Originally Posted by Paul E. Fox, II
Right now I have an older Radeon 4670 installed and it's been pretty solid but without converting to LPCM, I can't access the HD Audio.
Perhaps you're just simplifying for brevity but just in case you aren't...
Everything gets converted to PCM sooner or later. A lot of people think they're going to suddenly hear better audio quality if they bitstream but bitstream isn't about that with 99% of discs with HD Audio will have the exact same bitrate
(48khz) whether the player bitstreams or decodes the data. Bitstreaming is about where
to decode. There are technical advantages to decoding on the AVR, but audio quality isn't one of them.
Bitstreaming has really become too synonymous with a protected audio path even though the reason why is understandable. (Same cards and B is required to do A.) PAP comes into play on a tiny tiny subset of discs, very few of them being a studio movie you've heard of.
But maybe you know all that, and you spend a lot of time listening to Dave Mathews or Chris Botti concert discs. And if that's you, cool, you're at least on a reasonable course with some potential tangible quality benefit. But I always hate to see people start down this path, navigate all the compexity, and then wonder why their AVATAR disc sounds exactly
the same after all the time they've put in.