Playing 5.1 lossless 24/96 .flac via PC HDMI cable to AVR? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-22-2012, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Playing 5.1 lossless 24/96 .flac via PC HDMI cable to AVR?

The 2 options I can think of are:

1. Route the 5.1 music through the PC mobo's on
board sound chips, and then out the HDMI connector
that is on the rear panel of most video cards?

2. Buy a separate sound card with 24/192
capability with an HDMI out connector?

If the sound is the better solution,
any suggestions of a card to buy will
be much appreciated.

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-22-2012, 08:12 PM
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Modern graphics cards have their own onboard audio controller. I use a graphics card's HDMI connection for bit-perfect 96/24 multichannel output using the WASAPI Exclusive plug-in with foobar2000. You need Windows Vista or 7 for this particular setup.

A cheap graphics card made within the last couple or so years should do. For instance, if you don't already have a capable card, I once used this card for a multimedia build. It is now $35 after rebate.

I should add that I don't think the Nvidia cards support 88.2, 176.4 or 192kHz sampling rates, if that matters. ATI/AMD cards might though.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-22-2012, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Modern graphics cards have their own onboard audio controller. I use a graphics card's HDMI connection for bit-perfect 96/24 multichannel output using the WASAPI Exclusive plug-in with foobar2000. You need Windows Vista or 7 for this particular setup.

Win7 w/WASAPI here.

I wasn't aware that a current standalone graphic card includes it's own audio controller.

So I'd 1st need to disable the mobo on board sound in the mobo bios setup?

Does the graphic card then automatically offer to provide 5.1 sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

A cheap graphics card made within the last couple or so years should do. For instance, if you don't already have a capable card, I once used this card for a multimedia build. It is now $35 after rebate.

I should add that I don't think the Nvidia cards support 88.2, 176.4 or 192kHz sampling rates, if that matters. ATI/AMD cards might though.

Well different sample rates might lend itself to buying a separate sound card with that kind of capability.

I haven't yet started to pay for hi-rez 5.1 downloads, but will try to keep it to 24/96 in order to avoid the dumb switching one has to do for good SQ (in Win7) when you have source .flac files with different sample rates.

The extensive free samples that I've gotten from 2L (both stereo and 5.1) are all 24/96.

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

So I'd 1st need to disable the mobo on board sound in the mobo bios setup?

Does the graphic card then automatically offer to provide 5.1 sound?

You can have as many sound devices enabled in Windows 7 as you want.

With foobar2000, you can choose which audio device you want the player to use. It doesn't even have to be the default Windows sound device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

Well different sample rates might lend itself to buying a separate sound card with that kind of capability.

I haven't yet started to pay for hi-rez 5.1 downloads, but will try to keep it to 24/96 in order to avoid the dumb switching one has to do for good SQ (in Win7) when you have source .flac files with different sample rates.

I believe your options for discrete sound cards with HDMI are still extremely limited. I'm using an Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card in my gaming rig, and it is not a good fit for bit-perfect music applications. There are too many complications involved with this particular card.

As for switching sampling rates, when using WASAPI and foobar2000, Nvidia cards (and probably ATI/AMD cards as well) automatically switch sampling rates and number of channels depending on the source file. It is a very elegant solution.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-23-2012, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I believe your options for discrete sound cards with HDMI are still extremely limited.

They're not only "limited" but they don't seem to exist at all; they all seem to depend on the video card having an HDMI out connector that they somehow use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I'm using an Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card in my gaming rig, and it is not a good fit for bit-perfect music applications. There are too many complications involved with this particular card.

FWIW I've very much liked your thoughtful posting in the AVS gaming forum.

The two sound cards that have caught my eye are SIIG and HT Omega:

1. cheap SIIG ~$40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829270006

2. expensive 7.1 analog out HT Omega Claro XT ~$250

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271005

Given that I want to set up at least 3 different PCs (Win7 and Linux) I'm leaning to buying the above SIIG sound card; at least to start with. I mean laying out $750 for 3 HT Omega high end sound cards is a hard sell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

As for switching sampling rates, when using WASAPI and foobar2000, Nvidia cards (and probably ATI/AMD cards as well) automatically switch sampling rates and number of channels depending on the source file. It is a very elegant solution.

I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

I prefer nVidia video cards due to them being easier to work with when using Linux.

With regard to choosing either a really cheap HDMI solution (via nVidia video card HDMI out) or a somewhat cheap sound card like SIIG (that'll likely have to also tie in with the video card's HDMI connector) or a really expensive 7.1 analog out sound card (HT Omega Claro XT), I'll likely just try the SIIG to start with.

I mean getting into high end type SQ (SoundQuality) difference questions between hi-end 7.1 analog sound cards (~$250) vs an "inexpensive" SIIG sound card (~$40) is pointless. Opinions will range all over the map.

Meaning I'll start with the $40 SIIG card vs what I can do with my nVidia video card (by itself it's "free") in order to reach my 1st checkpoint of what I think really offers better SQ.

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-23-2012, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

1. cheap SIIG ~$40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829270006

I went ahead and bought one of these sound cards for $32 total at amazon.

That may (?) get me started on doing hi-rez audio from my PC.

Don't hold your breath on followup as I'm notoriously slow.

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-24-2012, 06:33 AM
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I went the soundcard route when I first began using an HTPC. I found them to be inadequate and noisy. My current HTPC uses a very capable AMD 6870 card with Catalyst 12.2 driver. Foobar 2000 player send 5.1 (24/96) music (FLAC, WAV, WMA formats) via the 6870's HDMI output to my receiver.

The sound is superb. No noise or distortion.

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-25-2012, 09:14 AM
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+1 for the ATi/AMD based video card route as being the easiest and highest quality method of feeding high-rez multichannel audio to a receiver/processor.

Here is a how-to I put together on this topic. Even though it is for the flagship Denon AVP-A1HDci preamp, it applies to any Denon receiver (and most other brands as well).

Jonathan


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post #9 of 12 Old 03-25-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pilot View Post

I went the soundcard route when I first began using an HTPC. I found them to be inadequate and noisy. My current HTPC uses a very capable AMD 6870 card with Catalyst 12.2 driver. Foobar 2000 player send 5.1 (24/96) music (FLAC, WAV, WMA formats) via the 6870's HDMI output to my receiver.

The sound is superb. No noise or distortion.

Marcus

Thank you for your above comments on your 1st hand experience.

I expect to get that $32 SIIG sound card tomorrow, and even before I ordered it I figured it might well prove to be money down the drain, given that I want very high SQ (Sound Quality) from whatever solution I finally get to.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-25-2012, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

+1 for the ATi/AMD based video card route as being the easiest and highest quality method of feeding high-rez multichannel audio to a receiver/processor.

Here is a how-to I put together on this topic. Even though it is for the flagship Denon AVP-A1HDci preamp, it applies to any Denon receiver (and most other brands as well).

Very nice ref, thank you!

FWIW I've a Denon 3808 AVR that I've not been using and which should prove to be very adequate. I'll run an HDMI cable (for digital audio only) from the PC into the Deon 3808, and then pull out the 5.1 analog RCA outputs, going into my analog 7.1 preamp (a high end Bel Canto Pre6).

At least I am hopeful that that will work.

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #11 of 12 Old 03-25-2012, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

+1 for the ATi/AMD based video card route as being the easiest and highest quality method of feeding high-rez multichannel audio to a receiver/processor.

Here is a how-to I put together on this topic. Even though it is for the flagship Denon AVP-A1HDci preamp, it applies to any Denon receiver (and most other brands as well).

In your above ref you recommended using "DVD Audio Extractor (Google it, highly recommended)"

I tried google, I also tried "http://www.dvdaudioextractor.com/" which only came back with still more choices. And of course "www.dvdaudioextractor.org" which doesn't exist.

Is there a safe site that I can get this at?

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post #12 of 12 Old 03-25-2012, 12:39 PM
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It's right here:

DVD Audio Extractor

Excellent program. One tip. Turn off ANY DVD, if you use that program, before opening DVD Audio Extractor. I believe the author gives you a generous "fully functional" trial.

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