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HDMI + Audio?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 10, 2008 4:40:33 PM

I will be building a ~$750 Gaming PC soon to tide me over until Nehalem's mainstream release. At that time, I will convert the box into a media PC connected to an HDTV.

Looking toward the future in terms of what graphics card to get now... Should I bother with HDMI? Is it any better than connecting DVI + coaxial/SPDIF audio to an HDTV?

I do like the idea of a single cable.

Are there any cards that pass both video + audio out of the DVI port. Thus you could use a DVD-to-HDMI adapter and have a single cable from the PC to the TV?

I was looking at getting a 3870 for decent gaming now, then HTPC later.

More about : hdmi audio

a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2008 5:03:15 PM

I'd go with a 4850 for that. It'll pass full, lossless 7.1 over the HDMI IIRC, and it is quite a nice card for gaming right now.
July 10, 2008 5:35:50 PM

I have a 3870 in my media center with the DVI-HDMI adapter installed, and it has audio through HDMI. Personally, I like the idea of both being on the same cable, but if you're talking about quality, there'll be no real difference. The difference comes in when you count the number of connections and cable type/flexibility. With HDMI, you've got an all-in-one solution, whereas without you'll have your DVI and SPDIF connections both running from the computer, not to mention that an HDMI cable is much more flexible (physically) than a DVI cable, and so is easier to run. Let's also not forget that a DVI cable is, well, a DVI cable and so it's connection is that of all DVI connections whereas an HDMI cable is simple and USB-like.

But if you're looking for a technologically justifiable reason to switch between the two, there really is none, except for the whole "obsoletion" thing, that never really holds on with A/V equipment connections.
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July 10, 2008 5:50:33 PM

My HDTV has 3 DVI ports, but only one has the ability of a separate stereo audio connection (no option for SPDIF). so make sure that situation is not an issue for you (considering you're not getting audio via hdmi)
July 10, 2008 5:57:32 PM

media pc = 780G chipset. Put a good graphics card (4870/4870x2) on there for now then take it out when you get your new computer and the mobo will output HDMI to your tv.
July 10, 2008 10:02:45 PM

elpresidente2075 said:
I have a 3870 in my media center with the DVI-HDMI adapter installed, and it has audio through HDMI. Personally, I like the idea of both being on the same cable, but if you're talking about quality, there'll be no real difference. The difference comes in when you count the number of connections and cable type/flexibility. With HDMI, you've got an all-in-one solution, whereas without you'll have your DVI and SPDIF connections both running from the computer, not to mention that an HDMI cable is much more flexible (physically) than a DVI cable, and so is easier to run. Let's also not forget that a DVI cable is, well, a DVI cable and so it's connection is that of all DVI connections whereas an HDMI cable is simple and USB-like.

But if you're looking for a technologically justifiable reason to switch between the two, there really is none, except for the whole "obsoletion" thing, that never really holds on with A/V equipment connections.


What about HDCP? Can you play Blue-Ray media over the DVI cable? Or is all that handled on the card?

Also, how does the card get the audio signal? Over the PCI-E bus? Or is there an audio cable that needs connected internally?

Finally, how does the DVI port pass the audio? Are there additional pins?

Thanks!!
July 10, 2008 10:05:37 PM

rojito said:
My HDTV has 3 DVI ports, but only one has the ability of a separate stereo audio connection (no option for SPDIF). so make sure that situation is not an issue for you (considering you're not getting audio via hdmi)

Thanks for the heads up. If you used an audio receiver, that wouldn't be a problem, right?
a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2008 3:07:17 AM

True. As for getting the audio signal, it should all come over the PCIE.
July 11, 2008 6:34:41 PM

38xx and 48xx have the ability to run audio via the same HDMI Video cable (with supplied converter), I believe it processes the audio itself, in any case, there's no need to connect any cable, just install the card and connect the HDMI cable.
Both are HDCP compliant so don't worry about video signal not being recognized by your display.
Finaly, about using audio via SPDIF, If you used an audio receiver, that SHOULDN'T be a problem, but using a tv might.
!