Monthly Archives: March 2011

Emotiva LMC-1 as a DAC and Amplifier for my Computer

My Emotiva LMC-1 processor has been sitting in its box since I upgraded to the Emotiva UMC-1 processor. I was thinking about selling it, but then I had a fantastic idea! I had a spare set of Genesis IM-5200 speakers sitting in the bedroom (which my wife was telling me to sell), so why not use the Emotiva LMC-1’s built-in amplifier to power some decent music in the study by connecting my home computer to the Emotiva LMC-1?

The first thing to check was if the speaker stands and speakers would fit on top of my desk. It’s not ideal placement, but hey one has to improvise! The stands were a tight fit, with the left one looking a bit risky, but I put the speakers on top of the stands and everything seemed sturdy enough. With the stands locked in place by the constraints of the computer monitors the speakers had to be placed right back against the wall, so speaker cables with banana plugs were out.

I delved into the ever important box of “useful cables and things” and pulled out a coaxial cable to connect my computer’s coaxial out to the DVD input on the Emotiva LMC-1. There was also a pair of speaker cables that were just the right distance when I did a quick spot check of where everything should go.

I had to change the power cord on the Emotiva LMC-1 because it wasn’t quite long enough and since it’s an American plug I needed a free universal socket, of which there was none. I had to pull out a monitor that I use for my network router computer to get a free UK style socket. Luckily the network router computer only needs a monitor when I upgrade the software on it, so it’s not a big problem.

Then it was time to push the power button and hope the beast would come to life. Nothing! I had forgotten to flick the switch at the back of the Emotiva LMC-1 ;). The power-up sequence proceeded with no drama, so I was happy that the Emotiva LMC-1 was still working after its rest in the box.

I’d always configured the Emotiva LMC-1 using the on screen display (OSD), but now I had nothing but the front panel to play with. Luckily it was relatively straight forward to work out how to change the DVD input to use coaxial for audio. Then I had to work out how to make adjustments to the “Zone 2” configuration.

That proved to be a bit tricky. When I set the 2nd Zone to have the DVD input I could only get what appeared to be crosstalk coming out of the speakers at maximum volume (it was a whisper). I switched the input to Tuner and there was clearly enough power coming from the Emotiva LMC-1’s built-in amplifier to power the speakers. I checked the manual, but couldn’t see what I’d done wrong. I decided to try the “Sync” input for Zone 2, which syncs the main input with the Zone 2 input, and it worked!

One thing I have to be aware of is that Zone 2 will remain active, even when the Emotiva LMC-1 is turned off. This means the amplifier is on and more electricity is being drawn than what you would think of a product in standby mode. I can turn off Zone 2 before putting the Emotiva LMC-1 into standby mode, but I think I’ll just used the on/off switch at the rear.

The improvement in sound quality from my previous desktop speakers is, as you would hope, massive! Now I don’t have to sell my Emotiva LMC-1 or the Genesis speakers.

Starhub’s Home Zone Works on Fibre!

I recently posted on Solving Mobile Phone Reception Problems with Femtocell Technology, specifically Starhub’s Home Zone service. I now have an important update regarding the use of my fibre internet connection with the Home Zone service.

Starhub called me to let me know that they would like to terminate my Maxonline service (internet over cable) as they have resolved the compatibility problems with Maxinfinity (internet over fibre) and the Home Zone service (femtocell). While I was happy with the news, I asked Starhub if I could please test the service for a while to make sure it worked well. They agreed to get back to me after the specified time to confirm that everything was working correctly.

I’m happy to report that the Home Zone service is working well on the Maxinfinity service with no problems at all since changing over. I’d have to say that the service is very stable now when compared with my initial experiences. I’m happy to recommend it to anyone who wishes to solve their mobile phone reception problems.

Singtel mioTV on Fibre

I decided to call Singtel to ask them about getting mioTV on my fibre connection. I have a Starhub service bundle for internet access, a digital telephone line and cable TV, all of which I’m quite happy with at the moment. The internet and telephone services are running over fibre which is both fast and stable. This means I just need the mioTV service from Singtel to run over the fibre connection.

The reason I decided to finally sign up for mioTV was the upcoming start to the F1 season. Then there is the EPL, which I’ve not watched so far this year, apart from Liverpool thrashing Manchester United (Yay!) while I was in China. Given Liverpool’s form at the start of the season, I’ve not missed much!

After getting through to a lady on the Singtel enquiry line I explained that I didn’t have any current Singtel services and I would like to sign up to mioTV using the fibre connection. The lady then explained that I would have to sign up for a bundle to get mioTV on the fibre connection! That’s right, I would need another internet connection service that I would never use and a phone line that I would never use, just to get mioTV!

The other option, if I didn’t want to use fibre, is to use the ADSL connection through a standard Singtel telephone line. The problem is that I don’t have a Singtel telephone line and would have to sign up for a new line, that I would never use!

It strikes me as a strange business policy to not want customers who are using competitive products to try a unique service as a foot-in-the-door to upsell or convert customers over time.

If someone is listening at Singtel then please come up with an offering that allows customers who are willing to pay for a mioTV service on fibre to purchase JUST that!