I've googled this question forever and can't seem to find a solid answer.
My mother just added two BW CM9 speakers to her AV setup (something I've refined over the last 12 years or so). She currently routes most of her audio through a computer (streaming music, mainly). What's relevant for now is that this same computer also uses her TV as a monitor.
Now that she's added pricier speakers and a dedicated music receiver to the mix, I want to fix what is currently a pretty rigged system on the audio front. My main question is this:
Should I purchase a sound card with digital audio outputs (either optical or coax) or should I purchase a video card with another HDMI output to route to the Denon AVR-3313? Price is really not an issue with her. However, she's not tech savvy and since I live about 30 minutes away, I need this to a pretty simple running system.
The way I see it, an HDMI output from a video card would be a higher quality solution. I just don't have a lot of time to fiddle with this and need to ensure that the Denon would accept audio from a video card's HDMI output without just passing it through via the TV output (I'll need to connect this receiver to the TV only for the Denon UI). I can also tell that picking up a sound card with digital audio outputs would definitely be easier, cheaper, and more logical. So, does the quality difference between a digital optical output and HDMI output justify jumping up to a video card for audio? Keep in mind that we're talking about some pretty high quality components on the other end of the pipe, however. This system won't be used for movies at all - only music.
Other issues that might be important:
-The sound portion of this system (the Denon and BWs) will be about 30 feet away from the computer. Whatever cable I use has to be able to run that length. I know HDMI can handle that.
-Currently the feed from the computer to the TV is done via a DVI-HDMI adapter (the computer is outputting DVI, the TV is receiving HDMI). She basically uses the computer for internet browsing and music playing, so it's not a huge deal. But if anyone suggesting the video card solution knows of a reasonable 2x HDMI output card, that'd be nice.
Thanks a lot in advance!