HTPC w/ Audio Receiver possibilities


I was considering building a home theater pc, but one of the bigger problems I have with adding a major component to my setup is the severe lack of space I have. Right now, I have an old Kenwood audio receiver that is rather enormous for my setup (but does a good job), but on the research I’ve made, everything seems to point to needing a separate audio receiver. I’ve tried but failed to find anything that might lead to something letting sait HTPC do a direct-to-speaker decoded audio, thus replacing the need for a separate receiver. I would have thought one of two things would have been feasible in theory: either a sound card that had the means to output direct-to-speaker audio, or software that would decode the audio. Ultimately, I’d want my components all fed through this thing, but not that necessary for video, as my TV has more than enough inputs. Am I missing something, or is there currently no means for a PC to double as an audio receiver? It’s kind of the dealbreaker for me to do this, what with the lack of space.

#2 is what you need.This is the only board i know of that doubles as a amp.


how much space you working with for your theater set up. i never heard of anyone setting up a home theater system with lack of space. an audio receiver is a necessity for HT system. if for any reason you can deal afford to make room for it, sound bars, 3-2-1 systems work fine and usually come with its own power unit.


If your computer has an SPDIF output (Toslink, Optical), you can send the output for your receiver to decode. If it’s a newer computer, check your output. You can also buy a soundcard with SPDIF output. If I knew more about your setup, I could help you out better.


He didn’t say he had a home theater but just wants a htpc and lacks space.I own 2 htpc and zero home theaters.


Well, my space issue isn’t so much on the whole theater setup but the entertainment center in which everything is housed is where I’m limited. It’s already cramped as can be (I rigged a ventilation system through it to avoid any overheating issues), and the #1 problem filling it is the receiver. Putting yet another component in there really isn’t an option.

I originally shopped around for a new receiver, in hopes I could find one that isn’t incredibly huge; as I said before, I have plenty of inputs on my TV and only currently route one set of cables from the TV to the receiver, so those dozen inputs on the receivers out there go to complete waste for me. So far, the best I’ve found was still as large as my 360, which is just not small enough. If I found one about as small as, say, the PS2Slim, then that’d solve my problems entirely. That was where it came to mind that if this was even possible, surely there’d be some sort of PCI add-on card that’d do this just as well.

  • The receiver also has amps to power the speaker, which is why they are so large. If your speakers use speaker wire, then you’ll have to power them. No computer device will do that. If the speakers are powered, like the Logitech computer speakers, you can use their decoder box to send audio to the speaker.


Ah, that’s something I hadn’t thought of. I always wondered why they seemingly pack in a dozen+ inputs onto the receiver still, in an age where TVs have just as many inputs as well as an output, not to mention the simplicity of HDMI… but I digress.

The only thing I can think of to better set this up would be to find the means of a really low-profile receiver and a really low-profile htpc case, neither of which I think are feasible due to the simple fact that even the most low-profile of pc setups are still almost as tall as my Kenwood. I’ve seen JVC receivers easily half the height of my Kenwood, but then I’m left without the htpc due to lack of space still.


Panasonic made some of the best small form receivers (SA-XR55 and SA-XR57) in the last few years. They had digital amplifiers and sounded great. They do pop up on eBay from time to time.

Marantz also has small receivers in their Slimline modlels, but they’re not cheap.

If you go with powered Computer speakers, Logitech makes very affordable models. You can also plug a stereo cable from the headphone output from the computer to them. The headphone output isn’t the best sound quality though and can have a lot of static and interference.,en


This was originally the JVC receiver I liked. 3.6" tall. A fair amount smaller than my Kenwood which runs at nearly 6". The problem is that kinda kills all custom built htpcs to rest atop. I DID find an alternative in this device, but I’m not certain on the capabilities in comparison to a full-on htpc, but it would rest atop the above receiver using up about the same room as the Kenwood once did…


Another alternative you can go with are sound bars. They usually take a SPDIF input. Some even take HDMI inputs.

Just some for reference:


Another alternative you can go with are sound bars. They usually take a SPDIF input. Some even take HDMI inputs.

Just some for reference: