Can I use a PC card instead of a Reciever

Hi everyone.

I have finally convinced my girlfriend that building an HTPC is a great idea, so here I am trying to figure out the best way to make it work.

Here is what the set up will look like. COMPUTER (music library, bluray player, hulu box, netflix thingy, private sometime videogame sanctuary) will be hooked up to a plasma screen TV that has both HDMI inputs as well as DVI etc. The TV won't be hooked up to cable or any other console or devices (because we don't have any). Here is the problem. I have a nice set of surround speakers (energy take classics) that I want to be responsible for the noises we will hear, but I don't have a receiver anymore (long boring story). Is it possible that this computer that I will be building from scratch could have a sound card (or even on board sound) that would directly hook into my speakers, which require the old school red and black wire through posts sort of cables?

I want the best sound I can get, but am looking for both a minimalist and easy, and also even good sound cards are cheaper then a midrange receiver, so I was hoping to save a little bit of money. Let me know what you guys (or gals) think
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  1. Your best option would be DVI if your TV could accept it and use optical or analog however your speakers works best.

    For blu-ray, 5.1 to 7.1 might be required for multi-channel playback.
  2. Thanks for responding. I have a couple of follow up questions.

    Why wouldn't I just use an HDMI cable for the tv?

    Would I need a special type of cable to go from a 7.1 or 5.1 card to the speakers, as they require the old post red wire black wire setup?
  3. 1: ASUS HDAV 1.3. Use the HDMI in/out for both audio (up to 7.1) and video (1080p and beyond). Still, if your using only stereo sound for your TV, its a bit overkill...

    2 (NVIDIA GPU): Connect GPU to onboard sound source using Spdif header, and output audio/video using DVI->HDMI connection.

    3 (ATI GPU): Connect using DVI->HDMI to output both audio and video to your TV.

    For most TV's, you are unable to select seperate sound/audio sources. Meaning, you have an analog source (VGA + RCA), a digital source (DVI + Spdif) and HDMI. HDMI makes the most sense, although if your TV has a VGA port, you could go 3.5mm-> RCA, and use DVI->VGA for video as well...It depends on what in/out you have on your TV.
  4. But won't all of those solutions just play the sound through my TV? I am looking for a way to play it through my Energy Take Classics, which require the old school red/black connection.
  5. Wheres your amplification?
  6. I was hoping there might be a PCI card that had a built in amp or something.
  7. I can't remember reading it somewhere, there's a motherboard with builtin audio amplifier so you can connect speakers to it.
  8. It could be this one

    If you already have motherboard and if your PC have HDMI output then you can use that, you didn't mention that earlier so I'm suggest by going of what you have and spend it to where you need it. Using DVI to HDMI requires you to have proper hardware like gamerk316 suggested. However you'll still need amplifier.

    Best way to connect these things together is DVI to TV, PC analog to TV, PC digital to Receiver with your speakers. This type of setup allows you to use PC and TV without receiver if not required or PC and Receiver if TV is no required. You can also use it all at the same time.

    Don't spend more money on a soundcard and save it for better amp.
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