If the CD/DVD has a better DAC use the analog outputs but if the receiver has the better DAC use the digital out on the CD/DVD.
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If you are using a HT receiver and a cd/dvd player and your receiver has a digital/optical jack on the rear panel ... use it. You will just need to make this single connection to get surround sound. The digital/optical connection will also make for a quieter connection. Most HT receivers usually offer these types of jacks (some lower priced SONYs don't).
If you are using a HT receiver that does not have a digital/optical jack and you want surround sound, you will need to use the 5 multichannel jacks .
If you just want 2 channel sound or have a stereo only receiver, then you will be using the 2 channel L/R jacks on the back of the cd/dvd player and receiver.
Hope this helps.
Experiment with analog input using the player's DAC vs. the digital input using the receivers DAC and use which ever one you like the most. There are arguments both ways on whether optical or wire digital connection is best. Personally, I don't think it matters for most of us. Exceptions might be unusally long leads or interference from other electrical sources, making fiber optic perhaps preferable. For most of us, it will not make a difference. A good shielded RCA wire to the receiver for analog input using the players DAC is a good idea if you go that way.