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HTPC for HD Audio/Cinema

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

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?

Please help!
post #2 of 2
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.
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