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Discussion Starter #1
And the decision by the judges...


First the competition. R*nco VX* from a Pr*ceed PM*T. Output on a nicely dialed in Sony G70. The image quality was excellent! Nothing less that what you would expect from $15K of AV processing.


The HTPC again - Duron 700 - ATI KT7 - 256MB Ram - Geforce2 MX - Nightengale cheap SPDIF sound card - WD 10.2GB HD - Latest WinDVD with the latest patch. Powerstrip.


The R*nco reference was at 720P. The HTPC was matched for the test.


As for the HTPC performance, the definitive answer from myself as well as this very experienced AV-Phile was HTPC video was significantly more detailed, and had suprior 3D depth. However the SPDIF output was a hands down winner to the PM*T.


Another notch in the mouse of the HTPC, sorta. I will now purchase the best sound card with SPDIF currently available (Keeping it under $400 is a goal) to see if the HTPC SPDIF can be made to output an SPDIF signal even close to the current DVD transports SPDIF.


As I search around, I'm not sure that I have been able to determine if there is a hands down winner for the HTPC SPDIF output. Even if there is, will the best SPDIF output that the HTPC can offer even be able to touch the PM*T? Only another shootout will determine, after the new soundcard purchase has been made. Your input on that sound card would be appreciated. Audiophile 24/96?


Oz
 

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The ATI all in wonder's spdif out might be "purer" than that of a sound card. It might be less subject to electrical interference from the motherboard or other insubstantials I couldn't describe.


I would love to see a comparison between sound cards and the AIW.


Cheers,
 

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That would be all the more reason to wait and get the 8500 with SPDIF output. Doesn't the digital out on the DVD rom plug directly in to those cards?


Oz
 

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you might also try connecting to the decoder w/ an optical cable as this seems to isolate the electrical noise of the pc.
 

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A good idea... experimenting with the optical output. My cheapo Nightingale has the optional optical output too.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by duell
That would be all the more reason to wait and get the 8500 with SPDIF output. Doesn't the digital out on the DVD rom plug directly in to those cards?


Oz
I'm not sure how they connect, but the AC-3 bitstream gets sent through the IDE cable; not the digital 2-pin on the DVD-ROM.


I also have a sound card built on the 8738 chipset - Mine is actually built into my Soyo Dragon mobo. It offers optical out as well, and that's all I use. I prefer optical to coax, simply because it eliminates any chance of HUM or electrical noise interference that can be introduced with COAX.


-Ryan Dinan
 
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