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A PC, a TV, a DVD ... and a CEO who needs to be heard
May 15, 2012 8:27 AM   Subscribe

I have:
  1. a PC (a HP Compaq 6200 Pro Small Form Factor PC with VGA and dual-mode DisplayPort outputs)
  2. a TV (a Toshiba 55G310U - 55" class 1080p 120Hz LCD TV)
  3. a DVD of a company presentation that we need to play on this PC
  4. a room that seats 9
  5. … and a CEO who is coming very soon who needs the audio from the presentation to be clearly audible.
What do I need?

I basically have to get something today, at a downtown store in Toronto likely no more specialized than Best Buy, that will tie this all together. Someone mentioned soundbars like this LG 2.1 Channel Speaker Bar; it's likely loud enough. What would I need to hook it up? I'm not an audio guy. I just want something that works. Assume a $400 budget and no additional technical support available.
posted by scruss to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 
Honestly, a half decent set of computer speakers will do you just fine. We have Logitecs of some sort, with a small sub woofer hooked up to our TV/iPod, and we can get great audio out of them. Think they cost about $100-150. Plus, they plug into the headphone-jack style audio output of your computer... simple.
posted by hamandcheese at 8:31 AM on May 15, 2012


Second hamandcheese... get some nice quality computer speakers with subwoofer. You can use the audio-out on the PC and you'll get good sound.
posted by rich at 8:54 AM on May 15, 2012


You dont absolutely need the speakers since its for today. Your tv has 7W speakers which should be enough for 9 people.

You need a display port to HDMI ( PC TO TV) Cable which will enable both audio and video on the same cable.
Set your TV To HDMI output .
Enable Extended screen on your Windows.
Drag Video player to extended screen

Make your TV Loud and you should be set.
posted by radsqd at 9:14 AM on May 15, 2012


Your TV has HDMI inputs, which means you could use an HDMI to VGA/headphone jack converter to carry both video and audio.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 9:16 AM on May 15, 2012


If your PC DVD software has a setting that mentions something about automatic dynamic audio compression, disable it. I have heard countless horror stories about giant volume swings and inaudibility from people who used default audio settings on their PC/Mac DVD software.

The best thing you can do is a quick run-through with your components right now so toucan identify and correct any weak points in your tech setup. For instance, you may not even have software that plays DVDs fully to spec. Your CEO practices presentations ahead of time; you should too.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2012


> Enable Extended screen on your Windows.

The TV is the only display; would this be a problem? Sounds like the TV option would sound the best.

I do have all the preso material to dry run, but responsibility for this appears to have fallen through the cracks to me.
posted by scruss at 9:29 AM on May 15, 2012


You could use anything that's the same format as the original...if it's a streaming presentation, stream something else to ensure audio and video are both working correctly.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2012


According to the picture of the TV on the Toshiba site, there are VGA and audio inputs on the back of the TV. You should be able to use the VGA cable that is currently hooked up to the computer monitor (if it's long enough to reach the TV) and a male-to-male 3.5mm cable. The audio cable might not be easy to find, though, at Best Buy.
posted by puritycontrol at 10:51 AM on May 15, 2012


Firstly, If you can get the sound to the TV, it will be plenty loud enough for 9 people to hear.

Do you need to play the presentation off a DVD? ie do you need menus etc? Can you get the presentation as just a single video file (eg avi or mp4). If No and Yes, then I would consider using USB.

Copy the presentation to an USB memory stick. Plug USB stick into USB port on TV (on the side, not the back). The TV will probably detect this and ask you if you want to play video or something (if not select USB as input). Press play.

Can't say it will definitely work, but you can test it in all of about 5 minutes.

If not, there are any number of ways you can work it. The most simple is either
1) a VGA cable and a 3.5mm audio cable. VGA cable goes between PC and TV. 3.5mm audio does the same (from headphone or lineout on PC). You may even be able to find these cables in your office already.
Or 2) a Display port to HDMI adapter (should be able to get one of these at bestbuy or similar), plug display port end into pc plug a hdmi cable into the adapter and the tv, should do video and audio.

Having the TV as the only display shouldn't be a problem. just play the DVD and then fullscreen it. But as others have suggested, worth running through it first, to make sure the setup works and that the pc can play DVDs.
posted by lrobertjones at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2012


Do you need to play the DVD through the PC?

If not, you might consider purchasing an inexpensive DVD player, hooking it up to the TV, and just playing the DVD through the DVD player.
posted by golden at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


We already had an audio cable lurking in a junk box, and with some minor fiddling, got the audio working fine. Thanks!

(and it wasn't a DVD after all. It was a private Vimeo video. The TV is plenty loud.)

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Can't beat free for a solution!
posted by scruss at 12:14 PM on May 15, 2012


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