receiver connected to those 3.5mm inputs, because then you'll be trying to amplify an amplified signal... which will likely give you either a lot of distortion, or a nice little campfire. You want to use the preamp 5.1 outputs from the receiver; not all surround receivers have preamp 5.1 outs.

    The easier way to have done it would be to have gotten a home audio system for your home theater, or a computer audio system for your computer. But you should be able to manipulate things to use your computer audio system for your home theater, as stated above. Hope that helps.

    http://www.creative.com/products/spe...c=2&sc=2&ssc=3
    http://www.vandenhul.com/artpap/wiring12.htm

  6. #6
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    Quote
    Quote: fstfwd74
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    Having an older computer that is just hooked up in stereo myself, your earlier comment about having the "typical back, green and orange wires" didn't make much sense to me at the time, but having done some looking around now I have a better impression of what Creative is doing. The T6100 is a computer surround system, so it has wiring that isn't typical for a normal home theater type of application..
    I can't seem to find any receivers that support RCA wiring, unless I'm looking at the 5.1 inputs the wrong way. I know most of them support Class 2 wiring, and I could just as easily crack open the speaker 3.5mm cables and wire them that way, unless there's a receiver you know of.

  7. #7
    Here's a couple of receivers from Yamaha and Denon with 5.1 preamp outs:

    http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3250.asp#
    http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/p...8&CTID=5000300


    A surround sound preamp would work just as well, since you're not using the amplifier section of the receiver. The problem with preamps is that most any manufacturer that makes them aims for their target preamp market, which is the audiophile, and thus it costs more than many receivers.

    Any speaker system like what you've got that I've seen before has an amplifier section built into the speakers... most likely the subwoofer. So you want to send them a signal that isn't already amplified. That's why you want a 5.1 preamp out instead of using the speaker outputs (amplified signal over the Class 2 wiring you mentioned).
    Last edited by fstfwd74; 21st Sep 2007 at 21:39. Reason: clarification

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