HTPC Sound - how to - AVS Forum
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I am bit new to HTPC, although I am using now my old PC to play movies and music. First let me explain my goal. I want to watch DVDs (and in the future BD) in 5.1 setup and I would like to get good sound and picture. The picture is not an issue as according to review on Tomsharware.com, today's graphic cards can beat even high-end DVD players in picture quality. But the sound is an issue.

My first intention was to buy DVD player, hook it up to A/V receiver, and then hook my speakers to the receiver. Well later I change my mind, I though I could use my old PC, which was laying around, instead of the DVD player, and maybe I could later buy BD-Drive to it, so I could watch BD. And I would save some money that way. I thought I will connect my PC to the receiver through the S/PDIF and I am done. Well things are not so easy. According to one article on the web, the S/PDIF can output only uncompressed stereo or DD. So if I try to output anything else than DD, the soundcard has to compress it to DD, which is lossy. So I wouldn't be able to make use of TrueHD form BD. Some people on web recommended using analog feed from sound card to receiver. So questions are:

1. if I want to feed my receiver with analog signal, I should get really high quality sound card, and my receiver would act only as an amplifier. Therefore, wouldn't it be better to use instead of receiver an amplifier? I guess I could get, for the same money as I would spend on receiver, much better amplifier (because I wouldn't need the decoding circuits which are present in receiver).

2. is there a sound card which outputs audio through HDMI (1.3), so I could feed my receiver with uncompressed audio for all channels?
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:02 PM
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Some possibilities are:

1. Getting a Radeon HD4850 which will take care of your video AND lossless audio needs.

2. Getting a Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 audio card.

3. Go with an integrated video/audio HDMI out motherboard such as the Geforce 8200 or the Intel G45 series.
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