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Delta 410

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by buns, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. buns

    buns
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    I'm just putting together ideas, so ignore me if i'm being stupid!

    Reading briefly about this card. So it can output analogue signals straight to your power amps. Thus, for dvd playback as decoded/played by a software dvd player (is that any software player, or specific?), it is possible to get any of the various sound formats without the requirement of a separate decoder. Is this correct?

    That implies to me, that if you have a dvd only system, you could use this card and effectively do without a processor, yet still be able to get all of the fancy sound formats. Am I still correct?

    I'll leave asking anymore until someone cxan confirm or deny what I have said!

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  2. Shockabuku

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    Yep, absolutely correct. I'm using a Delta 410 & I have no offboard processor. I've simply hooked up a couple of Cyrus Power amps direct to the Delta for front & rears (no centre speaker yet), and it sounds superb. DTS/DD/6.1/7.1 all works just fine (including DPLII with PowerDVD), and with the latest Delta 410 drivers, the bass management is nicely sorted.

    I was originally planning on spending 2k on a TAG processor. I'm very very glad I spent £250 on the Delta 410 instead!
     
  3. buns

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    Ok, so whats the quality like? Clearly Shockabuku is well pleased, but genuinely how good are e talking? I presume the tag is still of somewhat higher standard?

    As far as other sources......how are they being dealt with? Is it possible to run the output from the delta 410 throuugh a cheaper processors 7.1 inputs? then use the cheap processor for the other sources?

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  4. Shockabuku

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    I'll stick my oar in again....

    The TAG will be better quality. £2k worth of better quality? No chance (unless money is no object). For DVD soundtracks, the PC sounds better to me than my Denon 3801 did. For Stereo CDs, my (recently sold) Musical Fidelity X-Ray sounded a little better - wider soundstage & tidier bottom end, though that was using a Quad pre-amp with a Cyrus Power amp (a £1000 combo, plus £800 for the X-Ray). Worth the £1800 difference ? I don't reckon so.

    For me, the advantage of the HCPC is that I can buy top notch power amplification & speakers with the money I saved from not buying separate CD player/processor. Result...for the same money, better sound quality. If money were no object, then I'd stick to traditional separates, just using the HCPC for picture & feeding a bitstream to a good processor, but given a budget, I reckon a lot more can be achieved by spending wisely on a mix of PC hardware & offboard power amplification + speakers.

    You can certainly run the output of the Delta 410 to an offboard processor, though if this is the intention, the cheaper Audiophile 24/96 will be just as good.

    Of course, the PC route involves an investment in time & patience too...though for nerds like me, being able to tweak my hifi/av kit & see/hear instant results is tons of fun :D
     
  5. JohnS

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    Just to join in a little,

    How does this work if you were to use sky and dscaler or doesn't it?

    Cheers
     
  6. Shockabuku

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    Hi John. I'm in the process of working out how I'm going to do just that...feed Sky digital through the HCPC to the pj. I presume you're referring to the sound though...? If you get a Sky+ box, there's an optical output which you can convert to digital coaxial with a little box from Tandy, and then feed into the Delta 410. The 410 Patchbay/Router software can then be confirgured to do the necessary with the incoming bitstream. I haven't done this yet, but it sounds fine in principle.
     
  7. JohnS

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    So I suppose that the sony box would probably work too?

    Will the delta 410 also pass an analogue source in this fashion or doesnt it have the input capability?

    Going back to the sky+ though, do you think it will then be able to output the 5.1 soundtracks as well?

    Sorry for so many questions but this all seems a good idea if you are going to the trouble of having a HCPC lets get it doing as much as possible.:)
     
  8. Shockabuku

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    The Delta 410 has 2 coaxial digital inputs & 2 analogue (RCA) inputs, so you can certainly pass an analogue signal to it.

    With Sky+ & 5.1.....Two answers...

    If you want to do pre-processing on the PC...the Delta 410 will accept a bitstream quite happily, but I don't reckon it'd know what to do with it (ie...no Dolby Digital decoding ability). Of course, with DVD, this is done in the DVD software (such as PowerDVD), which then passes the decoded channels onto the Delta for pre-amping. So, not quite sure how this could be done....there may be a way...I need to look into it coz it's something that I want to do soon.

    If you want to pass the 5.1 bitstream straight out to an offboard processor/amp, then you can simply use one of the digital coaxial outs on the Delta, configuring the routing of the bitstream from the Sky+ box via the Patchbay/Router software (with the Delta drivers).
     
  9. JohnS

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    Shockabuku,

    Hmmm, pretty much what I guessed, it will obviously take a little research but does seem that this is a possible way forward, use a simple switching box to input to the card abd then let the PC do the processing. Let me know when you have it sussed:D

    Time to buy some poweramps then;)
     
  10. Shockabuku

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    I can highly recommend Cyrus :D :D
     
  11. JohnS

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  12. buns

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    Shockabuku,

    I was actually considering the idea of using the 410 for processing of dvd's, the passively passing it through a cheapish processor which would handle processing of lesser sources. Perhaps a very round about way of doing things, but that very much depends on the quality!

    I'm guessing due to the lack of much interest other tha the 3 of us, no one else is really concerned or able to answer? Not to question anyone elses view, but its always nice to get a group!

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  13. Shockabuku

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    Hi Buns,

    We're kinda on the same topic in two threads now...I think because any use of a HCPC as a proper pre-amp/processor will come up against the decoding of an external source problem.

    I haven't found many people who do things the same as me...ie...no offboard pre-amp or processor. The concept of HCPCs is still quite new over here, and I think most people who have one are owners of projectors, and as such are probably knee-deep in the hobby already & will already own a traditional processor/amp. The natural thing to do is use that amp for all sources as it's a hassle free way of doing things (if you already have the amp).

    It could become more of an issue when people new to Home Cinema start building or buying HCPCs, and then wonder why they should spend another load of £££s on a traditional proc/amp when the PC is sooooo close to doing it all. Quite frustrating actually!

    In the meantime, I think your idea is the most plausible Buns....a cheap offboard processor. Things tend to move pretty quick in technologies like this though....I'd hope we'd have a PC based solution within 12 months....please?! :D
     
  14. buns

    buns
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    Shockabuku

    Since this is the post I started in, I'll reply on this subject here, and leave richard's post alone for what he actually intended it!

    This whole subject is also going down on avs.......so maybe we can hope someone on there will come up with a solution! I'm going to be 4 months of free evenings and weekends in about 6 weeks time, so i am intent on getting to know everything I can about hcpc'ing. I dont have any ideas of what the writing of software and such involves, but my degree is trying to get me to be able to deal with anything, so i am assuming it possible, with sufficient time, that I may well be able to start to understand the precise ins and outs of hacking the software! Is it not possible to basically write your own software and copy in the decoding bits from something such as power dvd?

    Obviously the tag is upgraded computerwise, so why can someone hack into it and copy the software out?

    so many possibilites, but i guess the only way of getting our goal is to pla with as many ideas as possible!

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  15. Shockabuku

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    Indeed...alledgedly :D I found the thread on AVS, interesting that they're discussing precisely the same thing. In the ideal world, it'd be nice to have a pukka (ie legal) piece of software to fulfill this purpose...perhaps someone will come up with a hack of some sort, but I'd be happy to pay proper money for an official way of doing this. After all, it's saving me a lot of dosh if it means I don't have to buy a separate processor.
     
  16. Pootle

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    About the Sky bit, I've been through the same excercise, but with DTV, and I found a PC decoder card gives much better results than any STB. For standard TV sized displays its not too much of a problem, but if your using a PJ, then an STB feeding the PC via RGB is going to look distinctly fuzzy. You may be able to use the hauppauge digital satellite cards to get Sky.
    this web site shows you the difference between an STB feed to a PC and a built in digital card.
     
  17. nutcase_1uk

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    I'm watching this thread with interest. If one day it is possible for an external source (such as digibox etc.) to be decoded within my PC, I shall be very happy :D The advances made with the delta 410 already have made me optimistic. I think the major stumbling block however is not teh technicality of creating the software, rather the licensing issues involved.
     
  18. Shockabuku

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    Thanks for the link Pootle...very interesting. Seems that the quality of the PC decoder card is actaully rather good, albeit with a few gotchas. I guess for subscription channels, the only solution is to use the STB---->S-Video converter----->PC card method though. Sound would be routed from analogue outs on the STB to analogue ins on the Delta 410. Stereo only though of course.

    Hrmm. Seems we're getting closer to the nirvana of a do-it-all PC, but not quite there yet. I'm hoping that Micro$oft's release of their "Freestyle" OS/add-on will encourage companies to bring out the sort of products we're after. Time will tell I guess.
     
  19. buns

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    What sort of quality are the dacs within the 410........or the 24/96 for that matter?

    I am rather cautions about using a pc for cd playback, but i know it should be ok. But the question would be whether I would use the analogue outputs on a 410, or whether outputting stereo through the digital out and into a tag dac 20 would be better? Im guessing the tag, but anyone have any idea of scales?

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  20. Pootle

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    Buns from what I have seen, the 410 and the 24/96 are very similar in analogue audio quality, but you get much more functionality in the 410 of course - bass management with selectable crossover frequency, programmable delays on the channels etc.
    I would expect the TAG gear you already have to be noticeably better for stereo, but if you haven't got existing 6 channel hifi, then the 410 will make a very good receiver for DD5.1 & DTS, and is certainly much better value for money than hifi separates, so all you will need is new amps and speakers.
    Used for DD and DTS, many folks say that the sound is difficult to distinguish from fairly expensive equipment.
    give me a couple of weeks and I'll tell you how I've done with a 410, cos I'm about to order one.
     
  21. buns

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    I havent go the tag dac......it was more of an idea. Would the quality of 410 digital out to dac 20 surpass a £1000 dedicalted player?

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  22. Pootle

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    I think you'd have to listen to them both and make up your own mind. :rolleyes:
    There was a BIG debate on avsforum about a month back on this, and few people argued that if you spent 20.000 dollars on your hifi, it would be better with a hifi cd player - pre-amp than with a sound card, but if you spent 5000 dollars or less you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference.
    I decided a while ago to go for a PC based system, cos it's so much cheaper, and I can do much more with the PC than with dedicated hifi, so if the last 1% of sound perfection is missing I'm not goijng to complain.....
     
  23. buns

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    A slightly tricky one to be honest. To try them both would require buying both options!

    The pc option is by far superior in potential. The biggest problem as far as sound quality that i can see if messy rf interference and the likes which the pc itself creates......if we could have rf filters built in all over the place......awww i dont know!

    i'll go look the avs thread!

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