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Low cost Home Theatre – DIY (Do it Yourself)

Version 1.0 – 29 July 2004

Author: Balaji Srinivasan

The technique mentioned here should be applicable for most DVD players with 5.1 analog output and most 5.1 computer speakers.

Components

1. DVD Player - Onida 5100 DVD Player

2. Speakers - Altec Lansing 251 5.1 speakers

3. AV Cables (3)- Stereo jack on one side, and 2 RCA on other side. (Stereo jack is the 3.5" jack that you typically find on headphones. The other side looks like A/V cable typical used to connect a VCR to a TV.

4a. Female-to-female stereo connectors (3) - a connector that can take 3.5 male jacks on both sides. (top item in photo) Or

4b. Connector to split one stereo to two. (bottom item in photo)




What to buy

All DVD players have 2-channel analog out; look for 5.1 decoding built-in. This will save you the cost of buying a dedicated receiver. The DVD player usually has both analog and digital out. We will use the built-in decoding provided by the DVD player.

Note: The Onida has inbuilt 5.1 decoding for Dolby-Digital, for DTS you need to have a receiver.

Most computer 5.1 speakers, including the Altec Lansing, have 3 stereo cables as input, while the DVD players have RCA outputs ... you need to connect the six analog out to these 3 stereo inputs. You need to buy additionally the items 3 and either 4a or 4b. Pls. Note that you need 3 pcs. of 4a or 4b (4A is preferred).

Assembling

Connecting the DVD player to the computer speakers is not obvious... the reason is that they are from different industries.

The computer speaker will have 3 stereo cables, usually color coded: green, black and yellow. In the photo, they are on the left, and the AV cables (item 3) from the DVD player on the right.

This is how you connect using connector 4A:




Using Connector 4B:




In connector 4B, there is a stereo jack which is unused. This may produce static noise later. Cover with an insulated electrical tape if you use this.

This is how the back of the DVD player looks like with all connections done. Note the right side where the 6 cables are plugged in the 5.1 channel output. The other end of these cables is visible in the previous pictures (blue cable with black heads).






Settings

Now configure the DVD player to use the analog decoding, it should be in the settings of the DVD player.

On the Onida, set the Sound->Downmix option to Off. This will enable full 5.1 analog output.

Conclusion

This is a very basic how-to to setup the system, but should get you started in the right direction. Will add more details if this is not clear enough: contact me and I will add to this page.