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Hooking up a home theater surround sound system to a desktop computer

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a home theater surround sound system that I am currently not using due to the setup of my living room. It is a Denon receiver (purchased in 2002) and has Klipsch speakers to go along with it. I also have a desktop in our computer room that is currently just set up with some cheap Boston Acoustic speakers.

I was planning on buying a nicer set of speakers for the desktop to improve the sound. Then I realized that I might be able to hook up my Denon/Klipsch surround sound system to the computer instead. Has anybody ever done this with any success? Am I better of just buying a new set of multimedia speakers? My receiver doesn't have USB connections, etc. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
post #2 of 5
There are two basic ways to do this. The conceptually simpler way to do it is to play the music on the computer and run a wire to the receiver. This might or might not be practical since the receiver is in the other room (or are you bringing it in to the computer room?). If your computer has a digital audio output (RCA plug or optical) and your Denon has digital input, you can probably get better sound quality that way. Otherwise, you'll just use a "Y cable" like you would use to hook up any portable music player (ipod, discman, whatever) to the stereo.

The second method involves buying some sort of networked device to sit on the receiver and play music from the computer. This can be a little more difficult to set up but the advantage is that you can control the music from the living room, instead of having to go back to the computer.

Which sounds more like what you're looking for?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
JBWIII,

Thanks for the response! I can move the receiver into the computer room, it is actually just in my closet right now. I wll have to check to see if my computer has a digital audio out.,,,I know it doesn't have an optical. Two questions:

1) If I just hook it up with a Y-cable, will I be able to get 2.1 sound? Don't really care about the rears and center at this point.....just looking for two front speakers and the subwoofer. Also, how decent will the sound be with this analog setup?

2) If I were to do your second option with a networked device, what type of equipment would I need to purchase?

Thanks again for the advice...definitely helpful!
post #4 of 5
If by "2.1" you mean that the subwoofer will be used, then the answer is probably, depending on how your receiver is configured. You will be getting a 2-channel input; the receiver might send all signals to the sub and you'll have to adjust the crossover on the sub, or the receiver might have an internal crossover and send only low frequencies to the sub. Read the manual for that one.

There are a few types of things you can use to stream music. A WD TV live can do it I think; so could a Blu-ray player with networking. Anything with Airplay too (if you have iTunes on the computer).

I'd ask the second question in this forum which is dedicated to these devices:
http://www.avsforum.com/f/39/networking-media-servers-content-streaming
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the info JBWIII. Will check out the other forum for streaming devices.
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