Is an AV receiver (paired with HTPC) needed?


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Plok

This is certainly a newbie question, but a question I can't answer nevertheless.

I'm moving out of a small room with computer+lcd+cheap computer speakers onto a greener pastures and I decided to set up a HTPC in a room 5x5 meters big. I found countless guides on an optimal HTPC build and I have moreless a good idea on various components.

What I want to know if I actually need an AV receiver. Or can a better sound card substitute it?

It's my understanding that a modern computer (even integrated audio and video) can handle the decoding of HD video and audio. I also know that it's possible to set up ffdshow codec to do HD upscaling of video.

So... is an receiver needed? What would I gain by having one?

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jerzdawg

I think your biggest benefit would be speaker options. You mention now you are using "cheap computer speakers" so I would say that there would be little to no benefit getting an AV receiver. But if you wish to upgrade to a nice 2.1/3.1 or even 5.1 system with the HTPC it would be beneficial getting an entry level receiver as you upgrade your speakers.

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Plok

Thanks. I'll definitely get a new speaker setup - I'm eyeing Harman Kardon HKTS 20. Maybe couple it with HARMAN KARDON AVR-260. I just wish the budget would let me go higher than entry level equipment :/

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