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#201670 - 03/24/08 01:51 PM HTPC
Megnaro Offline
buff

Registered: 03/13/08
Posts: 40
Loc: Detroit, MI
I am not sure on the etiquette in these forums as the question I have is regarding HTPC and I know this site is used for speakers, but a lot of you guys are HT junkies and hopefully some of you have some nice HTPC rigs.

In a new HTPC you can have a Blu-Ray player and the new WinDVD has full support for True HD and HD-DTS. Current sound cards do not have HDMI out but they are coming out with them probably end of Q2 2008. So lets say I want to go that route. There are HDMI video cards, and will be HDMI sound cards. That leaves me with 2 HDMI cables from the same source. Isn't that a bit redundant? From my understanding the PC is outputting the HD video over HDMI through the vid card and then outputting PCM True HD through HDMI from the sound card. No receiver I know of will give you separate HDMI inputs for audio and video.

Am I missing something here, or are the sound card companies and the video card companies going to have to learn to play nice with each other and run the HDMI audio and video through one card and one cable input?

Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated as I would love to have a fully functional HTPC!

Thanks,

Greg
_________________________
M80s, EP150, QS8s, EP500, Denon 3808, PS3, Optoma EP1690

Patience is a virtue that can hurt you

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#201676 - 03/24/08 02:01 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Megnaro]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
The video cards, at least the ATis, put out audio over their HDMI. I don't think anything but the very newest (9x00 series) NVidias do that.
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#201682 - 03/24/08 02:35 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Ken.C]
Megnaro Offline
buff

Registered: 03/13/08
Posts: 40
Loc: Detroit, MI
The ATI's I saw on the website (HD3000 series) don't appear to have an HDMI out. The Nvidia 9800 definitely has an HDMI out...but it is also a $600 card \:\/

Is that really the only solution right now to have true 1080p and trueHD or HD:DTS audio through a HTPC?
_________________________
M80s, EP150, QS8s, EP500, Denon 3808, PS3, Optoma EP1690

Patience is a virtue that can hurt you

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#201694 - 03/24/08 03:18 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Megnaro]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4450
Loc: Marion, IA
Just a completely unhelpful post from me, but don't worry about the HTPC post. You will find that this forum is full of people willing to help out in a whole slew of areas. I've asked many questions about HTPC stuff on here in the past. Nobody is going to bash you or anything. We don't roll like that here.... \:\)
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http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#201698 - 03/24/08 04:34 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Megnaro]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Actually this is a topic I too have been wondering about. When I built my HTPC I was thinking that I would need a separate audio card for decent sound out.

I would think/hope that if you are doing your decoding on the receiver, that you would be able to do passthrough of both audio and video using the same hdmi connection.

By the way, I have hdmi out on my amd690g based mobo graphics so I expect something in the ATI line of cards will have hdmi out.

I have no idea whether or not it will pass audio and video and what exactly it will pass. I need to read my documentation again, but last time through I didn't find it very helpful.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#201702 - 03/24/08 05:30 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Megnaro]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana


Hi Greg,

I am also waiting for a “single card” solution for my HTPC audio. As posted above there are “workaround” cards available now but as far as I know none of them are capable of full HDMI 1.3 audio connectivity. If you haven’t found them already these links might help you or hopefully anyone else looking into this.


First you might want to read this:

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1306/2/dts_hd_and_dolby_truehd_on_your_pc/index.html

Right now it appears that digital rights management has us by the …

Also this post might be helpful on what‘s best for now:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=13460020&highlight=hdmi+1.3#post13460020

 Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage
Speaking of using Analog, is that the current preferred way of getting the best sound out of a HTPC right now?

Here is how I would rate the methods from best to worst:

1. 6/8 channel HDMI audio for all audio formats (only available from the G35 today).


For DD/DTS:

2. SPDIF (or ATI HDMI audio).

3. 6/8 channel analog (with decent DACs).


For DTS HD, Dolby TrueHD, and 6/8 channel LPCM:

2. 6/8 channel analog (with decent DACs).

3. DTS Connect or DD Live over SPDIF.

Some people will argue that 2 and 3 should be swapped for the HD audio formats because the noise induced in the DACs in the PC environment is worse that the loss caused by the compression using DTS Connect and DD Live.

-Dave




Finally if you’re not already I recommend that for the latest news you monitor this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=794029&highlight=hdmi+soundcard


Personally I am waiting until all-in-one cards that support everything are available. Then I will still probably wait for other people to work out the inevitable bugs. Right now I’m sticking to analogue especially since most of what I’m watching on the HTPC is 2.0 Anime anyway.

Hope this helps someone,

Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#201712 - 03/24/08 09:50 PM Re: HTPC [Re: grunt]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
Can HD be recorded thru cable yet without having to buy an OEM full system? I know there is an ATI card that does it, but you can't buy it separately last I looked.

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#201716 - 03/24/08 11:30 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Zarak]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
No I don’t think there is any good non OEM way to do it yet.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/03/12/ask-engadget-hd-how-can-i-record-premium-content-on-my-htpc/

Sounds like the Hauppauge HD PVR may be the best workaround in the near future. But I haven’t really been keeping up on this since I don’t get a big selection of HD content from my provider.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#201730 - 03/25/08 05:01 AM Re: HTPC [Re: Megnaro]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
From the specs on the ATI HD 3800 specs:

Integrated Digital Outputs – Enjoy your digital content the way you want to, with built-in HDMI that includes 5.1 surround audio for big screen entertainment

looks like 5.1 is the best you are going to get for now. Not having read the links posted above, my bet is that it is a hdcp integration issue.

FWIW, I found a 2005 MS white paper on drm in Vista. Holly crap!! No wonder Vista takes so long to boot and even longer to start a movie. Crypto keys, handshakes and hardware chain verification up the wazoo.

I think I'm going to change my vista startup sound to jingling keys...

Wondering why ATI might be putting an audio chip on its graphics card? The white paper suggests its a drm requirement.

Oh, and my favourite line from the paper? "While it is not required to implement this blah blah, it is suggested that this is a good way for the hardware vendor to show its commitment to content protection."
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#201741 - 03/25/08 08:58 AM Re: HTPC [Re: fredk]
Megnaro Offline
buff

Registered: 03/13/08
Posts: 40
Loc: Detroit, MI
Dean: Thankyou for your post and links, they are helpful and I hadn't checked all that out yet. I agree that waiting for an all-in-one card (brings me back to the ATI all in wonder days) is the right solution. I will monitor the forums. The new Nvidia 9800 platform has an HDMI out right on the card, but I haven't been able to verify through documentation or customer reviews whether that passes audio and supports TrueHD or DTS:HD. As soon as I learn I will pass along the info.

Fred: Thank you as well for your post. I saw the same literature on ATI's website and got excited because that line clearly states in text that it has HDMI out, but then all the images of the card and the I/O specs don't show it at all. If Nvidia's new boards have them I know ATI will follow soon.

I am only running a 5.1 setup, so if I can get HDMI out that supports 5.1 out of ATI or Nvidia I will be happy, but I will hold off on putting any real money into my HTPC until then. For now, I'm running optical out from the mobo to optical input on the Denon. Last night I put in my first 5.1 DD DVD into the HTPC, and even though I ran it through that optical, the Denon was still recognizing it as 2 channel...I thought optical would transmit the 5.1. Could it be that I am using VLC instead of a more formal WinDVD or PowerDVD?

In the end it's not hurting me because I have a PS3 hooked up through HDMI that handles the DVD playback fine, but my end goal is to have it all through the computer.

Thanks again!

Greg
_________________________
M80s, EP150, QS8s, EP500, Denon 3808, PS3, Optoma EP1690

Patience is a virtue that can hurt you

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