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I am using a laptop as a HD media player, it is outputting HD content via HDMI to a LCD TV, but the speaker on the TV suck big time. I want to buy a good set of speakers for audio. But I'm totally confused as what kind of speaker connection should I get, or even where do I connect the speaker to, should I connect the speaker to the TV? or to the laptop?

Another thing is I karaoke occasionally and would also would want to use the new external speakers for karaoke, I already have a karaoke mixer to plug the mics in, this mixer has RCA (red+white) connections in the back for both audio input and output: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H2BCQ2

So to sum it up, my question is what is the correct speaker connection to get, and how would it connect my laptop+TV+karaoke mixer together.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

For regular Audio, you have two choices:
1) 3.5mm "headphone" jack on the laptop
2) Audio OUT from the TV

It really depends on how you want to control the volume. Use the 3.5 if you want to control the volume from the computer's interface. Use the TV's audio out if you want to control volume from the TV.

Also, if you use the TV to control the volume, you can just plug the karaoke machine into the TV input.

EDIT: Either choice will need some kind of amplification. This means that your audio out needs to go to an amplifier/receiver OR depending on the sound quality you're looking for, plugged directly into a powered speaker (ie, computer speakers).

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Do I absolutely need a receiver? or would it still work, just with low volume? –  KoKo May 5 '11 at 17:33
1  
Depending on the speakers. They absolutely need power of some kind, which the Audio OUT connection does not provide. It really depends what kind of sounds quality you're looking for. If you're not looking for amazing home theater quality sound, there are some sets of computer speakers that will work decently with a TV, a little higher end is something like the Audioengine 5 audioengineusa.com/Store/Audioengine-5. Either option will not require a receiver. –  jtm May 5 '11 at 17:36
    
So if I understand correctly, if the speaker is "self-powered", then I do not need a receiver? –  KoKo May 5 '11 at 17:51
1  
Correct... Well technically you won't need an amplifier. You're TV will be functioning as a receiver. –  jtm May 5 '11 at 17:55
    
To clarify, since a lot of receivers tend to have an amplifier as well, the terms get misused (by myself included), but they serve two different functions. However, what we're talking about here, you will not need either of these to use powered speakers with your TV. –  jtm May 5 '11 at 18:06

This might be a bit on the pricey side, but monoprice.com has a HDMI switcher that can output audio Stereo, Toslink and COAX. So that should work for you:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=1#largeimage

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The HDMI output will go to the TV and I believe the sound with it. You need to look at what output the TV will send the audio on (optical, RCA) and match that. I also believe that besides speakers you will need an amplifier. So the sound will travel from Laptop to TV, to amp to speakers

Any amplifier should be able to take the karaoke input as well, but for the life of me i don't understand why you'd want to sing along with a movie :-)

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