Question HTPC Soundcard Question


Standard Member
Hi all,

I am building a HTPC for the first time and need a bit of advice....

I use a Tag McLaren processor in my setup, this doesn't have HDMI.... Only coax & optical...

Can anyone offer some suggestions on sound cards that will output DD & DTS bitstream audio via coax or optical....

I would also like to use this setup to stream hi-res audio to the Tag..

Hope someone can help,



Distinguished Member
I could well be wrong but I don't think you can bitstream the HD audio codecs via coax or optical, only HDMI. So you'd be limited to DD and DTS bitstreaming, anything above those and you'd need to decode them before sending PCM.


Standard Member
You are spot on about the HD formats.. The best you can do is output the "core" 1.5mb audio stream via coax..

I am only running a 5.1 setup at the moment, I did try dropping a Yamaha AVR in to do the decoding duties for a bit... While I got to replay 7.1 and did all the video switching via HDMI in the AVR I missed the sound of the tag... It sounded like someone had removed all the tweeters from my speakers and the soundstage seemed to close in..

The Tag, even though it's 15 years old, wiped the floor with the new Yamaha.....

I guess it not really suprising... If you look at the £1000 AVR range that my Yamaha sits in... 15 years ago when the Tag came out all the AVR's had to do was take a DD & DTS signal, decode it and fire it out to 5 speakers... Now.... The AVR's have to do that... But we have now added 4 extra channels of amplification, AirPlay, wireless, Spotify, networking, HDMI switching, 4K video processing and god knows what else... All for the same price...

If you ever get to compare the weight of an old AVR against a new one, they used to be built like tanks... Now it's all plastic and gimmicks....

Also squeezing all that tech into a single chassis is going to cause a shed load of interference......

Anyway.. Rant over...

Thanks for the reply!!



Distinguished Member
I know exactly what you mean! I used to be really into all this but now have a family so compromises "have to be made" (not my words :)).

Luckily my Denon does a fairly decent job of handling TrueHD and DTS-MA but my speakers have shrunk over the years so there's probably zero audible difference between any formats now in my house.

The latest video from AVForums

Sony A84L/A80L BRAVIA XR OLED TV Review - COMPARED to LG C3, Samsung QD-OLED & LG G3
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom