Digital sound card for Bitstreaming to AV receiver instead of ATI 5450 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-17-2010, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I just finished building my new work/media center PC. I am currently using two ATI 5450s to drive two monitors and a HDTV (Samsung LED through Sony STR-DA 5300ES). The main reason I went with ATI 5XXX series is that they can do Bitstream over HDMI. All that worked good and surround sound in movies sounded great.

However, I have been having several issues with ATI video drivers and after 5 OS installations and several tweaks, I am officially giving up on ATI. So, I will be getting 2 NVIDIA cards soon to drive three displays. However, I will not have bitstream audio. The onboard realtek audio port can only do LPCM and that too, it does not do a good job of that (sometimes swaps the channels and sometime ignores them).

My question is, if I am willing to compromise on Dolby HD and DTS HD, is there is sound card (or a non ATI GPU) that can do all that ATI 5450 did (I do not want to compromise on bitstreaming) (My receiver can combine HDMI and optical so I am not worried about that aspect - in fact, I already have an optical cable running to AVR).

Any help is appreciated.

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post #2 of 15 Old 03-17-2010, 10:03 PM
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ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe/Slim (TMT/ffdshow only)
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-17-2010, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe/Slim (TMT/ffdshow only)
Auzentech Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD (PDVD only)

By suggesting all HDMI's, did you mean that optical line cannot do bitstream and/or 7.1? Also, when the HDTV is connected, the desktop's edges are usually cut. So I had to use CCC (for ATI) and will have to use something from Nvidia to adjust the borders. Will the borders be preserved if I route the HDMI video through this card?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-18-2010, 12:03 AM
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You can only send HD audio digitally through HDMI, s/pdif does not have the bandwidth to do so.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-18-2010, 12:27 AM
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100$ says the Nvidia borders are right out of the box. I use an ATI card now, but the Nvidia it replaced was spot on with the same TV and the ATI had to be changed in CCC. May I ask you what kind of driver problems you are having? So far, I have been as happy with ATI as I was with Nvidia. In fact, I think the ATI picture quality is better.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-18-2010, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoCoolJ View Post

100$ says the Nvidia borders are right out of the box. I use an ATI card now, but the Nvidia it replaced was spot on with the same TV and the ATI had to be changed in CCC. May I ask you what kind of driver problems you are having? So far, I have been as happy with ATI as I was with Nvidia. In fact, I think the ATI picture quality is better.

hmm....I'd put the $100 back in the pocket.
Granted ATI seems to have problems, but so does Nvidia.
It depends on the combination of equipment being used and with computers there are hundreds and thousands of possible permutations. Numerous hardware, firmware, drivers and software make for one big melting pot. And connect that to hundreds of variable displays with their own issues and there is further complication.
Here are some examples that I have encountered:
Nvidia 8200 with a Sony LCD TV - Overscans, need to reduce desktop to fit screen.
ATI 3200, 3450 & 4350 with Sharp 720p & 1080p LCD TVs - Fits perfectly
ATI 3200, 4350 & 5750 with Dynex 720p TV, Optoma 720p PJ & VS 1080p PJ - The PJs fit perfectly while the TV needs scaling.
Here's an odd thing though, if the HDMI port or ATI DVI-HDMI adapter is used it needs scaling. However, if a generic DVI-HDMI adapter is used on the DVI port it fits perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dealove View Post

So, I just finished building my new work/media center PC. I am currently using two ATI 5450s to drive two monitors and a HDTV (Samsung LED through Sony STR-DA 5300ES). The main reason I went with ATI 5XXX series is that they can do Bitstream over HDMI. All that worked good and surround sound in movies sounded great.

However, I have been having several issues with ATI video drivers and after 5 OS installations and several tweaks, I am officially giving up on ATI. So, I will be getting 2 NVIDIA cards soon to drive three displays. However, I will not have bitstream audio. The onboard realtek audio port can only do LPCM and that too, it does not do a good job of that (sometimes swaps the channels and sometime ignores them).

My question is, if I am willing to compromise on Dolby HD and DTS HD, is there is sound card (or a non ATI GPU) that can do all that ATI 5450 did (I do not want to compromise on bitstreaming) (My receiver can combine HDMI and optical so I am not worried about that aspect - in fact, I already have an optical cable running to AVR).

What OS are you running?
Which drivers are you using?
What software is used for playback and what kind of files are you trying to play?

Multiple monitors will generally give some sort of HDCP error with PDVD (and maybe other players too).
Optical can only do SPDIF quality audio, not HD quality.
Here's some info on audio and bitstreaming using SPDIF and HDMI.

Maybe ATI is the problem, maybe it isn't. There are many users here who have the 5000 series of video cards and have been successful in bitstreaming HD audio to various brands of receivers. I would advise you to read up about them in their threads if you have not already done so. There is a vast reservoir of information, tips, tricks, bugs and workarounds posted in these threads.

Good Luck!
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 06:42 PM
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how come ATI can make a card that does HDMI video AND audio for ~$40 yet one needs to add in at least another 100 bones for an audio only card? this just seems like a lot to spend on something that is basically an adapter - I dont really care about bitstreaming. I just want to get the digital audio signal out of the pc and into the receiver.

does anyone have an idea of an lower cost option or should I just suck it up and get the xonar?

(btw, I use nvidia 3d vision, so an ati video card is not really an option)
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 06:59 PM
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The Xonar is over 1.5 years old and the 5450 is new.

Three displays isn't so difficult, or shouldn't be.

"The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock, Mark of Gideon, TOS
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 07:04 PM
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a 5670 should run 3 displays without anything extra... last time I looked, 2 DVI's and a RGB.. one of the DVI's is an HDMI (video signal is interchangable). Otherwise, the cards with display port can output RGB for another $20 adapter..
I have one in my HTPC, and it its outputting DVI and HDMI now, I will check and see if it will light up the RGB port at the same time.. if it does, you should be good to go. the 5670 will bitstream, and it will cost about the same as 2 5450's... return them both, get a 5670, and have a good day.

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You still measure your TV in "inches"? Thats so cute! :D
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 07:31 PM
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Ok, I just did a test, and you will need one of the video cards that has a DisplayPort plug, and the $20 DP/VGA adapter I mentioned. But, with that, you can output 3 monitors (1 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 RGB) or (2 DVI, 1 RGB) AND bitstream out of the HDMI, with one card, and one cards drivers. My card has 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 RGB, however, I am seeing a Sapphire 5670 with DP, DVI and RGB for $95 on newegg. that should output 3 monitors for you with one card.

Another option is to keep one of the 5450's, and add in some cheap nvidia card.. Windows 7 can handle multiple cards from multiple vendors relatively well, but I missed what OS you said you were running..

"The satisfaction of a great price will be overshadowed by the bitterness of poor quality."

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You still measure your TV in "inches"? Thats so cute! :D
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoCoolJ View Post

100$ says the Nvidia borders are right out of the box. I use an ATI card now, but the Nvidia it replaced was spot on with the same TV and the ATI had to be changed in CCC. May I ask you what kind of driver problems you are having? So far, I have been as happy with ATI as I was with Nvidia. In fact, I think the ATI picture quality is better.

Well, Its not just one driver problem. I did not do my research but apparantly, 5450s are notorious for not being able to run on any drivers except the drivers that came with the card (in the CD). Also, there were some system freezes related to the GPU. I managed to disable the powerplay after some research.

Sometimes CCC would just not install. Whole thing made me realize how much I miss my Nvidia card. Have been using the Nvidia card for past three years and don't even know the card name (never had to cos it worked so perfectly!). So, I just ordered 2 GTS 250 cards and a ASUS xonar HDAV1.3 slim. Hope the setup works good.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zryder View Post

Ok, I just did a test, and you will need one of the video cards that has a DisplayPort plug, and the $20 DP/VGA adapter I mentioned. But, with that, you can output 3 monitors (1 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 RGB) or (2 DVI, 1 RGB) AND bitstream out of the HDMI, with one card, and one cards drivers. My card has 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 RGB, however, I am seeing a Sapphire 5670 with DP, DVI and RGB for $95 on newegg. that should output 3 monitors for you with one card.

Another option is to keep one of the 5450's, and add in some cheap nvidia card.. Windows 7 can handle multiple cards from multiple vendors relatively well, but I missed what OS you said you were running..

Thanks for the test. yeah, ATI 5670 was my first card in this whole bitstreaming saga. Got a display port adapter from newegg and the whole thing was so unstable that you could generate some random numbers out of it. So returned it and thought it was just an isolated case. Looks like all ATI 5XXX series cards need some work and there have been some comments that ATI rushed to release the 5XXX cards so that they can say their cards run on DirectX 11 and not just 10!.

I don't think ATI is going to pick up many customers after such stability issues mentioned all over the forums.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

hmm....I'd put the $100 back in the pocket.
Granted ATI seems to have problems, but so does Nvidia.
It depends on the combination of equipment being used and with computers there are hundreds and thousands of possible permutations. Numerous hardware, firmware, drivers and software make for one big melting pot. And connect that to hundreds of variable displays with their own issues and there is further complication.
Here are some examples that I have encountered:
Nvidia 8200 with a Sony LCD TV - Overscans, need to reduce desktop to fit screen.
ATI 3200, 3450 & 4350 with Sharp 720p & 1080p LCD TVs - Fits perfectly
ATI 3200, 4350 & 5750 with Dynex 720p TV, Optoma 720p PJ & VS 1080p PJ - The PJs fit perfectly while the TV needs scaling.
Here's an odd thing though, if the HDMI port or ATI DVI-HDMI adapter is used it needs scaling. However, if a generic DVI-HDMI adapter is used on the DVI port it fits perfectly.



What OS are you running?
Which drivers are you using?
What software is used for playback and what kind of files are you trying to play?

Multiple monitors will generally give some sort of HDCP error with PDVD (and maybe other players too).
Optical can only do SPDIF quality audio, not HD quality.
Here's some info on audio and bitstreaming using SPDIF and HDMI.

Maybe ATI is the problem, maybe it isn't. There are many users here who have the 5000 series of video cards and have been successful in bitstreaming HD audio to various brands of receivers. I would advise you to read up about them in their threads if you have not already done so. There is a vast reservoir of information, tips, tricks, bugs and workarounds posted in these threads.

Good Luck!

So far I tried Windows 7 Pro (32 and 64 bit), and windows XP. Windows 7 32 bit seems to be most successful. Was able to do bitstreaming for about 5 days and it was awesome.

the 5450 would not let me install any drivers other than that came with the card (ver. 8.8.6 I believe).

I used VLC and WMP and both were able to bitstream though I liked WMP when it comes to playing the movie on big screen (no slow-transition in fast moving scenes).

thanks for your suggestions!
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-25-2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff J View Post

how come ATI can make a card that does HDMI video AND audio for ~$40 yet one needs to add in at least another 100 bones for an audio only card? this just seems like a lot to spend on something that is basically an adapter - I dont really care about bitstreaming. I just want to get the digital audio signal out of the pc and into the receiver.

does anyone have an idea of an lower cost option or should I just suck it up and get the xonar?

(btw, I use nvidia 3d vision, so an ati video card is not really an option)

A lot of Nvidia cards will output audio over HDMI, it just uses the S/pdif header on your motherboard, or sound card. It will not do HD audio, of course.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-26-2010, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealove View Post

Thanks for the test. yeah, ATI 5670 was my first card in this whole bitstreaming saga. Got a display port adapter from newegg and the whole thing was so unstable that you could generate some random numbers out of it. So returned it and thought it was just an isolated case. Looks like all ATI 5XXX series cards need some work and there have been some comments that ATI rushed to release the 5XXX cards so that they can say their cards run on DirectX 11 and not just 10!.

I don't think ATI is going to pick up many customers after such stability issues mentioned all over the forums.

my main desktop is running a 5850, 2x DVI 1x DP-RGB, and it has been rock solid for me with a cheap $20 DP-RGB adapter.
remember, the $20 DP-DVI adapter will not work.

"The satisfaction of a great price will be overshadowed by the bitterness of poor quality."

Quote:
Originally Posted by KO Abear
You still measure your TV in "inches"? Thats so cute! :D
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