Originally Posted by PhaedrusGalt
I have a 5.1 surround sound system that does NOT support the new Blu-Ray HD audio formats (DD TrueHD/DTS live/whatever). Right now, I use an S/PDIF connection from an Audigy 2 ZS and send DD or DTS to my receiver, which decodes it and powers my 5.1 speakers. What I want to know is this: is it possible to purchase a sound card - now OR in the near future - that will decode DD HD/DTS Live (whatever it's called) and send this over ANALOG out?
I doubt you'll see a soundcard that decodes anything, that will be up to the software you use for playback. As for today, pretty much any soundcard will output decoded Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, if the player will pass it. PowerDVD 8 will decode both.
The reason being that my receiver will amp any analog signal I send it, but it can't decode the new formats, so I am hoping to just buy a new sound card and let the sound card do the decoding and use analog out.
Is this possible? I am concerned that it will be treated like Blu-Ray video - i.e. using HDCP source (the PC) AND an HDCP viewer (the HDTV LCD).
It should be theoretically possible, standalone players can output "full quality" analog, so provided a secure path (and it sounds like Cyberlink is working with Asus/Auzentek on that) you should get "full quality" even over analog.
Now that said, onto my soapbox. I see a lot of threads/posts parroting the "PowerDVD downconverts audio, you can't get 'true' HD audio". Now if you look into it you'll find that PowerDVD caps audio output at 16-bit/48kHz per AACS rules. The part you don't find mentioned/acknowledged much is that it's very rare to find soundtracks that are really affected by that. It's all but unheard of to find a soundtrack with a sample rate >48kHz, and most movie soundtracks are at best
20bit. So you're not really losing anything with the 16bit/48kHz limit imposed by AACS and enforced by PowerDVD. Yes it will be nice to be able to get output without being limited, but the whole issue has been blown way out of proportion.