well, sound output has nothing to do with the drive. I think you right that PowerDVD downgrades any TruHD or PCM soundtrack to 48k/16 bit (which still sounds bloody good if you ask me!!). My soundcard outputs analog 5.1 and i've tested it briefly. I've also got a Tosh HD A1 with analog outs, but that's taking up the set of inputs in my amp at the mo. With this drive I could get both out of the one connection rather than swapping around!!Is anyone sure or confident of how to get the most from these drives in the way of HD audio formats such as TrueHD and DTS-HD MA?
I'm contemplating upgrading my media center with one of these when they land on our shores but I'm not sure using Power DVD Ultra that it doesn't downgrade the audio prior to output, so no point connecting it to a new AV receiver that can decode the HD audio formats.
I also expect it's not possible or straightforward to output the lossless HD audio formats via a graphics card with HDMI, as they seem to use a spdif connection which doesn't have the bandwidth, and so I may need to invest in a suitable sound card that has analogue 5.1 output to connect it to an AV receiver.
All this is making me wonder whether it's easier to just buy one or two standalone players, but if anyone can clarify the situation it may help me decide how to proceed.