I want to build an HTPC to which I can connect surround sound speakers directly. I don't want an HTPC that requires a separate receiver/amplifier. The Media Live Dive 5.1 kit is a motherboard + sound card combination that offers such a solution. It was all the rage in 2009. However, I can't find it for sale anywhere now in January 2010. Is there an alternative solution?
I've been excited about building an HTPC based on the Maui solution in Tom's article, specifically the Media Live Diva 5.1. As with many people, a big attraction is the amplified surround sound so I don't need a separate receiver box.
Now that I am ready to buy, I can't find the 5.1 version of the Media Live Diva anywhere. NewEgg still carries the 7.1 pre-amp version.
Both AMD's and MSI's web sites no longer mention Maui or Diva as current products. It sppears they stopped making them (can't imagine why though). So I searched for replacement products with the same amplified signal output. No luck on either site.
Maybe Intel offers a competing product? No luck there either.
New article on Tom's site about an alternative solution? None that I can find.
This was the hot topic just six months ago. Now it has evaporated. "Sold out" I could understand, but this solution appears to be out of production.
What are my alternatives?
Is there another product out there enabling amplified surround sound from a single-box HTPC?
Not exectly. I looked at sound cards (SoundBlaster, for example) and they all produce the pre-amp signal requiring a separate amplifier box. I want the mobo + sound amplifier card combination that eliminates the need for that separate box. The Maui 5.1 solution did this, but isn't available. Surely there must be others.
Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding??? Can I hookup surround speakers directly to a pre-amp sound card?
BTW: While I am looking at a few Silverstone HTPC cases, I rather like the nMedia PC HTPC 8000 wooden case reviewed on Tom's Hardware. The low-profile then becomes a non-factor.
The real deal is MSI had real problems with this mobo. We had to RMA 50% of our boards due to sound problems and other issues.
All in all we shipped around 30 of these boards out in our custom HTPC builds but many still have stability problems. The most common issue we have found is freeze ups requiring reset boot. Funny thing is the problem does not seem to have any consistency!!!
Through much research the best explaination I can find is the board has heat issues related to the SB700.
It is too bad MSI is not more forthcoming with any details or info on why the mobo and or idea has been scrapped. Based on the lack of info from them I'd be real hesitant to purchase another MSI product.
I have found another HDMI htpc mobo from Asus M4A785G that would work but alas no amplified sound like the media live.
Truth be told the 100 watt amplifier on the MSI was decent and functional but for real surround sound most folks are going to want at least 50 watts per channel and a minimum 100 watt sub.
I have one system currently in use if someone wants it I am open to offers. This particular working unit has 5.1 amp, AMD 5050e cpu, 2 gb ram, wd 640 sata enclosed in a modded qpack2 case with Veris premier Imon setup. If interested email to email@example.com