Music through HDMI on Mobo

I'm wanting to build a music server and run the audio out through the HDMI on the mobo. I have an Intel E5200 processor so will need an LGA 775 mobo for this. Can it be done easily enough? Will some boards be better than others? I'll be using Win 7. Thanks
There's a guide on how to make can shoot me a PM. Im not sure if posting links its right...

Hi soldering guy,
Could you PM me a copy of that link too? I'm looking into building a DAW/music server (or a laptop if possible) for multi-channel LPCM output via HDMI to a to a home theater reciever. Not interested in video at this point, just simple and clean way to work with and monitor my surround recordings without the need for a multichannel dac.



2009-02-28 1:24 pm
Ok let me get this, you want to run hdmi out of a pc board and into a hdmi receiver right?

In order to do that you need ANY ati 4000 or 5000 series video cards with hdmi out. They will send out multi channel or 2 channel pcm audio.

You also need a receiver that can grab audio from the hdmi signal. Alot of them are just hdmi switchers and wont grab the audio, just relay the video information to the tv set.

If you dont want to use a video card (least expensive option at $15-25 for the card) You have to get a mobo with hdmi out. They should all support hdmi audio, even the pure intel ones.

Ive used both the ati cards and the intel onboard. Ati is alot easier to work with. Half the time the intel wont engage because it doesnt like/see the receiver. Ati you just install the video drivers and it installs a mini sound card driver called hdmi audio and your set.
Thanks. I understand the requirements on the receiver side, but I'm just begining to look into the computer side. Some initial searches bring up plenty of information about on-board HDMI on many laptops only supporting two channel LPCM or compressed datastreams (AC3/DTS), however that may be outdated information at this point.

I need to either build a dedicated DAW box (in which case I'll simply install a ATI 4000 or 5000 card as you suggest), or find a laptop that supports HDMI 6 or 8 chan-LPCM. I'd prefer to go the laptop route if possible, both for a portable solution and because I'm space limited. I suppose I should look for one with ATI Mobility 4000 or 5000 series.

The goal is to be able to simply connect the laptop to the receiver with an HDMI cable, and define output channels in the DAW to the HDMI channel standard so the receiver sends them to the correct speakers.
nightanole, a very belated thanks. I've only just got back here and so if you're still around then let me say I appreciated your response.

I've got an ati 4XXX card around here some where so that's what I'll use. And, since I have that, I guess I don't need to worry about getting a mobo with HDMI out.

I've also noted your advice re the receiver.

There seems to be a lot of info published on audiophile quality music servers but I don't want to go over board. I should have enough parts to put one together of reasonable quality....I just need the mobo.

I have read that S/PDIF out is better than HDMI out for a music server......but I can't understand why that would necessarily be the case.
Nope its the same signal. The video argument would be that dvi looks better then hdmi. Its the same signal too. You can even buy boxes to rip s/pdif from the hdmi out for older tv/receiver sets.

s/pdif might be less of a pain if you are using a linux box or a non ati card, and were doing this years ago before good driver support. I remember the early hdmi driver days when they would only support 2 channels stereo and wouldnt pass dolby digital...
mxb, nightanole,

the Music Server build looks like this.

ASUS P5G41-MLX mobo
ATI Radeon HD4670
Intel E5200 CPU
Seasonic S12 550W PSU
Hitachi 160GB HDD (another 1Tb on order)
Kingston RAM 2GB 800MHz DDR2
Samsung BD-ROM drive SH-B083

These are parts I've had for quite a while so I may as well use them...only thing I've had to buy is another HDD.

What do you suggest for a CPU cooler? I presume fanless....



2011-02-10 1:55 pm
The clock is derived from the video clock.

I guess I meant: is it implied from the unidirectional data stream, like SPDIF, or is there a bidirectional communication with flow control and the clock is generated in the receiver?

I guess it would need to be the former and generated at the point where we go from analogue to digital, but I can also see how an NTP-style feedback could be used. Without it I'd expect source and receiver to eventaully disconnect and re-sync since clock differences will eventualy result in over- or under-run of any buffers.

I guess the issue is: we know that the source quality (and to some extent SPDIF link quality) affect sound through jitter and part of that comes from the quality of master clock - to what extent is this going to impact audio quality over HDMI? Same old same old - or is more of it in the receiver?


2008-05-27 12:22 am
Thanks again nightanole.

I've got a stock fan here so I'll try that first. If its too loud then I'll go with the one you suggested. Noise probably wont matter though because the music server is going to be in a rack in another room.....


If your server is in another room then fan and drive noise is certainly not an issue. I was about to suggest an SSD may be something to consider. I'm curious as to what your HDMI implentation will be. Will you use a long cable or will the receiver be in the rack as well?