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Old 24th April 2012, 04:42 PM   #11
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None of those do "high end 5.1" like you said in title. DolbyDigital and DTS are lossy formats, good enough for movies (as I already said 55dB SNR is not high end). And those are the only ones you can use over SPDIF or USB1.1 - maily because of bandwidth limits.
As for the uncompressed multichannel PCM... you don't have a source for that (unless you record it yourself). All the hi-res multich sources are "packed" in some kind of container.

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 24th April 2012 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 24th April 2012, 04:55 PM   #12
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
None of those do "high end 5.1" .
Exactly, what I want is something that does. Considering the ua-101 can do 24/192 output on 6 channels simultaneously, this should be doable.

Blu-ray.com - Blu-ray FAQ

As you can see in this link, there are multiple lossless surround sound formats used for movies. Yes Dolby digital and dts are lossy, so what? This isn't 2006, who is still concerned about DVD level audio? On top of that, since when did the source/Dac/output stop mattering just because we are talking about movies? Mp3 is a lossy format but it still sounds much better on my saphire 2i2 then on my motherboard's stock outputs.
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Old 24th April 2012, 11:30 PM   #13
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Bluray will not output Hi-Res sound over nothing else but HDMI. Copycrap issues...
Same with SACD or DVD-A, except here you have the DenonLinkIII alternative to your receiver.

DTS/DD will be just fine trough your receiver, it won't need nothing else "high end" - because their SNR is limited at 55dB.

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 24th April 2012 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 25th April 2012, 03:09 AM   #14
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Here are some ways you can rip the audio from blu ray to your HTPC.

Computer Audiophile - Guide To Ripping DVD and Blu-ray Audio Using The Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion Box Set

The new Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/DVD Ripping Guide for Media Streamers | AVForums.com - UK Online

Backup/copy Blu-ray movie with lossless audio

etc...

There are also ways to rip the audio, compress to flac and then join with a movie if you really wanted to.

The fact is that the receiver is going to become more niche as HTPCs grow. They currently only do 2 things that you can't do easily with a PC. Multiple inputs and video switching. If you are using an HTPC as your source, which can be done for everything but game consoles, then all you are really using your receiver for is to amplify your system. Yes, you can use it for digital audio decoding but you can do that in a HTPC as well. If someone were to develop a soundcard for HTPC that had as little as 2 hdmi inputs and had a high end 5.1-7.1 output, the receiver would be on it's way out. Unfortunately, I am not at the skill level to make such a thing, I am just able to see the demand for one.
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Old 25th April 2012, 05:42 AM   #15
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I think you have it backwards. HTPCs are and were niche, and will be replaced by other boxes, "smart" TV's, gaming consoles, etc. Very few people have the technical knowledge and patience to deal with an HTPC and those are probably going to be the only users going forward (still).

The best way to do this is probably buy a middle of the road Japanese receiver and tap the I2S at the pins of the DACs and do whatever you want with it.

Or, find a sound card with 8ch analog outputs and do the same thing.

Last edited by chris719; 25th April 2012 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 25th April 2012, 05:57 AM   #16
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Quite - I already have a 'smart' TV where the Android system is built within - a 46-inch tablet if you will (although without multi-touch). These are a much more cost-effective solution than an HTPC plus a panel or projector. It only needs Google to get Android USB audio support sorted out now...

In the meantime I'm just in the midst of thinking how to mod a very cheap ($16) surround-sound decoder board to have half-decent DACs (i.e. not S-D)
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Old 25th April 2012, 06:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJNUBZ View Post
The fact is that the receiver is going to become more niche as HTPCs grow. They currently only do 2 things that you can't do easily with a PC. Multiple inputs and video switching. If you are using an HTPC as your source, which can be done for everything but game consoles, then all you are really using your receiver for is to amplify your system. Yes, you can use it for digital audio decoding but you can do that in a HTPC as well. If someone were to develop a soundcard for HTPC that had as little as 2 hdmi inputs and had a high end 5.1-7.1 output, the receiver would be on it's way out. Unfortunately, I am not at the skill level to make such a thing, I am just able to see the demand for one.

I've been using a HTPC for 5+ years. I understand what you're suggesting but its a usability nightmare. Switching the inputs through the PC, sounds good in theory but how does the software layer control it? It's not as simple as back in the day taking a composite video signal input thats for sure! You'll be stuck with proprietary software to control input switching and even then I'm not sure they'll be able to pipe an encoded hdmi stream through a pc, decode it and play it back. I think copy protection and hardware for that will be a nightmare.

You really have to go to a lot of effort to DIY something that will perform better than the receivers mentioned already.

Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say:
Quote:
high end 5.1-7.1 output
Because high end is more than just a dac that is able to decode '24/192' in my book, the dac needs to be well implemented. Dealing with 6 to 8 ch of well implemented dac and interfacing it to a PC isn't simple. It may be possible to buy cheap DAC's that will do multichannel OK, I doubt they'll be better than the receivers though. Realistically the most practical solution for the problem you seem to be trying to solve is to have a reasonable receiver and use power amps on the channels that are most important to you. The power supply in the receiver limits the amplifiers performance in 99% of cases. So by removing 2 or 3ch of amplifiers from the load you can have significantly better results. So I'd be building 3ch of those F5 amplifiers and using the preamplified output of the 3805 for L/C/R outputs and sit back and enjoy.
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Old 25th April 2012, 10:24 AM   #18
Koenjer is offline Koenjer  Netherlands
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You could make something yourself if a USB interface is enough.

- EXA USB interface, 6 Channel A-synchronous I2S
- 6 Channel Twistedpear ESS Dac, incl volume remote

With the advanced drivers of the EXA you could do delay and level settings to get the 5.1 right. Even VST plugins are possible to do advanced eq'ing.

the only downside is that USB is the only input source.
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Old 6th May 2012, 10:34 PM   #19
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hochopeper View Post
I've been using a HTPC for 5+ years. I understand what you're suggesting but its a usability nightmare. Switching the inputs through the PC, sounds good in theory but how does the software layer control it? It's not as simple as back in the day taking a composite video signal input thats for sure! You'll be stuck with proprietary software to control input switching and even then I'm not sure they'll be able to pipe an encoded hdmi stream through a pc, decode it and play it back. I think copy protection and hardware for that will be a nightmare.

You really have to go to a lot of effort to DIY something that will perform better than the receivers mentioned already.

Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say:

Because high end is more than just a dac that is able to decode '24/192' in my book, the dac needs to be well implemented. Dealing with 6 to 8 ch of well implemented dac and interfacing it to a PC isn't simple. It may be possible to buy cheap DAC's that will do multichannel OK, I doubt they'll be better than the receivers though. Realistically the most practical solution for the problem you seem to be trying to solve is to have a reasonable receiver and use power amps on the channels that are most important to you. The power supply in the receiver limits the amplifiers performance in 99% of cases. So by removing 2 or 3ch of amplifiers from the load you can have significantly better results. So I'd be building 3ch of those F5 amplifiers and using the preamplified output of the 3805 for L/C/R outputs and sit back and enjoy.
I understand why switching hasn't happened yet, copy protection is winning on that front and locking us out of our own hardware. Just immagine when manufactures stop putting SPDIF on products and you are forced to use HDMI. That doesn't mean I can't still want someone to build a product that fits my needs.


When I say high end 5.1-7.1 output, I mean something that is on par with the DIY stereo USB DACs that have been replacing CD players over the past few years. Quality clock, output design, dac, caps etc. is what I would look for. Even if it was on par with some of the gigaworks dacs and needed some mods, I would be happy.

Now that the raspberry PI is out, you could make a high end stereo/surround system for a song. Hell if the RPI had PCI I would just buy another xonar ST + daughter board and call it a day.


The 3805 is good but it is not on par with the xonar ST or even the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 I have come to love for stereo + speaker testing.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:50 AM   #20
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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If you only play content on the PC, which isn't unreasonable, then just invest in a PCI sound card that has good DACs (or can be modified). Or one with multichannel S/PDIF outputs, which can then drive separate DACs. There were or are some computer speaker systems that accepted 3 S/PDIF streams, and some Creative cards brought those signals out to the back panel via 3.5mm sockets or a mini-DIN connector.
M-Audio cards cost more, but one that I looked at included unambiguous bass management settings in the driver.
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