Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm at my wits end with my current HTPC setup - old quad core intel, 4gb, Nvidia 430 fanless, Win7. Basically, it is forever dropping audio when my Onkyo 1009 / Pana TV isn't available. Often resets fix things, but quite often, I get "Audio decoder" errors on a reboot, which seem to require several more reboots to resolve. Last night it took 6 reboots to get things working. My wife was NOT happy.
So, I'd like to resolve this. Clearly the Nvidia - onkyo - pana chain isn't working out too well, even using Windows 7 (32bit version, because at the time that was better supported by software vendors than 64bit).
I chose the Nvidia card after having (similar but different) problems with ATI.
I figure I have several options open...
1) Try an ATI card rather than Nvidia
2) Switch to a haswell board with intel onboard graphics, as they tend to be fairly stable for non-gaming purposes
3) Switch to AMD llano or kaveri
Option 1 seems the cheapest, although ATI tend to gimp the media playback features of their lower end cards.
Option 2 seemed overall preferable given that the current CPU is core-2-quad era (low energy version), but this thread suggests that this issue may still exist with Intel CPUs (sigh)
Option 3 seems good, but past experience with AMD drivers doesn't entirely fill me with confidence.
I would *very much* welcome peoples' experience/opinion, provided they're using it via a similar PC->Amp->Display setup.
When not in use, I put TV and Onkyo in standby. The PC goes in and out of standby to record TV as necessary. I use a BlackGold twin DVB-T2 HD card for that, and probably wouldn't change it (even though it periodically forgets to be dual-tuner).
To be honest, it's like HTPCs never quite work properly, and I think my other half is getting quite sick of it all
Hopefully you guys can help me regain confidence!
PS, it is my intention to stay with Win7, but since I'm having the problem on W7 right now, I'm very cautious that it might still exist on Win7.
(Edit) PPS, we use Windows Media Center as the media front end, as it has always served us well. We don't use any ripped media, just watch/record TV and the odd blu-ray via TMT. Ocassional legit streaming TV services for shows that failed to record.