Computer to HDTV Sound Options

“I have read your guide on how to use an HDTV as a computer monitor and found it to be very informative. There is however one detail I am unsure of. This is Sound. If I were to plug my PC video card to my HDTV via a DVI/HDMI cable I would get pure digital visual but no audio correct? But if I were to plug it in via HDMI/HDMI from video card to HDTV would I get audio? Or do i have to buy a sound card with HDMI out to get surround sound?”
There are a several different ways to get audio passed from your PC to your HDTV. Depending on what hardware you have available, you may be limited to stereo audio, with a few cases where you can also get surround sound.

AMD Live! Home Cinema Changes Home Theather PC Market

MSI AMD Live! Home Cinema Motherboard and Soundcard The home theater PC market has been rather dull for several years. Sure you can get a sound card with 7.1 surround sound, but they’ve generally been noisier than I’d want in my own home theater. You can purchase video cards that output to an HDTV and support HDCP, but the experience hasn’t been on par with using home theater components. At Computex 2008, AMD is showing off a couple of new boards from MSI that change the game in important fundamental ways.

Media Center Alternatives

“I have Windows XP and don’t want to buy a new operating system to get Media Center functionality. What are the best alternatives to Windows Media Center Edition that I can install on my existing operating system?”
Adding the ability to record television on your computer, browse photos and videos from the comfort of your couch, and quickly integrate your digital music library with your home theater is one of the more useful advances in computing over the last several years. I personally prefer Windows Media Center Edition for all my PC home theater integration, because it integrates with my Xbox 360 (which means I don’t need a PC in my living room) and because it is the most elegant solution on the market. I can certainly understand not wanting to spend additional money on a new operating system just to add Media Center-like functionality to an existing computer. I continue to recommend two alternatives to Windows Media Center Edition as the best options for integrating with Windows.