So I know very little about home audio, I was originally going to go for a reciever with a 3.1 system but due to my lack of knowledge and the simplicity of a soundbar setup i'm going that route. I've got a couple questions though. I know XBMC doesn't support 'bit streaming' as of now. But i'm not entirely sure i understand what that impacts. If i go for a 5.1 HTIB/Soundbar that has HDMI input will it output 5.1 audio to the device? If so how does it do it if its not bitstreamed?
Also a lot of the soundbars don't have HDMI connections, only SPDIF and RCA. If I connect my HTPC to the soundbar/HTIB system through SPDIF, will it be bitstreamed? If not will XBMC send 5.1 audio to the system? Assuming XBMC is capable of sending 5.1 audio over SPDIF, is there any recommendation on a mobo that has onboard SPDIF that will work? The motherboards i've been looking at don't have digital audio out. Or should i just consider a seperate sound card??
Planned build so far:
Windows 7 running XBMC
Core i3 550
Mobo with SPDIF??? (suggestions)