HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Don't see a specific place for your hardware question? This is the forum for you!

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nemesis

HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:25 am

Hi!

I've built many, many computers in the past but now I'm researching my first HTPC.

I'm thinking about using the H77 chipset and new ivy-bridge i5 processor with HD4000 graphics (this would elliminate the need for a separate graphics card).

The part that has me stumped however is the audio. I've been googling for hours but can't get any firm answers - maybe you can help?

I have a $1500 NAD reciever with HDMI and DTS 7.1 support - so pretty high-end. I want the reciever to do all the audio decoding and the HTPC to simply pass the audio stream along to the reciever. But I'm not sure if this is the way it will work or if it's even possible.

The last thing I want is for the onboard audio (something like realtek) to decode the audio and then send it over HDMI for playback. Neither do I want 2 channel audio that is then converted to 5.1 in the reciever.

Basically I'm looking for the best way to build and connect a HTPC to a reciever and 5.1 home cinema system from an audiophile perspective.

In my ideal world I'd like the Ivy-bridge HTPC to package the 5.1/7.1 signal into HDMI in an uncompressed and undecoded manner so that my NAD reciever can do all the work.

Is this the way it works? Can it be made to work?

Any input greatly appriciated :-)
TwoEars
Gerbil
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:57 am

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:34 am

I think what you want to do is straightforward enough, if I understand correctly.

First, don't worry about your PC converting audio from digital to analog and sending over HDMI to your NAD. HDMI only carries digital audio. Therefore it will always be the digital-analog converter (DAC) in your NAD receiver that gives you the final analog output.

The only thing you have to worry about regarding whether the PC or NAD is doing decoding is with media that is encoded in dolby digital/dts. You can set the codec (normally in the media player you are using) to either let it decode the dolby digital/DTS into a standard multi-channel PCM (which is still a digital signal) and have it sent to the NAD in that form, OR you can send the dolby digital/DTS signal directly to the NAD and have it decode the signal into PCM. Either way, the NAD will always be doing the digital-to-analog conversion - which is the important thing. You may find that having the NAD decode the dolby digital/dts to give you better results due to how the NAD default modes are designed to handled multi-channel PCM vs bitstreaming (the raw dolby digital/DTS signal).

Other than dolby digital/DTS signals, the PC should pass all other audio to the NAD in regular multichannel PCM over HDMI. Because of this, you may want to have dolby digital/DTS tracks decoded by the PC so that you don't have to play around with your receiver adjusting the audio every time you switch from watching something with a dolby digital/dts track to other audio (ie, listening to music, games).

The other thing to keep in mind to get multichannel out over HDMI, is to go into the Windows (I assume your using Windows) audio settings and make sure that your HDMI audio device (HD 4000) is configured to output 5.1/7.1 instead of only stereo - I think it is stereo by default.

Disclamer: I'm not experienced with HDMI audio out using the new Intel HD 4000, but the above has worked with various AMD and current NVidia graphics cards and I don't see why it wouldn't with the HD4000. I also assume that the video is also being output over the same HDMI connection and that you are using HDMI pass-through in the NAD to the TV.
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:10 pm

I will merely add to cynan's excellent post that this is my current setup and it works just fine for me. I use the HDMI port on the video card to send the signal to the receiver, which then decodes the signal, shoves the audio to the speakers and sends the video to the projector. Once I have the PC taught that it is an HDMI signal with 5.1 sound, I'm golden. I use the receiver to switch HDMI inputs between the HTPC and the XBOX.

The only problem I have now is one with headphones. If I send 5.1 from the PC to the receiver, the receiver won't downmix to stereo for the headphone jack. I'll get the L/R channels, but nothing else. I have to tell the HTPC to downmix and remember to reverse the setting when I'm back to speakers.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
Darkmage
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7345
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:44 am
Location: Hell, Virginia

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:00 pm

Darkmage wrote:I will merely add to cynan's excellent post that this is my current setup and it works just fine for me. I use the HDMI port on the video card to send the signal to the receiver, which then decodes the signal, shoves the audio to the speakers and sends the video to the projector. Once I have the PC taught that it is an HDMI signal with 5.1 sound, I'm golden. I use the receiver to switch HDMI inputs between the HTPC and the XBOX.

The only problem I have now is one with headphones. If I send 5.1 from the PC to the receiver, the receiver won't downmix to stereo for the headphone jack. I'll get the L/R channels, but nothing else. I have to tell the HTPC to downmix and remember to reverse the setting when I'm back to speakers.


Sounds great - this is very similar to what I would like to do!

cynan wrote:I think what you want to do is straightforward enough, if I understand correctly.

First, don't worry about your PC converting audio from digital to analog and sending over HDMI to your NAD. HDMI only carries digital audio. Therefore it will always be the digital-analog converter (DAC) in your NAD receiver that gives you the final analog output.

The only thing you have to worry about regarding whether the PC or NAD is doing decoding is with media that is encoded in dolby digital/dts. You can set the codec (normally in the media player you are using) to either let it decode the dolby digital/DTS into a standard multi-channel PCM (which is still a digital signal) and have it sent to the NAD in that form, OR you can send the dolby digital/DTS signal directly to the NAD and have it decode the signal into PCM. Either way, the NAD will always be doing the digital-to-analog conversion - which is the important thing. You may find that having the NAD decode the dolby digital/dts to give you better results due to how the NAD default modes are designed to handled multi-channel PCM vs bitstreaming (the raw dolby digital/DTS signal).

Other than dolby digital/DTS signals, the PC should pass all other audio to the NAD in regular multichannel PCM over HDMI. Because of this, you may want to have dolby digital/DTS tracks decoded by the PC so that you don't have to play around with your receiver adjusting the audio every time you switch from watching something with a dolby digital/dts track to other audio (ie, listening to music, games).

The other thing to keep in mind to get multichannel out over HDMI, is to go into the Windows (I assume your using Windows) audio settings and make sure that your HDMI audio device (HD 4000) is configured to output 5.1/7.1 instead of only stereo - I think it is stereo by default.

Disclamer: I'm not experienced with HDMI audio out using the new Intel HD 4000, but the above has worked with various AMD and current NVidia graphics cards and I don't see why it wouldn't with the HD4000. I also assume that the video is also being output over the same HDMI connection and that you are using HDMI pass-through in the NAD to the TV.


What an excellent answer! Thanks a lot!

So if I understand correctly you're saying that I can choose to either have the PC or the reciever do the actual Dolby 5.1 decoding. And that having the PC do the dobly surround processing might be most convenient since I then I won't have to change any setting on the fly when switching between movies and music/games.

But that having the reciever do all the work might (maybe) produce better results - seems resonable and at least one of them should work well. And like you're saying; as long as it's all done in the digital domain on the PC and all the DAC conversion is done on the reciever it should give good results - I can subscribe to that theory.

But let me ask you this then: would you yourself go for an i5 with HD4000 graphics or do you think there are benefits to go with something like an i3 + GT640?

I was interested in the i5/HD4000 route for the sake of simplicity/minimalism but maybe there are driver/software benefits that come from using a discrete GPU?
TwoEars
Gerbil
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:57 am

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:59 pm

Might want to look at reviews for HD4000 concerning HTPC use, but I can say that when used in my laptop, I've had no issues getting both 7.1 audio and Blu-ray discs playing. 7.1 in BF3 is pretty cool.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4701
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:41 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:00 pm

TwoEars wrote:So if I understand correctly you're saying that I can choose to either have the PC or the reciever do the actual Dolby 5.1 decoding. And that having the PC do the dobly surround processing might be most convenient since I then I won't have to change any setting on the fly when switching between movies and music/games.

But that having the reciever do all the work might (maybe) produce better results - seems resonable and at least one of them should work well. And like you're saying; as long as it's all done in the digital domain on the PC and all the DAC conversion is done on the reciever it should give good results - I can subscribe to that theory.


Most of the time it is straightforward to assign whether the AC3/dolby digital and DTS codec (sometimes built into the media player or installed as a stand-alone codec depending on the software you are using to playback media) OR the receiver does the decoding. If you are a bit unsure of what you are doing, I suggest you start by using one media player to play all of your media (at least for stuff with a DD/DTS track) so you don't have to relearn how to do it for multiple programs. I personally use Media Player Classic Home Cinema mostly. In this program, you assign the whether the internal codec decodes these tracks by following the instructions listed in the second half of this blog post. You can also use external codecs (such as LAV audio decoder). An external codec is one that you install separately from the media player program. The point of this is that, if you use multiple media players, you only need to set up once, instead of for each program.

In my experience, there shouldn't be any discernible difference in audio quality whether you let the PC codec, or codec in the receiver, handle this decoding. However, the initial result often sounds drastically different. I think this is mostly to do with equalization settings and similar level adjustments that the receiver automatically implements when being fed a direct DTS/DD signal instead of an already processed PCM signal. I know that on my receiver that the DTS tracks are louder by default and have more emphasis in the bass frequencies when I let the receiver do the processing. When you first hear it, you think "Wow! The receiver decoding sounds much better". But again, I'm skeptical. I think this is something that should be able to be adjusted via your receivers audio settings and that, with a bit of tinkering, for the most part, you should be able to get the sound to be pretty similar regardless of what is doing the decoding. But this could vary by receiver I suppose. And the reason for the discrepancy in levels is not always solely in the domain of the receiver either. Once you decode to PCM, your PC can then set levels. With the original bitstream fed to the receiver, your PC has no control over levels. This is why you can control the volume of multichannel PCM at your computer but ONLY with your receiver when outputing the original bitstream to your receiver.

Because the levels can be so different, at least by default, depending on whether feeding your receiver the original bitstream or processed PCM, and particularly if you have a room that is set up to give you accurate audio levels across the frequency range (ie, using Audyssey), it may be simpler in the end to just feed the receiver PCM at all times. If, however, you are convinced that your receiver just sounds better with the original bitstream, and you are OK with adjusting volume levels (and maybe even individual frequency levels) when you switch from PCM to bitstream, then by all means use bitstream. It's kind of something you just have to play around with a bit yourself I think.


TwoEars wrote:But let me ask you this then: would you yourself go for an i5 with HD4000 graphics or do you think there are benefits to go with something like an i3 + GT640?

I was interested in the i5/HD4000 route for the sake of simplicity/minimalism but maybe there are driver/software benefits that come from using a discrete GPU?


Off the top of my head, I wouldn't think there would be significant (if any) perceptible difference benefit between an HD 2500, HD 4000 or discrete graphics cards regarding audio performance over HDMI. However, as I stated in my above disclaimer, other than a few brief stints with a laptop, I don't have any experience with outputting HDMI audio using Intel graphics chipsets.

If planning to do a bit of gaming, you may well be better served with something like an i3 with a discrete graphics card. However, I wouldn't recommend something less than, say, an AMD HD 7770 (and preferably an HD 7850) for gaming at 1080p: You can squeeze by with most modern 3D games (maybe not at the highest settings) gaming at 1080p with an HD 7770. You can't with a GT 640. Plus, the HD 7770 is only about $25 more than a GTX 640 going by Newegg. The only Nvidia part from their 6-series worth considering now is their GTX 660 - but that's a $200+ card...
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:15 pm

TwoEars wrote:But let me ask you this then: would you yourself go for an i5 with HD4000 graphics or do you think there are benefits to go with something like an i3 + GT640?
I was interested in the i5/HD4000 route for the sake of simplicity/minimalism but maybe there are driver/software benefits that come from using a discrete GPU?
For simple HTPC duties, I would go integrated for simplicity & power considerations. If you're going to game on this system (perhaps using Steam's new interface) then you'll want a discrete card. I think Intel's drivers will give you enough options to tweak the video sufficiently for your purposes. It will also open up some interesting HTPC case possibilities.

During my HTPC travels, I only had to go with a discrete card due to the arrival of Blu-Ray. My motherboard at the time couldn't handle a Blu-Ray without skipping. I had to upgrade to a discrete card with 1 GB of onboard RAM in order to smoothly render a 1080p signal. Of course, this a few GPU generations ago.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
Darkmage
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7345
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:44 am
Location: Hell, Virginia

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:25 am

Thanks for all the feedback! Very impressed with the level of knowledge on this forum!

Seems like HD4000 integrated graphics will be the way to go.

I also found this guy who seems to know what he's doing and is building "Audiophile HTPCs".

http://assassinhtpc.com/

Worth noting is that his audiophile HTPC doesn't even have an option for a discrete graphic card, he's relying 100% on the ivy onboard graphics:

http://assassinhtpc.com/products.php?product_id=17

So at current my HTPC build would look something like this:

Silverstone HTPC Case
Asus P8H77 Pro
i5-HD4000
Samsung 830 128GB OS SSD
3TB 7200rpm
Noctua cpu & chassi fans
8GB 1600mhz cas7 DDR3
Seasonic 400W fanless PSU
Win7 Ultimate

Probably a bit overkill in some areas but that's how I like it.

I have another question though - when decoding 5.1 sound on the PC are there EQ-ing options in the software that can be used for the individual channels? My current reciever is good but the EQing options are very sparse.
TwoEars
Gerbil
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:57 am

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:09 pm

TwoEars wrote:I have another question though - when decoding 5.1 sound on the PC are there EQ-ing options in the software that can be used for the individual channels? My current reciever is good but the EQing options are very sparse.


The simple answer is yes. However, the quality and utility of these adjustments varies drastically depending on which software you use (ie, which media player). My receiver has auto room correction, do, even when the PC does the processing, I just leave the EQ on the PC software at "flat" and keep all volume levels at max and let the receiver do the work. The easiest way to determine if the PC software has the level adjustments you need, is to pick one (ie, Media Player Classic HC, VLC, XBMC, etc) and search for reviews or guides for how these individual softwares work and which standard features and plug-ins they offer.
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:23 pm

If you want to play back Blu-ray discs on your HTPC, keep in mind that you will need to purchase the full version of a Blu-ray playback app if you want to stream the hi-res DD/DTS soundtracks from those discs to your receiver. The freebie versions of the playback software that are often included with the drives are usually limited to regular DD only.
cjcerny
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:58 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:55 am

Thanks,

I think I'll be using the full version of PowerDVD for blue-ray and media player with modified codecs for everything else.

In the past I've been a big fan of VLC player but after reading a bit here: http://assassinhtpcblog.com/ it seems that media player is what he favors.

I might give Media Center a go down the road but I don't really need fancy interfaces and pictures, I *just* want perfect picture and sound when I play the actual movie.

After some more research it also seems that several people are recommending using the receiver for surround sound decoding - seems fair enough.

I'll guess I'll just have to play with it when I'm done
TwoEars
Gerbil
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:57 am

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:43 pm

TwoEars wrote:Thanks,
I think I'll be using the full version of PowerDVD for blue-ray and media player with modified codecs for everything else.


The only thing that paying for a full software program like PowerDVD will get you is the ability to view the BluRay as you would if using a stand-alone player. IE, having the intro screen and proper chapter selection. Even Media player Home Classic HC can play the actual BluRay movie file off of BluRay Media (which is what I consider the important thing). Other Programs like XBMC will offer chapter-like navigation (though I don't think it actually uses the encoded chapter information and may just cut up the file arbitrarily).

I think you also need to pay for a premium player like PowerDVD if you want to use the newer HD versions of DD and DTS (Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD). I don't know if there are any free media players or stand-alone codecs that can decode these audio formats (due to licensing costs). I personally haven't noticed much of an improvement for most movies using these less lossy HD audio formats (though there are a few exceptions). Also, if letting your receiver decode these HD audio bitstreams, you obviously need to have a receiver that supports it (which should be just about any mid-range to higher end model purchased after about 2007/2008).
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:00 pm

two ears, i built a HTPC with a Silverstone case last august with a Sandy Bridge i3-2100 on a Asrock Z68 MiniATX board with 8 gb of ram. I went with an OCZ 60gb SSD and a WD 2 TB hard drive. But I also went with a seperate video card. I went with an Sapphire Radeon 6570. low power consumption, quiet fan, and all you need for blu-ray. The HDMI output on the 6570 does bitstream audio to your receiver. you have to do a little configuring with lav splitter (thats what i used) to get it to work but it was pretty easy to do. in order to play physical blu-ray disc, you have to have the actual playback software like Arcsoft Total Media Theatre because it supports bitstream audio and 24p playback.************************************************* you can watch them with Media PLayer Classic Home Cinema. You will get HD audio but no subtitles. VLC player works too but you have to find the actual file to playback rather than the folder like in MPC-HC. The subtitles do work with VLC though.
Last edited by Captain Ned on Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: EDIT BY MOD - Captain Ned - Forum Rule #1 violation.
i7-4770k, ASRock Z87 Extreme6, Radeon 6870, 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600, Creative SB Z, Samsung 830 Series 128 GB SSD, 2x 1TB WD Black HDD, Windows 8 Pro
ALIAS
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:59 pm
Location: Texas

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:05 pm

TwoEars wrote:Thanks for all the feedback! Very impressed with the level of knowledge on this forum!

Seems like HD4000 integrated graphics will be the way to go.

I also found this guy who seems to know what he's doing and is building "Audiophile HTPCs".

http://assassinhtpc.com/

Worth noting is that his audiophile HTPC doesn't even have an option for a discrete graphic card, he's relying 100% on the ivy onboard graphics:

http://assassinhtpc.com/products.php?product_id=17

So at current my HTPC build would look something like this:

Silverstone HTPC Case
Asus P8H77 Pro
i5-HD4000
Samsung 830 128GB OS SSD
3TB 7200rpm
Noctua cpu & chassi fans
8GB 1600mhz cas7 DDR3
Seasonic 400W fanless PSU
Win7 Ultimate

Probably a bit overkill in some areas but that's how I like it.

I have another question though - when decoding 5.1 sound on the PC are there EQ-ing options in the software that can be used for the individual channels? My current reciever is good but the EQing options are very sparse.


That's not entirely accurate. You can add a discrete card if you want to any of my HTPCs.
assassin
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:26 pm

I think those assasin HTPC's are a ripoff :) Bet My i3 2120 h67 chipset with 8gb ddr3 1333 1tb HD with a 7750 dedicated card i can do light gaming on BF3 at medium settings @1080p I spent a grand total of 440 us dollars on has a more better nicer picture and is just as quiet LOL. Though it is a dx4800 series gateway refurb unit i paid 320$ for and added the hd 7750 card into it. So assasin has me beat on the case:) and PSU.

I would get a dedicated AMD video card like a 7750 they sip power "about 50 watts" since they pull all there power from the pcie 16x slot. My HIS iCooler hd7750 is a fantastic card come stock clocked at 800core and 1125 mem has gddr5 mem and a 128 bit mem bus. My card overclocks well for my occasional BF3 session at 60fps@1080p medium settings with 1150 on the core and 1350 on the mem....I heard some overclock a good bit better. It has a great cooler on it think its a 60mm actic cooling fan that hits 5000+ rpms and is still pretty much can't be heard....but it only runs at that speed while overclocked. It is silent at stock speeds.

Also the main reason for recommending the 7750 over the hd4000 is I do not believe the Integrated graphics has enough horsepower to run Madvr/lav filters etc withmedia players like say MPCHC, potplayer etc. And if this is going to be for watching movies you definitely what to use a Madvr configuration with whatever player you prefer. I like Media player Classic Home Cinema aka MPCHC. It dramatically improves upscaling from 480p and 720p while also giving you the best 1080p playback. I tried running Madvr with a i3 2125 with the hd3000 grphics....best sandy bridge cpus come with and it was not up to the task dropping frames etc so i had to add a AMD 6570 to that htpc. Also i have noticed that with AMD cards the picture just looks better the intel or nvidia. I Have tried all 3, plus i am currently using a set of Nvidia 560tis and 2 AMD cards a ASUS 6570 lp/slim card and the his 7750. Plain and simple the AMD cards just have a better picture then the Nvidia or intel solutions. I have tested them with identical settings on my panasonic vt30 55 inch plasma with the same 1080p MKV files time synced so i could switch between the NV and AMD cards and the amd card seemed better all around. Please note that i also had the nv+AMD control panels set to use the players settings. No video card enhancements set at all the player with Madvr does all that:)

If you want even more gaming power go for a silent AMD 7850 series card...sorta like 2 7750s packed in one.

I love both my i3 HTPCs with AMD graphics,they can both do light gaming are whisper quiet and compliment my huge 1.6 year old I7 2600k @4693mhz 46x102@1.392v 24/7 for over 1.5 years without a stutter on a GB p67ud4b3 with 8gb ddr3 1600 vengence memory, 2 560tis in sli with a 60gb SSD 3x2TB green storage drives, LG BR burner mounted in a fat HAF922 case. That's my Gaming/server tower that holds my library of 480p, 720p, 1080p and 3D glory. Only the 55 inch panasonic vt30 is 3d with 3 2d 1080p LCDs wishing they had the black/contrast ratio the plasma has:)
2600k HT on@4705mhz 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards running in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922.2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
vargis14
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 976
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:03 pm
Location: philly suburbs

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:40 pm

A gateway refurb would never be allowed to set foot on my property. But to each their own.

And I think you are way overselling Madvr.
assassin
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:26 am

If you want true high-end video and audio performance, your best bet is to go with separates. Get an Oppo Blu-Ray player and that will wipe the floor with any HTPC especially if you want things like proper 24p support.
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 21240
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:10 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:If you want true high-end video and audio performance, your best bet is to go with separates. Get an Oppo Blu-Ray player and that will wipe the floor with any HTPC especially if you want things like proper 24p support.
A lowly Llano or Trinity APU has excellent support for 1080p24 video.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15153
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:56 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:If you want true high-end video and audio performance, your best bet is to go with separates. Get an Oppo Blu-Ray player and that will wipe the floor with any HTPC especially if you want things like proper 24p support.
A lowly Llano or Trinity APU has excellent support for 1080p24 video.

How about software support?
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 21240
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:14 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:If you want true high-end video and audio performance, your best bet is to go with separates. Get an Oppo Blu-Ray player and that will wipe the floor with any HTPC especially if you want things like proper 24p support.
A lowly Llano or Trinity APU has excellent support for 1080p24 video.


Actually this is a myth that continues to be perpetuated.

All three vendors have about the same result with 24p. Here is a thread I made a while ago that is now over 1000 replies long with various users of Intel, NVidia and ATI/AMD all reporting about the same results in regards to 24p.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1333324/lets- ... ently-well
assassin
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:03 pm

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:29 pm

A little update on what I'm planning to do:

Streacom FC5 Evo Case with Nano PSU
Slot loading Blue-Ray burner (still undecided on the brand/model)
Asus P8H77 Pro
i5-HD4000
Samsung 830/840 128GB OS SSD (power consumption 0,1W or less)
4 x WD 2.5 Green 2TB Raid5 (intel RST is great!) (power consumption 1.7W each under max load)
2x4GB 1600mhz cas7 DDR3
Win7 Ultimate

----------------------------------

Should be a pretty nice build, no fans required, chassi acts as heatsink, 120-130W-ish max system consumption. 2.5 HDs are super quiet. Chassi looks very sleek.

----------------------------------

From what I've read the HD4000 should be powerful enough for MadVR but I'm not worried, at the distance I'm sitting from the TV I'm not even sure I'll notice the difference between 720p and 1080p. And good sound does more for me than good video to be honest.

----------------------------------

And speaking of rip-off have a look at this: http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/08/wire ... 00-better/ - lol

In a world were you can buy $1.000.000 speakers and $100.000 speaker cables I'm sure that someone will be interested in a nice turn-key $2500 HTPC with everything setup, maybe not the people on this forum but you get the picture.
TwoEars
Gerbil
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:57 am

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:11 am

Anandtech's low end video card reviews have a lot of information about their use in HTPC systems. I'd recommend a perusal of their GT640 review to get an idea.
If your cause is just and good, argue that it is just and good, not just inevitable.
My Johnson
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 2:00 pm
Location: Dystopia, AZ

Re: HTPC Help - How To Get High-End 5.1 Audio

Postposted on Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:13 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:How about software support?
I run PowerDVD (Gold, I think) through Win7 Media Center and it does what I ask of it. Looks fantastic. I use the Radeon drivers to tweak the image levels.

To be honest, I'm having some trouble getting the brightness levels up to where I want. Dark scenes are sometimes nearly unwatchable on the projector. There is a disconnect somewhere between the video settings in the Radeon drivers and the Blue Ray output. More tweaking is in my future.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
Darkmage
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7345
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:44 am
Location: Hell, Virginia


Return to General Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests