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HDMI Soundcard

post #1 of 652
Thread Starter 
1. Does anyone know when the first HDMI compatible sound card will be released?

2. Why no one advertises the obvious:

That we can output ALL MULTICHANNEL DIGITAL AUDIO formats -including games- digitally -no analogue degredation- IF the sound card has the ability to decode them to Multi Channel Linear PCM!!! Every sound card already does that via SP/DIF for all stereo (2 channel) sources!
The only thing we need afterwards is an external HDMI compatible receiver and ONE HDMI cable!!!

HELP get the marketeers out of the hardware companies GIVE US WHAT WE ALL WANT and better carpet bomb Creative!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 652
Thread Starter 
My/Our frustration over the lack of LOGIC at hardware companies regarding AV connectivity should not be simply swallowed. We need HDMI audio connectivity. No more cable web nightmares...
I intend this to become a petition! So just add your comment or a simple emtpy post if you you want to sign my petiton.
post #3 of 652
word
post #4 of 652
It would indeed be a welcome thing. HDMI 1.3 at that. It's going to be interesting to see how they marry "Deep Color" video and the HD audio formats though...

It may be necessary for someone to put out an "uber" video or sound or combo card that does it all. the Radeon 2050XTX/CMedia or nVidia 9900GTX/XFi or some such may be necessary to actually pull it off...

All I can say is the sooner the better if Microsoft really wants to get the most out of Vista and the HTPC/Home Server is really supposed to come into its own this year.
post #5 of 652
I'm in.
post #6 of 652
Nvidia already has some experience in making audio chips so they may be the first the release a HDMI audio/graphics card. Of course the only problem would be that it would likely be the top end card only which are cooling nightmares if you want to run a quiet PC also.
post #7 of 652
We are looking to include HDMI 1.3 ports in our up-coming products, but it may not make sense in our case. The annual license fee is something like $15,000 and that is just the start. It's probably a drop in the bucket to the large CE manufacturers, but we are not a large manufacturer.
post #8 of 652
Not a discrete solution, but the Bearlake G+ chipset coming later this year supposedly will have built-in HDCP and audio codec built into the Southbridge, fed back into the Northbridge (where it can go out as HDMI). It's a weird-looking solution, and obviously it doesn't help people looking to keep their current setup, but I just wanted to put it out there.
post #9 of 652
No question in my mind that multi-channel PCM is dearly needed in the HTPC space. What I'm wondering is how they would implement this without "sound card" and "video card" all-in-one. I think the first implementation you'll see is motherboard integrated. The comment above about nVidia being first makes sense, but I don't know if it's on their roadmap.

- Mike
post #10 of 652
THe New X_meridian has a add on expansion board that conatins a DIN plug that has 8 channel discrete PCM @24/192Khz output. Quite a few people were thinking this may be able to be modified into a HDMI solution or maybe that is the companies idea..just wanted to share that info.
post #11 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael View Post

Not a discrete solution, but the Bearlake G+ chipset coming later this year supposedly will have built-in HDCP and audio codec built into the Southbridge, fed back into the Northbridge (where it can go out as HDMI). It's a weird-looking solution, and obviously it doesn't help people looking to keep their current setup, but I just wanted to put it out there.

Question of the day would be, what is the quality like? The sound on past Intel boards has been really poor IMO.
post #12 of 652
Thread Starter 
We do not need HDMI 1.3 sound card. Even HDMI 1.1 is already able to transfer LPCM 7.1 audio but not all HDMI Receivers can handle it as audio (they just pass through video). ALL the new 1.2 HDMI and onwards receivers do at least 5.1 LPCM some do 7.1 too!

We do not need a merged Sound - GPU card if we just use two HDMI cables (audio - video). So for NOW two HDMI cables would suffice for PERFECT audio and video quality transmission.

Even if you opt for the single audio-video HDMI cable, the only thing that must be addressed is an internal HDMI audio-video stream merger solution which can reside in either the sound card or the GPU. Plus synchronization issues are much more easily solved by a PC software player than ANY other method including such functionality in the HDMI 1.3 spec!

PS If you get the digital audio signal out of the PC you stop caring about the intergrated sound quality you can use the best audio quality -equipment wise- that matches your wallet!
post #13 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by STriderGT View Post

We do not need HDMI 1.3 sound card. Even HDMI 1.1 is already able to transfer LPCM 7.1 audio but not all HDMI Receivers can handle it as audio (they just pass through video). ALL the new 1.2 HDMI and onwards receivers do at least 5.1 LPCM some do 7.1 too!

We do not need a merged Sound - GPU card if we just use two HDMI cables (audio - video). So for NOW two HDMI cables would suffice for PERFECT audio and video quality transmission.

Even if you opt for the single audio-video HDMI cable, the only thing that must be addressed is an internal HDMI audio-video stream merger solution which can reside in either the sound card or the GPU. Plus synchronization issues are much more easily solved by a PC software player than ANY other method including such functionality in the HMDI 1.3 spec!

PS If you get the digital audio signal out of the PC you stop caring about the intergrated sound quality you can use the best audio quality -equipment wise- that matches your wallet!

We do need them on the same cable. Alot of people already have a couple devices routed through their reciever, having them on seperate cables would create issues for anyone with only one HDMI in port and multiple HDMI devices.
post #14 of 652
Quote:


We do not need a merged Sound - GPU card if we just use two HDMI cables (audio - video). So for NOW two HDMI cables would suffice for PERFECT audio and video quality transmission.

I agree, I have no desire for audio and video on a single cable because I want to route audio and video to separate components. HDMI video straight to the display, and HDMI audio (7.1 LPCM) to the pre/pro.

Maybe some would prefer to run video through the pre/pro or receiver as well, but for my setup that would mean giving up flexibility. By having video sources run direct to the display, I can have per-input video settings (something I could not have with just one cable running from the pre/pro to the display).
post #15 of 652
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

We do need them on the same cable. Alot of people already have a couple devices routed through their reciever, having them on seperate cables would create issues for anyone with only one HDMI in port and multiple HDMI devices.

I am speaking of a right here right now solution. The typical scenario would be:
I connect my PJ,TV, etc with the HDMI video cable to the PC GPU, I connect my receiver with the audio HDMI cable to my HDMI compatible sound card. The later is nowhere to be seen...
post #16 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by PPGMD View Post

Question of the day would be, what is the quality like? The sound on past Intel boards has been really poor IMO.

You may be right about this reputation-- I've heard that about older boards, but people have seemed pleased with newer stuff-- but are you speaking of analog or SPDIF? Analog audio on a motherboard runs victim to a tremendously noisy environment and potentially cheap DACs, but digital?
post #17 of 652
Haven't touched an Intel board in ages, though the current audio provider Sigmatel doesn't have a good reputation.

Of course outputting the audio over HDMI might change the equation.
post #18 of 652
You don't want an HDMI sound card...you want an HDMI video card with a digital input on it which you can map from your sound card. Thus, the video card handles the signal and allows you to make it HDCP complaint.
post #19 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeorwned View Post

You don't want an HDMI sound card...you want an HDMI video card with a digital input on it which you can map from your sound card. Thus, the video card handles the signal and allows you to make it HDCP complaint.

HDCP or not I see no reason why sound and video have to be on the same cable. And is HDCP even an issue for the audio? If so there's no reason the sound card can be HDCP compliant. Call me crazy but I doubt we're going to see a video card anytime soon that can accept 7.1 LPCM over HDMI and combine it with the video signal. A combo video/sound card would be far more likely IMHO.
post #20 of 652
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeorwned View Post

You don't want an HDMI sound card...you want an HDMI video card with a digital input on it which you can map from your sound card. Thus, the video card handles the signal and allows you to make it HDCP complaint.

The same logic can be reversed, so you do everything sound card centric (its cheaper and more easily upgradeable than a high end GPU)!

But that is not the main point! HDMI is not just about HDCP content, it can solve, as a transmission bus, ALL CURRENT Multi Channel Audio output demands, digital & losslessly! There are no HDCP games, all of them output LPCM Multichannel at some stage inside the sound card before the signal hits the sound card's DACs. If sound card vendors would give us the ability to output that Multichannel LPCM signal via the HDMI output we would need no analogue connections to an external receiver/amp. This applies to any source including multi channel WMA and all future unDRMed formats etc!!!
post #21 of 652
I say keep them seperate. A HDMI video card and a HDMI soundcard. I don't like the idea of video running through my audio receiver. Yeah, it may be a cheap way of switching between HDMI sources, but as we all know, you get what you pay for.

More and more displays will come out with a plethora of HDMI inputs. I think three inputs is the key number.
post #22 of 652
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

I say keep them seperate. A HDMI video card and a HDMI soundcard. I don't like the idea of video running through my audio receiver. Yeah, it may be a cheap way of switching between HDMI sources, but as we all know, you get what you pay for.

More and more displays will come out with a plethora of HDMI inputs. I think three inputs is the key number.

I agree with you regarding the ideal digital cable setup -I will use the same topology myself-, but many others would like to see one digital cable for both video and audio.

I need urgently -and I think many many others do too- the flexibility of the one cable for all audio multichannel formats digital connection, that I do not mind the first HDMI sound card implementations lacking completely HDCP support... I will upgrade later to one that supports the latest industry DRM crap... What I do not get is what is stoping them of producing such an audio card right NOW??!!? Is there anyone CREATIVE about it? Or are they just busy buying and closing those companies that might come out with such a product?!?

PS As the Ampilo project poster mentioned the 15000$ HDMI royalty fee can be considered pennies for the big audio hardware vendors
post #23 of 652
Several vendors are making HDMI cards that have S/PDIF audio inputs. Asus, Sapphire and a couple others. And, supposedly, if you're using an Intel motherboard with something like a G965 for graphics you can get what's called an "ADD2" video card that's got an input for audio as well.

So it's not like there's isn't something available.
post #24 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

Several vendors are making HDMI cards that have S/PDIF audio inputs. Asus, Sapphire and a couple others. And, supposedly, if you're using an Intel motherboard with something like a G965 for graphics you can get what's called an "ADD2" video card that's got an input for audio as well.

So it's not like there's isn't something available.

If you connect SPDIF audio input to these graphics cards with HDMI output, you don't get full 7.1 LPCM audio output.
I don't know if these ADD2 cards have HD audio input (found on some Intel mobos). Theoreticaly, you can drive 7.1 LPCM through HD audio bus, but i don't know what is the reality.
post #25 of 652
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

Several vendors are making HDMI cards that have S/PDIF audio inputs. Asus, Sapphire and a couple others. And, supposedly, if you're using an Intel motherboard with something like a G965 for graphics you can get what's called an "ADD2" video card that's got an input for audio as well.

So it's not like there's isn't something available.

No there is not, S/PDIF can not carry multichannel LPCM, but only stereo LPCM as Kiwwi already stated!
Which means that simple DTS and DD are the ONLY options you have as far multichannel audio goes. There are tons of different multichannel audio formats that will not fit the S/PDIF bandwidth/spec (TrueHD, DD+, MLP, WMA, OGG, Games to name a few) that could be perfectly streamed as multichannel LPCM via the HDMI. There is no point defending hardware companies, when, in this case they simply burden us with inconveniences like multitude of cables and degraded audio quality, you should better defend your rights as a consumer.
post #26 of 652
My soundcard can output 192 kbps 24 bit on the SPDIF (realtek HD. they call it HDMI-SPDIF). Why do we need an HDMI connnector on the soundcard? Can't we just make an HDMI adaptor at the receiver end to conned a coaxial cable to?
post #27 of 652
HDMI is a combined digital stream. It has both video and audio together. So you can't use something like a passive Y adapter or splitter. That and there's negotiation that goes on between the source, destination and any intermediary devices.

There's no point in defending hardware companies? Just as there no point in flailing about demanding something the market won't bear. Sure it's be great to have all this integrated but beyond the fringes of videophiles there's not yet enough momentum in the market for it. Place blame anywhere you want, there's enough to go around. Between all the vendors there's been plenty of misses and at the heart of it all has been DRM idiocy.

Meanwhile for normal folks that want "better" audio there are options beyond analog stereo. For folks that want "best" the choices do remain somewhat limited. C'est la vie.
post #28 of 652
Yes, supposedly the ADD2 cards accept an HD Audio connection. But in my e-mail exchanges with Intel tech support this week it's been damn near impossible to get any REAL information about what can or can't be done with it. I've ordered a Prolink ADD2 card so I'll be trying it sometime next week. What concerns me most about it is whether the software support will actually be there for driving the audio through it. There seem to have been mixed results for others in the past when trying to make use of ADD2 and audio.
post #29 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

HDMI is a combined digital stream. It has both video and audio together. So you can't use something like a passive Y adapter or splitter. That and there's negotiation that goes on between the source, destination and any intermediary devices.

Well that sucks. Another reason to hate HDMI.
post #30 of 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahustvedt View Post

My soundcard can output 192 kbps 24 bit on the SPDIF (realtek HD. they call it HDMI-SPDIF).

But only 2 channels. You can't 7.1 or even 5.1 channels like that.
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