5.1 surround decoder

Anyone using a separate 5.1 decoder with Vero4k to get surround? I do not feel like buying a full blown theatre system, just the decoder and use existing amps and speakers.

Not a response to your question, but …
… If you don’t have a full blown surround decoder and loud-speakers, IMHO it makes no sense to actually watch/listen using 5.1 surround sound.
The TV Speakers, and computer-speaker sound systems (even 5.1) are barely what I would call a decent audio system and I tend to switch to reguilar stereo when audio is bad anyway.

But I am not talking about computer speakers here, but rather Hi-Fi quality amps and speakers.

In that case you need to have 5 Loudspeakers and a basss box for it to make sense.
Then - you can get an 5.1 decoder and send the audio-streams to the various stereo systems.
Or did I get it wrong?

I use one of these: http://www.diamondmm.com/xs71hdu-diamond-usb-xtreme-sound-channel-digital-audio-adapter.html or more exactly a clone badged by Maplin in UK.

To my ears the quality is pretty good. I don’t have surround sound but I could check the 5.1 capability under OSMC if you are interested.

Hi-Fi speakers and Amps are best suited for music, not for Home Theater. The same goes the other way. Yes, I get decent music out of my set but can I compare it to what I can blast from my big Hi-Fi speakers? No way.

I guess you could do it (although the point still slips me) but you’d run into other issues and HTS doesn’t have like calibration of the speakers. Are you going to adjust the volume of each speaker(set) manually until you get the right balance?

It would be nice being able to do but in the end I think it would be a lot easier (and maybe cheaper) tot get an AVR + 5.1 speaker-set to get some decent surround experience.

Update: my USB soundcard does deliver all channels but I’m getting some artifacts on some files like others have been reporting on HDMI multi-channel. It’s probably fixable but I couldn’t recommend that option as it stands.

Thanks all. We already use the HiFi to route the sound to decent speakers and they work just fine and infinitely better than the TV speakers, so in essence I just need three amps (or three channnels) and a decoder for 20$ to get 5.1, right?

There is no need for something that makes the walls shake. I am quite convinced that decent HiFi speakers will work just as well as any dedicated system for our needs. I am also rather averse to buy new stuff every year. Sure, I can afford it, but I fail to see the point

Not sure what you mean by a decoder. There are, I think, hdmi to analogue devices but $20 is unlikely to get you a decent one. Otherwise it’s a USB soundcard like I’ve got. Then if you need to buy a decoder and three amps you are likely to be spending as much as a low-end receiver (AVR). An AVR will also handle passthrough of DTS, Dolby, etc.

A decoder is something that takes an SPIF input and outputs individual channels. I checked and there are decent ones, based on reviews and teardowns from $20 and up.

No need to buy amps and speakers. Already have several :slight_smile:

If you mean something like this, it’s cheap enough to buy and throw away if no good.

I’m not too sure vero will pass through all formats on S/PDIF but let us know how you get on.

Yes, something along those lines. Even if I buy one, I will throw away the PSU right away. I would not trust a chinese ebay PSU… I have charred samples in my lab to prove the point :slight_smile:

You will only get a core DTS or DD track.
You probably want to enable AC3 upmixing


Thanks. I will see if I ever get the time off to play with this.

Actually, it’s AC3 transcoding you must enable. You can experiment with upmixing to taste.

Still pondering this one. Would the following USB-based unit work to get 5.1 sound from my Vero?

Probably, yes. It says Compliant to USB audio device class spec. 1.0. So you won’t get higher bitrate PCM audio out of it. Maybe only 48k (Google USB audio). The other things you are unlikely to get are any fancy dsp features like equalisers, artificial room effects and binaural headphone modes.

Decent surround sound isn’t just plugging in 5 speakers and a sub and away you go. Just be sure to make sure they’re level matched etc. Modern receivers generally do a decent job of room correction and catering for different loudspeakers as well. But for the price you’re talking about you can give it a try. Failing that I’d see what AVRs you can pick up second hand :slight_smile:

A speaker is a speaker though, unless of course you believe all the audiophile rubbish.

It is not only that.
Having had the luck in the past to get 2 B&W S.601 speakers, and comparing to all new stuff out there, I have to say that a speaker & amplifier combination that is able to actually replicate each instrument of an orchestra, and where you are able to actually concentrate and hear each instrument, is awesome.

It is the combination of your equipment that provides good sound. good source, good amplifier, and good speakers.

OK. FWIW: When I listen to music, then I listen to music and when I watch TV, I watch TV. And yes. I did build a 4ch decoder in the 1970’s to be able to listen to “Atom Heart Mother” and having Alan walk diaginally through the room for his Psychedelic Breakfast was indeed nice, even if the matrix 4ch had only 3dB separation…

My requirements are quite humble: To have rear speakers and possibly a subwoofer in the future.