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I recently built a HTPC, and am planning to buy a HTIB system to use with it. The Onkyo HT-S3200 looks good, but I'm not sure how I would hook up to the HTPC. The HDMI inout on the Onkyo is video only. Based on the Onkyo specs, it looks like I would need to input my audio via optical or coax. Problem is, the sound card I have does not have either of these as output - just line out, SPDIF out (which does not support 5.1 channel, right?) and the normal surround sound outputs I could just hook speakers up to these, but I want the better power and sound that the HTIB would give.


Any suggestions? Seems like I have a couple of options:


1) Replace the current sound card with one that has optical and/or coax output.


2) Get a different HTIB, one that accepts audio via the HDMI cable. Onkyo makes a higher end HTIB, the HT-S6200, that does this, but more money and speakers are bigger than I want. If I did choose this option, would the audio work when I played music (eg., through Pandora) on the HTPC, or only for audio tracks from movies?


Also, what about Netflix streaming, when I do this, does it come as 5.1 channel, or just stereo?


My system config is as follows:


MB: ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo

RAM: 4 GB

Video: GIGABYTE GV-R467ZL-1GI Radeon HD 4670 1GB

Audio: ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1

o/s: Windows 7 Home 64 bit

DVD/BD: LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo

TV: Sony Bravia KDL-52W4100
 

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you are correct, the S3200 does not process audio over HDMI - it is pass-thru video only.


In the Onkyo HTiB lineup, you would need to move up to the S6100 or newer S6200 (as you mentioned) to get full audio decoding over HDMI.

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your video card "should" put any audio received into the HDMI stream, but Pandora will be stereo and so will Netflix (currently). Netflix has announced they will begin DD5.1 audio "sometime" this year.


Rather than replacing your card, just save a few more bucks and get the much better S6100/6200 HTiB. Since it decodes blu-ray HD audio lossless codecs, when you get a blu-ray player you are all set.
 
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