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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a capable Windows Vista machine (except for on-board audio) and am hooking it up to my Harmon/Kardon AVR335. What card is recommended for 7.1 under Vista?


On a side note, given a choice between channel, coax optic and digital optic, which is the best way to connect audio components?


Thanks for the tips!
 

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I would connect up analogue and digital.


The difference between opt and coax is not noticible, the Auzentech Meridean Supports both.


They have drivers from vista and the main advantage of the card over the opposition is that the Auzentech offers 7.1 swappable OPAMPS, the sound quality at stock is also better than the Soundblaster/xfi series.


With the Auzentech you also get Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect.


WIth this if you play HD PCM movies, 7.1 or 5.1 you will be able to get hi fidelity sound using both outputs.

http://www.auzentech.com/site/index.php
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlimm /forum/post/0


I have a capable Windows Vista machine (except for on-board audio) and am hooking it up to my Harmon/Kardon AVR335. What card is recommended for 7.1 under Vista?


On a side note, given a choice between channel, coax optic and digital optic, which is the best way to connect audio components?


Thanks for the tips!

if you want features like DD live or DTS live, check out the X-Meridian or X-mystique cards. If you just want stright forward DD and DTS from dvd's and hdtv to your receiver then you can get away with a cheap $20 card like the Chaintech AV710.


The advantage to the X-Meridian and X-Mystique cards is that if you watching a video that isn't encoded in DD or DTS or your playing a PC video game that is in surround sound (aka EAX surround sound) you can use one of those cards and they will in real time re-encode the audio into DD or DTS.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's a very nice card! I was hoping to not have to drop over $100 on this card though. Is there a less expensive card that's still able to power a 7.1 via optical under Vista?
 

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7.1 discrete channels are not available via spdif.


The most you will get is DTS ES Discrete which is 6.1

For 7.1 High Bitrate sound you will need to link up the 7.1 inputs to your receiver, this will mean your receiver will have to have 7.1 analogue inputs on the back, it probably wont, it may have 5.1 which means you will be able to get high fidelity 5.1 analogue sound.


You will be able to get 5.1 up mixed to 7.1 but if you want 7.1 in high fidelity you will need to use analogue.
 

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A good alternative to the X-Meridian is the Sondigo Inferno. This card has most of the same parts as the X-Meridian and can be found less than $80. Where the big difference is in the better quality opamps for analog outputs and build quality of the X-Meridian. The X-Meridian opamps can be swapped to provide even better analog output. If you are using digital output, the cards are going to be similar. However, the Inferno is no slouch when it comes to analog. It uses JRC4580 opamps which are used in the Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD player. I doubt you would hear a tremedous difference in analog output unless you are running some very high end gear or very good headphones. No doubt though if you want the best analog aoutput the X-Meridian is the way to go. You might want to take a look at this review of the Bluedgers b-Enspirer , which is the same card as the Sondigo Inferno. If you want to see how close several of these Cmedia CMI8788 cards perform compared the the X-Fi series take a kook at this review written for the HT Omega Claro .
 

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the ht omega striker 7.1 has the same processor as the xplosion and is about 20.00 cheaper. I use the striker and it works well for me. It also comes with a optical and coax output.

-Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay. Let me see if I have this correct...


If I get a mid-range card (like the X-Mystique) that supports DD Live encoding, I can then connect via Toslink and let the AVR-335 decode it into 7.1? Otherwise I need 8 discrete inputs/outputs to take advantage of the receiver.


Thanks Josh for the explanation! I really appreciate everyone straightening me out.
 

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No sound cards do 7.1 over digital link


Only analog. all 7.1 sound tracks are matrixed anyway DTS ES does 6.1


What content do you need 5.1 or better for?



If you only want it for DVD/Movie sound tracks anything (including you'r onboard) will do just fine with a digital out (optical or coax, doesn't matter).


If you want discrete multichannel for games then you NEED a card that does DD Live or DTS connect, or you must use the analog connectors.
 

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You will get 7.1 with any card that outputs 7.1 channels via analogue.


Over spdif you will get at the most 6.1 via DTS ES and you can use your receiver to upmix the 5.1/6.1 streams to 7.1 if it has pro logic IIx.


You will then get audio via spdif with DTS connect or DD live in 5.1 sent to your receiver, you use your receive to upmix if neccesary.


If you want the sound card to do all the work use the analogue.


I suggest getting the X Meridean and spending the extra, you can then buy in the future better OPAMPS to get better analogue sound!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The AVR-335 has many built-in decoders: DTS Neo:6, Dolby Digital, Dolby 3 Stereo, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital Surround EX


It also has "Harman's proprietary Logic 7 audio for enhanced multichannel reproduction from both matrix-encoded and 2-channel recordings" (from Amazon)


What is the advantage to making the sound card do all the work?


It seems that I don't have the choice to choose 6/8 CH in with video... only digital coax, optical or L/R. I'll have to see if there's a workaround.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlimm /forum/post/0


I'm mostly interested in 7.1 during DVD playback. Figured that I bought 7.1 Infinity speakers, I might as well take advantage of them.

Well you can pass the digital audio sound track to your reciever in whatever form is on the DVD via spdif form any generic onboard audio.


You can also pass 2 channel stereo.


The only reason you need anything fancier than that is for games or next-gen audio.



So for music you can let your reciever do logic 7 or whatever else you could do with CD audio and with DVD audio you will get everything you could get from having a discrete DVD player hooked up. If your reciever can matrix the sound into 7.1 there is no need to have the computer do it.
 

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You can use the sound card with dolby digital IIx to upmix the audio from 5.1 tracks.


As for audio passed over spdif 6.1is the most


DTS ES Discrerte 6.1 Pure channels.

DTS ES Matrix 6.1 Channels with the rear middle upmixed.

DD EX - Ditto
 

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Lol, go look at a big box store at the DVDs they carry. Less than 5% have 6.1 DTS-ES. I'd say at least 80% are just Dolby Digital. People realized real quick that 5.1 is all you need and more than most people have. There is no discrete 7.1 that I know of, it's 6.1 with 2 rear centers.
 
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