I am narrowing my latest toy search down to two options. One would be the Dune HD Smart D1 (methinks this is the Dune of choice, will explain as I go). The other would be a small form factor HTPC such as the Lenovo Q180.
My upstairs rig has some older components, and I am holding off on major upgrades for budgetary reasons. But as I add new toys, I look for the ability to work with my existing technololgy but also offer a good upgrade path for the future.
The monitor supports component HD (1080i) but is not HDMI capable. The receiver has limited HDMI input. However, it can accept multichannel LPCM over HDMI.
Right now I feed a Panasonic BD35 into the monitor via component and audio via HDMI. This Panasonic unit can convert hi res audio to LPCM over HDMI.
So it looks like the Dune HD Smart D1 can do the same; output component video and convert all audio tracks to LPCM over HDMI. Is this correct?
Also, I gather that the unit can handle multichannel FLAC and output the resulting PCM as multichannel over HDMI. Is that correct?
But.....can the unit play FLAC tracks without gaps or interruptions?
Dune seems to talk about a motherboard upgrade coming soon on the website. Does anybody know much about this?
Dune also has new unit lower priced units coming out; but I gather that they do not convert DTS HD-MA etc. into PCM. Is that you understanding?
The other unit I am looking into is a small form factor Lenovo (something like a Q180). This looks like a nice rig. However, I have the impression that I will also need to purchase an add on adaptor to convert VGA to component video. Lenovo claims that the VGA on this unit can actually handle YPbPr with a simple cable, no electronic converter needed. If anybody wants to weigh in on this, that would be great. The Q180 with Blu Ray is due out in a month or two.
The key advantage of the HTPC approach is that I know that Foobar can for sure seamlessly play the multichannel flac files; and there are add-ons to allow Foobar to play DVD-Audio files. On the other hand, there are software packages that I believe can convert my DVD-Audio discs to multi-channel flacs so if the Dune can play FLACs without gaps that would be OK.
Thank you for your input.