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HTPC Audio Help, Please

Hello,

Here is my situation:

I have this motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-F2A78M-HD2

It has an HDMI port and audio 3.5 ports, but it does not have an optical audio port. I would like to get some sort of home theater/home audio system going with my TV. Would I need to get a receiver or an amp to make that happen? Do I need to get a sound card of some sort, or can the on board audio handle surround (specs says that it can)? Do I have to get a receiver based audio system or can I use "quality" computer speakers?

I have no idea what to do. I am extremely new at home audio and, after purchasing my TV and components for the HTPC, I am on a pretty limited budget. I hope that made some sort of sense. I am a bit confused myself.

Thank you in advance for any and all help, advice and/or suggestions that you all may have for me.

Thanks!

Testudo
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    If your budget is limited hold off for now. HDMI handles all of the current audio formats, optical won't handle quite as many (not due to technical limitations though). There are more and more audio receivers that accept HDMI and optical coming out. the receiver isn't something you really want to skimp on, use the TV for now and once you're able to afford it get a good receiver along with some good speakers.
  2. ddpruitt said:
    If your budget is limited hold off for now. HDMI handles all of the current audio formats, optical won't handle quite as many (not due to technical limitations though). There are more and more audio receivers that accept HDMI and optical coming out. the receiver isn't something you really want to skimp on, use the TV for now and once you're able to afford it get a good receiver along with some good speakers.


    Thank you for your fast response!

    I think that I have to get something because the sound from my TV isn't cutting it for me. I mean, I have to turn it up to hear the voices. I will have to save up to get some real audio equipment in. Can you recommend any computer speakers or something to hold me over?

    Thanks again!
  3. testudoAubreii said:
    ddpruitt said:
    If your budget is limited hold off for now. HDMI handles all of the current audio formats, optical won't handle quite as many (not due to technical limitations though). There are more and more audio receivers that accept HDMI and optical coming out. the receiver isn't something you really want to skimp on, use the TV for now and once you're able to afford it get a good receiver along with some good speakers.


    Thank you for your fast response!

    I think that I have to get something because the sound from my TV isn't cutting it for me. I mean, I have to turn it up to hear the voices. I will have to save up to get some real audio equipment in. Can you recommend any computer speakers or something to hold me over?

    Thanks again!


    It's a bit subjective and your better off listening to what works best for you. Generally you'll want to get the receivers and speakers seperately. For receivers Pioneer, Sony, and a few other make good ones for a reasonable price (~200-400) depending on how much you want to spend. For speakers JBL, B&W, and Boston Acoustics. One thing I didn't believe until I actually experienced it is that a good 2 speaker setup is much better than a poor surround setup.
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