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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to use my HTPC I am building for DVD playback and mp3 jukebox. I have a Onkyo DTR-7 with optical and coaxial digital ins. My HTPC is a PIII 500. What would be the best sound card to listen to mp3 music and dolby digital/dts movies through DVD playback?


Are there any no fuss cards where its as simply as playing the mp3 through winamp and playing a dvd through the appropriate software? Is the digital connection all I will need for both mp3 and dvd audio? Thanks for any assistance in advance. :)


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
:rolleyes:
 

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Hi AVSnewbie:


___You win the shortest post of the day award ;)
Quote:
Is the digital connection all I will need for both mp3 and dvd audio?
___Yes.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Umm...any suggestions out there? I'd like to buy this weekend if possible.


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Perhaps there'd be more recommendations if you said how much you're willing to spend. As I'm slowly finding out, there isn't any one answer for the HTPC; for each price bracket, there seems to be a card (or two) that stands above the rest.


Personally, I'd get a card from RME . Great sound, rock solid drivers, a long, storied history, and currently is the "industry standard." Unfortunately, their cards do tend to get very expensive, so if you're looking for a low-cost soundcard, this isn't it.


The M-Audio Delta cards offer good sound and functionality for the money - for $200 or less, you can buy the Delta 410 and have 7.1 sound on your computer and an S/PDIF in/out.


It all depends on what you really want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Money really isnt an issue but I dont want to pay for features I am not really going to use. I'd like to pay for quality and whatever card will allow me to listen to mp3's and dd/dts off my dvd player connected to my Dtr 7. If the right card costs $30 or $200, then so be it. I'll look into the cards you recommended. Thank you for your help.


Any other suggestions out there?


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Well as you get into the more expensive soundcards, you do in fact pay for features you won't use, but you also pay for better quality.


Another soundcard to consider is the Audiotrak Maya 7.1 Gold, which retails for $130. It doesn't have 24/96 sound, but you won't use 24/96 sound for your mp3s or DVDs. It is a fully ready 7.1 card, has an optical S/PDIF output for your receiver, and they even throw in PowerDVD.


From the website,


"AC3/Dolby Digital/DTS throughput to external decoder...5.1 channel DVD surround sound...7.1 channel surround sound ready."


It's cheap, effective, has good quality for the price, and meets all your needs. I say you buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Colossus...that sounds great. I'll look into it.


Now I have an ignorant question...what is 24/96 and what is it used for?


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24/96 translates into 24-bit, 96 kHz, but what that actually means in English, I'll never know. It's supposed to be an indication of better quality because you can get more sound information on a 24/96 recording than you would on a 16-bit, 44.1 kHz (16/44.1) one, the way most regular CDs are recorded. The newest disc formats, SACD and DVD-Audio, utilize 24-bit, 96 kHz, or in some cases, 192 kHz, to get the better quality that everyone talks about, but since you can't play any one of these two formats on your PC, it's a moot point. A good bit for bit 16/44.1 DAC (that's what turns the digital data of mp3s and DVDs into a traditional analog signal) will sound better on your PC than a bad 24/96 DAC, but then again, since the entire recording is pushing the 24/96 format, you'll probably won't get a 16/44.1 DAC that's better than a 24/96 one.


The Maya 7.1 Gold uses a 20-bit DAC, uses sample rates up to 48 kHz, and so is called a 20/48 card. I haven't heard the card, but from what's been said about it, the quality of the Maya 7.1 Gold DAC is a step above the best consumer sound card, the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, and is probably the cheapest "prosumer" card available. Are you bypassing the card's DAC with your receiver's or not? If so, it won't really matter what card you buy - your receiver will do all the digital to analog converting, not the sound card. If not, it will matter.


But it's late, I'm tired, and I shouldn't talk about this technical stuff. It's not my forte. I doubt even I could make any sense of this incomprehensible crap. Look through AudioVideo101.com to find the answers to the questions you've asked - you'll likely find a more better source of info there, if by better, I mean more technical. Which I do.


"CDs currently use a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz (44,100 samples per second) and a quantisation of 16 bits (allowing 65,536 blocks). Higher-quality digital audio uses a 96 kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit quantisation (96,000 samples per second with each sample having 16,777,216 blocks)."


And there you have it. I told you you wouldn't find an English explanation.
 

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Just to add in... DVD is at 48K 16bit. 48K became a standard with DAT, since then Direct and others have used that samplerate. I don't know if that will be a factor, but if the output can't handle that rate you might be screwed...
 
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