I am new to this forum so I don't know too much about this stuff. Anyways, I just bought a high end speaker system. It has two towers, two surrounds, and a center. The system was around $5000. I also got an 150wpc amp and a processor.
So when I played a CD through optical out, it sounded great. Then I tried listening to music off my external HD and it sounded not so great. I found out that I need some sort of good DAC. I know there are lots of them out there, but after going to few stores I thought maybe an HTPC is the answer?
I just feel like getting a DAC would mean I would just run my music out of a computer anyways, so why not get a computer with a DAC in it? I'm not a computer guy so I don't know if this makes sense.
I am looking for something that will do it all (except gaming). What I mean by this is I want it to have a blu ray player, I want it to deliver 24 bit flac files with great quality, and last but not least I want to be able to control it all with some sort of app.
So a few people have told me you can get a really good sound card which is basically a DAC? Then put in a blu ray player incase you want to watch 5.1 HD movies, or just listen to CDs. And I think (but not sure) you can install programs on the HTPC like XMBC so I can control the HTPC for music and movies?
Does anyone have any suggestions on hardware, and cheap places to buy in the US or Canada?
My recommendation would be to stay in the digital domain: get an HTPC with a fully functional HDMI output. If you use a DAC, its output has to be redigitized by the receiver so it can apply bass management and room equalization.
I'll let others suggest specifics. There are quite a few threads already discussing this topic, of course.