Discover two ways to broadcast your PC's audio through a home stereo.
You don't have to use those cheap speakers that came with your computer. If your sound card has a line-out jack (a little hole on the back of the computer), you can use it to play your computer's sounds over your home stereo speakers.
Your PC audio will sound crisper and cleaner and the stereo provides more bottom end than the standard set of PC speakers. Today Roger walks you through the simple process of connecting your PC and stereo.
All you need is an
with one 1/8-inch stereo mini-jack at one end and two phono plugs at the other. That's it. Costing less than $8 a pop, you might as well pick up two while you're at it because they're real handy.
Hook your computer up to your stereo
Connect the 1/8-inch mini-jack end to your sound card's line-out jack and connect the two RCA adapters to your stereo. Depending on your stereo you may have to use an auxiliary channel. It doesn't really matter what channel you use as long as it's not the tape or phono (yes, records, remember those things?) channels.
Fire up an MP3 player or CD on your PC, turn on your stereo (make sure you have the correct output channel selected), and pump up the volume. You should now be playing tunes from your PC through your stereo speakers. It's that easy.
If you want to get really fancy (and have the right hardware), you can also connect your PC and stereo with a digital audio connection. You'll need two things:
A sound card with a digital S/PDIF output;
An A/V receiver with, you guessed it, an S/PDIF input.
The output from the sound card can either be an optical TOS connection or a coaxial connection with an RCA-style plug or 1/8-inch mini-jack. Most popular sound cards, including the Creative SoundBlaster Series starting with Live!, include a 1/8-inch S/PDIF output connection. Any decent A/V surround sound receiver should include both types of connectors.
Connect the two optically or with a coaxial cable.
Set your PC's output and A/V receiver's input to S/PDIF.
The receiver does all the processing, resulting in a cleaner sound from your speakers. Of course, if your speakers and receiver are sub-par quality, you probably won't notice any improvement.
If your PC and stereo aren't located in the same room, you have a couple options.
With the A/V Sender, you can send data other than just sound. We used the A/V Sender to broadcast a DVD movie from our office to another TV about 60 feet away. The TV receiving the video and audio signal looked great and had limited interference. One thing to keep in mind is that many cordless phones operate in this frequency range. Expect some interference when receiving phone calls if you own a cordless phone that uses the 2.4-GHz frequency.