Optical cable vs. 5.1 RCA cables?


I'm wondering, If I use an optical cable to hook my DVD player to my Onkyo SR600 do I still need to use the 5 RCA cables from the 5.1 outputs?

I'm assuming the subwoofer needs to be plugged in but I'm curious about the other 5 cables?

Phil Krewer
The short answer is no. The optical cable will carry the entire 5.1/6.1 signal including the sub. If however, you prefer the sound that is produced with the DACs on you DVD player then it might be better to also hook up the 6 channel input, but you would lose the extra channels. If you hooked up both you could switch between the different inputs

Is there a way to convert the optical output from a DVD player, into 5.1 outputs (which are all my AIWA NSX-MA845 has - besides the standard double aux. audio inputs)? Note: My DVD player does not have the 5.1 outputs, only optical and aux.)

TIA, Mark

Not without a receiver or computer.

Volevo sapere se esistono adattatori con ingresso ottico ed uscita RCA 5.1.

If you do not have a DVD player.... BUT, you have a computer (with a DVD player.... and with MP3 files)... how would you go about hooking them up to a HK AVR-525 Receiver?

what kind of cables would you need?

Creative Labs, Philips, Turtle Beach etc. sell 5.1 cards. The computer will decode the Dolby Digital data and pass true discrete audio to the card. Most recent motherboards can remap thier Line-in and Mic-in to surround and center-sub.

See www.3dsoundsurge.com

Hope this helps.

If your soundcard has an optical out you'd probably need a mini plug to toslink cable. If you have a standard soundcard you can use the lineout stereo jack. It should be a mini plug to stereo RCA cable.

On my old computer I have a TBS Montego MPU-401 Interface (PCI Audio) ...with 3 (I think they are mini plugs..)

...so I should get the mini plug to stereo RCA cable

like this one:

Monster Cable IP400-1.5M Interlink Portable 400 4.92-Foot MkII Balanced Stereo RCA to 1/8 Mini, Pair (only another $40....)


Since you're using a computer and not some real high end device, I'd get these cheap ones first. Or buy both and compare, if you can't hear a difference, send the Monsters back.


holy sh!t!!!!

..... screw the "difference" in sound quality!


..nice work GT!

... I have been asking questions when I go to circuit city, best buy, good guys, FRY's electronics, etc... and YOU have more info than all of those "professionals".....

...nice work....

If you feel the need to buy the Monster brand, the AR Pro II solution is comparable and $10 cheaper. They also have the lower end cables for cheap.


I go those four stores all the time. Fry's is 35 miles away but I go to the other 3 regularly. Good Guys has the best knowledge of those plus they sell higher end equipment. But they only know about their own brands and not much about competing equipment. Fry's probably has the best deals but the sales people are no help. I bought my HK 320 for $299 from Fry's ($799 at CC) last Thanksgiving and they currently have the HK 225 for $299. I don't know how much your 525 would have been there, sometimes they have great deals, other times not. Circuit City sure doesn't cut any deals on HK and refused to price match for my 320. Claims Fry's didn't have it in stock when they called. When I drove down to Fry's they had 5 of them left plus another 5 or 6 I saw in shopping carts of people in line.

Best thing about buying locally is that you can hear what you buy and if anything is defective you can return it easily. If you can come close to online pricing at a local store, go that way just for the convenience and peace of mind.

One thing about Monster cable, it's usually pretty good but WAY overpriced. All those stores push it because that's a big profit margin for them. I've had friends pay $99 for a Monster cable when they could have spent $20 on something comparable.

I just buy my DVD's at Best Buy because they are cheap. Their staff doesn't even offer to help very often which enables me to browse on my own. Plus they don't have a sound room.

I get most of my knowledge from online forums and reviews on the web plus research on my own. There's a lot of info out there. At a certain point you realize the salesmen know less than you unless you go to a high end dealer.

Try browsing hometheaterforum.com for a while. There's much to learn. Also avsforum.com and hometheaterspot.com

Try posting a question about your Infiniti speakers, you'll find info about so many brands of sub/satellites you've never heard of. They might be a good choice already but at least you'll get some other brands to consider for comparison.

Good luck

Radio Shack also sells the adapters. See http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=&product%5Fid=42%2D2550.

....I think fry's price on the HK AVR 525 was ALSO $999.

I know this is the receiver board.... but what is your opinion on those DVD/VHS machines?

I have a ton of VHS tapes.... which I will never use a dvd recorder to switch to DVD's....

...and instead of using the computer to play dvd's/cd's, is there any machine that just stand out?

...and I also had another question...

I know that if I bought an LCD flat screen (or a CRT) monitor ... my XBOX would destroy it....

so what do you think about just buying a flat screen TV. and using it as my computer monitor AND as a TV for my XBOX and DVD player?

...just like INCREDIBLE UNIVERSE... every time I buy something from THE SHACK.... it never seems to last.....

I don't think a flat screen TV has the resolution of a computer monitor. Your monitor probably does 1024 x 768 or higher. TV won't do that. Plus what kind of output would you use from PC to TV? Of course a 27, 32 or 36 inch computer screen would cost major $$, if they even make them.

Don't know anything about those combo DVD/VHS units.

Probably any DVD deck will outperform a computer DVD, plus it'll do DTS and DD 5.1 decoding and probably have zoom and angle features. Inexpensive brands would be from Toshiba, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer. Don't go for a noname brand for $59. You can probably get a good standard DVD player for $99 or less nowadays. Some even play MP3 if you copy them to CD. Fry's is advertising a carousel Panasonic for $99. If you want progressive scan, SACD or DVD Audio you'll have to pay upwards of $200 and more. But to use progressive scan you'll need an HDTV which probably starts around $1000.

To take full advantage of that HK receiver sound buy a DVD player with digital optical or coaxial outputs instead of using your computer if it's feasible. I think your Xbox has digital outs. As far as TV's are concerned Sony, Toshiba, JVC all make good flat screens. Others do too. Make sure it has component video inputs for best DVD resolution.

Now you're talking about spending some money. It's an expensive hobby once you get hooked.

Need help on connecting my Home Theater.
Televsion: Sony 51" (Widescreen)
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V730
DVD: Panasonic RV-32
Digital Cable

2 X S-video
1 X Component
1 X Optical

How to go about connecting everything...

Thanks for your help...

GT--- i am looking to purchase a harmon kardon 320...

where did you get yours...

i can only find them around for around 470$

if anyone knows where to purchase the harmon kardon 320 or maybe even 520 at a good price please email me.


Anthony Stone
I would like to connect my MD deck to my PC by using the optical out (optical cable). Is this possible?

Only if your computer has digital inputs. Some soundcards and motherboards do. See www.3dsoundsurge.com. If your soundcard is coax, you can buy coax to adapters from www.partsexpress.com. I think Radio Shack sells one too.

Hope this helps.

I was wondering if there is a way for me to hook my creative audigy to a reciver so i can listen to my music both from my computer speekers and the sony two way speekers.
I have an optical and couple pare of audio cables. any help really appreciated.

I bought my 320 at Fry's Electronics in California. That was last November and the 325 would be the current receiver. If you can find a 320, it should be heavily discounted by now because it's been discontinued for so long. Onecall.com just had a special on the 325 for $386 but they ran out. I'm not sure how much you're willing to spend but here's a deal for the 525 which is the replacement for the 520 and has 7 channels of amplified power but new features like triple x-bass management and also bass management for DVD-Audio and SACD via the 6 channel analong inputs.

If you're dead set on a 320, try the harman outlet at http://stores.ebay.com/Harman-Audio. They're factory remanufactured with the full 2 year warranty.

I am wondering something because I am thinking of buying a DVD-A Player, If I use the 5.1 in on my Kenwood vr-6070 then do I still have to use the optical as well to get Dolby Digital and/or DTS?You cant get DTS from the 5.1 analog outputs can you?

One More thing...Should I wait, and then get a DVD-A Player that has 6.1 analog outs?I am thinking of the Pioneer Elite DV-45A.

THanks GT I do Appreciat your help i bought the Reciver and im all set. THanks man!


I just purchased the Sony STRDE-895 I have optical options, progressive scan so on and so on. My question is I have HD hooked up on my Sony 43. which way is best to get the best sound and video possible. Coaxial, RCA, Optical????

Thanks, CJ

New member
Username: Yaron

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2003
how to connect my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
to my receiver yamaha rx-v730 when i connect through analog i can here but in the digital output S/PDIF i cant here
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