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Having reviewed all of the CE devices on the market, I have decided to go with a HTPC for all my HD playback sans TV. Can anyone tell me of the audio cards that will decode at least 5.1 lossless (preferably 7.1) for the bluray/hddvd codecs over an HDMI connection? I have read here about "daughter cards" to some of the more popular surround audio cards. Are those available yet? What are the model/brands of those cards?

Thanks for the input.
 

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Finding the hardware that is capable of outputting the lossless audio streams is not a problem. There is a motherboard (Intel P35 I believe) which outputs the lossless audio over HDMI, and there are many sound cards which can output the lossless audio over multi channel analog.


The problem is that there is not a program on the market right now which will correctly stream the audio through the program and into your receiver. PowerDVD Ultra, Arcsoft, Nero Showtime, ALL OF THEM cannot accurately output TrueHD, DTS MA, PCM, and whatever else.


So until that problem is corrected, it really doesn't matter. I understand buying the hardware for when that day does come, but just understand that no matter what hardware you buy right now, there is not a piece of software out there which will give you the sound you want.


And it SUCKS.
 

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Been out of the HTPC loop for awhile but I really expected the PC software world to be way ahead of the game in terms of handling HD. Not so I guess. I don't have a receiver to handle HD audio so DD/DTS are fine with me. Still surprised.
 

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Tell me about it. The companies that have created these programs to play back HD-DVD/Blu-Ray are obviously putting very little effort into it, and what's even worse is that they charge a hundred damn dollars for their program. It's not even finished software considering how it "handles" high-def audio.


I would just like to know where Microsoft is on this whole thing. My guess is they're not integrating it into WMP yet due to their ties with Toshiba. And if that's the case I'd rather see this whole format war end so we could get better end-use products then a bunch of posturing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mva5580 /forum/post/12967984


Finding the hardware that is capable of outputting the lossless audio streams is not a problem. There is a motherboard (Intel P35 I believe) which outputs the lossless audio over HDMI, and there are many sound cards which can output the lossless audio over multi channel analog.


The problem is that there is not a program on the market right now which will correctly stream the audio through the program and into your receiver. PowerDVD Ultra, Arcsoft, Nero Showtime, ALL OF THEM cannot accurately output TrueHD, DTS MA, PCM, and whatever else.


So until that problem is corrected, it really doesn't matter. I understand buying the hardware for when that day does come, but just understand that no matter what hardware you buy right now, there is not a piece of software out there which will give you the sound you want.


And it SUCKS.

I'm a little bit of a noobie in htpc, but would your receiver be able to translate the analog signal to digital?
 

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Basically, it works like this.


I have a sound card (HT Omega Striker 7.1,) which does not SPECIFICALLY state that it decodes TrueHD/DTS-MA/etc, but it does have specifications in that it is capable of decoding an audio stream up to the bit rate of these lossless audio streams. So my sound card is capable of decoding these streams, and since I can send multi-channel analog from this sound card to my receiver, all the receiver is in this case is an amplifier and is just outputting what is sent to it. It's really not "translating" anything, it's just outputting what it gets. And multi-channel analog is able to accept these streams because you have separate audio jacks for every speaker. So yes it is an "analog" signal, but it is still of the same quality due to having separate jacks for each speaker.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mva5580 /forum/post/12969430


Basically, it works like this.


I have a sound card (HT Omega Striker 7.1,) which does not SPECIFICALLY state that it decodes TrueHD/DTS-MA/etc, but it does have specifications in that it is capable of decoding an audio stream up to the bit rate of these lossless audio streams. So my sound card is capable of decoding these streams, and since I can send multi-channel analog from this sound card to my receiver, all the receiver is in this case is an amplifier and is just outputting what is sent to it. It's really not "translating" anything, it's just outputting what it gets. And multi-channel analog is able to accept these streams because you have separate audio jacks for every speaker. So yes it is an "analog" signal, but it is still of the same quality due to having separate jacks for each speaker.

Yeah, but the question is, how's the sound card D/A converter compared to a really good receiver. Personally, I'm a big fan of analog, but I don't think it's safe to say that analog = digital quality wise. There are just too many variables. Ultimately, I think people prefer the least number of conversions as possible, done by the best possible DACs.
 

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I understand what you're saying, and when you break it down to technicalities, yes I'm sure the receiver is "better."


But at the same time, I would undoubtedly 100% put money down on the fact that if you had people listen to both without knowing the difference, they wouldn't be able to tell you which system is putting out which sound.


I would wager the amount of people who could undoubtedly tell the difference between an HTPC sending TrueHD/DTS MA to a receiver and an HTPC sending the stream to the receiver to decode is very, very minimal.


I agree with you that they would not be equal, but I also think the difference in the two would be very minimal. And the great, great majority of people wouldn't even be able to tell.
 

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Hello, I have a HTPC with an HT Omega soundcard and here is my experience.


I connected the analog cables from the sound-card to the 5.1 inputs of my receiver. I played the test tones on the sound-card’s front panel and it worked; I was able to hear sound from all speakers and the subwoofer. However, I received an error message when I fired up Power DVD and inserted a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD movie. The error message stated to the effect that there is a component in the chain that isn’t HDCP compliant. When I switched back to s/pdif and DTS Interactive on the sound-card the movies played fine. My theory is that PDVD will not allow analog connections from the sound-card. What do you think? How can Cyberlink claim to support HD audio when it doesn’t support analog connections and there are no HDMI sound cards yet?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott896 /forum/post/13024956


Hello, I have a HTPC with an HT Omega soundcard and here is my experience.


I connected the analog cables from the sound-card to the 5.1 inputs of my receiver. I played the test tones on the sound-card's front panel and it worked; I was able to hear sound from all speakers and the subwoofer. However, I received an error message when I fired up Power DVD and inserted a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD movie. The error message stated to the effect that there is a component in the chain that isn't HDCP compliant. When I switched back to s/pdif and DTS Interactive on the sound-card the movies played fine. My theory is that PDVD will not allow analog connections from the sound-card. What do you think? How can Cyberlink claim to support HD audio when it doesn't support analog connections and there are no HDMI sound cards yet?

Bingo. I have the exact same sound card. Although I don't have your issue with multi-analog as I use Slysoft AnyDVD HD and I would ASSUME that removes all the HDCP issues you're having, as I can play Blu-Ray/HD-DVD's just fine.


But yes your point about PowerDVD is right on, the company is making false claims in being able to playback HD Audio because right now it is just not possible. A) there are no 1.3 HDMI solutions for the PC right now, and B ), and more importantly, this program does not properly handle multi-channel analog when it absolutely should.


I really think all of us who frequent this website need to have some sort of mass e-mail day to Cyberlink or something about this, because it's absolutely appalling that a company can charge 100 dollars for a program that has as many issues as this one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott896 /forum/post/13024956


My theory is that PDVD will not allow analog connections from the sound-card.

It will.

The problem is not analog/digital, but what sampling rate and bit depth the soundtrack is.

As long as it is of the regular DD/DTS variety - PDVD will output it any way you want.

If you go higher than 48kHz, it will downsample it.

Or better - it would, since the latest PDVD update fixed this issue.


Diogen.
 

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No I understand that PowerDVD allows analog, hell it's what I'm using so I know that it at least works.


I'm saying though that it just seems to mess with the output when you have analog as your output, because I cannot get anything above the 48khz.


And I do not believe at all that the latest update fixed it, because I use multi-channel analog, I select an HD Audio stream that I 100% KNOW is above 48khz, yet the output in PDVD Ultra still states 48.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mva5580 /forum/post/13025160


No I understand that PowerDVD allows analog, hell it's what I'm using so I know that it at least works.


I'm saying though that it just seems to mess with the output when you have analog as your output, because I cannot get anything above the 48khz.


And I do not believe at all that the latest update fixed it, because I use multi-channel analog, I select an HD Audio stream that I 100% KNOW is above 48khz, yet the output in PDVD Ultra still states 48.

a lot of blu rays are 48/16 anyway..it not THAT bad if you can get that quality, isnt it? question is - do you still hear a close-to-lossless quality ? I have a creative audigy zs 2 with analog rca's to my reciever and cant seem to get lossless audio with pdvd 7.3 nor with nero showtime 4 (and i also use latest anydvd-hd). how do you guys do it ?
 
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