It can be done, but way to hook it up depends on your soundcard output. Number of output channels, to be precise. Ideal would be 5.1 output to match your home theater. If the number is greater than 5.1, then use 2xfront, 2xrear and center output channels and mute the rest. Another advice is to flat the equalizer on the home theater and disable any surround/effects on it and let PC do all the surround and effects. If you don't, the output would be different than it should have been.
One more thing: don't be cheap on cables. I've replaced mine speaker cables with hi-fi ones and it PAYS OFF!
my laptop has got only one sound output and i need two outputs to get my 5.1 speakers working, can i use split connector which basically goes in one sound output and gives to two outputs. Is that the right way to go or do I have to get an external sound card for that purpose?
Ideal would be USB sound card for couple of reasons:
- 5.1 (or 6.1, or 7.1...) channel output.
- better sound quality than crappy on-board low-end "buzzer"
- a fact that it is external and is far away from noise/distortion sources (anything electromagnetical like fans, drives, psu...)
- on-board laptop soundcards have implemented tiny amplifier that can not be bypassed (unless you are master electrician) and those amplifiers distort the sound that should be pre-amp signal. That's not the case with "real" soundcards. External ones usually have pre-amp output only (active speakers/amplifier is required to hear the sound)
... but that costs much more than 2 cables. ($100+)
Your home theater probably has 2-channel-input solution and the sheme of how to connect them is in it's manual. My guess is that you don't need anything more than 2 coaxial cables and one jack to plug them in your laptop.
If you have an RCA audio output, not a speaker output, you should be able to plug that into you receiver. The output could also be the 1/8" stereo plug in which case you will need to purchase an adapter that will convert this to a RCA connector.
The signal of the audio output is unamplified, this is the signal that you want your receiver to see. A speaker output is amplified and you do not want to plug this into your receiver as it could damage it.
The output of the audio card could be stereo, 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1 depending on the card.
I dont know which output it is mate, it has the normal 1/8" stereo plug which has a headphone sign on it. I think i might have to get an external card to get it to work with my 5.1 system. Cos in my older tower pc i had a stereo output in the front and a normal stereo output in th eback so i was able to connect both the cables from the sub box to the pc on ein front and one in back and all five speakers worked ok but now i just have one output which is ok for 3 spkrs to work on it but not for all 5.