On your receiver (“amplifier”, home stereo, home theater) you should look for inputs labeled “digital”. The receiver shown in Figure 2 has both coaxial and optical digital audio inputs.
Figure 2: Digital audio inputs on a home theater receiver.
If you cannot find them, that means you receiver doesn’t have digital audio input, thus you will need to use its analog input, which is labeled “Aux”. Actually you can use any input except the one labeled as “Phono”, so if you receiver doesn’t have an input labeled “Aux” you can use any other input like “Tape In”, “DVD In”, “CD In”, “MD In”, etc. If you cannot find any input at all, this means that your stereo doesn’t have any kind of input at all and you won’t be able to connect your PC to it.
On our receiver in Figure 3 we could use any one of the inputs labeled “CD In”, “MD/Tape In”, “DVD Audio In” and “Video 2 Audio In” (and also “Video 1 Audio In”, but this one was already being used by our VCR).
Figure 3: Inputs on a home theater receiver.
On our receiver in Figure 4 we could use the input labeled as “Aux” as well as “Tape 1 In”, “Tape 2 In” and “Ext Pros In”.
Figure 4: Inputs on a regular receiver.
Now that you know what kind of connection both your PC and your home stereo or home theater have, you can go ahead and connect them. We will show you how to do this in the next pages.