HTPC processor options?

AndyFov

Active Member
Previously, I've always used a bog standard AV amp, a Yamaha DSP-A1 or similar, that type of thing. Since taking the HTPC route, I've now one box which pretty much does everything... Tv, dvd, mini-dv archived home movies, MAME, the lot.

Until recently, I just used an AEGO P5 all in one solution for the audio side of things, and that was connected to the PC's SPDIF output... I've recently replaced the Aego's amp, & speakers with Kef Q series speakers and a Roksan 5ch power amp. I've retained the Aego processor for the meantime, this sits between the PC and the Roksan amp, but it's now clearly the weakest link in my system.

Am looking for suggestions as to what would make an improvement. Really, the Aego P5 does a decent enough job, it's really been designed for diddy little speakers though, so the bass crossover is set too high and can't be adjusted. It can be disabled, but it really gives all or nothing, so I'm sure a better processor would allow my amp and speakers to perform closer to their potential.

Given that I don't really need an array of inputs as the PC does everything, I think something in the AV32R mould is overkill for me. Is there a good USB soundcard (I've only a Shuttle and its sole PCI slot is taken) which has 6x Phono output for the power-amp and decodes DD & DTS from the DVD player's SPDIF?

Any recommendations & advice gratefully appreciated.

TIA

Andy
 

Yakboy

Member
"Given that I don't really need an array of inputs as the PC does everything, I think something in the AV32R mould is overkill for me. Is there a good USB soundcard (I've only a Shuttle and its sole PCI slot is taken) which has 6x Phono output for the power-amp and decodes DD & DTS from the DVD player's SPDIF?"

Can only really find this one: http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=88461

from creative. Doesn't even sound like it has RCA outputs to be honest and it's clearly geared towards video capture as opposed to sound playback.

I'm certainly interested myself to hear of anything better than this. Indeed I'm interested in any RCA output enabled soundcard as a decoder.

I'm guessing that your PCI slot is being used by a TV card, have you considered swapping that out for a USB one and whacking in a standard sound card? might work out better as there are lots of USB TV cards on the market.
 

AndyFov

Active Member
I hadn't thought of that. It's a good suggestion. I had thought about putting the tv card in the office pc, and getting its signal to the htpc over the network - On reflection you idea's a lot better.
 

Yakboy

Member
alaric : like your suggestion but woh haa that's a lot o money.

Andyfov : glad to help, really. Been a bit of information/idea leech on these forums for a little while now. Glad to give something back (however small).
 
S

spamboy

Guest
One thing to be careful of with the pro sound cards is that they support dvd playback, check the manuals - if the specs quote wdm support they will, or there might be a section on it. As an example the emu 1820m only implemented this in the last few moths.
 

AndyFov

Active Member
Right, I've decided to swap the PCI tv card for a USB one, that'll free up the PCI slot.

My next problem is the HTPC is only a Shuttle, and there's no room for a front plate. Is there a good PCI card out there that's dvd compatible with 6 phonos on the back to connect to a power amp and sub? Not really looking to spend more than £120 or so...

Failing that, do I have to ditch the Shuttle and go for a Silverstone LC series case, or something like a Thermaltake Mozart instead? Hmm, there's one of those on the classifieds board. :)

TIA

Andy
 
S

spamboy

Guest
I've only seen one with a breakout box with phonos - I spent ages looking, decided to go for one with jacks, got some of Mark Grant's great cables and now I'd only consider something with 1/4" Jacks

If you go this way you've got loads of options, on the card:

Esi waveterminal 192x

http://proaudiomusic.com/software/waveterminal_192x.htm

Terratec phase 88

http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/3039

Edit: I just scanned the thread again and noticed the price limit, so all of the rest are out of your price range, sorry, but I also found this which has RCA's - it's usb (actually answering your original question too late, sorry)

http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=12&page=1

Lynx

http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/shop/flypage/product_id/2300

With a breakout box

Esi waveterminal

http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=6&page=3

EMU 1820M

http://www.thomann.de/thoiw2_emu_1820m_digital_audio_system_prodinfo.html

Plus if you get an ADAT \ AES compatible external box, you could use any WDM + ADAT \ AES external box - such as http://www.thomann.de/thoiw2_artikel-183603.html - there are cheaper ones too!

If you're willing to do a bit of casemodding you could probably get an RME 9632 with an aeb8-0 or ao4s (which has a removable pci mount and doesn't need a pci slot, you drill four holes in the case with the supplied template and fit the sockets through) - I'll give you more details on this if you're interested, that's what I'd do.

http://www.thomann.de/thoiw2_rme_digi_9632_hdsp_pcikarte_prodinfo.html

http://www.thomann.de/thoiw2_rme_ao4s192_expansion_9632_prodinfo.html

If you're comitted to using rca phonos, then I'll see if I can find the one that supported them
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Samsung TV Launch & QN95A Neo QLED Review, plus Film & TV news & Reviews
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom