Xonar Essence ST question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I've read the reviews about this card and I've read many threads in the forum but one thing is still not clear to me related to the analogue out.

I'm planning my HTPC build that will store my DVD/Blue Ray collection. I'm also building a set of speakers that will be fully active using the miniDSP boards for crossover. The output from the miniDSP will go to my amplifiers. I was planning to feed the miniDSP boards with the 7.1 channels from the HTPC.

Normally Asus and others recommend the Xonar HDAV 1.3 delux for HT and Blue Ray. But the Essence ST plus the H6 board have better specs. I only want to use Xonar Essence ST 7.1 RCA outputs to feed the miniDSP boards and not a receiver via HDMI or optical. Is this feasible or do I still need to go with the Xonar HDAV 1.3? If so is the difference between the two cards really that noticeable?

My primary use is going to be DVD/Blue ray plus games via the HTPC. I will not have any other sources at this point.

Thanks to clarify.

Regards,

Kosta
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 08:22 AM
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With Essence ST you'll get better SQ for R and L channels (better dac chip, power supply). Good for music videos I guess.

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 08:59 AM
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If TMT works well for you I'd go for the HDAV1.3 as it has analog PAP for BD, but it's good that you posted at Guru3D. If you look around there your question has probably already been answered.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

If TMT works well for you I'd go for the HDAV1.3 as it has analog PAP for BD, but it's good that you posted at Guru3D. If you look around there your question has probably already been answered.

Hmm. so does that means if I want BD sound out in each of the RCA outputs I should rather go for the HDAV1.3?

I read there are some workarounds if you choose to rip your collection into MKV files. I don't mind doing this. But I also would like to have a solution so that when I have a rental Blue Ray film, I could just plug it in and I won't have a loss of quality. If this is the case will the ST not work for me?
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 09:36 AM
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Depends on player. Some of the newer configurations like MPC-HC may give you correct bitrate/bitsample of lpcm out 5.1 and 7.1. Many with additional software play disks directly. I use mine with TMT3 and 5, and JRiver. I'm not familiar enough with the others to give total advice.

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 09:39 AM
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You don't have to rip to MKV. Just avoid an AACS-compliant BD player (that always downsamples HD audio to 48kHz/16bit unless you use Xonar HDAV1.3 for TMT and Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD for PowerDVD). BTW where did you find H6?
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-16-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

You don't have to rip to MKV. Just avoid an AACS-compliant BD player (that always downsamples HD audio to 48kHz/16bit unless you use Xonar HDAV1.3 for TMT and Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD for PowerDVD). BTW where did you find H6?


Okay, this sounds good. I could go with the ST plus the H6 and still be able to play Blue Ray, if I avoid AACS compliant player. So what are my options for non AACS compliant players?

I'm in France and found a few online places that still have the H6. Cost wise with the ST plus H6 I'm at 190E and with the HDAV1.3 deluxe I'm at 210E. A suitable receiver with pre/outs will cost me above 600E so this is why I'm leaning towards this option and because I don't have any additional sources to plug in.

Ps. I read somewhere that the output runs hot. What does that mean? Will this matter if I'm feeding the miniDSP boards with the output from the ST card?

You think I should go ahead and order?
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