New to HiFi - What do I need?


Novice Member
I'm in the process of buying the components for my hifi/tv room and i'd like some advice on what I really need, and what I should avoid

Bought some Monitor Audio BR5's and a NAD c355bee, i'd like to be able to connect it to my TV and also a PC or laptop to play audio and video files through, maybe a HTPC.

Will I need a DAC for this? I know the amp and speakers aren't that great but i'd to get the best sound possible out of them, I was thinking of getting the dacmagic?

I haven't bought any speaker cable yet, and it's taken me weeks reading which has only added to the confusion of what to buy, is it worth bi-wiring and would QED Original Bi-wire speaker cable do them justice?

How do I connect the amp to the TV? its a cheap Techwood 37" 1080p.

Is there anything else I need to consider?
Thanks in advance


Distinguished Member
The first thing to do is simply check your TV. Many TVs, though the number is becoming fewer, have analog Audio Outputs in the form of red and white RCA-style connectors. If you have this, then connecting TV and amp are a piece of cake.

Computer to amps is also relatively easy for Audio. Simply connect one of the amps audio inputs (not PHONO) to the audio outputs of the sound card, select that input on the amp, and you are in business.

However, connecting Video playback from the computer to the TV is more difficult.

You can use a DAC between the Computer and the amp, but that implies that your computer has some type of optical or coaxial digital output. If it doesn't then a DAC is pointless.

There are USB audio, and perhaps video, interfaces for computers. These are essentially DACs connected by USB, in which the USB audio stream is converted to the analog form that the amp can use.

How easy it is to play video from your computer to your TV, as I said, is a bit tricky. Modern TV have a PC input, you simply connect the computer's VGA video out to the TV's VGA input. But, you TV has to have that capability.

Some very modern computers in anticipation of the multimedia need of consumers provide a HDMI output form the video card.

If your TV doesn't not have an analog Audio Output, then it would have to have some type of digital audio out, usually optical or coaxil. In this case, you would need a DAC to covert the TV digital audio to analog for the amp.

What you can do depends on what you have available to you.


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