Any sound card in the horizon with TrueHD/DTS-HD decoder? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-17-2010, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rexian96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I have been waiting for a PCI or PCIe sound card with DTS-HD and/or TrueHD decode-ability before investing in a Blu-Ray drive for my HTPC.

I know TMT or PDVD can decode HD audio codecs in software but I'd like this to be done in the hardware as I'd be mostly playing MKVs from hard-drive. I don't have a receiver and just use ffdshow/7MC or Boxee to decode DTS/Dolby in software. I have Creative Gigaworks 7.1 speakers and would like to continue using the amplifier in it.

From what I hear, full support for DTS-HD or TrueHD may never be available in open source software and a hardware based decoder is a must.

So, back to the question, anything coming with hardware DTS-HD/TrueHD support that is not a receiver? I'd love one like this, only if it had support for HD codecs (for another $50-75) as well.

Thanks.
rexian96 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-17-2010, 09:14 PM
Advanced Member
 
ArtosDracon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What playback software are you wanting to use that doesn't support 8 channel analog output? PDVD, TMT, WinDVD all support it now, and when slysoft player comes out it will as well. None of the other programs you've listed can playback BD at all. And if you're going to be ripping your BDs to MKVs with FLAC you have no need for decoding the HD audio in realtime as it'll be decoded when you rip the disk.
ArtosDracon is offline  
Old 02-17-2010, 09:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MikeEby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Osceola, Indiana
Posts: 2,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon View Post

What playback software are you wanting to use that doesn't support 8 channel analog output? PDVD, TMT, WinDVD all support it now, and when slysoft player comes out it will as well. None of the other programs you've listed can playback BD at all. And if you're going to be ripping your BDs to MKVs with FLAC you have no need for decoding the HD audio in realtime as it'll be decoded when you rip the disk.

+1 MKV's w/FLAC over analog is a poor mans bitstreaming.


Mike
MikeEby is offline  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rexian96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon View Post

What playback software are you wanting to use that doesn't support 8 channel analog output? PDVD, TMT, WinDVD all support it now, and when slysoft player comes out it will as well. None of the other programs you've listed can playback BD at all. And if you're going to be ripping your BDs to MKVs with FLAC you have no need for decoding the HD audio in realtime as it'll be decoded when you rip the disk.

I use 7MC with Media Browser mainly, sometimes Boxee/XBMC. Boxee doesn't support TMT/PDVD. MB on 7MC theoretically does, but it doesn't work most of the times. And even when it works, the usability is not there as it can't remember where you left off last time and also the it'll need a lot of manual intervention in my setup.

To play BD, I'll use the player that comes bundled with the drive, but that is not how I intend to play regularly. I need to have the movies on hard drive in MKV or another format that is supported by the 7MC/Boxee and has unchanged TrueHD/DTS-HD/MA to keep the size to a minimum.

For storing audio as FLAC in MKVs, As far as I know there is nothing to convert DTS-HD/MA (not the DTS core) to FLAC. If there was an open source software for that, I believe ffdshow would have that support in a short time. Am I missing something?
rexian96 is offline  
Old 02-18-2010, 11:22 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jrwalte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
The arcsoft audio decoder can decode 7.1 DTS-MA to flac. Searching around you can probably find the codec for download without purchasing the software.

But with that Gigaworks speaker system, you have absolutely no reason to even worry about getting into HD audio. You'll receive no benefit whatsoever. The speakers aren't good enough quality and as far as I can determine, don't even support 24-bit 96Khz. I'd still convert the audio to FLAC when creating MKVs, though, so you future proof yourself when you do get a HDMI HD audio Receiver with at least mid-grade speakers.
jrwalte is offline  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rexian96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

The arcsoft audio decoder can decode 7.1 DTS-MA to flac. Searching around you can probably find the codec for download without purchasing the software.

Can this codec decode DTS-HD/TrueHD while playing MKV? Or only from BD content? Thanks, I'll google and find out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

But with that Gigaworks speaker system, you have absolutely no reason to even worry about getting into HD audio. You'll receive no benefit whatsoever. The speakers aren't good enough quality and as far as I can determine, don't even support 24-bit 96Khz. I'd still convert the audio to FLAC when creating MKVs, though, so you future proof yourself when you do get a HDMI HD audio Receiver with at least mid-grade speakers.

The Gigaworks S750 speakers are pretty good for my ears and have decent specs. They were originally Cambridge Soundworks speakers, re-badged as Creative and are as good as home theater speakers in this price range. It has 7 front/center/surround speakers and an 8" 210W powered sub. It's also THX certified but that's probably just marketing.

Also, these are not digital. You'd be making a mistake if you think they are like Logitech or any other average digital speakers. I bought them with DDTS-100 Dolby/DTS decoder, which I think supports 24-bit/96KHz sampling but it stopped working a while ago.

Now, I have the speakers hooked directly to my motherboard and Dolby/DTS etc are decoded in software. I miss the decoder as the integrated audio (Realtek says it's 24-bit/96KHz) is not as good, or may be it's the software, that's why I want to buy a sound-card with hardware decode.

More than the quality (most people can't differentiate between DTS from DTS-MA in blind test), I need the 2 extra channels of TrueHD/DTS-HD. A receiver is not very suitable for me as I have just one source (HTPC) and 2 displays (TV & projector). Receivers below $500 didn't even have 2 outputs when I researched last time.

So, the question is, am I waiting for something that will never come? Is there something in the technology that's stopping Creative/Asus/HT Omega etc from using the same DTS-HD/TrueHD decoder chip that Onkyo/Yamaha use in their receivers?
rexian96 is offline  
Old 02-18-2010, 09:22 PM
Senior Member
 
realtight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 34
I hate to repeat whats already been stated but who cares? Focus on getting a real home theater setup that can actually take advantage of the hd formats and until then forget about it!

My system costs around $15,000 and there isn't much of a difference between DTS-Master and regular DTS. In fact I could say the same for 7.1 and 5.1, rarely will 7.1 make much of a difference.
realtight is offline  
Old 02-19-2010, 07:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jrwalte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I'm not saying the speakers are crap, but they aren't going to be good enough for you to be able to tell the difference between HD audio and not (24-bit/96Khz support or not).

If you are connecting the amp of these speakers to your PC by means of analog 8mm jacks, then if you want to persue this, it is possible to buy an Asus Xonar HDAV Deluxe which has analog HD audio support. You'll have to use it with Total Media Theater.

Quote:


Can this codec decode DTS-HD/TrueHD while playing MKV? Or only from BD content? Thanks, I'll google and find out.

No. It's meant to convert DTS-MA to FLAC. TrueHD can already be converted to FLAC by eac3to natively. FLAC is placed inside your MKV file and you have to use madFLAC decoder to decode the audio. You have to use madFLAC and not another decoder because it is still the only one that supports 24-bit/96Khz (unless things have changed). Downfall is, it does not have a x64 codec. THis option does not require a HD audio capable sound card, just a sound card with 24-bit/96Khz support. But you also cannot place a BD in your computer and get HD audio. You'll have to rip it to your hard drive and convert the audio to FLAC.
jrwalte is offline  
Old 02-19-2010, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rexian96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

I'm not saying the speakers are crap, but they aren't going to be good enough for you to be able to tell the difference between HD audio and not (24-bit/96Khz support or not).

They are definitely not crap as I compared them with Onkyo and Klipsch speakers in the similar price range (~$500 for just speakers) at a Magnolia center before buying. I went with these since the amplifier is built-in and no tuning or extra receiver necessary. But obviously they are not in the same league as the $15000 equipments the other poster mentioned. I do not have the budget nor the ears for such equipments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

If you are connecting the amp of these speakers to your PC by means of analog 8mm jacks, then if you want to persue this, it is possible to buy an Asus Xonar HDAV Deluxe which has analog HD audio support. You'll have to use it with Total Media Theater.

Thanks. I ignored this card earlier thinking it only supports HDMI passthrough. Yes, I'd be connecting the speakers through analog connectors. Earlier I used to connect the co-axial S/PDIF output of the motherboard to the DDTS-100 decoder, and I was quite happy with the quality. If I were to go with a receiver, I guess I'd ditch the sound card altogether and replace my ATI 4850 card with a 5000 series card to pass the HD audio to the receiver. But these newer ATI cards also have issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

No. It's meant to convert DTS-MA to FLAC. TrueHD can already be converted to FLAC by eac3to natively. FLAC is placed inside your MKV file and you have to use madFLAC decoder to decode the audio. You have to use madFLAC and not another decoder because it is still the only one that supports 24-bit/96Khz (unless things have changed). Downfall is, it does not have a x64 codec. THis option does not require a HD audio capable sound card, just a sound card with 24-bit/96Khz support. But you also cannot place a BD in your computer and get HD audio. You'll have to rip it to your hard drive and convert the audio to FLAC.

All my ripped DVDs with DTS can be played back in Media Center/XBMC. But if the above Asus card never supports hardware decoding DTS-HD/TrueHD with other players like 7MC/XBMC etc (from newegg reviews, the player that comes bundled doesn't support HD decoding either), then I think you are right. I should go with a decent 7.1 sound card like the one mentioned in the OP and rip the BDs into MKVs with FLAC.

Thanks for the pointers, I'll research the TMT codec to find out how I can use it to convert DTS-HD into FLAC. It'll involve a bit more manual process but it'll be future-proof for sure.
rexian96 is offline  
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off