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Old 08-01-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default How to hook up my pc to home theater system easily?

I want to be able to hook my pc up to my hdtv and home theater system. I will only be using the tv and surround sound occasionally however. Most computing will be done on monitor and pc speakers. How/Can I hook up my pc to both things and switch between using them easily when I want. I don't want to have to be hooking and unhooking cables each time I want to game on my tv instead of the pc.

Can I have two monitors hooked up at once and easily change from one to the other as my primary one?

Can I have two sets of speakers hooked up at the same time and only use one?

I would like to hook my tv up via hdmi so I assume I could get any decent gpu and use a vga => hdmi hookup. Would I need a good sound card to hook up pc speakers AND my home theater system? I would want to use an optical connection if at all possible.

Any insight would be appreciated b/c I don't know much about pc's as I've always been a console gamer.

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:20 PM   #2
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Pretty much ANY new card you buy these days will support dual screen setup's through HDMI. Its through DVI though, not VGA. Not to nitpick, just clarifying. I'd recommend an ATI card as they can carry sound through the HDMI to your TV. Depending on your set up, this may or may not be useful, and if it isn't, it just comes down to your preference and budget. I'll freely admit, I have poor knowledge of sound cards and related hardware, so I can't offer you much help, other than a motherboard (onboard) audio chipset won't offer you much to work with. An after market card will almost certainly be required, but as to which, or what to look for, someone else will have to help you with. To run both screens, simply plug them in and have them to the mirrored/identical setting (Where it displays the same image on both monitors.) And simply switch the input on your tv whenever you want to use it. Again, I can't comment on how doable this would be for audio, but for the video, its quite a simple fix. Yet again, I'd like to bring up ATI cards. Should the solution for the surround sound be impractical/impossible, the ATI cards will play sound through the tv speakers. I do believe some nVidia cards have this ability as well, but it requires additional connections to the motherboard, and I've HEARD can be a trial in frustration. Someone may be able to shed more light on the subject, but this is about all I have to offer at the moment.
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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So DVI => HDMI can carry audio? Good to know. So if I get an ATI card and just run a dvi to hdmi to my receiver then hdmi to hdmi from receiver to tv I'll have pic and sound no problem w/o even having to worry about a sound card with optical output?
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