Bitperfect HD audio streaming on Vista; are you sure? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Last updated on March 8th, 2009

Hi ladies and gents.
Bitperfect streaming is still a big issue for HTPC owners.

Encripted HD audio: Still no solution even Asus Xonar is advertised as trasferring bitstream as is.
Encripted HD audio as bitstream or decoded LPCM is not possible to be listened as is since PAP has not been unlocked by any hardware audio card as of right now.
Decripted HD audio: Even decripted audio (using Any DVD HD) is not possible to be listened as is.
This time Vista mixer downconverts audio to 16/48.
I have Creative SB Xİ-Fi card on Vista 32 SP1 and i’ve been investigating for some time on how to overcome that issue.
Converting DTS-HD MA, True HD or PCM to flac and remuxing to mkv and listening that created mkv could be the workaround? The answer would definitely be NO.

The method i use:
AnyDVD HD for decripting.
Eac3to for demuxing:
Demuxing video and remuxing to mkv container as video and at the same time demux audio and transcode it to flac.
MKVMergeGui for remuxing to mkv container:
Remux video.mkv and audio.flac via MKVMerge Gui.
For decoding you need Madshi’s Madflac decoder.
Re-encoded files with libav to flac over libav, arcsoft or nero decoders are 24 bit indeed.
But when you introduce them to directshow workflow with any player, Dx orients them to Vista’s mixer which will downconvert them to 16/48.

When you open the created mkv with MPC-HC, madflac decoder pininfo gives the info as it is 24 bit. But you can not listen it as it is because of the Vista mixer.

What you see is not really what you listen.

PS: Setting Vista mixer to 24/96 is not a workaround; it is just a signal processing. Mixer just upconverts your downconverted signals; which means a real sound quality loss...

So you have to bypass Vista’s mixer via WASAPI exclusive streaming.



http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index...._Windows_Mixer

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....oo_out_wasapi)


SO HOW TO LISTEN BIT-EXACT AUDIO ON MY HTPC?

Audio Only Files:

You may want to extract HD audio files from BD disks and convert them to flac or wav/pcm.
Or you may want to extract mlp files from your DVD-Audio discs and convert them to flac: (for decoding flac you must have madflac decoder loaded.)

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...23#post1254323

These are the audio-only applications which have wasapi plugins:

Foobar2000

XMPlay

and commercial MediaCenter13 (no plug-in seperately)




Video+audio files:

You have to use ReClock 1.8.4.0 in "slave reference" mode.

Lets have a look at how to get bit-exact audio from an HD audio file muxed with a video into a container.
Here are the pre-conditions:

1) Source:

It must be the original disk or ISO for LPCM, THD or DTS-HD including files.
Otherwise Arcsoft will downconvert the source 96/6/24 audio to 96/2/16, in other words you can never get bit-exact audio when you open an m2ts file on HDD.
But you can open an mkv which has a flac if you have madflac filter and you can listen bit-exact audio.

2) Audio Decoder:

The decoder must decode Hi-Resolution audio.
For THD, DTS-HD and PCM, Arcsoft Audio Decoder HD is able to decode all of those formats as is. (including latest 129; since the decoder is the same with what 125 or 121 uses.) I gonna explain why 129 downconverts then
For flac: Madshi's madflac decoder is able to decode 96/24 flac.

3) Direct-show route or application itself:

Even TMT uses the same decoder, as i told before, after v.125, started to downconvert 96/6/24 source to 48/6/16.

How do i know decoder itself doesn't downsample?

*When you convert THD or DTS-HD to flac via eac3to, it is gonna use, for instance your 129's decoder and you will get 96/6/24 flac.

""I can even use arcsoft filters of latest 129 in MPC-HC (or Graphstudio -graph can be used with lower 125 versions) and get bit-exact. In this case you don't need ISO as well; you can directly open m2ts from HDD. (What is boring here is everytime you have to set audio to 5.1 in Arcsoft Audio DecoderHD properties page.)

Have a look at if you wonder how to configure MPC-HC:
http://forum.slysoft.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=110

Or you will find more details here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post16011249

So what i'd advise to TMT owners is:
If your retail is lower than .126, return back to .121; i don't advise 125 since some may live CPU utilization issues. And delete checkupdate.dll and checkupdate.set under ProgramFiles\\Arcsoft\\Totalmedia Theatre.

If your retail is upper than 125, try to configure MPC-HC with Arcsoft's filters. What is boring here everytime you open a file, you have to configure Arcsoft Audio DecoderHD to 5.1 manually.
Good news is you don't need original disk or ISO anymore.

4 )Audio renderer:

ReClock 1.8.3.7 and over; latest stabil version is 1.8.4.0:
http://forum.slysoft.com/showpost.ph...78&postcount=1

After decode the audio as is and get rid of the application's frustrating DirectShow route, you have to by-pass Vista's mixer which means you have to use WASAPI exlusive mode.
The only renderer which has WASAPI support is ReClock right now.

Here is the configuration of ReClock:



And here is the config of the renderer:



Also see the second part of this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post15994670

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Please make test before posting. For details check these posts:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post15771144

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post15771446

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post15789431
_ _ _ _ _

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post #2 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 01:56 PM
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What is the test/criteria that determines you are "outputting" bitperfect streaming?

"The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock, Mark of Gideon, TOS
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post #3 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

What is the test/criteria that determines you are "outputting" bitperfect streaming?

I set Vista mixer to 16/48 so as to be sure.
When i open the mkv with any DX based players, Vista Mixer interferes.
How do i know.
Easy.
Click any system sound like vista logon sound while i'm watching the movie and i can hear the system sound. Which means mixer downconverts to 16/48.
But when i listen audio.flac (just audio unfortunetely for the time being) via Foobar2000 with its WASAPI Plugin loaded, i can not hear any system sound.
And if any DX based player has been opened while i open Foobar, i can never get any sound from that player but just from foobar with a strong voice.

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post #4 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 02:23 PM
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To me, the only universally accepted indicator of real bitstream is with an AVR. A test that is totally detached from the PC. I get the "not affected by windows mixer", but any test has to be external. But that's all IMHO.

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post #5 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Davinleeds,
could you test with these files:

flac audio:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/ff40g5

mkv including flac:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/s1drfu

First, you have to load foobar2000 and its WASAPI Plugin:

http://www.foobar2000.org/?page=Download

(PS:You will put foo_out_wasapi.dll into Components Folder under Foobar Folder.)

And you should make sure you have madflac decoder and GraphStudio.

Test method:

Open audioflac first with GraphStudio and try to open any system sound, do you hear it?
Open the same file with foobar and try to get any windows system sound, do you get any?
And compare the sound quality.

And first open video+audio included mkv with any DXPlayer like ArcsoftTMT or MPC-HC and after open the audio only file with foobar and compare again.

_ _ _ _ _ _
LL

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post #6 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 03:37 PM
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I thank you for the post and info, but I have been through adding codec before and I keep my system set for HD playback, and it does it effortlessly. Some have no problems but mine doesn't like extraneous codec. I still maintain, the test must be from outside the windows environment.

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post #7 of 271 Old 02-08-2009, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

I thank you for the post and info, but I have been through adding codec before and I keep my system set for HD playback, and it does it effortlessly. Some have no problems but mine doesn't like extraneous codec. I still maintain, the test must be from outside the windows environment.

You are welcome.
But i am not interested where you make the test in.
Test files have been already given.
If you believe in making this test has to be done from outside the windows environment, why not?
Please give us the results after done.


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post #8 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 06:26 AM
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The Asus card does just fine at bitstreaming all of the codecs even in Vista. I still don’t understand why people are looking for another solution that requires so much effort. I simply put the disc in and hit play and I get perfectly bitstreamed audio from my ASUS card. Why won’t that solution work for you?
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post #9 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

The Asus card does just fine at bitstreaming all of the codecs even in Vista. I still don't understand why people are looking for another solution that requires so much effort. I simply put the disc in and hit play and I get perfectly bitstreamed audio from my ASUS card. Why won't that solution work for you?

I have two reasons:

1) I am told Xonar still can not make bitstreaming in Vista.
2) I want to decode the audio with my favourite decoder in HTPC instead of buying a new receiver and card.

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post #10 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 07:24 AM
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if you want to listen 96/24 flac audio in mkv, simply set vista mixer to 96/24. Vista mixer is high quality and I have no problem with it.
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post #11 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricabullah View Post

I have two reasons:

1) I am told Xonar still can not make bitstreaming in Vista.
2) I want to decode the audio with my favourite decoder in HTPC instead of buying a new receiver and card.

Yea there are quite a few people who still insist on spreading false information. The ASUS card can now bitstream EVERY codec from Blu-rays in both XP and Vista and the 2009 version of the card now supports 24p. It can also output un-downconverted 7.1 channel analog audio which will save you from buying another receiver.

Really the ASUS card is a lot better solution than people give it credit for. In fact it is the only solution currently for bitstreaming.


Check this thread for all of the up to date information on HTPC HDMI status.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15242282
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post #12 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 09:40 AM
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Yeah I've been following hte asus card from the start.

About the ONLY thing it doesn't do for BD is auto switch the sampling rate on a pure PCM soundtrack.

I'd get one now if it didn't cost $200 and if TMT worked in win7.

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post #13 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 09:54 AM
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xonar is no good for:
- all hd dvd disks (no bitstream of hd codecs, no exclusive mode for lpcm)
- all lpcm blu-rays like CR (no exclusive mode for lpcm)
- all non hdmi 1.3 receivers (no exclusive mode for lpcm)
this is not a limitation of xonar (hardware) but tmt which insists of molesting the audio instead of using exclusive mode like quality oriented software: foobar2000 and reclock (future versions)
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post #14 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 720p View Post

xonar is no good for:
- all hd dvd disks (no bitstream of hd codecs, no exclusive mode for lpcm)
- all lpcm blu-rays like CR (no exclusive mode for lpcm)
- all non hdmi 1.3 receivers (no exclusive mode for lpcm)
this is not a limitation of xonar (hardware) but tmt which insists of molesting the audio instead of using exclusive mode like quality oriented software: foobar2000 and reclock (future versions)

For one, nothing will ever bitstream HD-DVD from a computer! It is a dead format. No one will support it now.

What happens when you plug the output of the ASUS directly in a TV and select HDMI in TMT? Does it output any sound? What about selecting 7.1 Channel audio in TMT? How can you confirm that is being downconverted?
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post #15 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 720p View Post

- all non hdmi 1.3 receivers (no exclusive mode for lpcm)
this is not a limitation of xonar (hardware) but tmt which insists of molesting the audio instead of using exclusive mode like quality oriented software: foobar2000 and reclock (future versions)

Quality software that does not have to abide by the rules and licenses that the studios require for all legitimate software.
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post #16 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 720p View Post

- all lpcm blu-rays like CR (no exclusive mode for lpcm)

Select HDMI from TMT and Play a PCM disc. It will be undownconverted as long as your XONAR settings match what is on the disc. I agree that it is annoying that you have to select the settings in the XONAR application. However, your statement is not accurate.

Remember in the case of PCM the application that is taking exclusive control is not TMT it is actually the Xonar's configuration application that has exclusive control. I don't like the way it works but it still does work.
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post #17 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salajm View Post

if you want to listen 96/24 flac audio in mkv, simply set vista mixer to 96/24. Vista mixer is high quality and I have no problem with it.

You can compare if you wish:

Please set your Vista Mixer to 96/24 and watch the mkv i uploaded in MPC-HT.
Listen and compare the other uploaded flac file via foobar (with its WASAPI plug-in installed).

I think you will see the difference.

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post #18 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

It can also output un-downconverted 7.1 channel analog audio which will save you from buying another receiver.
[/url]

Do you mean Xonar with its sister card?
Do you mean i have to pay 500 USD?


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post #19 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricabullah View Post

Do you mean Xonar with its sister card?
Do you mean i have to pay 500 USD?


_ _ _ __

No I mean the Xonar HDAV Deluxe(HDMI card plus analog daughter card) $240 online.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132008
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post #20 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

Quality software that does not have to abide by the rules and licenses that the studios require for all legitimate software.

I don't want to use a 250 buck card with a software which abides by the rules while the HW unlocks the PAP.
So LPCM transferring seems a big issue even after a payment of a 250 USD?

BTW, the avarege of my Blu-Ray Discs which have PCM audio is 60%

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post #21 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricabullah View Post

BTW, the avarege of my Blu-Ray Discs which have PCM audio is 60%

I don’t believe that statement. If it is true then you have a really crappy collection. The thread below shows all of the Blu-rays with PCM audio only. There really are not that many of them that have more than 16 bit 48 Khz.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=760714

It really isn’t a big issue. All but 3 blu-rays are 48 Khz and almost all are 16 bit 48 Khz. Basically, you can set it on 5.1 channel, 48 Khz and it will work perfectly for more than 90% of the PCM titles. You might have to switch to 7.1 or 96 Khz for a few titles but really there are so few of them that it is not an issue.

I only have 1 PCM title that I have to change the settings for and that is the Chris Botti one because it is 96 Khz. I have more than 100 Blu-rays by the way including the Holly Grail 192 Khz, 5.1 Channel, 24 Bit Divertimenti. However, that one has a DD-TrueHD track in addition to the PCM track so I don’t have to mess with the PCM settings.
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post #22 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 01:58 PM
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That card sure is getting mixed reviews on new egg.
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post #23 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

I don't believe that statement. If it is true then you have a really crappy collection. The thread below shows all of the Blu-rays with PCM audio only. There really are not that many of them that have more than 16 bit 48 Khz.

The statement says "rica has BD titles which have mostly PCM audio"
It doesn't say "they are not 16/48"...

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post #24 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 02:47 PM
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It appears that the reviews on newegg have gone mostly positive since the updated software came out though.

So if when i copied my blurays to my hard drive and removed the protection, does this mean I will have issues. I don't feel like rummaging through the over 50 titles i have and re-ripping them keeping protection.

And not to be a tard, but when does the sister card come into use? If i understand correctly it is for analog audio, but when should this be used?
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post #25 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

Yea there are quite a few people who still insist on spreading false information. The ASUS card can now bitstream EVERY codec from Blu-rays in both XP and Vista and the 2009 version of the card now supports 24p. It can also output un-downconverted 7.1 channel analog audio which will save you from buying another receiver.

Really the ASUS card is a lot better solution than people give it credit for. In fact it is the only solution currently for bitstreaming.


Check this thread for all of the up to date information on HTPC HDMI status.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15242282

I can backup mpgxsvcd comments here; I bitsream BD movies using Xonar OEM TMT build and Foorbar2K for audio file.
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post #26 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

I can backup mpgxsvcd comments here; I bitsream BD movies using Xonar OEM TMT build and Foorbar2K for audio file.



So, does it mean you can just listen bitperfect audio over Foobar?

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post #27 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

To me, the only universally accepted indicator of real bitstream is with an AVR. A test that is totally detached from the PC. I get the "not affected by windows mixer", but any test has to be external. But that's all IMHO.

Those of us who do not use AVRs need to get the same unmolested bits to the DACs in our soundcards. Unfortunately there will be no 'outside the computer' entity to verify success for us. It will have to be verified through other means, which I think will still be possible.

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post #28 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricabullah View Post

And you should make sure you have madflac decoder and GraphStudio.

Test method:

Open audioflac first with GraphStudio and try to open any system sound, do you hear it?
Open the same file with foobar and try to get any windows system sound, do you get any?
And compare the sound quality.

And first open video+audio included mkv with any DXPlayer like ArcsoftTMT or MPC-HC and after open the audio only file with foobar and compare again.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Are you using Vista 32-bit or 64-bit? I am using 64-bit, and will try your test tonight. However, Madflac is not available for 64-bit.

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post #29 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

Are you using Vista 32-bit or 64-bit? I am using 64-bit, and will try your test tonight. However, Madflac is not available for 64-bit.

I use 32 bit.
I've been using MS Toys starting from 3.1.
But i always preferred to wait before jumping to upper bit edition until everything gets smoother.

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post #30 of 271 Old 02-09-2009, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utjackal View Post

It appears that the reviews on newegg have gone mostly positive since the updated software came out though.

So if when i copied my blurays to my hard drive and removed the protection, does this mean I will have issues. I don't feel like rummaging through the over 50 titles i have and re-ripping them keeping protection.

And not to be a tard, but when does the sister card come into use? If i understand correctly it is for analog audio, but when should this be used?

xonar HDAV 1.3 = HDMI bitstreaming card
xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe = non-deluxe + analog daughter (not sister) card for analog out.

Both solutions are full resolution.
Weather the analog is "pristine" untouched by windows straight to the DAC's or not is what is being debated. But it is the only full resolution analog solution commercially available.

there are other ways to get full resolution audio off a BD, but it requires you to remux the disc into a media file.

Joel Barsotti
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