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Help with Computer Audio using Home Theatre Receiver

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Help, I'm very new to computer audio and a computer dummy! I have a new Onkyo TXNR 905 Receiver and would like to use my laptop as a music server. I'm confused as I see allot of folks are using external DAC's with their servers, I would like to know if I can use the DAC's in my Onkyo 905 instead of purchasing an external DAC. The Onkyo has the Burr Brown PCM 1796 DAC's on all channels and they are supposed to be good DAC's? Would I need to get just a USB converter to use as an interface with the Laptop and the Onkyo? Please be kind as I said I'm a computer dummy and simply don't have allot of knowledge with computers as many of you folks do. I would really appreciate any help and or direction that anyone can provide. I do have the Onkyo setup with a 7.1 surround sound system and have invested in some decent Omega Micro Interconnects and power cords as well as speaker cables. I would like to be able to listen to music in surround sound using Dolby PL11x. Thank You so much for any help and or ideas to get me started.



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What you need is a digital audio output from your laptop to your receiver. Your receiver will act as an external dac, preamp, and power amp. You can either get a soundcard with a digital out (yours might already have one), or purchase an external soundcard (m-audio interfaces are a good place to see some examples) or converter that will give you a digital signal to input to your receiver.


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