HTPC Soundcard

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by WilliamC, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. WilliamC

    WilliamC Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I don't know if my Soundblaster Audigy will work as far as outputting the DD/dts bitstream since the spdif out is a 1/8" plug. if it doesn't i might as well buy the MAudio Audiophile 2496. Anyone know where I can get a good deal on one of these? Or if my current card will work fine.
    Also can i use this in conjunction with my audigy since this is not strictly an HTPC.

    system specs:
    P3 500MHZ
    384Mb PC133
    40 GB 10k RPM SCSI HD
    9.1 7,200K RPM SCSI HD
    Geforce 4 ti4400 128MB
    as far as DVD I haven't decide but either a tosh or a pioneer any recommendations.
     
  2. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    AR makes some nice 1/8" to RCAs adapators....i use the AR performance 1/8" to RCAs adaptor for analog....but you may want to go for the pro series since it is just a few bucks more at AC4L.com
     
  4. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I've only seen the Audiophils for approx $170, occasionally on Ebay I'll a bit cheaper but not by that much. I'm really considering one of these but I don't think it will fix my "hiss" problem.

    (It will be upgrading a Hercules 6.1 Gametheater XP

    At reference levels my speakers produce a loud hiss that's annoying during quiet scenes in a movie. I've isolated the problem to the sound card. I think there's interference and noise my PC creates that gets picked up by my amp. Also... that combined with some AC noise because when I adjust the dimmer on my lighting the hiss changes slightly.

    When my amp is on there's no hiss, during boot up there's no hiss, when my sound card driver turns on after windows is loaded there's HISS.

    This makes me want to buy a separate receiver and use SPDIF. I think that would solve the problem?
     
  5. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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  6. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    I use a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card on my PII @ 450 Mhz.
    It makes for *incredible* audio quality (PCM, DTS, Dolby Digital) when used with the Zoom Player, the ATI Ravisent Cinemaster video filters and the PowerDVD audio filters.
    Video acceleration using an ATI Radeon 7500 helps performance. A lot. [​IMG]
     
  8. Craig Woodhall

    Craig Woodhall Supporting Actor

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    I have a $12,000 audio system and I use my Sounblaster Live ($50) to output SPDIF to my Lexicon and it sounds just as good as my stand alone DVD player!

    Craig
     
  9. WilliamC

    WilliamC Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I've decided to go with the audiophile 24/96 its a better option for me. I don't want to skimp out on audio quality. Considering that the SB card resamples the bitstream incorrectly the 24/96 is a better choice with alot less jitter
     
  10. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    John Parris, interesting, I didn't know there were timing involved in the encoded DD/DTS streams, I always thought they were just like PCM via S/PDIF, since S/PDIF doesn't have any inherent clock or other timing values in its signal. I guess I was wrong?

    However, if that's the case, why is it that various software DVD players exhibit different sound qualities? For me, DD/DTS from WinDVD 4+ sounds more dynamic and better than DD/DTS from PowerDVD XP 4 Deluxe, both of which are passed through to my prepro via an S/PDIF connection.
     
  12. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Sihan Goi-- interesting question... this was addressed in the same tests over at AVSforum, and since each bitstream was shown to be identical in binary, no scientific conclusion can be drawn about the supposed differences in software sound qualities... I think WinDVD and PowerDVD were the ones tested, and no differences were shown, dispite claims that one had a more "airy" center channel... I can't really offer an answer on this one.

    Also, afaik (could be wrong about this), Dolby Digital and DTS have built-in timing bits to ensure accurate transfer...
     
  13. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Hmmn, if both streams are bit-for-bit identical, and no timing irregularities are seen, then theoretically they should sound identical, since they ARE identical. Perhaps some volume control was done in the digital domain in the software players? That sounds improbable though since all the players are doing is ripping the DD/DTS streams and sending them unaltered to the processor, it should be the processor that's doing the volume control...

    Yet I still sense that WinDVD audio is more dynamic...maybe I've gone mad...
     
  14. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I wasnt going to say anything, but ... [​IMG]
    In all seriousness, I'm not really convinced one way or the other... when my DVD-ROM comes (hopefully today! COME ON FEDEX! PLEASE!) I'm going to do some software comparisons and test my 1/8" digital coax against the Audigy Drive's optical and coaxial outputs... Going to use PowerDVD and WinDVD since they're the only ones I have for the tests... I'll post my findings in a new thread if anyone's interested.
     
  15. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I'd be interested...just to confirm/refute my own findings...
     

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