This is the exact same review I posted on the other site with some added info.
The long wait is over. Bitstreaming of lossless audio is now possible with Asus Xonar 1.3a sound card for the first time in HTPC history. Read the following wee review.
- Athlon X2 6000+ 3.0GHz
- ASUS M3N-H/HDMI GeForce 8300 motherboard
- Kingston DDR2-800 4GB
- ASUS GeForce 8500 GT graphics card
- Pioneer BDR-202BK BD drive
- Sony BWU-100A Rewritable BD Drive
- Furukawa HDMI cables
- Windows Vista ultimate SP1 32-bit with latest updates
- Arcsoft TMT special version
- Integra 8.8 receiver
- Optoma HD81 1080p DLP projector
- Carver THX power amps +B&W speakers + SVS PB-13 Ultra Subwoofer
Installation of the Xonar was a fairly strait and easy process, and then I reformatted the hard drive, re-installed and updated Vista. Driver installation went off without a hitch. ASUS' drivers disk is fully automated, and took care of everything needed to use all the features on the Xonar.There were several other CDs that were included, but I didn't really bother with them.Once installed, the Xonar Audio HDAV Center is where all the action is. From here you can control every aspect of the sound card.
I plugged HDMI output from my video card into the HDMI input on the HDAV sound card and then from sound card to the receiver.If the video card produces sound, it should be turned off. The HDAV adds the sound to the video, process it via the Splended HD engine and send strait to the reciever to do the decoding.The "Splendid HD" video processor adds additional definition to the already fine image, More importantly, I didn't notice any degradation in image quality via the HDMI pass-through process on my Optoma HD81 projector.Remember, if You want, the video and audio can be sent separately.
Ok, I then fired up everything and put "I robot" BD into the Pioneer BD drive and closed the tray, within a few seconds TMT started play back and then the front panel of my reciever lit up and indicated that it was receiving DTS-HD MA signal.This was the second time I have seen DTS-HD MA logo lights up on the reciever. ( I first saw it at Asus demo room) when it comes to quality,the Xonar doesn't disappoint, while producing splendid 1080p images it really shines and brings life to the HTPC world with fantastic,crisp and clear sound quality . My basement was almost rocked with bombastic sound field.A real workout to my SVS sub.There was a miner issue with the TMT though. True HD tracks can't be processed at the moment but that will be fixed with an updated patch in the coming days. Meanwhile LPCM,DD+,DTS HD etc... working fine.So There you go bitstreaming finally.wonderful!!!
Fantastic audio/video quality for the price.
Note:This version of TMT does not play HD/BDs from the HDD.Here is what exactly happend. When I selected the folder, the screen goes black for a second as if its about to play, then jumps back to the TMT home screen.This happened with Mission impossible 3 and Die hard 4.0. Is it a problem with my system or what? Sorry I don't have any ISOs to try (never made any ISOs, 350+ BDs in my room) I will make an ISO tonight and give it a try.Anyway I will contact both Asus and Arcsoft next Monday (Sep 1st) and give you guys a confirmation.I did't have time to test the daughter card.