Originally Posted by superkelv
I was by a store last night and discussed my situation. It was strongly recommended I run a optical out from tv to a DAC to a stereo amplifier to the speakers. I tested auditioned this setup with a pair of PSB Imagine bookshelf's and it did sound very nice, however could e complimented with a subwoofer.
I was informed another option would be: optical out from tv to dac to active monitors. - This sounded interesting to me.
Here's a logical approach:
Running your audio system off of the optical out of the TV makes sense if:
(1) The TV is your only source (no other HDMI source such as cable box or blu ray)
(2) You only want to run a 2 channel audio system.
It doesn't make sense if you have other sources particularly a blu ray player and you want to get into the latest multichannel formats.
The optical out of anything has the benfit of maximizing the electrical isolation between your video world and your audio world, which can be a very good thing. For openers, it eliminates your antenna or cable sytstem as a potential cause of a hummy ground loop.
If you are going to run your audio system via an optical input, the most flexible kind of amplifier that gives you the most options for expansion and networking, as well as your best price-performer is going to be an AVR. You won't need an external DAC. You are optimally positioned if you want to add a sub or a center channel speaker down the road, and you have the most connectivity options. You will likely as not get an automated system optimization feature such as Audyssey which is pretty much unobtainium in the world of 2 channels. There are no sound quality sacrifices, only plusses.