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  1. How do I hook up my TV so I can see full screen video ?
  2. How do I hook up my Stereo to enhance the sound ?
  3. Why doesn't ... ?
  4. Who is ... ?
  5. What is ... ?
  6. When is ... ?

How do I hook up my TV so I can see full screen video ?

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How do I hook up my Stereo to enhance the sound ?

 

 

Does your PC sound as good as your home stereo? Probably not, because most people don't consider sound when purchasing computers. With Internet audio becoming more popular, however, many of us are looking to upgrade our sound equipment. Before you go out and spend a bundle, however, take these free or inexpensive steps.

Tip 1: Connect your PC to your stereo system. You can spend a bundle on computer speakers, but the sound will still not be as good as that available from even modest stereo systems. The solution? Just connect your sound card's output to a line input (such as "auxiliary" or "tape in") of your stereo. You will need a cable with a 3.5mm stereo plug on one end and twin RCA plugs on the other. MusicMatch recognizes the advantages of this, so the retail version of MusicMatch Jukebox comes with such a cable. You can also buy one at most any electronics store, such as Radio Shack.

Tip 2: Learn to Use Your Volume Control and Mixer. On Windows PC's, a volume control usually appears in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. If it doesn't, in Windows 98, select "Start...Settings...Control Panel...Multimedia" and check the box labeled "Show volume control on the taskbar." Not only does this let you adjust the output of your soundcard, but double-clicking on the volume control icon will bring up a mixing panel that lets you adjust the relative volume of CD sound, MIDI, Line In, WAVE Out, etc. Note that some sound cards will replace the standard Windows mixing panel with one of their own. For example, Creative Labs Soundblaster cards have a mixer that is opened from "Audio HQ."

Tip 3: Improve Your MIDI Sound. Do MIDI tunes sound tinny, like they are coming from a cheap toy? If so, you have on older sound card that uses "FM synthesis." Newer cards use "wavetable synthesis." You could replace your sound card; good ones can be found for US$50 or so. If this presents a problem, or if your sound is built in to your computer's motherboard, you can use a "software synthesizer" to greatly improve MIDI sound. Good choices include the Roland VSC550W ($39), Roland VSC-88H ($59) and the Yamaha SoftSynthesizers S-YXG5 ($32) and S-YG20 ($24).

However, there are some free options. If you only play MIDI from Web sites, you can use a free plug-in that includes a software synthesizer. Choices include Beatnik and Yamaha Midplug.

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Revised: August 28, 2002 .