*Official* HTPC HDMI HD Audio + Video Roundup Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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(LAST UPDATED 12/5/2008)

We are at a point where there are a number of options for setting up a HTPC with a single HDMI connection for HS audio and HD video - basically like a regular Home Theater component. That's a great thing, as just a year ago there were basically no options. This thread is to capture the current state of the world as it relates to accomplishing this goal. We're far from perfect, but we're getting closer with each new product release.

===> If you're not interested the single HDMI HD solution, then no need to read further.
===> If you already have one of these solutions, but aren't interested in something new, no need to read further (head over to the thread dedicated to your solution)

Note - I own, and continue to use and test everything in this list except the Xonar. I test with 1080i MPEG2, MPEG4, 1080p BD and HDDVD ISO's, MKV's, MKV's with FLAC, AVC HD 24p/30p/60i, and many other SD and HD formats using multiple commercial and freeware players and media centers, including TMT, PDVD, MPC, VMC/MCE, MP, XBMC, and others.

SUMMARY
First, there are three main ways of getting HD audio and HD video out of a HTPC over a single HDMI connection - IGP, dedicated HDMI graphics card, and dedicated HDMI audio card.

IGP
This is an integrated solution, where the graphics processing is on the motherboard. The main advantage of this solution is that you basically only need the motherboard to have a complete HTPC setup, resulting is low-power, low-heat, and a very slim form factor. The main disadvantage is that the graphics chips tend to be powered to just barely meet HD video needs, and as a result are pretty much useless for anything else (e.g. gaming). Also, any "all-in-one" solution can be a problem, as in the process of trying to do everything, it can end up doing no single thing particularly well.

Dedicated HDMI Graphics Card
This option lets you buy any motherboard you want, and then pop in a graphics cards that support HD audio and HD video over a single HDMI out. The main advantages of this option is that you get to pick-and-choose your motherboard and graphics card more, and you end up with a much more powerful graphics card, suitable for HD video as well as gaming, and support SLI/Crossfire. The main disadvantage is that you're closer to a full PC, with more heat and power and noise.

Dedicated HDMI audio card
With this option, you can pick any motherboard and graphics card you want, and you simply pass the HDMI video through the HDMI audio card. The audio card then "merges" the HD audio into the video, and sends the combined stream out HDMI. The main advantage of this option is that you have the most flexibility, picking each of your components separately. The main disadvantage is that this is now a full PC, with all the power, heat, and sound requirements.

PAP/PAVP and Bitstreaming
One more thing that's important is called "Protected Audio Path"/"Protected Audio/Video Path". This is the only way to get bitstreaming support - that is, sending the audio stream directly to your AVR/pre-pro without touching it in any way. While technically, the PC can convert everything to LPCM and it should be absolutely identical (it's just math to decode the streams), the reality is that the PC players often mess with the sound as part of the decoding and end up screwing it up in the process. So while bitstreaming should be technically unnecessary, it's clear we need it (for now) to get the best sound possible from the software players.

The only way to get the untouched sound is with a PAP/PAVP, which must be supported by the audio/video hardware, the drivers, and the software players.


IGP Options
The following is an up-to-date list of current IGP, or single motherboard solutions:

Intel G35 - Obsolete, replaced by G45
This is mostly obsolete at this point, as it's been replaced by the G45 (see next). This is a competant motherboard solution, but Intel removed 24p support soon after release due to timing issues (it has recently been added back, but like the G45, it's one of the worst 24p solutions out there). The G35 also has limited hardware acceleration for HD video formats, so you need a significant CPU to play back much more than MPEG HD video. It requires a fair amount of tinkering to get it working right, but once you do, it's not bad. The audio is good, with full 7.1 LPCM support. There is no support for PAP/PAVP.
Overall rating: 5 out of 10

Intel G35 Thread


Intel G45
This is the newest IGP solution from Intel. It is an improvement over the G35, with hardware acceleration for all HD video formats, and a promise of PAP/PAVP. The initial setup is slightly better than the G35, but we're in the same boat of having to tinker with a bunch of different components to get it working properly, and 24p support is still not quite right (one of the worse of this bunch). The PAP/PAVP appears to be a non-starter that Intel is abandoning, so don't expect any bitstreaming from this motherboard. Right now it's only a minor improvement to the G35.
Overall rating: 6 out of 10

Intel G45 Thread - Gigabyte mATX
Intel G45 Thread - Intel mATX
Intel G45 Thread - Intel mITX


nVidia 8200/8300
This is the first AMD-based IGP solution, and it supports "Hybrid SLI", which lets you use a (limited) number of dedicated graphics cards to augment the IGP graphics capabilities. This is the only solution with silky-smooth 24p playback and no audio drift. No 5.1 support (only 7.1), which isn't a huge deal, and has the silent-stream bug, also not a huge deal. If you prefer AMD over Intel and want an IGP solution, this is your only choice. If you prefer Intel, go for the 9300/9400 (see below). Requires Phenom X3 or better to be safe, of the xx50 variety. No PAP/PAVP.
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10

nVidia 8200/8300 Thread


nVidia 9300/9400
The Intel equivalent of the 8200/8300. Supports silky-smooth 24p, and has the 5.1/7.1 big fixed. Still has the silent-stream issue (no big deal), but still no PAP/PAVP. All the same positives as the 8200/8300, but now with an Intel chip. (Some people have reported heat issues with the NB, but this might just be an anomoly.)
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10

nVidia 9300/9400 Thread


Dedicated Graphics Card Options
The following is an up-to-date list of dedicated graphics cards options with HD audio and HD video over a single HDMI cable:

Radeon 45xx/46xx/48xx
This is the first HD audio/HD video graphics card released, and it's fairly impressive. Just as a regular graphics card, it's very powerful and more than adequate for gaming, and it supports Crossfire (48xx series). It also fully supports hardware acceleration for all HD video formats, and fully supports 7.1 LPCM HD audio. The setup isn't too bad, but for some reason ATI doesn't put the audio drivers on their site, so you have to dig them up from the RealTek site (called HD audio codecs on the RealTek site - apparently also available now on the ATI site). 24p support is nearly perfect, with only a very slight stutter every few minutes (perhaps with ArcSoft TMT only), likely not noticable by most people on normal displays. The only real issue with the card is it doesn't have a PAP/PAVP, so the audio issues introduced by the software players are present when using this card.
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10

Radeon 4850/4870 Thread
Radeon 4850/4870 Thread (non-gamers)


Dedicated HDMI Audio Cards
The following is a list of dedicated HD audio cards that support HDMI video passthrough and PAP/PAVP:

Asus Xonar HDAV - (note - this is the only item on this list I don't own, due to how bad it currently is)
This dedicated sound card is designed to support HDMI video passthrough with a PAP for HD audio over the same HDMI cable. Currently works only with a proprietary version of ArcSoft TMT (not the commercial one). This card is currently the only solution available for bitstreaming HD audio, but it's got some issues. The current release doesn't support 24p (appears to be a hardware limitation), and has a very shaky driver release history, with long gaps between updates. It also has a "Splendid" video engine that seems to harm the video more than it helps it when it's turned on (thanks to a new driver release this can be turned off, but it still prevents 24p passthrough). Why they added any sort of video processing to a sound card makes no sense to me. Asus has announced that they are replacing the current card with new hardware (to support 24p), and will be releasing a new card that is truly a video-passthrough card. Once these are released, I'll reevaluate, but until then, this card is not worth purchasing (it's effectively been pre-obsoleted by the Asus announcement).
Unrated due to too many issues and pending replacement card - Don't even bother with this card (right now)

Asus Xonar HDAV Thread


Auzentech HDMI - Not Released Yet
Same as the ASUS, but hopefully actually working. Initial release will only work with PowerDVD.



Evaluation Criteria
The primary criteria used to evaluate the solutions are the following items, listed mostly in order of importance:

- Works over a single HDMI cable
- Can play multiple SD and HD video formats, including (but not limited to) HD MPEG2, HD MPEG4, AVCHD, BD/HDDVD ISO, MKV, MKV FLAC, SD ISO, AVC, MPEG2, MPEG4
- Supports judder-free 24p
- Has full hardware acceleration for all HD video formats
- Supports all HD audio codecs (either as LPCM or bitstream, both have advantages and disadvantages)
- Supports all software players
- Runs very quiet and cool and low-power

There are a lot of other items that are important and tested, but these are the main ones. Remember this is for a HTPC, so the testing is geared towards HTPC use. If you don't care about some of the items above, then one of the lower-rated solutions might be okay for you.



CONCLUSION - As of 12/5/2008
As of today, the best overall solution is the nVidia 8200/8300 (AMD) and 9300/9400 (Intel). These IGPs are more than powerful enough for HD video, are the only solution with silky-smooth 24p with no audio drift, are relatively easy to set up, and seem to be supported in all applications. The 8200/8300 requires a Phenom xx50 X3 or better to ensure smooth playback and post-processing/proper deinterlacing. However they doesn't support PAP/PAVP, and the 8200/8300 has no 5.1 config (the 9300/9400 does), so this crown could quickly shift to another option once the software players and hardware and drivers allow for bitstreaming.

If you want to play games on your HTPC, then the 4850/4870 is your best solution. Not quite as good at 24p, and some audio drift at 24p with TMT, but better than anything else (other than the 8200/8300/9300/9400). Will run hotter and louder since it's not IGP.


OTHER ISSUES
Software Players - These are still notoriously difficult to work with. The primary players (for full discs with menu support) are ArcSoft Total Media Theater and Cyberlink PowerDVD. Both players support HD audio and HD video in similar ways, and both players have their share of problems. The good news is that there is competition, so we are seeing improvements and hopefully, eventually, will get a solid solution. (There are other players that support playing a "ripped" version of just the HD movie, but that's for another thread.)

ArcSoft TMT Thread
CyberLink PowerDVD 8 Thread

Bit Stripping/Down Sampling - Due to the lack of a PAP/PAVP, the current batch of software players (see above) are messing with the sound before sending it out over HDMI. Specifically, they are downsampling to 48Khz, and bitstripping to 16 bits. While the HD audio is still substantially better than the non-HD audio, and most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between 48/16 and 48/24 or 96/24, the reality is that the software players are introducing audio artifacts in the process, including audio drift and some minor periodic audio static. PAP/PAVP and Bitstreaming will solve this problem. However with the nVidia 8200/8300/9300/9400, you can get basically perfect HD audio and video, and just ignore the bitstreaming.

AVR Issues - For some AVRs and some graphics options, there are additional potential problems (mostly with older Denons, Onkyos, and Yamaha AVRs with older firmware). This comes in two flavors - one is where the HTPC thinks you only have 2 channels of sound, and is the "EDID" variety of the problem (this can be fixed by purchasing an "HDMI Detective" from Gefen). The other prevents encrypted video sources from being played because the HTPC doesn't think you have an HDCP compliant connection to the TV, and is the "Repeater Bug" variety of the problem (this can be fixed by puchasing AnyDVD HD). These problems are mostly annoyances, and can be resolved through spending more money, but it's annoying and shouldn't be required.

See your AVR Thread in this Forum
HDMI EDID/HDCP issues thread

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post #2 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 09:14 AM
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Quote: "AVR Issues - For some AVRs and some graphics options, there are additional potential problems (mostly with older Denons, Onkyos, and Yamaha AVRs with older firmware). This comes in two flavors - one is where the HTPC thinks you only have 2 channels of sound, and is the "EDID" variety of the problem (this can be fixed by purchasing an "HDMI Detective" from Gefen). The other prevents encrypted video sources from being played because the HTPC doesn't think you have an HDCP compliant connection to the TV, and is the "Repeater Bug" variety of the problem (this can be fixed by puchasing AnyDVD HD). These problems are mostly annoyances, and can be resolved through spending more money, but it's annoying and shouldn't be required.

See your AVR Thread in this Forum[/quote]"



Not to thread jack but rather compliment your last section's topic, I have a small thread which I have searched for working graphics cards and AVR combos.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post14428983
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post #3 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I currently have the Gigabyte G45 board and have an Asus P5Q (P45) board showing up today that I will pair with the Asus 3650. I want to test both out to see which one will work out the best. Since I plan on getting the ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 I am not too worried about HDMI audio.

I see that you recommend the 4850 (too large for my case); video wise (no games) do you think the 3650 will be pretty similar to it?

It looks like the ASUS Xonar has a HD video chip on it? Wonder if that makes the other video card a non-issue. If the Xonar lives up to hype maybe the best solution is a G45 with a Xonar.
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post #4 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkgriffin View Post

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I currently have the Gigabyte G45 board and have an Asus P5Q (P45) board showing up today that I will pair with the Asus 3650. I want to test both out to see which one will work out the best. Since I plan on getting the ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 I am not too worried about HDMI audio.

I see that you recommend the 4850 (too large for my case); video wise (no games) do you think the 3650 will be pretty similar to it?

It looks like the ASUS Xonar has a HD video chip on it? Wonder if that makes the other video card a non-issue. If the Xonar lives up to hype maybe the best solution is a G45 with a Xonar.

The 3650 + Xonar should be more than enough for non-gaming.

The video chip on the Xonar would likely be just for merging the video stream and providing a PAVP, not for actual video. But I haven't seen the specs yet, so I can't say for sure.

The G45 + Xonar would actually be overkill (both should have PAP/PAVP - will that even work?), but could be a nice combo, avoiding the heat and power of another video card (if the G45 gets 24p right). But I would probably go for more what you are doing, which is a cheaper graphics card with the Xonar.

The issue for video is still real 24p support. As far as I can tell, nothing supports this flawlessly yet. The 4850 is the closest, so I'm sticking with that as the best video option until something else is better, even with the Xonar.

Native 24p output support is critical for a real HD HTPC.

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post #5 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 10:01 AM
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Yeah I will almost definitely be returning the G45 and going with the 3650/Xonar combo. That way if someone makes a perfect 24p card I can just swap it in.

Any idea if the 3650 will come close to the 4850 in 24p performance?

I can't wait for the day when the vendors have perfected HD video on a HTPC.
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post #6 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbMagFab View Post

AVR Issues - For some AVRs and some graphics options, there are additional potential problems (mostly with older Denons, Onkyos, and Yamaha AVRs with older firmware). This comes in two flavors - one is where the HTPC thinks you only have 2 channels of sound, and is the "EDID" variety of the problem (this can be fixed by purchasing an "HDMI Detective" from Gefen). The other prevents encrypted video sources from being played because the HTPC doesn't think you have an HDCP compliant connection to the TV, and is the "Repeater Bug" variety of the problem (this can be fixed by puchasing AnyDVD HD). These problems are mostly annoyances, and can be resolved through spending more money, but it's annoying and shouldn't be required.

I would change this to read something like:

There are AVR issues for some AVRs and some graphics card combinations. There are additional potential problems with older Denons, Onkyos, and ALL new Yamaha AVRs. The Denon and Onkyo receiver problems can be resolved with either a firmware update or by using a specific HDMI input. However, the issue where the Yamaha receivers are detected as a DVI device instead of an HDMI device can not be resolved without an additional $130 Gefen DVI Detective Plus.

See this thread for issues with Yamaha receivers and the ATI 4850 and 4870 video/audio cards.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post14164770
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post #7 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkgriffin View Post

Yeah I will almost definitely be returning the G45 and going with the 3650/Xonar combo. That way if someone makes a perfect 24p card I can just swap it in.

Any idea if the 3650 will come close to the 4850 in 24p performance?

I can't wait for the day when the vendors have perfected HD video on a HTPC.

Same here. I plan to stick my 3650 back and using that with Xonar HDMI too.
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post #8 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

The Denon and Onkyo receiver problems can be resolved with either a firmware update or by using a specific HDMI input.

Is there a firmware update for the Denon 3806 that fixes the EDID problem?
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post #9 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 11:48 AM
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I'm curious what features or performance factors you two thought you were getting with the G45 and have decided you aren't getting and are therefore returning it?

Also, which G45 board did you have, and did you actually try it yourself and were disappointed with the results, or are you relying on someone else's report of a shortcoming?
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post #10 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon74 View Post

I'm curious what features or performance factors you two thought you were getting with the G45 and have decided you aren't getting and are therefore returning it?

Also, which G45 board did you have, and did you actually try it yourself and were disappointed with the results, or are you relying on someone else's report of a shortcoming?

I'm not returning mine, but I was hoping for better overall graphics performance, and working 24p out of the box. I'm also concerned that the GB G45 doesn't have a PAVP BIOS setting (where the Intel boards do).

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post #11 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 12:54 PM
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So here is my question and i have asked it a lot, and can never seem to get an answer with any real confidence.
the 4850 is a great option from everywhere that i have read. However that assumes that you have HA (hardware acceleration) enabled.
I personally have a lot of movie rips, which probably aren't HA.
(for the record i own the movies, i am just required to leave them at home for the family when i go to school, and i'm only buying them once)
So with that being the case, i want to be able to play '1080p' x264 files that range from 4-8 gigs. what is the 'best' option for me, knowing that most movies will not have HA.
I currently have my old gaming rig which is a 4400 X2 (939), 2 gigs of ram, and a 7800. I do not believe that even with coreAVC it is powerful enough to decode most of the files. I haven't thoroughly test it yet though. However, it might be able to.
Does anyone have thoughts on this? In a perfect world i would just get a 5000 X2 or sometihng and save the money for other things.
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Also, 1080/24p support is not just limited by support of the hardware but the software must support it as well. I found that PowerDVD 8 supports 24p but WinDVD 9 does not. This will affect many people with slower systems as WinDVD 9 seems to rely on the CPU for some reason with 24p.

Easy way to tell this is on a single core system, test a video and it;ll be running extremely slow like a really slow slideshow while audio is normal.
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post #13 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbird2150 View Post

So here is my question and i have asked it a lot, and can never seem to get an answer with any real confidence.
the 4850 is a great option from everywhere that i have read. However that assumes that you have HA (hardware acceleration) enabled.
I personally have a lot of movie rips, which probably aren't HA.
(for the record i own the movies, i am just required to leave them at home for the family when i go to school, and i'm only buying them once)
So with that being the case, i want to be able to play '1080p' x264 files that range from 4-8 gigs. what is the 'best' option for me, knowing that most movies will not have HA.
I currently have my old gaming rig which is a 4400 X2 (939), 2 gigs of ram, and a 7800. I do not believe that even with coreAVC it is powerful enough to decode most of the files. I haven't thoroughly test it yet though. However, it might be able to.
Does anyone have thoughts on this? In a perfect world i would just get a 5000 X2 or sometihng and save the money for other things.

I play 1080p x264 stuff on my 3800x2 and old GF6800 with no problems at all. Just install the CCP and media player classic and you should be fine. The codec and player make a big difference.
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post #14 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbird2150 View Post

So here is my question and i have asked it a lot, and can never seem to get an answer with any real confidence.
the 4850 is a great option from everywhere that i have read. However that assumes that you have HA (hardware acceleration) enabled.
I personally have a lot of movie rips, which probably aren't HA.
(for the record i own the movies, i am just required to leave them at home for the family when i go to school, and i'm only buying them once)
So with that being the case, i want to be able to play '1080p' x264 files that range from 4-8 gigs. what is the 'best' option for me, knowing that most movies will not have HA.
I currently have my old gaming rig which is a 4400 X2 (939), 2 gigs of ram, and a 7800. I do not believe that even with coreAVC it is powerful enough to decode most of the files. I haven't thoroughly test it yet though. However, it might be able to.
Does anyone have thoughts on this? In a perfect world i would just get a 5000 X2 or sometihng and save the money for other things.


The movie isn't what has HA, it's the hardware. The 4850 happily HA x264 content using both PDVD and TMT UIs, last I checked. However the container might make a difference. If it's an MKV container, I think you'll be fine.

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post #15 of 396 Old 08-12-2008, 01:32 PM
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you can reencode your mkv's to be compliant but then you lose subtitles using dxva unless you use mpc-hc. with a software solution like coreavc you get all the functionality of the mkv container when you install directvobsub. there is no elegant solution to this for playing mkv and retaining subtitles with HA using a frontend like vmc.

cheapest solution would be to reencode (maybe you can setup a batch process to run). most convenient solution without having to worry about compatibility is a beefy processor for software decoding. somebody please correct me if my conclusions about dxva and subtitles are incorrect.

Now that nvidia has released drivers that support cuda, i hope an open source team (ffmpeg) or coreavc would utilize the gpu to help decode noncompliant video streams. That would be ideal, but probably just wishful thinking.

http://www.nvidia.com/content/forcewithin/us/index.html
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post #16 of 396 Old 08-13-2008, 07:19 AM
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Here is something interesting that I am seeing with Arcsoft’s TMT! I really don’t know what to make of it. Can anyone help me understand what is going on here?

OK, I finally got around to installing Arcsoft TMT today. I had been using Nero and PowerDVD with my ATI 4850HD until now. Both of those programs ALWAYS gave me 48 Khz 7.1 Channel PCM with Windows XP pro. There is no way to adjust the Khz or Bit depth in XP so it always just outputs 48 Khz. Or at least it did until today!

I popped in my 96 Khz 24 Bit Chris Botti Blu-ray and fired up TMT. I started the disc and selected the lossless track. Then I checked my receiver(Yamaha RX-V663) and what do you know? I saw 96 Khz 7.1 Channel PCM on my receiver for the first time ever! My receiver does not report bit depth so I could not determine that.

Next, I tried several disks that were 48 Khz and 16 bit and all of the those still showed 96 Khz. Finally, I tried a DVD and it showed 48 Khz.

So what does all of this mean? I am not sure! It sure looks like TMT is up converting the majority of the Blu-rays to 96 Khz and it plays all DVDs at 48 Khz. I guess the real question is what does it do with 96 Khz Blu-rays? Does it output them naturally at 96 Khz or does it down convert them before up converting them?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post14434007
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post #17 of 396 Old 08-13-2008, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for this thread! Some day we'll get actual HD Audio and 24p working. Right? Some day? Please?
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post #18 of 396 Old 08-13-2008, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Zon74 View Post

I'm curious what features or performance factors you two thought you were getting with the G45 and have decided you aren't getting and are therefore returning it?

Also, which G45 board did you have, and did you actually try it yourself and were disappointed with the results, or are you relying on someone else's report of a shortcoming?

It really came down to overall system features with my decision and not completely performance.

If I was building a small HTPC I would definitely go with the G45. The drivers should be able to mature in time and I think it is the best mATX option. But, since I am using an Omaura TF11 that can easily handle an ATX board I decided to go with that because 1) gives me a lot more SATA ports for my 6 HDs and 1 Blu-ray drive. 2) gives me more expansion options with the extra PCI slots. 3) I can use the currently more stable (24p) ATI 3650 card. 4) and the fact that I decided to go with the Asus Xonar to hopefully get bitstreaming sooner.

Right now I just feel the approach I am taking now will give me the best performance "right now". The G45 might end up being better down the road.

EDIT: I have the Gigabyte board. I did ordered the Intel board too but refused delivery once I decided to go the ATX route to avoid restocking fees and return shipping. If I was going to go with the G45 I would probably wait until the Asus board is release and tested. Second option would be the Intel board. There are just some things with the Gigabyte board I don't like ie: gimped PCIe slot and lack of some options in the bios like PAP.
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post #19 of 396 Old 08-19-2008, 07:31 PM
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Until the Xonar solution or Auzentech 7.1 I prepose renethx's 8200 add/on graphics is sweetest. And it's been the best solution so far.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post13897618

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post #20 of 396 Old 08-19-2008, 11:51 PM
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Im wondering why the AMD 780g and 790gx isnt mentioned in the IGP list?
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post #21 of 396 Old 08-20-2008, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

Until the Xonar solution or Auzentech 7.1 I prepose renethx's 8200 add/on graphics is sweetest. And it's been the best solution so far.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post13897618

Well, while that solution works, it's not an elegant solution and more of a workaround. Also, AbMagFab states that this thread is "for setting up a HTPC with a single HDMI connection for HS audio and HD video." I personally don't think it's a big deal for 1 hdmi for video and 1 hdmi for audio, however it does add cost and you may run into lipsynch issues, etc.

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Im wondering why the AMD 780g and 790gx isnt mentioned in the IGP list?

Why would they? They don't support multi-channel LPCM and therefore don't properly support HD Audio.
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post #22 of 396 Old 08-20-2008, 02:53 AM
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Well, while that solution works, it's not an elegant solution and more of a workaround. Also, AbMagFab states that this thread is "for setting up a HTPC with a single HDMI connection for HS audio and HD video." I personally don't think it's a big deal for 1 hdmi for video and 1 hdmi for audio, however it does add cost and you may run into lipsynch issues, etc.



Why would they? They don't support multi-channel LPCM and therefore don't properly support HD Audio.

ok, i was under the false assumption that it did support it.

so i guess i made the right choice to pick up a 4850 then.
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post #23 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
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Im wondering why the AMD 780g and 790gx isnt mentioned in the IGP list?

I wonder the same.
Howcome noone is concidering these chipsets?
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post #24 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I wonder the same.
Howcome noone is concidering these chipsets?

They don't support multi-channel LPCM or HD audio bitstream and therefore don't properly support HD Audio.

TiVo is on it's way out - stream everything!
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post #25 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoked View Post

Well, while that solution works, it's not an elegant solution and more of a workaround. Also, AbMagFab states that this thread is "for setting up a HTPC with a single HDMI connection for HS audio and HD video." I personally don't think it's a big deal for 1 hdmi for video and 1 hdmi for audio, however it does add cost and you may run into lipsynch issues, etc.

If you are OK with the software decoding of the HD audio stream, the 8200 solution allows both audio (7.1 LPCM) and video on the same HDMI cable.

I see no mention here of video quality benchmarks between the proposed alternatives. Considering there is no clear winner, they would help a lot in making the final decision.
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post #26 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aslg View Post

If you are OK with the software decoding of the HD audio stream, the 8200 solution allows both audio (7.1 LPCM) and video on the same HDMI cable.

I see no mention here of video quality benchmarks between the proposed alternatives. Considering there is no clear winner, they would help a lot in making the final decision.

The 8200 is listed.

All HQV benchmarks are all pretty similar so far. And HQV is an emotionally debated measurement technique, and it's hard to separate the display from the graphics card/IGP and software player.

TiVo is on it's way out - stream everything!
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post #27 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 10:33 AM
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AbMagFab,

Might want to mention that the 8200 does 1080p/24 without issues. Hopefully Intel can get it working properly on the G45.
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post #28 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 08:19 PM
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Is the Radeon HD 4870 any better of a choice to use now ?
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post #29 of 396 Old 08-22-2008, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
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Is the Radeon HD 4870 any better of a choice to use now ?

I think that depends if you are playing a lot of games. No games I don't think there is an improvement. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
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post #30 of 396 Old 08-23-2008, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the Radeon HD 4870 any better of a choice to use now ?

Only if you have hardcore games. It's a lot more expensive, and adds no value for BD/HD playback. And the 4850 is pretty darn good for most games as well.

For a HTPC, the 4850 is still better. But the 4870 is an awesome card.

TiVo is on it's way out - stream everything!
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