HTPC audio side

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Nep, May 12, 2002.

  1. Mike Nep

    Mike Nep Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a little confused on how the audio side of HTPC is configured. Can anyone recommend good/great sound cards? Also, what does everyone use to send the signal to their processor? I don't have any special jacks except for a 1394 connection which I don't know what to do with. Please help as the ae100 has been ordered. Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Mark Amayao

    Mark Amayao Stunt Coordinator

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    I am most likely getting the exact same projector ...... and was considering a htpc instead of a denon dvd1600 with dcdi faroudja chip .........

    what is a cheap route for getting a htpc? .... what are the minumum specs of a htpc to get a real good playback? ... i know the benefits of a htpc but still somewhat vague on how to put something like this together .... all i know is good sound card and video card but for the actual motherboard and processor i have no idea? ..... would a cheap tower with a pentium two dvd rom drive and a good sound card be fine? ...... what are your specs? what is the cheapest i can go .... the dvd1600 denon is 499.99 i can get it for less cause of the employee program but the budget is still around 500 at the most. thanks and let me know what you end up with please ..... thanks
     
  3. Drew Wimmer

    Drew Wimmer Stunt Coordinator

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    you can find audio cards that have digital coax and toslink outs on them, so the sound cards can be connected directly to your receiver just like a dvd player, i've heard really good things about the M-Audio audiophile 24/96, i think that's what I'll be putting in my htpc this summer
    1394 is firewire, i've never heard of it being used for audio, though i suppose it could be...mostly it's just another connection similar to USB, only without as much support so far as device variety goes, mostly it's only for external storage devices like camcorders, external harddrives, external cd-burners, etc.
     
  4. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

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    I know the Soyo board I just got has the M-Audio sound card in it. It came with an card that had both optical, and co-ax in and out. It's a nice little board.
     
  5. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike:

    Drew is right. The M-Audio line of cards (the Audiophile 24/96, the Delta 1010, 1010LT, 410, and Dio) are the current favorite among HT enthusiasts b/c of their high quality and relatively low cost.

    But, the answer to your question will depend on how you intend to use your HTPC. If your plan is to rely on your receiver or pre/pro to handle all of your surround decoding and digital-to-analog conversion, then you need to find a card to that can pass bit-perfect S/PDIF digital to your processor. The M-Audio cards excel at this, unlike the Soundblaster cards, which apparently convert 44.1 PCM to 48 khz before transmitting.

    However, if you intend to let the soundcard handle the digital-to-analog conversion, and your DVD playback software handle your surround decoding, the ONLY choice is the M-Audio Delta line of cards, specifically, the Delta 410 24/96 8 channel card or the Delta 1010 10-channel card. M-Audio recently finished a driver application that gives you complete control over individual channel volume, delay, and bass management for 5.1 decoded sources (DD5.1 and DTS). In my setup, I have the analog outputs of the Delta card running straight to my amps with no receiver or pre-amp involved.

    - Ken
     
  6. Mike Nep

    Mike Nep Stunt Coordinator

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    Meaning to say that an Audigy card wouldn't fit the bill to get the highest quality output?
     

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