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How to use 2 PCs with one set of speakers!!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by noelg24, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    ok you all know I am looking to build a new PC...but I just realised that since I already have a 5.1 set up, If i buy another sound card and get a 7.1 set up...that would just get in the way of my 5.1 set up...so I was wondering is there any way I can connect both PCs to use the same 5.1 set up or will I have to have seperate speaker set ups for both machines...cos my room will look funny with a 12.2 speaker set up...but then again it would make for a good surround sound...:D cheers in advance peeps...
     
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  2. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Can't you use a switch from somewhere like Maplin's?
    It will have 2 inputs and one output.
    If i could find a link i would post it, sorry. :oops: There msut be someone selling them somewhere!
     
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  3. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    ah yes a switch....why didnt I think of that...I could just buy a case with all the stuff inside it and get a switch to switch between either PCs using the same mouse, keyboard, speakers and my two monitors and then use my Netgear router to connect them to the internet...that should work...shouldnt it?
     
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  4. Neall

    Neall Byte Poster

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    What your talking about is called a KVM switch, or lead.
    I haven't seen one of these that include speaker inputs.

    What you need is a splitter and two lengths of speaker cable.
    You can get these both as Maplins.

    Splitter

    Lead's

    You will probably need a male to female adaptor as well.

    Someone correct me if im wrong, im no expert.

    Can't guarantee the quality will be 100% either.

    Neall
     
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  5. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I have tried this method but the sound cards I have didn't want to play nicely. You see the problem is that when you split the leads and run them to both sound card outputs, you are effectively connecting the two sound output stages together. This plays havoc with the output loads and impedance and in my case only produced very low poor sound quality from both computers. The sound only returned to normal volume when I unplugged either one. You could also risk blowing up the sound card!

    The switch idea would work. You would need a double pole double throw switch. This is one that has six contacts on the bottom. Connect the speakers up to the middle contacts and the output from the sound cards to the pairs on each end.
     
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  6. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    :eek: wow I knew it would be tricky but not this tricky...thanks anyway guys I did find one KVM switch that does audio but my biggest problem is finding one that does DVI as well as VGA ports...and so far none of them do...so now i have to either buy a seperate monitor (probs best idea really!!) and also buy sound card with 7.1 set up and I think my room can handle it...yeah stuff the KVM switch...I would just use that for keyboard and mouse really...
     
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  7. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    use some AV shite

    amp or something to plug speakers into and swich between inputs , just like you would switch between CD/Tape/AV1/AV2 etc

    and it will have the 5.1 ports for your set up, and maintain the fancy signaling for any THX/Dolby shite


    or, ask yourself why on earth you want two speaker set ups, you only gonna use one as a main one right?
     
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  8. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes inputs is better than switching outputs, far less risky too!
     
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  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I use a mixer - which allows me to have two PCs and also a DVD player to work through my speakers.

    On the KVM front, my local computer fairs have these with DVI ports *instead* of VGA ports, but not a mix of both. Because of the incompatability between DVI-D and VGA you won't find a mixture I suspect.

    Harry.
     
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  10. Arroryn
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    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    For the KVM, I'd recommend one of the Belkin Omniview range. You can pick them up for more lenient prices at comp fairs, or online.

    More recent versions have DVI outputs and audio, but are lacking PS/2 connections - this was a problem for a person I sold one to on eBay. Have a look at this
     
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  11. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    so what would you recommend for for an input then? you got a point tho...no point in having two speaker setups...I can still have a sound card in each PC and have then feeding into the input right? Arroryn, that seems a good KVM switch...but I just realised that if I was going to use one for DVI and it came with VGA ports I could always just buy a VGA to DVI adapter...which should be fine...but I will still buy a seperate monitor for the other PC...just share the speakers, keyboard and mouse...oh one other thing...my keyboard and mouse are wireless...how will that work on KVM?
     
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  12. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Never checked Harry's link above, but a cheap audio mixer is what you need here - phono jacks in and out (most likely) or mini or quarter inch. Separate volume faders per channel, and poss even mute facility. Job done.
     
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  13. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    You need to be careful here. If your PC or screen with DVI has a DVI-D socket then adaptors to VGA won't work. It has to be DVI-I or DVI-A for the adaptors to work. And if you are using the analogue part of DVI then the benefit of using DVI is lost!

    As you say below that you will ignore the video part then it won't matter!

    I use a wireless keyboard and mouse through my KVM. My supplier tells me that some don't work well, and some do. Mine is OK most of the time - just occasionaly on boot the mouse freezes and I have to reboot.

    Harry.
     
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  14. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    those sound like good ideas harry...I think I will buy a seperate monitor for sure...and if the KVM doesnt support my wireless KB and mouse well I will check this beforehand...then it looks like another set of KB and mouse but using different channels to the one I already have...so far it all seems a fair bet...I mean I aint going to start building it until after New Year but its best to get the info now...thanks again people :D
     
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  15. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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  16. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    You might find it easier if you can use digital audio outputs. An AV Switch costs from £100 (up to MEGA bucks if to want to pay it).

    As for the VGA/DVI quandry, Why not treat yourself to a dual input LCD monitor? You can have the main PC on the DVI input and the second on the VGA. Switching between them is simple.

    Alternatively, if you're not going to be doing anything too graphically intensive on the second PC, why not just network them up and use Remote Desktop. An Ethernet crossover lead is much cheaper than a KVM switch and a new monitor!

    Good luck.
     
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  17. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    I already have 2 monitors (one 15" and one 19") on one PC...so my new PC will also have its own 19" monitor...think getting a digital audio output will do me good...my 19" monitor I have right now has 2 ports one DVI and VGA but since I have one VGA monitor and one DVI I am happy to have 2 monitors on one PC as it makes it a lot easier to see things...so with my new PC it will have its own 19" monitor and all will be well...but thanks anyway...
     
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