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questions about integrating home A/V with computer

I am rather new to home A/V so I apologize in advance for my ignorance.

I am considering upgrading my stereo, which currently consists of a pair of computer speakers, by buying an HTIB. Here is my question: If I buy one that comes with an A/V reciever, can I hook my PC up to it and play music and DVD's from my computer on my HTIB and TV through the reciever? Much of my music is kept on my computer in digital form i.e. mp3s. Also I do not own a DVD player.

If this is possible, what kind of connections would I need?

Here is all the info I can think of that might help someone enlighten me on this subject:

Computer: Dell Inspiron 6000 w/ ATI mobility x300 video card and DVD player. Has USB, Firewire, S-Video out, headphone out, mic in, etc.

I am considering buying a better sound card for this computer, perhaps an external USB one like the Creative USB Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX, or one that is in PC-card form.

I do have a television. It is not particularly new and fancy but it works well and I don't want to buy a new one right now because I only have the $$ to upgrade 1 thing at a time and the stereo takes priority. The TV has limited connectivity: only two sets of red/yellow/white A/V inputs, and a co-ax.

Would it be possible to hook my computer up to an A/V reciever, perhaps through a better soundcard such as the one mentioned above, and the reciever to the TV as well as speakers, and thus play music and dvd's from my computer on my TV and HTIB? How?

Thanx anyone for any help.

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(NT) Can you use your new A/V receiver with your computer?

In reply to: questions about integrating home A/V with computer

Hello,

You BET!

Piece of cake.

All you need is a newer sound card as you mentioned capable of supplying 5.1 or better surround sound through an optical cable/connection. Or you will need to have a minimum of 6 RCA composite connections (5 speakers 1 subwoofer)on the back of your receiver to except the surround sound from your sound card.

The Audigy should be great. You will also need to make sure your video card can handle outputting a signal to your particular TV. Not just by way of S-Video connection but the software that controls your video card needs to be able to output the correct resolution to your TV.

If you would like I will be happy to look over your components manuals and computer to make sure you have the right setup and cables.

FYI, I am almost finished with my 200+ page ebook on building a Home Theater PC which covers all of this in detail. Wanted to let you know that this is my area of expertise.

Let me know.

Take Care,

Shawn Mosqueda
WireSmart LLC
www.wiresmart.com
shawn@wiresmart.com

How To Build A Home Theater PC ebook coming soon! visit www.wiresmart.com

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Thanx slmosqueda!!

That was encouraging and informative!

How can I find out if my video card and TV are compatible?

Once I do some more research on the sound card and HTIB I want to buy, I might take you up on the offer of a little more advice, if that's OK.

Do you have a link to a draft or summary of your ebook?

Thanx again!

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