ATI Radeon HD 4600 & 4800 series support 7.1 channel HDMI audio! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Table of Contents
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ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
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Supports Multichannel LPCM HDMI Audio, Up To 7.1 channel/32 bit/192 kHz

According to a couple of sources, the upcoming ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series graphics cards will support multichannel LPCM HDMI audio (actually up to 7.1 channel/32 bit/192 kHz). For example,

- TG Daily - ATI Radeon 4800 launch details: Meet (Terry) Makedon and Trojan (Horse) (May 14, 2008)

Quote:


The Radeon 4800 series also includes 7.1 channel-via-HDMI support

- Tom's Hardware - 有圖有真相!AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4800系列照片曝光 (May 26, 2008)



Audio Downsampled to 16 bit, 48 kHz by Commercial BD Players

However it is unclear if HD 4800 series supports PAP or not. Without PAP, audio from every AACS-encrypted content will be downsampled to 16 bit, 48 kHz. Surely the cards will not support Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreams.

Specifications

The below is data of the cards collected in February (so may not be correct):

Source:

- AMD to launch Radeon HD 4000 series in June?
- RV770, RV740 AND RV710 VIDEO CHIP


For your reference


3D Performance

Basically

GeForce 8800 GT (= 9800 GT) < Radeon HD 4850 < GeForce 9800 GTX < Radeon HD 4870 = GeForce GTX 260 < GeForce 9800 GX2

Availability and Prices

- HD 4850 (RV770 PRO): $199, released on June 18, 2008
- HD 4870 (RV770 XT): $299, released on June 25, 2008

RV730 and RV710 to launch in September

- HD 4670 (RV730 XT): $79, released on September 10, 2008
- HD 4650 (RV730 PRO): $69, released on September 10, 2008
- HD 4550 (RV710 XT): $39-$49 (256MB), $49-$59 (512MB), released on September 30, 2008
- HD 4350 (RV710 PRO)

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Enabling HDMI Audio – You Need the "ATI HDMI Audio Device" Driver!!
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The ATI Proprietary DVI-HDMI Adapter

Enabling HDMI audio in a Radeon HD 4xxx card is a bit confusing. First you have to use the ATI proprietary DVI-HDMI adapter (unless your card has a native HDMI connector). Otherwise you won't get audio through HDMI. The adapter is sometimes bundled with the card. If your card does not come with the adapter, you have to buy it, for example, from here.


Download and Install "ATI HDMI Audio Device" Driver

You will need to install not only ATI Radeon Video Card Driver, but also ATI HDMI Audio Device driver.

- If you are a Windows XP user, then download the ATI HDMI Audio Driver from the AMD website.
- If you are a Windows Vista/7 user, then download the ATI HDMI Audio Driver from the Realtek website.

(Why Realtek? A reasonable guess is that ATI lacks proper audio technology and ATI relies on Realtek for the whole audio part of the GPU.)

Configure the Sound Dialog Box

After you installed the driver, you have to enable the ATI HDMI audio device in the Sound dialog box. Here are some screenshots of the dialog box. First you have to select the correct playback device: Realtek HDMI Output. (The motherboard was GA-E7AUM-DS2H GeForce 9400 mGPU, so you can see "NVIDIA HDMI Output" too [disabled because an NVIDIA GPU can't work simultaneously with an ATI card under Vista].)


Click the "Configure" button and open "Speaker Setup". Then select the correct speaker setting.


Click the "Properties" button and click the "Supported Formats" tab, where you can select supported formats. Click the Test button and select all the supported formats.


In the "Advanced" tab, select the sample rate and bit depth. Vista Audio Engine will downsample/upsample audio to that sample rate/bit depth. So you should choose the highest rate/depth here.


Configure PowerDVD/TotalMedia Theater

PowerDVD 8 Ultra

DD/DTS pass-through:

- Speaker environment > Use HDMI
- Output mode > AC3/DTS pass-through

Multichannel PCM (including the one decoded from HD audio codecs/DD/DTS):

- Speaker environment > Use HDMI
- Output mode > PCM output

or

- Speaker environment > 6 speaker (or 8 speaker)
- Output mode > No effect (or whatever effect you like)

TotalMedia Theater

DD/DTS pass-through:

- Audio Output Mode > S/PDIF

Multichannel PCM (including the one decoded from HD audio codecs/DD/DTS)

- Audio Output Mode > 5.1 Channels (or 7.1 Channels)

Managing 5.1 Channel Sources with 7.1 Channel Speakers

Suppose that you use a 7.1 speaker system and select "7.1 Surround" in the Sound dialog box. This is fine as long as you play 7.1 audio sources. Howerver, when you play a 5.1 audio source, there will be no side or rear (depending on your player) surround sounds and you can't upconvert 5.1 to 7.1 using, for example, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, in your receiver (as the receiver gets mute signals for the side or rear surround speakers).

A workaround is switch between "7.1 Surround" and "5.1 Surround" according to the numbe of channels in the audio source and then upconvert 5.1 to 7.1 in your receiver for a 5.1 source. This can be done by hotkeys.

Another easier workaround is use Dolby Pro Logic IIx built in PowerDVD (the picture below)


and use Custom matrix in the Mixer tab of ffdshow Audio Decoder for DirectShow players. If you set Mixer as is, the source FrontL, Center, FrontR, BackL, BackR, LFE (subwoofer) is mapped into the speaker FrontL, Center, FrontR, BackL, BackR, LFE (subwoofer) respectively.




Speaker FrontL Center FrontR SideL SideR BackL BackR LFE
Source FrontL Center FrontR - - BackL BackR LFE
Target FrontL Center FrontR - - BackL BackR LFE

You can use "Custom matrix" so that SideL speaker is a mixture of SideL and BackL, and SideR speaker is a mixture of SideR and BackR. For a 5.1 source, you will hear BackL from both of the SideL speaker and the BackL speaker. For a 7.1 source, you will hear SideL+BackL from the SideL speaker (you will need to compromise).




Speaker FrontL Center FrontR SideL SideR BackL BackR LFE
Source FrontL Center FrontR SideL SideR BackL BackR LFE
Target FrontL Center FrontR SideL+BackL SideR+BackR BackL BackR LFE

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Bit Perfect Sounds by WASAPI Exclusive Mode
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Here bit perfect audio means audio streaming bypassing Windows Vista Audio Engine, thus no other application's audio will play and signal processing has no effect. This is achieved when the audio renderer selects the WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API) exclusive mode (as opposed to the shared mode). Basic flow of audio streams is

Shared mode:
Audio source -> Decoder -> DS Renderer -> WASAPI -> Audio Engine -> Audio driver -> HDMI Exclusive mode:
Audio source -> Decoder -> ReClock -> WASAPI -> Audio driver -> HDMI Unfortunately there are only a couple of players/renderers that support the WASAPI exclusive mode, and for movie playback, ReClock (since 1.8.3.7) is the only solution right now. Please read WASAPI Support for details of ReClock WASAPI support.

Here are tables summarizing supported audio formats in the WASAPI exclusive mode with ReClock and foobar2000+WASAPI output plug-in. I tested with various stereo/5.1/7.1 channel, 16/24 bit, 44.1/48/96/192 kHz, FLAC and WAV files. HDMI audio driver is R2.18.
ReClock        
  44.1 kHz 48 kHz 96 kHz 192 kHz
16 bit Y Y Y Y
24 bit N N N N
32 bit Y Y Y Y
32 bit IEEE float N N N N
foobar2000        
  44.1 kHz 48 kHz 96 kHz 192 kHz
8 bit N N N N
16 bit Y Y Y N
24 bit Y Y Y N
32 bit N N N N
Remarks

- "Buffer Length" in foobar2000 needs to be < ~900 ms.
- DTS on WAV is supported only when Stereo is selected in the "Sound" dialog box of the Windows control panel for both ReClock and foobar2000. Read the thread ATI 45xx, Bit perfect, and Vista.

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Current Solutions for Multichannel LPCM HDMI Audio
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So we have plenty of choices for multichannel LPCM over HDMI:

IGP

- Intel G965, G33 and G35 with SDVO HDMI device (since 2006)
- Intel G45
- GeForce 8200 & 8300, nForce 750a & 780a SLI mGPU for AMD
- GeForce 9300 & 9400 mGPU for Intel

Discrete Graphics Card

- ATI Radeon HD 4350/4550/4600 Series/4800 Series

All the above solutions lack PAP (and software) hence, audio from premium contents is downsampled to 16bit/48kHz. None of them supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming.

Sound Card

- ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3
- Auzentech Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD

They are the only solutions that supports full-resolution LPCM and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming.

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Protected Audio Path (PAP)
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Audio from Premium Contents Downsampled to 16bit/48kHz without PAP!

The support for multichannel LPCM is only half of the story, however. Protected Audio Path (PAP) is essential for full resolution audio, without which audio from every AACS-encrypted content will be downsampled to 16bit/48kHz. PAP is also necessary for Dolby TrueHD / DTS-HS Master Audio bitstreams.

Quote:


A Licensed Player shall not pass, or direct to be passed Decrypted AACS Content to a digital output except:
1.4.1 A digital output of audio, or of the audio portion of other forms of Decrypted AACS Content, in compressed audio format (such as AC3) or in Linear PCM format in which the transmitted information is sampled at no more than 48 kHz and no more than 16 bits.
1.4.2 An output delineated in Table D1, AACS Authorized Digital Outputs, in accordance with any associated restrictions and obligations specified
therein;

Another Reason for Downsampling: Player Bug

Non-premium contents need not be downsampled, but as a matter of fact are downsampled to 16-bit/48kHz by PowerDVD. This a bug CyberLink acknowledged (bit-tech - PowerDVD audio downsampling explained (by Richard Swinburne; October 8, 2007)).

Quote:


When asked why PowerDVD downsamples HD audio from both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs to 48KHz / 16-bit, Chen responded by saying that "digital output without protection is not possible due to AACS requirement. Digital and analogue output with protection (HDMI) is also not possible due to lack of an internal secure audio path in a Windows PC."

"We are currently working with Realtek to support their proprietary interface for encryption of audio bus. Once completed, we will not longer need to downsample the audio. This will be provided for free to end-user for upgrade."

This didn't really clear up the downsampling situation though because, as far as we're aware all audio, regardless of encryption, is downsampled. We therefore pressed Chen to clear up the speculation. "I think this is a mistake," he said, "we never intended to pass this message. I think there might be some bug in our program that downsamples everything. That is not our intent. We only need to down-sample premium content (AACS, CPRM, etc)."

This prompted us to ask whether there is a requirement for AACS in a PC when a disc or file is not encrypted. Chen told us that the unencrypted scenario is not mandated by AACS so shouldn't be included in the downsampling.

We inquired further about the "secure internal audio path": is this because of Microsoft not providing one and/or sound card companies not providing a compatible driver? Chen informed us that there isn't an industry standard (defined by Microsoft or someone else) that makes the encryption/decryption path between software and audio driver secure. CyberLink have to enable one chip after another which takes a considerable amount of time working with sound card providers, Microsoft and checking that it satisfies the AACS mandate.

The above bug applies to not only 7.3 but also 8 (bit-tech - CyberLink PowerDVD 8 & Media Show 4 (by Richard Swinburne; March 24, 2008)).

Quote:


The lossless audio support that we first covered a while back has been put back to the release of 8.5 at around the August-September time frame. Again, CyberLink was keen to stress that this will be a free update if you already own PowerDVD 8.

This delay can be significant issue for those wanting to use PowerDVD 8 with Blu-ray disks, but after discussing this with both Dolby (TrueHD) and CyberLink, as well as various motherboard vendors (Gigabyte boards that use the Realtek ALC889a and features “content protection”) and even AMD (in reference to its 780G and its audio limitation to S/PDIF pass-through under HDMI) during CeBIT, all we can conclude is that HDCP for full quality audio is just a complete mess.

BTW "a free update" is questionable because there may not be "PowerDVD 8.5": bit-tech - CyberLink to launch new TrueTheatre technologies (by Richard Swinburne; May 30, 2008).

Quote:


Another thing worth noting though is that PowerDVD 9 (formerly 8.5) will be available in a Q3 to Q4 timeframe this year

PUMA and PAP

If you are interested in PAP, the following document will be helpful to understand the current situation.

- Output Content Protection and Windows Vista (April 27, 2005)

Quote:


4 Protected User Mode Audio: PUMA

4.3 PUMA (Protected User Mode Audio) Security Architecture

This section examines the components in the PUMA engine concerned with security.

Aside from the Virtual Audio Server (VAS) receiving component, the PUMA architecture includes three protection-related component types of interest:
  • Virtual Protected Output (VPO) module
  • Protected Output Controller (POC)
  • Output Encryption Audio Processing Object (APO)
4.3.2 Output Encryption APO

The Output Encryption APO is the module that will provide encryption of the audio data, if it becomes necessary in the future. For the initial release of Windows Vista, it is planned that just the interfaces to the module will exist, rather than any actual modules.

The planned implementation is that the audio system will request an Output Encryption APO from the POC. The audio policy will set up the audio engine such that the Output Encryption APO will be called as the last processing element for the audio data, before the data is passed to the driver. This allows the Output Encryption APO to encrypt the data according to the current protection policy. The POC will choose to not load an Output Encryption APO if encryption is not necessary (which it isn’t in 2006).

4.7 PCIe Bus and PUMA

In the same way as with video, the PCIe bus could become a problem for premium audio, because content owners might regard it as a user-accessible bus. The issue affects the use of a discrete audio card or a discrete graphics card that has audio capabilities. While there might not be many discrete audio cards in 2006, there more than likely will be HDMI discrete graphics cards that have HD Audio controllers.

The important scenario is the play back of HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray DVDs. In this case, the video is considered premium and the audio may also be. There is no problem with the video, because PVP-UAB (Protected Video Path - User Accessible Bus) protects the video over the PCIe bus, but there is currently no equivalent protection available in the audio world.

The PCIe bus may be defined in some Content Industry Agreements as a user accessible bus. It is further defined in some Content Industry Agreements that premium audio is not allowed to pass over a user-accessible bus in unprotected form. In spite of PC industry push-back on this requirement, it is not certain which way the decision will fall. Realistically, any concession in this area would only be valid for a small number of years, so the PC industry needs to address this issue in the not-too-distant future. Microsoft plans to address this as part of the PAP (Protected Audio Path) project that will be a number of years after the initial release of Windows Vista.

When the PC industry does PAP, there will be a way of encrypting audio over the PCIe bus. For discrete graphics manufacturers, the easiest mechanism to use would be PVP, because their graphics chip hardware will already be able to decrypt this. The encryption would be done in an Output Encryption APO module in the Audio Engine in the Protected Environment.

As mentioned earlier, the plan is to provide a mechanism in Windows Vista to load a future Output Encryption APO module. Even in the initial version of Windows Vista, however, a third party could write a custom Output Encryption APO module that performs PVP encryption. This would need to establish a separate session key, because there is no robust way of getting the session key from the graphics stack to the audio stack.

We hope to be successful with the amendment to the content industry agreements, so that using an encrypting Output Encryption APO module can be deferred for a few years.

In summary, Microsoft's PAP in Vista was left unfinished and this is likely to be the origin of the current chaotic situation of downsampled audio.

Hardware and Software player Must Work Together

PAP involves encryption/decryption process and requires the support by both hardware and software player, just like PVP (Protected Video Path).

Quote:


5 Protected Audio Path: PAP

Possible PAP Architecture

Think about PAP is as a collection bucket where we store future ideas about audio content protection. Current thinking is that PAP would provide protection all the way to the codec chip that has the digital-to-analog converter that makes the sounds (*my comment: replace it by HDMI transmitter). This might include protecting over whatever physical and wireless cables are in use in that future timeframe.

The most likely encryption candidate would be AES 128-bit counter mode, just like PVP. Instead of the ProtectedDXVA component doing the encryption, the encryption would be done in an Output Encryption APO in PUMA. In both the audio and video cases, the important thing is that the encryption is done inside the Protected Environment.

The proposed plan is that the hardware AES engine that does the decryption would be in the codec chip. This is a harder than in the case of a graphics chip, because codecs have far fewer gates and are also more price sensitive. The desire to not over burden codec chips is a contributing factor in not pushing to introduce audio encryption quickly. Adding AES engines to codec chips would at best take many years, and might turn out not to be feasible. (*For discrete graphics manufacturers, the easiest mechanism to use would be PVP, because their graphics chip hardware will already be able to decrypt this.)

Establishing a session key is the hardest problem. It is not practical for an audio codec chip to do Diffie Hellman, because there is no natural math capability as there is in the case of graphics chip programmable shaders.

Providing robust hardware authentication is a big part of what PAP is about. As in the case of PVP, HFS (*Hardware Functionality Scan) can be used for hardware authentication. A codec chip is not as complex as a graphics chip, but even so there is enough sophistication that can be used in the HFS process. For PAP, the authentication would likely be done using a codec-specific user-mode authentication module that would plug into the POC component in the PUMA engine. Even though the user-mode module would be specific to a particular hardware manufacturer, the Microsoft class driver can still be used.

That still leaves the problem of how to establish a session key. Tentative plans address how to extend the HFS process to also generate a key at both ends of the wire. For want of a better name, this process is called MKey. The session key established between the Output Encryption APO and the audio codec chip would be used to encrypt a content key generated by the Output Encryption APO. It is the content key that the Output Encryption APO would use to encrypt the content.

As stated, the requirement to encrypt audio data is still many years away, and there is certainly no specification for how to do this yet. Having said that, Microsoft is eager to work with manufacturers of codec chips to plan for the future.


PUMA (Protected User Mode Audio) Architecture


Possible PAP Architecture


Here is a slide created by Realtek. This is basically a simplified version of the Microsoft slide above.


Protected Video Path (PVP)

BTW PAP Architecture is similar to PVP (Protected Video Path) Architecture.

PVP-OPM (Output Protection Management) Architecture


PVP-UAB (User Accessible Bus) Architecture


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HDMI Sound Cards – Proprietary PAP Solutions
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Since Microsoft is not going to finish the unfinished project PAP, several software and hardware manufacturers are developing its own protected audio path and a sound device supporting it. Right now the following two solutions are available (soon).

Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD and CyberLink PowerDVD

- TweakTown - CyberLink Interview for the HTPC HD Fans (April 10, 2008)

CyberLink said there are two reasons why they need a proprietary interface:
  • Uncompressed audio data would be interfered by Vista OS (mixing with other audio streams, down mix and so on), which would cause incorrect results while decrypting protected data in Audio HW/Driver).
  • Microsoft has not defined a new interface to pass new compressed audio formats supported in HDMI 1.3 (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, DD+).
The basic flow of audio (LPCM, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA) is:

PowerDVD ---> Proprietary API (no WinMM/Media Foundation/DirectX/Vista Audio Engine) ---> Audio Driver ---> Audio Device (analog or HDMI)

PowerDVD encrypts data and send it to the audio driver/device via a proprietary API. The audio device decrypts and
  • Analog: renders and output it.
  • HDMI: mux with video and output it via a HDMI transmitter/HDCP.

The product is expected in Q1 2009.

ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 and ArcSoft TotalMedia Theater

The following is an early report on this solution.

- Computex 2008 - ASUS HDAV 1.3 Update

Quote:


ASUS, with assistance from C-Media and ArcSoft, has been able to adhere to the PAPS and AACS content schemes without having to downmix the audio sources (resulting in 16-bit/48kHz DVD quality audio) or even dropping support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD altogether.


I will leave the details to the official thread: *Official* ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 thread

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MKV and FLAC – A Solution for Full-Resolution Audio without PAP
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You can remove AACS encryption by AnyDVD HD and create your own mkv files with full-resolution lossless audio track (FLAC) with eac3to and then play them in full quality with any of the multichannel LPCM solutions. A nice thread on this topic is here:

- HD to mkv .....the options are endless!!!!
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post #2 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 07:23 AM
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Bit disappointing the gap between the 4470 and 4650 - for decent HD deinterlacing the minimum is a 3650/4650, and the new card actually has higher power use. Certainly the 4650 is considerably more powerful, but for HTPC use that won't make any difference (unless they've added higher end deinterlacing). A 256bit card clocked slightly slower might have been a good idea, or a 128bit one with 100-200 SPs.

Of course if you don't deinterlace much, the 4450 looks a good product.
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post #3 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 07:33 AM
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I almost bought a 9600GT, but couldn't pull the trigger for this reason. I'll pick up a 4850 as soon as it's available.
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post #4 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 09:26 AM
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This was widely expected. Pretty much everyone will have full HD audio over HDMI. Everyone would have loved to have this shown up earlier, but if you can wait a couple months more, you'll have lots of choices.

The only thing I haven't heard confirmed from my friends at ATI is if the 780G successor, the 790GX, will have HD audio over HDMI as well, but we'll all find out in about 2 weeks as all this stuff will be released at Computex. But that was the plan internally at least awhile ago.

If the 3D video guys hadn't been late on all this stuff, some of these chipsets would have come out some earlier, but such is life. Audio isn't that hard to do, but noone was going to do a special spin just to add it.
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post #5 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 10:50 AM
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Now NVIDIA just needs to take multi-channel HDMI audio seriously with their descrete GPUs and we'll have pretty much any way we want to get proper HDMI audio from the major vendors in the PC industry.
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post #6 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:26 AM
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I have to wonder if the ATI HDMI solution will constitute a "protected path" so we can finally get non-downsampled audio? Fingers are crossed that supports TrueHD & DTS-MA bitstreaming as well.
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post #7 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

I have to wonder if the ATI HDMI solution will constitute a "protected path" so we can finally get non-downsampled audio? Fingers are crossed that supports TrueHD & DTS-MA bitstreaming as well.

AnyDVD is the best answer to this problem. Make the media appear unprotected so you don't need all the stupid PAP drivers in the first place.
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post #8 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpHeRe31459 View Post

Now NVIDIA just needs to take multi-channel HDMI audio seriously with their descrete GPUs and we'll have pretty much any way we want to get proper HDMI audio from the major vendors in the PC industry.

Some of the 9900GT's and their variants are supposed to have this capability I believe.
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post #9 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

I have to wonder if the ATI HDMI solution will constitute a "protected path" so we can finally get non-downsampled audio? Fingers are crossed that supports TrueHD & DTS-MA bitstreaming as well.

Even if it does we'll have to hope that a software vendor recognises it as such or it won't be of any use

Fingers crossed their working with Cyberlink (or Arcsoft or Corel or Nero) so that it's supported.

Wo0zy
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post #10 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

AnyDVD is the best answer to this problem. Make the media appear unprotected so you don't need all the stupid PAP drivers in the first place.

The PAP check (at least in PDVD) goes beyond AnyDVD's ability to fix. If it didn't then G35 users would have had full resolution audio for months

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post #11 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wo0zy View Post

Even if it does we'll have to hope that a software vendor recognises it as such or it won't be of any use

Fingers crossed their working with Cyberlink (or Arcsoft or Corel or Nero) so that it's supported.

Wo0zy

True, but unlike nvidia, ATI bundles at least an MPEG2 codec with their drivers, so they have more control over the system than nvidia does, since they rely exclusively on 3rd party vendors that have some questionable capabilities in this regard.
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post #12 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

True, but unlike nvidia, ATI bundles at least an MPEG2 codec with their drivers, so they have more control over the system than nvidia does, since they rely exclusively on 3rd party vendors that have some questionable capabilities in this regard.

Eh, I don't see this as being the plus you think it is. ATI's decoder is really a build of Cyberlink's version 6 filter, last time I checked (which has been a while).
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post #13 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:42 AM
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It's not really much of a plus, but mpeg2 decoders are much of a muchness anyway.

ATI's one has the nice extra that if acceleration breaks for whatever reason, it still tries to get hardware deinterlacing going. The PDVD7/8 decoders and most others won't do this (you can tweak things so that ffdshow/dscaler do, but they don't support acceleration at all).
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post #14 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arfster View Post

It's not really much of a plus, but mpeg2 decoders are much of a muchness anyway.

ATI's one has the nice extra that if acceleration breaks for whatever reason, it still tries to get hardware deinterlacing going. The PDVD7/8 decoders and most others won't do this (you can tweak things so that ffdshow/dscaler do, but they don't support acceleration at all).

Wow I didn't know that, when did that behvior come to light? That's pretty cool of ATI to enable it to still try and use hardware deinterlacing.
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post #15 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

True, but unlike nvidia, ATI bundles at least an MPEG2 codec with their drivers, so they have more control over the system than nvidia does, since they rely exclusively on 3rd party vendors that have some questionable capabilities in this regard.

TBH I don't see how MPEG-2 decoders fit into a discussion about HD audio. If we focus on commercial HD use i.e. putting a BD movie into a BD drive, if the software player doesn't recognise the hardware platform as "protected" (using a number of checks including AACS, and physical driver analysis) then you won't get full rez HD audio. No platform is supported today so without extra coding, none of the new platforms will support it either.

We know at least Cyberlink are working with a number of hardware vendors so fingers crossed.

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post #16 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arfster View Post

It's not really much of a plus, but mpeg2 decoders are much of a muchness anyway.

ATI's one has the nice extra that if acceleration breaks for whatever reason, it still tries to get hardware deinterlacing going. The PDVD7/8 decoders and most others won't do this (you can tweak things so that ffdshow/dscaler do, but they don't support acceleration at all).


Depends on the application. For PVR use ala SageTV, MPEG2 is really important, and for some reason a bunch of cards that can even h.264 with a lot of hardware assist don't for MPEG2. In any case, you can be sure that ATI is trying to maximally use their hardware acceleration features in their codec, which is not always the case with others. Cyberlink can be especially lame in this aspect.
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post #17 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 12:17 PM
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Hmm. I think I will need to wait for the next process shrink.

I have a 3850 and cannot see a good replacement The 4850 is just too power hungry and the 4650, whilst I am sure it would be OK for video would be a significant step back for 3D I think.
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post #18 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jong1 View Post

Hmm. I think I will need to wait for the next process shrink.

I have a 3850 and cannot see a good replacement The 4850 is just too power hungry and the 4650, whilst I am sure it would be OK for video would be a significant step back for 3D I think.

It's pretty well agreed these days that you need to wait for two generations to get anythin worth jumping ship for since they seem to be reusing the same design for 2 or 3 generations of products these days.

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post #19 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 03:55 PM
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From a video point of view that is certainly true. It is just this damn multi-channel audio mess that makes things a little different. Since this problem was so well understood with the 2xxx series I really thought that they would have a fix in the 3xxx series. In fact part of me still thinks they will come out with a new driver, when the protected path version of PDVD comes out, that enables it with the 3xxx series and that the 4xxx statements are merely predicting this future driver enhancement. Dreams, eh!
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post #20 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 04:22 PM
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As a current 3650 owner, I think the GC is good enough for all the BD, DVD and Recorded TV playback. As a HTPC media user, not gamer, all I need is that lossless audio format from the HTPC to receiver. I truly hope that this 4XXX GC will be able to provide that HDMI 1.3 lossless stream to my receiver.
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post #21 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

Some of the 9900GT's and their variants are supposed to have this capability I believe.

They may have new names:

- GeForce 9900 GTX -> GeForce GTX 280
- GeForce 9900 GT -> GeForce GTX 260

NVIDIA seems to be going to simplify its product names by removing suffixes (GT, GTS, GS, GTX etc.). The launch is scheduled for between June 16 and 20 (the same as Radeon HD 4800 series). They are high-end gaming cards.

GTX 280 > 9800 GX2

In the budget sector GeForce 9500 GT will be launched in July. It's just a 65 nm/PCIe 2.0/Hybrid SLI version of GeForce 8600 GT/GTS and have the same PureVideo Gen 2 (so no HA for VC-1) and there is no HDMI audio controller (hence multi-channel HDMI audio is not supported). Source: Expreview - Review: NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT,first budget card in GeForce 9 series (May 6, 2008)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

They may have new names:

- GeForce 9900 GTX -> GeForce GTX 280
- GeForce 9900 GT -> GeForce GTX 260

NVIDIA seems to be going to simplify its product names by removing suffixes (GT, GTS, GS, GTX etc.). The launch is scheduled for between June 16 and 20 (the same as Radeon HD 4800 series). They are high-end gaming cards.

GTX 280 > 9800 GX2

In the budget sector GeForce 9500 GT will be launched in July. It's just a 65 nm/PCIe 2.0/Hybrid SLI version of GeForce 8600 GT/GTS and have the same PureVideo Gen 2 (so no HA for VC-1) and there is no HDMI audio controller (hence multi-channel HDMI audio is not supported).

This is something that has totally irritated me. You can't tell which chip is in a card based on it's name, so you can't tell which gen of purevideo is in there... Having a 9500GT be the same card essentially as an 8500GT makes no sense to me, unless of course you are trying to deceive folks...
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post #23 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 09:16 PM
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sweet, if the audio works like it should and it does bitstreaming of advance codecs I'll finally upgrade my 2600XT
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post #24 of 2819 Old 05-15-2008, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

This is something that has totally irritated me. You can't tell which chip is in a card based on it's name, so you can't tell which gen of purevideo is in there... Having a 9500GT be the same card essentially as an 8500GT makes no sense to me, unless of course you are trying to deceive folks...

Sorry, I forgot to mention the source of the information:

Expreview - Review: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT, first budget card in GeForce 9 series (May 6, 2008)

This is not my personal opinion or speculation, but Expreview's opinion based on the tests they did with the actual 9500 GT card (and perhaps facts from NVIDIA insiders). For example, HD playback CPU usage is here:


Believe the review or not is up to each reader, just like every other review. BTW 9500 GT is closer to 8600 GT/GTS than 8500 GT (the number of stream processors is 32, the same as 8600 GT/GTS; that of 8500 GT is 16).
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post #25 of 2819 Old 05-16-2008, 04:23 AM
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I cuurently own a 2600XT in my HTPC and this GPU series with UVD engine was a breakthrough for HTPCs imho.

Since then there has not been one GPU which might be better suited for HTPCs, but with the new 4x00 series, I think, that I will upgrade quite soon...

7.1 audio over HDMI (hopefully HDMI 1.3), UVD2 engine ...
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post #26 of 2819 Old 05-16-2008, 05:56 AM
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I don't suppose there are any low profile versions of the 4850 in the pipeline?
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post #27 of 2819 Old 05-16-2008, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jong1 View Post

From a video point of view that is certainly true. It is just this damn multi-channel audio mess that makes things a little different. Since this problem was so well understood with the 2xxx series I really thought that they would have a fix in the 3xxx series. In fact part of me still thinks they will come out with a new driver, when the protected path version of PDVD comes out, that enables it with the 3xxx series and that the 4xxx statements are merely predicting this future driver enhancement. Dreams, eh!

The 3xxx series was really nothing more than a die shrink of the 2xxx series, so it doesn't surprise me that they didn't change anything.
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post #28 of 2819 Old 05-16-2008, 09:04 AM
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CR@P, F%CK, SH!T, G@D D@MM!T, F%CK !T T@ H$LL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK can you tell I am pissed. I just got through my return window for the ATI HD3850 and Auzentech Prelude cards I just bought! I paid somehting like $450 for those two cards and now you are telling me I could have waited and spent a lousy $150 on HD4650 and done the same thing with video and added HDMI Audio.

God I hate being an early adopter! Oh well ATI here is another couple hundred dollars of my hard earned money. Anyone want an extra ATI HD3850!
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post #29 of 2819 Old 05-16-2008, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

CR@P, F%CK, SH!T, G@D D@MM!T, F%CK !T T@ H$LL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK can you tell I am pissed. I just got through my return window for the ATI HD3850 and Auzentech Prelude cards I just bought! I paid somehting like $450 for those two cards and now you are telling me I could have waited and spent a lousy $150 on HD4650 and done the same thing with video and added HDMI Audio.

God I hate being an early adopter! Oh well ATI here is another couple hundred dollars of my hard earned money. Anyone want an extra ATI HD3850!

mpgxsvcdm

Accept ATI engineers and some managements, I don't think any outsider know that 4XXX card can do HDMI 1.3 TrueHD loudless audio format or not. I thought about the Auzentech route but after I spoke with them they told me that in July they will have all-in-one card, Prelude and X-tension, available. I am sure someone might end of that route because they don't see any need for the GC. On the other hand, I am sure a lot of people will want this 4XXX card IF it is better video and/or just loudless audio format reason alone. If 4XXX card turns out no loudless format, your route might not be that bad after all. I am with you since I just bought a 3650 2 weeks ago but it only costs me $70; not that big damage compare to you.
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post #30 of 2819 Old 05-16-2008, 12:47 PM
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mpgxsvcdmI am with you since I just bought a 3650 2 weeks ago but it only costs me $70; not that big damage compare to you.

I just bought a MSI 3650 with the $20 rebate for $50 from Newegg. I don't feel bad about this because it has an Integral HDMI connector. By the time ATI has sorted the connectors on the cards or the dongles someone will come out with a card that has a built in HDMI connector.

It took me this long to find a 3650 card that would fit in my Shuttle that had a silent enough fan and the built in HDMI connector. Judging from their track record for 2*** & 3*** why would AMD/ATI change their practice even if it is HDMI 1.3. I am sure they come up with some cackle mania idea of why it takes longer to get a HDMI connector on the card.
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