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Audio – Video

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º How to hookup TV or laptop to powered external speakers

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PC to Stereo Hookup - Wired and Wireless

How to listen to your computer on your home stereo system

By connecting your computer to your home stereo system you can listen to music on large speakers and get plenty of volume using your amplifier.

There are many ways to connect a desktop or laptop to a stereo or home theater system.

USB connection, optical, RCA stereo or even wireless systems are available.

  • Laptop or desktop computer with sound card or earphone speaker jack.
  • Home stereo receiver with available audio in jacks (i.e. Aux, CD, Tape2, etc.).
  • Stereo 1/8" mini jack-to-RCA plugs Y adapter cable. Available for less than $10 at local and online retailers.

This digital to analog converter allows audio from USB on computer to stereo or home theater receiver.
Comes with mini USB cable to connect computer to converter input.
Optical output also for home theater receiver.

Simple RCA cable connection for earphone jack or soundcard hookup.

Cable to connect PC to stereo receiver

Cable has 3.5mm stereo plug for sound card connection and at the other end is the two RCA plugs for left and right stereo channels. has some of these cables. An example is available above. There are other options available also.

Most PCs today have a soundcard already installed when you buy it. If not, you can purchase a sound card and install it yourself. The sound card has ports for connecting speakers, mics, etc. The green port is for sound going OUT while the blue port is for sound coming into the computer. The pink port is for a microphone. Most PC soundcards utilize a 3.5mm (1/8-in) jack as the line input or output connector and most hi-fi equipment uses RCA type sockets for connecting audio components.

Sound Card

The Sound card in a personal computer typically has three round jacks color coded and indicated with symbols for line out, line in and microphone in. The jack of interest is the line out usually color coded green or having text label OUT possibly with a symbol showing an arrow going out from concentric circles.
Connecting your laptop or desktop computer to your stereo receiver:

  1. Turn off the power on your computer.
  2. Turn off the power on your stereo receiver.
  3. Plug the single end of the Y adapter cable into the sound card speaker jack of your laptop/ desktop computer. This is the same jack you would plug in computer speakers.

  4. Locate an available jack (i.e. Aux, Tape2, etc.) on the back of your stereo receiver where you can plug in the other ends of the Y cable. Do not use the Phono jack; this will cause interference. You can use the AUX IN or even the CD IN jacks.

  5. Match the red plug of the Y cable to the red jack on your stereo receiver and connect.
  6. Match the black (or white) plug of the Y cable to the white jack on your stereo receiver and connect. Depending on the Y cable you select, this plug may be black, white or gray.
  7. Your computer is now successfully connected to your home stereo receiver.
  8. Turn the power on both your computer and home stereo.
  9. On your stereo receiver, select the mode where your computer is connected (Aux, Tape2, etc.).

  10. Launch your music player on the PC, select music and play. The sound will now be coming from your stereo speakers.

With a wired hookup, you can add distance easily by using audio extension cable with 3.5mm male plug at one end and a female 3.5mm connection at the other end. Several of these cables can be hooked together for longer distances.

º How to hookup TV or laptop to powered speakers

º How to hookup Apple iPhone iPad iPod to TV - Airplay audio/video streaming

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Don't have an amplifier or home stereo system? You can use powered speakers which are loudspeakers with a built-in amplifier you connect to the computer or TV.

The M-AUDIO AV40 powered speakers

M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Active Stereo Speakers
The amplifier is in the left speaker. Passive speakers are connected to spring clips for bared wires. The rear panel also houses the Bass Boost switch, a power switch, and two line-ins with RCA and TRS 1/4" (6.3 mm) connectors.

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers
You connect a stereo RCA audio cable from the PC or TV to the white and red RCA inputs on the left speaker. Connect speaker wires from the left speaker to the right speaker. Your TV or laptop/PC can have 3.5mm output jacks which are standard today or you can use adapters to complete the wiring hookup from TV or PC to the speakers. The left speaker also has a 3.5mm audio input and a headphone jack.

These speakers can be used in many ways.  For the elderly or hard of hearing, place the speakers near the listener's position to boost the sound. The volume control on the left speaker can be used to adjust the sound level. These speakers are excellent and are rated very high by customers.

Buy from the M-Audio AV40 powered speakers

see for unboxing of these speakers 40 User Guide_EN.pdf

User Manual on the AV40 powered speakers

º How to hookup TV or laptop to powered speakers

Wireless Hookup

Stereo system too far away from Computer?

There are many solutions for a wireless music setup. FM transmitter, music bridge, WiFi and IR senders.

Transmit and receive video and hi-fi stereo, even through walls.
Watch your DVD movies on a television in another room.
Transmit the audio/video output of your satellite receiver to a remote television.
Wirelessly transmit audio or audio and video from any A/V source device.
Create wireless home surveillance system.

Need to distribute audio and video to another room? A GHz frequency Wireless Audio/Video Sender can transmit audio and visual signals over radio frequency, so there are no wires to run, and you'll avoid the interference associated with crowded lower-frequency band applications, such as 802.11b wireless LAN, cordless phones, and microwaves.

Products typically consist of one transmitter and one (or more) receiver, cables and power adapters. The system transmits video and hi-fi stereo sound wirelessly from a source device such as computer, VCR, TV set, DVD player, satellite receiver or cable set-top box to any destination device such as a stereo system, TV or monitor. It can also be used in conjunction with a camcorder to turn into a wireless security monitoring system. The signal can go hundreds of feet and since it uses radio waves, it will even penetrate walls.

To experience wireless video and audio, just connect the transmitter to whatever A/V source you would like to enjoy and connect the receiver to a stereo, TV, monitor or speaker in another location. Cost is around $80 to $150. Radio Shack or will have a product. Look for wireless sender or audio/video transmitter.


Hookup Diagram for Wireless Connection

There are many wireless options for connecting your laptop or PC to your home audio system. Be careful with wireless as there are some pitfalls. Many of these products become quickly outdated as operating systems are upgraded.

FM Transmitter

One of the most simple yet limited solutions is the FM transmitter. A good FM transmitter can send your laptop or iPod music (or any device with a stereo headphone output) across the room to your AM/FM stereo receiver or audio/video receiver with speakers wirelessly using an available frequency on the FM radio. Connect the laptop or iPod to the FM transmitter using the 3.5mm stereo plug and it will send out your music on a FM radio frequency you choose. Then on your stereo receiver, tune in the FM frequency and you have music just like your own radio station.

Problems with the FM transmitter include bad reception if objects obstruct the signal and distance is limited. You will achieve varying results based upon many factors. Some report excellent reception and can even get music in a different room and on multiple radio receivers while others can hardly get any good results due to crowded FM stations in their area or weak signals.

CCrane FM Transmitter

  • Wireless transfer of any audio to any FM receiver
  • Highest Quality, full stereo on any FM Frequency of your choice
  • Listen to streaming audio from your computer on your kitchen radio
  • Send your MP3 audio to your home stereo system
  • Runs on AC power adapter or 2 AA batteries

Apple AirPort

One option for wireless computer to home audio system hookup is APPLE AIRPORT. With Apple Airport Express, you can play your music from iTunes on your computer to your home stereo system wirelessly. The Apple Airport Express unit is a small, hand-sized portable wireless and wired device which plugs into a wall outlet for power and has ports for ethernet, USB and analog/digital audio. To set up AirPort Express using a Windows PC, you must have the following:

• A Windows PC with 300 MHz or higher processor speed
• Windows XP or VISTA operating system
You need iTunes to play audio from your computer to a stereo connected to AirPort Express. To be sure you have the latest version of iTunes, go to
You can use AirPort Express with any wireless-enabled computer that is compliant with the IEEE 802.11b or 802.11g standards.

Using AirPort Express with AirTunes to Play iTunes Music on Your Stereo

You can connect your AirPort Express to your stereo with a Toslink-to-mini digital fiber optic cable or a mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA cable, or mini-stereo to mini-stereo cable, depending on what type of connectors your stereo uses, and use AirTunes to wirelessly play music from iTunes.

• Connect your AirPort Express unit to your home stereo or powered speakers using a digital fiber optic cable, analog mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA, or mini-stereo to mini-stereo (depending on what type of connectors your stereo uses) connected to the stereo mini-jack.
You cannot use powered USB speakers with AirPort Express. Use powered speakers with a stereo mini-jack connector.

• Use AirPort Utility to create a new network.

• Open iTunes on your computer and choose your stereo or speakers from the speakers pop-up menu in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window.

Wireless computers within range of AirPort Express can wirelessly stream music to it using iTunes 4.6 or later. Only one computer at a time can stream music to AirPort Express. You cannot stream music to more than one AirPort Express at a time.

Apple Airport Express

CREATIVE LABS X-Mod Wireless Music System

The Xmod Wireless comes in 2 parts, a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter connects to your PC via USB, applying X-Fi sound enhancement to any sound or music that is passed through it. Compressed audio like WMA and MP3 files are upscaled to 24 bit quality and surround sound effects can be added. You can connect the receiver end of the Xmod Wireless to a good set of speakers that you have in your family room for example. The wireless receiver enables you to control and listen to your music anywhere you place the receiver in your house. Your PC music collection is streamed around the house with top notch quality and fidelity. You can purchase additional receivers to play your music in multiple rooms.

# Listen to Xtreme Fidelity music and control playlists up to 100 feet (30 meters) away from your PC using the X-Fi Wireless Receiver
# Use the remote controls with the Xmod Wireless transmitter or the X-Fi Wireless Receiver to play, pause and skip through your music
# Add as many X-Fi Wireless Receivers as you like to get all that great Xtreme Fidelity music in every room of your house

The range is great and there is no lag. You don't need to have your own network or anything running. Just turn on the receiver and transmitter and away you go. If you do have a network running, this won't interfere with it at all. You also get a remote for each side and there are inputs so that you can connect an MP3 player. With the remotes, you can skip tracks, pause tracks, turn on and off the X-Fi features, etc. Overall, Xmod Wireless is highly recommended. The unique combination of a driverless and simple to use USB soundcard with a high quality streaming device is an excellent way to introduce your PC to your home theater setup or to any room of your house.

More than just a wireless music system, Xmod Wireless features X-Fi technology that makes your MP3's and other compressed music files sound better than the original CD. It plays all of the music from your PC wirelessly throughout your house and since it doesn't rely on your home network, there are no delays, dropouts or interference to deal with, and no IP addresses to configure. Simple to setup with no software, or drivers to install and works right out of the box.

iPad wireless Bluetooth to Stereo Connection

Logitech makes a Bluetooth receiver so your iPad or Smartphone can stream music to stereo speakers.

Creative Labs Wireless Audio transmitter and receiver Sound Blaster

Plug in the USB transmitter to your laptop's USB port. Connect the receiver to your stereo system using either the 3.5mm line out or the two RCA stereo connections. Run your music player. Pair the transmitter and receiver. You now have wireless music from laptop to stereo system. Good up to 100 feet.

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