*Official* Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I think it's coming soon. ASUS usually doesn't have a hint of product info until right before the release:
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=25&l2=150
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...55&modelmenu=1
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...55&modelmenu=2
No drivers yet though.
Any thoughts on when this is pop out of ASUS?

Has anyone else noticed the added product page? I'm almost certain that by now, the 4000-series ATI cards will have only limited LPCM with no PAP and so no different than the analog I'm using now.
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post #2 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 07:44 AM
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I was told that there is a delay and we won't see it until the end of August.

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post #3 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

I was told that there is a delay and we won't see it until the end of August.

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post #4 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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In that case, how certain are we that the 4850 won't do bitstream (almost certain, right)? How about PAP LPCM like the PS3 does? if so I wonder if I should even bother waiting for the 4650 and just get the 3650. If I end up getting the Xonar, I don't see how the 4650 would be a leg up if it's just for watching movies.. In my experience with computer equipment, it's either available at release, or it won't be at all and they throw it in the next gen like a year later..


I'm hobbling along with a NVIDIA 7300GT with no HDCP (yeah, I'm cheating, guess with what app), so I really need to upgrade this card anyways.
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post #5 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 10:23 AM
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If my 4850 did lossless PCM, I would not buy the Xonar or the Auzen soultion. No need. Unfortunately, there is no word from ATI, Arcsoft, or Cyberlink, if this will ever happen. I don't know what the mystery is.

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post #6 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 10:43 AM
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Has anyone ever done a blind comparison between say the 4800 series (LPCM downconverted) and a set-top player (Pany BD50) and been able to tell the difference between them?

Or better yet, blind test between PC playing the native BD (downsampled) and a rip in another player (not downsampled)?

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #7 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hceuterpe View Post

In that case, how certain are we that the 4850 won't do bitstream (almost certain, right)? How about PAP LPCM like the PS3 does? if so I wonder if I should even bother waiting for the 4650 and just get the 3650. If I end up getting the Xonar, I don't see how the 4650 would be a leg up if it's just for watching movies.. In my experience with computer equipment, it's either available at release, or it won't be at all and they throw it in the next gen like a year later...

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If my 4850 did lossless PCM, I would not buy the Xonar or the Auzen soultion. No need. Unfortunately, there is no word from ATI, Arcsoft, or Cyberlink, if this will ever happen. I don't know what the mystery is.

I agree with Lawguy.

Today, we just simply don't know that (below) can do bitstream loseless or not:
1) 4850.
2) With future non-OEM players such as TMT or PDVD.
3) With future OEM players come with Asus or Azuentech HDMI sound card players such as TMT or PDVD.

With these, unless it is some magic that we don't know or hack for #2, otherwise most likely if anyone looking to bit stream add on solution for BD playback in HTPC, not MB route, in the near future, I afraid Asus or Auzentech HDMI sound cards will be the only solution.

If it turns out some magic or someone can hack #2, then 4850 (gamers) or 4650 (non-gamers) will be the best single add on for BD playback HTPC solution. But I doubt it BIG time.
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post #8 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Or better yet, blind test between PC playing the native BD (downsampled) and a rip in another player (not downsampled)?

How to do that today?
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post #9 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 11:32 AM
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I wonder if Cyberlink has fixed their bug (perhaps intentional bug) that downsamples even unprotected HD audio in PDVD. Way back in October already they were playing stupid saying it's not supposed to be that way, and if it's still the case in the latest version of PDVD, then something else is up besides a matter of bugfixing.

Perhaps they think people will use AnyDVDHD to remove AACS flag and be able to bitstream without PAP. If that's the case I don't see how what people do after the fact is Cyberlink's problem. If they've fulfilled AACS requirements to downsample protected HD audio then why take it one step further and play cat and mouse with end users and HD audio? Paranoia they'll find the AACS's foot implanted in their a$$ when word gets out AnyDVDHD gets around encrypted audio path the way it does for video path?
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post #10 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 11:44 AM
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There was a recent article in Home Theater Mag or Sound and Vision or one of those that did a comparison between the new HD Audio codecs and the previous generation of Dolby and DTS. Some ridiculously high percentage of listeners (whom were not all just average folks off the street, but self-described audiophiles) couldn't tell the difference between those two formats. I would wager that downsampled LPCM would be really difficult to differentiate from PAP non-downsampled LPCM. Furthermore, isn't it relatively understood that unless you have high end receivers and speakers then you are unlikely to be able to detect the difference because your hardware can't make the difference clear enough? Some folks on here may be able to hear the difference, but I bet in a comparison, a lot of us wouldn't be able to detect a distinction.

I still like stranger89's idea of the test though. We're ahead of the curve here with what new HTPC tech does and doesn't do.

Just a thought.
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post #11 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by redtyler1 View Post

There was a recent article in Home Theater Mag or Sound and Vision or one of those that did a comparison between the new HD Audio codecs and the previous generation of Dolby and DTS. Some ridiculously high percentage of listeners (whom were not all just average folks off the street, but self-described audiophiles) couldn't tell the difference between those two formats. I would wager that downsampled LPCM would be really difficult to differentiate from PAP non-downsampled LPCM. Furthermore, isn't it relatively understood that unless you have high end receivers and speakers then you are unlikely to be able to detect the difference because your hardware can't make the difference clear enough? Some folks on here may be able to hear the difference, but I bet in a comparison, a lot of us wouldn't be able to detect a distinction.

I still like stranger89's idea of the test though. We're ahead of the curve here with what new HTPC tech does and doesn't do.

...and I would wager that if your city government decided to begin injecting fractional percentage levels of chlorine chemical into the city's drinking water, for the purpose of dealing with bacterial growth in water pipes, that you wouldn't be too pleased with it, especially when the city said "our research suggests it won't be harmful to you, and besides you won't notice the difference in taste anyway".

Sure drinking water and HD audio are apples and oranges, but the point is the same that many of us don't trust some bungling idiots to handle something properly (ie Cyberlink, especially when they've demonstrated their ineptness with the borderline-intentional bug that downsamples all audio, even unencrypted/unprotected HD audio) and we also don't appreciate being forced to deal with something a certain way "just because" the AACS says so.
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post #12 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by odditory View Post

...and I would wager that if your city government decided to begin injecting fractional percentage levels of chlorine chemical into the city's drinking water, for the purpose of dealing with bacterial growth in water pipes, that you wouldn't be too pleased with it, especially when the city said "our research suggests it won't be harmful to you, and besides you won't notice the difference in taste anyway".

Sure drinking water and HD audio are apples and oranges, but the point is the same that many of us don't trust some bungling idiots to handle something properly (ie Cyberlink, especially when they've demonstrated their ineptness in the bug that downsampling even unencrypted HD audio) and we also don't appreciate being forced to deal with something a certain way "just because" the AACS says so, or just because the city would say so.

Agree and hope with PAP in place, Asus or Auzentech HDMI sound cards with their special build players, those idots can't and won't touch anything and just send the audio signals straight out to the AVR, just like a standalone players.
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post #13 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

How to do that today?

There are a few ways, easiest would be to run say a 48xx and a Panasonic BD50 into an AVR, volume match the two inputs, start the same movie on each (sync'd) and have someone else switch back and forth without telling you which is which.

Other would be to rip the movie, decode it with a decoder known not to degrade the audio (eg ffmpeg perhaps) and then either purposefully downconvert to 16/48kHz or capture the output from a known down-converting decoder and compare them with something like WinABX.

Point is, everyone knows there's downconverting going on, but it seems the only reason we know for certain is because Cyberlink et al have confirmed it. I don't recall ever reading that someone did a blind test and confirmed it empirically.

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Perhaps they think people will use AnyDVDHD to remove AACS flag and be able to bitstream without PAP. If that's the case I don't see how what people do after the fact is Cyberlink's problem. If they've fulfilled AACS requirements to downsample protected HD audio then why take it one step further and play cat and mouse with end users and HD audio? Paranoia they'll find the AACS's foot implanted in their a$$ when word gets out AnyDVDHD gets around encrypted audio path the way it does for video path?

It's probably nothing more complicated than this:

99.9% of HD DVDs are AACS protected and 100% of pre-recorded BDs are, so it's far easier to just downconvert everything (since there's no protected path) than to have two code paths and risk having a bug cost them (another) $8 million.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redtyler1 View Post

There was a recent article in Home Theater Mag or Sound and Vision or one of those that did a comparison between the new HD Audio codecs and the previous generation of Dolby and DTS. Some ridiculously high percentage of listeners (whom were not all just average folks off the street, but self-described audiophiles) couldn't tell the difference between those two formats.

That doesn't surprise me at all.

Quote:


I would wager that downsampled LPCM would be really difficult to differentiate from PAP non-downsampled LPCM. Furthermore, isn't it relatively understood that unless you have high end receivers and speakers then you are unlikely to be able to detect the difference because your hardware can't make the difference clear enough? Some folks on here may be able to hear the difference, but I bet in a comparison, a lot of us wouldn't be able to detect a distinction.

People get all bent out of shape about the downconverting thing but it really seems to be in the noise if you dig into it:

99%+ of movie soundtracks are sampled at 48kHz, so the 16bit/48kHz limitation has no impact on sample rate and thus frequency range. ie you can't argue that this is causing the loss of "ultrasonics"

As far as bit depth goes, movies generally have a 24bit master, but what bit depth really buys you is signal to noise ratio between your signal and the quantization noise caused by the discrete sampling. 16bit sampling has the well known quantization noise floor of -96dB. However most people's listenning environments are lucky to have a room with NC40 (40dB background noise, or -65dB from peak reference level), THX only requires NC22 (IIRC) equating to about -83dB from reference level, so even in a THX approved HT, quantization noise is below the rooms noise floor at a "mere" 16 bits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

...and I would wager that if your city government decided to begin injecting fractional percentage levels of chlorine chemical into the city's drinking water, for the purpose of dealing with bacterial growth in water pipes, that you wouldn't be too pleased with it, especially when the city said "our research suggests it won't be harmful to you, and besides you won't notice the difference in taste anyway".

I don't think I've been to a city that doesn't do that, and if I did go to one, I probably wouldn't want to drink the water.

Quote:


Sure drinking water and HD audio are apples and oranges, but the point is the same that many of us don't trust some bungling idiots to handle something properly (ie Cyberlink, especially when they've demonstrated their ineptness with the borderline-intentional bug that downsamples all audio, even unencrypted/unprotected HD audio) and we also don't appreciate being forced to deal with something a certain way "just because" the AACS says so.

Re trust: Where do you draw the line? Cyberlink and Arcosft both have been approved by Dolby and DTS for decoding their respective formats, how is that any different than Panasonic, Pioneer, Anthem, etc? If you don't trust one company, who do you trust?

Re ineptness: I've already said my best guess, I'm sure it was a well known, and probably thoroughly discussed design decision to always downsample audio until PAP comes down the pipe. We may not like the decision but they're not building the app for those who use AnyDVD, they're building the app for the likes of Dell, Sony, HP, who need it to work right with protected discs and 100% of Blu-ray Discs are AACS protected and thus require downsampling without PAP.

Finally, no one here likes AACS and no one here likes downsampling. I'd much prefer it if the programs left audio untouched for unprotected content. But given that we don't have a solution that does that, I think far too much is made of the whole issue.

So just sit back and enjoy the best movie audio we've ever had on the PC and stop worrying about the minutia.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #14 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 02:12 PM
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I'm not sure that only audiophile equipment is needed to hear the difference between HD Audio and downsampled. Lower end equipment might deliver an audible difference too.

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post #15 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

There are a few ways, easiest would be to run say a 48xx and a Panasonic BD50 into an AVR, volume match the two inputs, start the same movie on each (sync'd) and have someone else switch back and forth without telling you which is which.

Other would be to rip the movie, decode it with a decoder known not to degrade the audio (eg ffmpeg perhaps) and then either purposefully downconvert to 16/48kHz or capture the output from a known down-converting decoder and compare them with something like WinABX.

Point is, everyone knows there's downconverting going on, but it seems the only reason we know for certain is because Cyberlink et al have confirmed it. I don't recall ever reading that someone did a blind test and confirmed it empirically.

I guess I mis-understood you. What you suggested is just try to do A/B tests between HTPC LPCM using PDVD and standalone bit-stream player. Yup, I have not seen anyone done that and all I know is everyone want PAP bit stream over LPCM unless their AVR is not capable loseless format. All I did was compare between SPDIF and 4850 LPCM and it is few miles different, of course.

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I'm not sure that only audiophile equipment is needed to hear the difference between HD Audio and downsampled. Lower end equipment might deliver an audible difference too.

Don't mean to show off my gears, but I've Onkyo 885 HDMI pre-amp today (on order Theta CBIII xtreme DAC, Superior DACII HDMI pre-amp on order) with Krell FPB 250 Monoblock amp for center, KSA200S fronts and KVA500 for rears and Martin Logan Theater for center, Ascents for the front with full MIT Shotgun S1 interconnects/speaker cables and all powered by PS Audio PPP, I hope I can take the advantage of this HTPC out HD audio.
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post #16 of 9540 Old 07-22-2008, 03:14 PM
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So just sit back and enjoy the best movie audio we've ever had on the PC and stop worrying about the minutia.

This is coming from a guy who's dedicated an entire web page and more to anamorphic lenses to "view movies the way they were ment to be viewed..."

No offense, but many people feel the same way about audio that you do about video. Play the music and audio the way it was meant to be played...

You don't need "audiophile" level equipment to be able to tell the difference between tracks. Almost by definition, we are those small few who would be able to tell the difference and that's why we're even on this site to begin with. Not so?

This is almost like the 720p vs 1080p argument. You can definitley tell the differerence depending on the source and the end user devices.
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post #17 of 9540 Old 07-23-2008, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SlackerX View Post

This is coming from a guy who's dedicated an entire web page and more to anamorphic lenses to "view movies the way they were ment to be viewed..."

Not my webpage, just one with some interesting information.

Quote:


No offense, but many people feel the same way about audio that you do about video. Play the music and audio the way it was meant to be played...

Pan & Scanning is for video is like listening to "Hi-Fi" (remember that?) audio on VHS, or better yet listenning with the "Concert Hall" effect on, it changes something fundamental in the content. Resampling is nothing like that, it's more akin to the whole 1080i vs 1080p output debate, in that you're not changing any fundamental aspect of the content.

In reality, the closest audio equivalent of an anamorphic lens is probably a 7.1 surround setup in a dedicated HT. Which I have, make no mistake, I care about audio, just about as much as I care about video. I care enough that I've got an Anthem AVM-20 SSP and an Outlaw amp, I've installed room treatments and measured my room to to compensate for room modes. My audio system is probably as finely calibrated as my video system.

But at the same time, I've got a pretty good idea of what makes a difference and what doesn't. I'll take analog from a good soundcard into a good SSP over compressed DD/DTS any day, likewise I'll take downconverted multichannel LPCM over analog in the same setup too.

Quote:


You don't need "audiophile" level equipment to be able to tell the difference between tracks. Almost by definition, we are those small few who would be able to tell the difference and that's why we're even on this site to begin with. Not so?

Nobody said anything about "audiophile" equipment, and we're not talking about the difference between tracks, we're talking about whether anyone can actually tell that the audio was downsampled. Could people pick the downsampled version from the non-downsampled version in a blind test?

I'm guessing not reliably.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #18 of 9540 Old 07-23-2008, 06:37 PM
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Please keep the discussion on topic. We don't need yet another pissing contest over lossless vs lossy audio.
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post #19 of 9540 Old 07-23-2008, 07:14 PM
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Don't mean to show off my gears, but I've Onkyo 885 HDMI pre-amp today (on order Theta CBIII xtreme DAC, Superior DACII HDMI pre-amp on order) with Krell FPB 250 Monoblock amp for center, KSA200S fronts and KVA500 for rears and Martin Logan Theater for center, Ascents for the front with full MIT Shotgun S1 interconnects/speaker cables and all powered by PS Audio PPP, I hope I can take the advantage of this HTPC out HD audio.

Ouch... I wish I had that kind of $ to toss away on cables, although at those prices I'd probably rather buy a used Mustang Notch or something...
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post #20 of 9540 Old 07-23-2008, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

Please keep the discussion on topic. We don't need yet another pissing contest over lossless vs lossy audio.

The discussion of PAP, lossless, downconversion, and lossless vs. lossy should absolutely apply to the discussion of the HDAV1.3. If members in this thread are considering purchasing the HDAV1.3, why shouldn't there be legit discussion if its needed, who needs it, what it does, what other comparable products lose/gain features, etc.

It's not like were talking about full MIT Shotgun S1 interconnects/speaker cables....
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post #21 of 9540 Old 07-23-2008, 07:59 PM
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Please keep the discussion on topic. We don't need yet another pissing contest over lossless vs lossy audio.

Have to admit you're right, but that IS the selling point of Xonar HDAV1.3, isn't it?

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post #22 of 9540 Old 07-26-2008, 10:40 AM
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Although the trend at ASUS seems to have reversed recently, once they get a product actually included in their lineup on their website Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 (as already linked to in the initial post of this thread), it isn't too long until we see it on the marketplace, however limited the availability may be. It used to be that the website was so lagging behind what was actually available, it was almost useless.

My question is (naive though it may be), what video card will sync well with this awesome audio card? Since the card is HDMI 1.3, wouldn't a compatible HDMI 1.3 GPU card be appropriate? Are there any 1.3 cards available? Asus's own EN9600GX Matrix (prolly a fairly quiet choice for an HTPC) or their EN9800GX2 (overkill, though it may be) seem to me to be great choices. I don't really believe either are 1.3 certified (but, does it really matter?).

This new Xonar card has renewed my interest in the HTPC thing, and I think I'm about ready to dive in to build another. My last was over 2 years ago, and I've kinda lost track of the whole HTPC scene, so forgive me if I seem hopelessly uninformed.

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post #23 of 9540 Old 07-26-2008, 11:09 AM
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Any card/system that plays HD well should work. I'm interested in this as TMT works well for me. PDVD users might lean towards the Auzentech X-Fi Home Theater 7.1.

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post #24 of 9540 Old 08-11-2008, 10:09 AM
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Bumping to restore thread.
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post #25 of 9540 Old 08-11-2008, 11:36 AM
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Someone mentioned (before the "Big Crash") that the card was delayed until October. Just wondering where that came from and if anyone else has heard the same.
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post #26 of 9540 Old 08-11-2008, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

Someone mentioned (before the "Big Crash") that the card was delayed until October. Just wondering where that came from and if anyone else has heard the same.

There is no delay. I accidentally typed Oct instead of Aug 22nd.

Though it is odd that there are no pre-orders available anywhere.
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post #27 of 9540 Old 08-11-2008, 09:50 PM
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Anyone have any idea on the length of this card? I am limited to 8" at the very max, hopefully shorter.
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post #28 of 9540 Old 08-12-2008, 03:19 AM
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I think they're good odds you'll be disappointed. The card looks to be about the same length as a graphics card.

From the side:


From the front:

^source: AnandTech

So I'm guessing it'll be hovering around the 8 inch mark. The Auzentech HDMI card looks to be a little over half the length though, so that's the alternate option.
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post #29 of 9540 Old 08-12-2008, 05:25 AM
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I think I'll be a 2nd wave adopter... let everyone try it and report back! I was a first wave on Omaura and that didnt work out to well
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post #30 of 9540 Old 08-12-2008, 05:38 AM
 
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Depending on the price, I might be a first wave adopter.
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