Posted 04 September 2004 - 08:09 PM
While it is true that the audio CODEC will transmit the sound for the extra 2 speakers, when the audio is not set for 7.1, you do have to get 7.1 speakers to really take advantage of it. It is not as simple as having a 5.1, and adding 2 more.
One thing needs to be mentioned though. You will not get the same DVD experience as you would, when you listen and watch it through your TV. Typical set-up for 5.1 speakers on computers is different because of how close you are to your screen. If you can imagine speakers placed exactly the same distance from the user-it would be a very small room, or the screen would have to be big. When watching a DVD movie on TV, you are not sitting close to the screen. You will often have the space so that you are not close to the screen, and the back speakers are close to the listening position.
I have 5.1 on both my computer AND my TV. The best way to see how the difference is in sound, is to take some measurements. A tape measure works best, but you can also use a string just to get estimates. Draw the rough shape of the room, and put where the screen (monitor or TV) is, location of the primary sitting place, and take measurements on where you have (or want) speakers relative to your primary sitting place. If you see that there are some big differences between the spaces, then you will need to make adjustments to the individual speaker volume. If the difference between two or more speaker places is more then 3-4 times, then you may not be able to adjust that much. In the case that it is a TV setting, and you have more then one place to sit, you can measure from the center of the both of them.
Just as mentioned before, individuals vary in preference. There is more then one 'standard' even for 5.1 surround-Dolby is the most popular, but you could also see THX and others. 5.1 or 7.1 will be an improvement over just 2 speakers any day.
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.