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Can a PC match the Quality of a AV receiver

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

vamsi00

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Hi All

Instead of buying a AV received, can a PC with a good sound would serve the purpose. Basically this would be for watching the movies.

Regards
Vamsi
 

venkatcr

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In a single word NO at the same price point. A 40K AVR will give you much better results than a 40K PC. To reach the same level of performance, you may have to go near to a 70-100K PC configuration.

Unless you are committed to using a HTPC in the long run, have extensive knowledge of hardware and software, are building up a library of movie/music software, are ready to experiment... and so on, I would not suggest that path.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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Theoretically PCs can replace amplification devices if you use active speakers. There are some very good active monitors which would work splendidly for music.

For movies, I am not too sure this would work.
 

spirovious

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Partially yes,as a good soundcard can come close to AVR.
So PC can be considered as AVR preamp.Like Xonar D2X,which does all processing as AVR & need only amplification.
 

Gurudristi

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@ Vamsi,

Yes.... you can find for your needs to watch movies etc...

Do look at the newly launched MSI media live Diva Motherboard.:licklips:

here is a review on board...

MSI Media Live Diva Review - Motherboard Reviews - TrustedReviews

It has an optional 5.1/ 7.1 channel amplifier thru a PCI card and a host of other connectors. based on the AMD 780G chipset....
I could not source this Moboard in India as yet... so going in for an Gigabyte one.
 

svenkateshsmart

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In a single word NO at the same price point. A 40K AVR will give you much better results than a 40K PC. To reach the same level of performance, you may have to go near to a 70-100K PC configuration.

Unless you are committed to using a HTPC in the long run, have extensive knowledge of hardware and software, are building up a library of movie/music software, are ready to experiment... and so on, I would not suggest that path.

Cheers

I second Venkatcr. He is right, a PC cannot perform at par with AVR, just like music from the stereo amp is better than AVR because stereo amp has less complicated audio circuits. As far as I know, AVR is a dedicated unit to handle audio/video signals, processes, etc., but there are lot more complications in a PC, example, hardware compatibility, 32 and 64 bit, software compatibility with hardware, software's peformance, memory, processing speed, etc. After all the above things are okay, then the PC can perform the desired AV operation. So, again, in my opinion, AVR cannot be compared with PC.

But then it is just me, I may be wrong and sound biased!
 

venkatcr

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I still don't understand the comparison. Maybe I'm just plain stupid.

PC cannot amplify anything, and AVR cannot work without a source. Can one of the above posters please explain to my poor misguided soul how the two can be compared at all??

Cranky, you are right, but we just took the thread in a different direction. We assumed the OP was comparing the PC to an AVR+DVD to act as a source and sound decoder, not as a full fledged amplifier. At worst, he could use some multichannel card that has minimal amplification inside.

Cheers
 

Gurudristi

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I still don't understand the comparison. Maybe I'm just plain stupid.

PC cannot amplify anything, and AVR cannot work without a source. Can one of the above posters please explain to my poor misguided soul how the two can be compared at all??

:lol:
I agree with Venkat and you as well. The two cannot be compared as of today. (PC v/s an AVR)

But look at the future direction by some of the manufacturers: Look at MSI new motherboard which I have mentioned above. It has all the processing + you can install on board a five channel amplifier, which you can connect to your speakers....(Isn't that a pc performing the task of an AVR as well).....:)

From a lot of your posts as well as Venkat, I understand that you do review/test equipment, then how could you guys who recommend be a poor misguided souls....or there's something wrong with us to think in that direction...:sad:
 

multifaced

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Partially yes,as a good soundcard can come close to AVR.
So PC can be considered as AVR preamp.Like Xonar D2X,which does all processing as AVR & need only amplification.

in that case why cant we use an active speaker set ?

will there be any difference in the amplification by AVR and the standalone active speaker ?
 

venkatcr

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in that case why cant we use an active speaker set ? will there be any difference in the amplification by AVR and the standalone active speaker ?

Active speakers are certainly more efficient than passive speakers. But they also have a lot of negatives. They are harder to find, more expensive, and more demanding on your infrastructure. You need to provide power at all speakers points, the connectivity is more expensive. Active speakers today fall into either the low cost for connecting to a PC or MP3 player, or really high end such as the Meridian speakers that do everything including DAC, crossover and independent amplification for each driver.

Cheers
 

ajinkya

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Venkat,
The Quad 11L actives are great speakers for a modest increase in price from their passive counterparts. I am sure there are other active speaker candidates that are not prohibitively expensive?
 

venkatcr

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The Quad 11L actives are great speakers for a modest increase in price from their passive counterparts. I am sure there are other active speaker candidates that are not prohibitively expensive?

Unless you are referring to something I am not aware of, the Quad 11L is a studio monitor, and NOT an active speaker. An active speaker has a crossover and an amplifier inside each cabinet. Companies such as Mackie (Mackie Loudspeakers), Genelec (http://www.genelec.com/), and Meridian (Loudspeaker Systems Meridian) make active speakers.

Cheers
 

venkatcr

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Ok, you are correct. There are two version of the Quad L series that I was not aware of. One is the Quad 11L, and the other is Quad 11L Active. Sorry for the confusion.

Cheers
 

multifaced

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Active speakers are certainly more efficient than passive speakers. But they also have a lot of negatives. They are harder to find, more expensive, and more demanding on your infrastructure. You need to provide power at all speakers points, the connectivity is more expensive. Active speakers today fall into either the low cost for connecting to a PC or MP3 player, or really high end such as the Meridian speakers that do everything including DAC, crossover and independent amplification for each driver.

Cheers

given the cost of decent active speakers, now i m clear, its better to have a good receiver and speaker setup. you get good connectivity too.. i am planning to have a HT setup, but only thing that pulling me back is, the scarcity of free time.. :( - to enjoy the set up.
 

Gurudristi

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given the cost of decent active speakers, now i m clear, its better to have a good receiver and speaker setup. you get good connectivity too.. i am planning to have a HT setup, but only thing that pulling me back is, the scarcity of free time.. :( - to enjoy the set up.

If you are planning a home theatre, then a proper HT AVR with a good speakers set along with an active sub woofer is minimum requirment. Of course, you will need the DVD/BR player, the monitor/projector etc.

In an HT setup, HTPC is now becoming an intergral/important part. It can store a large amount of media data, can be linked to your other NAS(network attached storage), would play a varietly of formats, can be upgraded as you go along, can also be linked to internet, etc etc and in the spare time can do a bit of gaming as well. And if you are not very fussy, you can listen and stream throughout your house to a bit of good music.:eek:hyeah:

Only time will tell, that sooner or later, we shall all be moving towards a digital HTPC environment, which should go towards a combinational of computer-amplifier-media storage type of hardware.;)

For the recipe of time management, I can only say that do things which give you happiness. That's most important. If music and HT thrills you, then, buddy you need to take out the time for it and enjoy!!:lol: Otherwise, you will remain a fence sitter........
 

thevortex

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given the cost of decent active speakers, now i m clear, its better to have a good receiver and speaker setup. you get good connectivity too.. i am planning to have a HT setup, but only thing that pulling me back is, the scarcity of free time.. :( - to enjoy the set up.

I think there are Quad actives from the Rs. 45000 range onwards. Maybe even less. And they are said to sound heavenly. Do give them an audition.

We here love to displace the fence sitters and help them over to the other side:)
 

mukti1684

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I still don't understand the comparison. Maybe I'm just plain stupid.

PC cannot amplify anything, and AVR cannot work without a source. Can one of the above posters please explain to my poor misguided soul how the two can be compared at all??

Hi Cranky
what does this mean -
Motherboard - MSI Media Live Diva

it looks like pc does amplification as well. i was very keen on buying this one, but when i enquired from the MSI delhi dealer, he said he has run out of stock.Thanks
mukti
 

thevortex

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But Cranky - do you not see this as a promising endeavour? I know this can use improvement. But as a concept I find this fascinating. What are your thoughts? Can this grow and possibly give us a one box solution over time? I know everything is possible, but still, I would love to know the actual pros and cons.
 

mukti1684

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And badly, at that.

For starters, it uses a rail converter to convert the 12V rail into a 45V rail for the power outputs. THD is a spankingly poor 0.1%, and in a digital amp you push for at most .03% or .01% (ten times lower) because higher order harmonics dominate the distortion profile.

The output inductors are wound on ferrite cores, and do not compare well with other 100 watt amplifiers. Here is a pic of a 2 x 100 watt board, the coils are wound on much larger cores as you can see. http://connexelectronic.com/images/TA3020_Amp_v3b.JPG

Lastly, a proper 500-watt amplifier will be drawing something like 20-25 amperes from the 12V rail at half power output. Not many power supplies can take that kind of abuse without breaking down (somewhere else I mentioned the VX450, probably the only reasonably-priced power supply that will be able to cope).

If this is what the question was about, I would stay miles away from this kind of a solution. HTPCs put out enough heat as it is. You don't want an amplifier dumping another 40 watts (90% efficiency) of heat into the case.

Cranky
You should become a professor on these topics. hats off to you.
thanks

mukti
 
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