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HDMI video card with audio

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi. I just built my girlfriend a computer, and we're using her Sharp Aquos 32" as a monitor/TV. I want a video card that has HDMI integrated that can pass audio through it. Right now, I'm using the dvi-to-rgb converter to connect the in pc rgb input on the TV, and using a standard 3.5mm audio cable to connect from her onboard sound card to the TV. The sound sucks because I have to turn the volume up quite a bit while using the computer, and I always forget to turn it back down when I want to switch it back to the TV. I want everything to be digital. I'm aware that I can use a dvi-to-hdmi converter to connect via hdmi to the TV, but there will be no sound input to the TV. She doesn't want to buy a receiver with speakers because she doesn't want to clutter the table. Now, I'm not looking for any fancy sound. 2 channels is fine because the speakers on the TV are the only speakers that she'll be using. Is there a digital pass from a sound card that will connect to the videocard, then through the hdmi to the TV?
post #2 of 12
The new 2400 or 2600 or the current 2900 will pass audio via hdmi.

If ur tv only has dvi then you wont be able to get sound,otherwise with hdmi it will be fine.
post #3 of 12
There are currently several HDMI boards that have S/PDIF input that are advertised to pass audio out. These are based on Nvidia's 7300GS and 7600GS GPUs. MSI, Asus and XFS all make them. I own one of them (MSI NX7300GS-MD256EH).

However, I was not able to get the audio to pass through to HDMI output to my HDTV at all. I've done endless research and have not been able to find any reference or confirmation that it works at all. There's nothing in the board maker's product documentation or Nvidia's driver or documentation that indicates it works.

Good luck. If you happen to find a source that indicates how to get this to work please post here.

Your best chance is to get a 690G based mobo which clearly states, at least on paper, that you can route audio to HDMI port to your HDTV. I'm still waiting for confirmation on this.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

There are currently several HDMI boards that have S/PDIF input that are advertised to pass audio out. These are based on Nvidia's 7300GS and 7600GS GPUs. MSI, Asus and XFS all make them. I own one of them (MSI NX7300GS-MD256EH).

However, I was not able to get the audio to pass through to HDMI output to my HDTV at all. I've done endless research and have not been able to find any reference or confirmation that it works at all. There's nothing in the board maker's product documentation or Nvidia's driver or documentation that indicates it works.

Good luck. If you happen to find a source that indicates how to get this to work please post here.

Your best chance is to get a 690G based mobo which clearly states, at least on paper, that you can route audio to HDMI port to your HDTV. I'm still waiting for confirmation on this.

I thought you needed an input on your video card for audio, and you connected the sound card to that input on your video card? I'm looking for the same type of setup.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesH View Post

I thought you needed an input on your video card for audio, and you connected the sound card to that input on your video card? I'm looking for the same type of setup.

These standalone video cards do come with either a header or a coaxial S/PDIF input that connects to the S/PDIF output from your sound card or mobo. This method is generically and vaguely described by the video card makers and review sites as audio "passthrough" to HDMI. It's not clear to me what "passthrough" means; my understanding is that HDMI has only a single data stream that consists of video, audio and other control data, and audio must be merged with video into a single stream, so "passthrough" does not make sense to me.

The 690G and 7050 based mobos with integrated graphics chip do support HDMI audio in the BIOS, which I assume means the output of the audio chip (Realtek) is directly routed and merged with the video to produce a single HDMI output stream.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

These standalone video cards do come with either a header or a coaxial S/PDIF input that connects to the S/PDIF output from your sound card or mobo. This method is generically and vaguely described by the video card makers and review sites as audio "passthrough" to HDMI. It's not clear to me what "passthrough" means; my understanding is that HDMI has only a single data stream that consists of video, audio and other control data, and audio must be merged with video into a single stream, so "passthrough" does not make sense to me.

The 690G and 7050 based mobos with integrated graphics chip do support HDMI audio in the BIOS, which I assume means the output of the audio chip (Realtek) is directly routed and merged with the video to produce a single HDMI output stream.

thanks for the explanation
post #7 of 12
"Passthrough" simply means that the SPDIF is sent unaltered (though reframed, usually) through the HDMI port. You are taking sound output from whatever sound solution you normally use and sending it through the same cable as video.

As differentiated from solutions which get full bandwidth LPCM 6- or 8-channel over PCIe or the HD Audio bus and transmit that using the renderer on the HDMI transmitter chip. Passthrough limits you to SPDIF specs (high-def PCM in stereo, compressed DD and DTS in 5.1), while rendering at the HDMI transmitter should give you full bitrate TrueHD or DTS HD.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael View Post

"Passthrough" simply means that the SPDIF is sent unaltered (though reframed, usually) through the HDMI port. You are taking sound output from whatever sound solution you normally use and sending it through the same cable as video.

One thing that I don't quite understand, and for which I could not find any info is this: I assume all 3 pairs of TMDS signals of the HDMI cable are used for video (that is in the absence of sound; there's no mention of any pair of TMDS being dedicated to audio only), so how is audio transmitted? Is has to be merged somehow (in other words, altered from its original form) with the video signal and transmitted on the same 3 pairs of TMDS, right?

What's more important is this: How does my HDTV receive/decode the audio? I've been struggling for some time trying to figure out why my HDTV can receive sound from the PS3 and a cheap DVD player over HDMI, but not from my HTPC with this S/PDIF "passthrough".

I'd appreciate any light you can shed on this. Thanks!
post #9 of 12
I just built a HTPC with a Gigabyte mb based on the AMD690g chip. HDMI took some work but it now works, from the on board graphics. I understand HD DVD playback wont be good but I am not interested in it now, but I can get it later with a graphics card. I have read here, on AVS fourm that ATI is coming out with a card just for your needs, 2400... with HDMI out from a REALTEK chip on the card( 7/12/07 or so). Details were posted Sat or Sun.

Bob
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

One thing that I don't quite understand, and for which I could not find any info is this: I assume all 3 pairs of TMDS signals of the HDMI cable are used for video (that is in the absence of sound; there's no mention of any pair of TMDS being dedicated to audio only), so how is audio transmitted? Is has to be merged somehow (in other words, altered from its original form) with the video signal and transmitted on the same 3 pairs of TMDS, right?

I'm digging back into areas I understand poorly, here, but IIRC in between each frame of video is a section of time designated as the "data island", or something similar. Into said "island" can be stuffed extra data, including audio. So audio uses the same TMDS stream as video, it just utilizes the time between frames to transmit the audio data.

Quote:


What's more important is this: How does my HDTV receive/decode the audio? I've been struggling for some time trying to figure out why my HDTV can receive sound from the PS3 and a cheap DVD player over HDMI, but not from my HTPC with this S/PDIF "passthrough".

I'd appreciate any light you can shed on this. Thanks!

Hard to say; I'm not privy to the specifics of the ATI or Nvidia solutions. I suspect the setup of the HDMI is screwy-- not that you messed anything up, but that the drivers and or BIOS are interacting in an unpleasant way. Also, unlike straight SPDIF through optical or coax, HDMI is a two-way interface and the transmitter queries your HDTV to decide what it can send over. Perhaps the Nvidia solution is misreading the returned data, or making the wrong decision with it?
post #11 of 12
What do you guys think of this card:
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6199&page=2
It's about 90$. Has HDMI and appears to pass audio.
post #12 of 12
I have an nVidia 7300gs card and had no luck getting the audio from S/PDIF output from my mobo to pass through to my HDTV. Maybe you'll have better luck with this card.

Reading the web page in your link, I'm begining to think that the chip that does the HDMI video and S/PDIF audio merging is the Silicon Image chip that handles HDCP, NOT the GPU as I and others had believed. This could explain why I was not able to find any reference of S/PDIF from from nVidia.

I will have take out my video card and check if it also has a Silicon Image HDCP chip.

Here's the link of the SiI 1930 chip used on the ATI card: http://www.siliconimage.com/products/product.aspx?id=53. You can how the flow of S/PDIF in the block diagram.
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