After using a cheap Onkyo CD player (~$200) for several months in my home theater, I have discovered the joys of a home theater PC. With the ability to neatly organize and instantly access my entire music collection, I don't think I can ever go back to using a simple CD player.

Here is my question to all of you great, knowledgeable people...does anyone have experience to share concerning the quality of music from an HTPC vs a dedicated CD player?

I had my CD player connected to my AVR (Denon AVR-1910) via coaxial digital audio cable and I now have my HTPC connected to the AVR via HDMI. If my understanding is correct, then both of these setups should be exactly the using the digital audio connection, I am bypassing the onboard DAC's of both the CD player and the PC and using the DAC that is in my AVR, correct? The source of the data (CD player or PC) should not matter since they are just passing along the 1's and 0's to the AVR for processing.

Does anyone know if any software on the PC tampers with the digital data (any post-processing)? In other words, is the ripped file (assuming it is lossless and not compressed in any way) output from the computer in exactly the same form as if it was read directly from the CD? I'm using Windows 7 x64 and organizing/playing music through Windows Media Center.

Having said that, the sound coming from the HTPC sounds amazing...I have not yet done a direct compairison of HTPC to CD, but I plan on doing that this weekend. Almost all of my music collection is stored on the PC as WMA Lossless files (thank goodness for terabyte hard drives \:\) )

I think I'm going to sell my Onkyo CD player and I just wanted some opinions/suggestions as to whether or not this would be a good idea. Is there anytime a CD player could be superior to a HTPC, or will there be no difference at all?

Thanks to everyone for your time and opinions!