HD 1080 + HD audio?

Komerad

Standard Member
My home theatre is installed and working now I need an HTPC. I've been reading several posts here and elsewhere but it just makes me more confused.

Basicly I just want smooth upscaling of dvd's (480) AND HD 1080 images from original source (disk) and mkv (h.264). The htpc shall connect to a onkyo wich can handle plenty of audio streams.

Now I got confused in 'how to get everything send right to the onkyo?'

I read in the sticky :

Motherboard :
Intel 9300/9400

These chipsets will handle 7.1 LPCM over HDMI ...

This means motherboards with this chipset have HDMI onboard that allows sending video+audio?

Whats the advantage of the new ati 5xxx cards?
(I don't want to play games on the htpc, I just want to have a good HD audio+video experience when watching movies)

So in the end is there a good motherboard that allows gpu hd decoding + sending audio over hdmi (hdcp+pap) and does the job well? Or do I realy need some specific hardware for this (the new ati 5xxx)?
 

daviddekanter

Active Member
My home theatre is installed and working now I need an HTPC. I've been reading several posts here and elsewhere but it just makes me more confused.

Basicly I just want smooth upscaling of dvd's (480) AND HD 1080 images from original source (disk) and mkv (h.264). The htpc shall connect to a onkyo wich can handle plenty of audio streams.

Now I got confused in 'how to get everything send right to the onkyo?'

I read in the sticky :

Motherboard :


This means motherboards with this chipset have HDMI onboard that allows sending video+audio?

Whats the advantage of the new ati 5xxx cards?
(I don't want to play games on the htpc, I just want to have a good HD audio+video experience when watching movies)

So in the end is there a good motherboard that allows gpu hd decoding + sending audio over hdmi (hdcp+pap) and does the job well? Or do I realy need some specific hardware for this (the new ati 5xxx)?


Hi there,

I use a P5N7A-VM (Asus - intel 9300)
This does everything you want.
It have it hooked up to the Onkyo 875 but have not tested it with bluray's because I have no optical drive. Normal DTS over HDMI sounds great with lots of detail.
This my Thread:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-cinema-pcs/971222-custom-build-htpc-inside-old-dvd-player.html
 

Komerad

Standard Member
Thx for the nfo (nice job on the pioneer btw)

I need to be able to play blu ray disks (hdcp, pap).
 

james.miller

Well-known Member
if you want hd audio bitstreaming (Dolby TrueHD and DTS:MA) then you need pap (protected audio path). if you want that, then you have two options - 1) the xonard HDAV 1.3 sound card. 2) a new ati 5 series card (currently the 5870 and 5850 are the only two available). There is no other way to get HD bitstreaming on the pc.

Quite why you'd need to i dont know, it really makes little difference...but there you go, you've got the facts. The intel 9300 will not bitstream HD audio as it has no protected audio path.
 

Komerad

Standard Member
Well thats a quiet straight to the point answer.
If i'm right than the audio card also pushes the video signal trough the same hdmi having hdcp + pap support on it? But the video decoding is still done by the gpu then I asume.

If so than it is still a cheaper solution than getting the ati5xxx cards at the moment.

About the hdcp i do not have to worry at all? (If let say I start with a 9300 or 9400 and see if the sound is good enough with that to decide what to do with the audio then the video will still be fine?)
 
I would forget going down the Xonar HDAV route as the way forward is def. HDMI video cards with PAP enabled.

The new ATi HD 58xx cards are expensive but the 5850 card represents stunning value for money at £200 considering the power of the graphics chip. There will be cheaper ATi HD5xxx series cards launching too in the coming months along with new nVidia cards which will also support PAP.

Personally, I would be more inclined to go down the route of not having integrated graphics on the motherboard and paying the extra and going for the ATi 5850 card that way you aren't paying for something you aren't going to use and you get a video card that is going to last you quite sometime. It will handle 1080p video without breaking in to a sweat plus the card by all accounts is pretty quiet (I'll tell you later today when I install mine).

I have been through through all this recently myself on the HTPC front and getting the right hardware and software configurations is a nightmare. I picked a fantastic motherboard (Gigabyte nVidia 9400 based) but I just wanted more from the graphics (especially with Mediabrowaser and games)

HTH
 

Komerad

Standard Member
Let me know :)

How the card performs for gaming doesn't matter for my htpc (but when battlefield bc2 comes out I might want one). The htpc here will be dedicated to play movies only, no games, no web just movies. Considering that I might just go for a mobo with integrated video card (doe not even has to have hdmi) and onboard audio untill the cheaper ati 5 series come out.

in the end hdcp+pap are a requirement for me.
 
Think of it this way:

ATi 5850 card £200 (and that is the launch price, bound to come down)

Asus Xonar HDAV Slim £110

£90 for a state of a state of the art video card if you have an AV amp that can do the HD audio stream decoding
 
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james.miller

Well-known Member
they are undoubtedly far better value for money than any sound card, but at the end of the day £200 is still far too much for a graphics card where the OP is only really interested in the sound.


I would wait and make do with onboard video and see what comes out in the near future. Right now you can pick up an ati 4330 for the princely sum of £30, and all that is missing is full resolultion LPCM when watching a bluray and bitstreaming - it does everything else that my 4830 does in regards to watching film. I fully expect a lower end 53xx card to be released in the upcoming months. Why spend £200 when you can wait a month and spend £50?
 

Komerad

Standard Member
I'll think I'll indeed look for a motherboard based with onboard graphics and wait for the budget ati 5xxx cards.

Now still in doubt :

9400 or 4500 ?
(heard 4500 does nice onboard decoding too, don't know if it makes it better than the 9xxx)
 
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