29 Jun 2002 AlanShutko   » (Journeyer)

Not much been happening recently. Work's been busy and my free time has mostly been spent setting up our new 5.1 speakers. That, of course, involved moving all of our furniture around again.

Since I've recently been doing lots of research and futzing with speakers, I'd have to disagree with chipx86 about the merits of using "computer" vs. "tv" speakers. Generally, all computer speakers are are a set of small, not entirely great speakers with a built-in amp somewhere. If you want better sound, better speakers are in order. I've got a set of 5 Polk Audio speakers. Certainly not the best, but we liked their sound and they were in our price range.

As chipx86 said, you can't hook these directly up to a computer. I'd recommend hooking the computer into a receiver via a digital connection. I've got some experience with this, running an MP3 jukebox for our home over a digital connection to our receiver. I picked up a cheap es1373 card at a garage sale, and found a web page telling how to use the undocumented digital out it had.

Why digital out? It'll give you much better sound. I tried both a normal analog out and the digital output from my card, the digital was a lot better. The computer is a very noisy environment (electrically) and I think my receiver probably has a better DAC than the cheap sound card.

But back to the speakers, I don't imagine there will be much of a benefit to computer speakers over a set of normal speakers, provided you have the right equipment to drive them. Computer speakers would be easier to set up, and probaby equivalent to a set of small satellites from a TV system, but you can definitely get better speakers than are sold for dedicated computer work.

No time for free software today... I got my GBA Afterburner yesterday and now I can dig out the soldering iron and install it.

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