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Best sound card for movies

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June 12, 2010 1:13:13 PM

Hi
What's a good sound card for movies? I need to connect with my pc to my home cinema digital receiver. Thanks

More about : sound card movies

June 12, 2010 2:04:39 PM

A sound card is not required if you use a HDMI cable to connect your PC to your receiver.
June 12, 2010 3:49:41 PM

Yes I know, but I want a better sound coming out from my pc cause when I see a movie from my home dvd the sound is much better so I though that if I buy a sound card my pc sound will get better. At the moment I am connected trough coaxial cable from an on board card.
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June 12, 2010 5:38:01 PM

theres very little difference if your passing the audio thorugh digital....
June 12, 2010 5:53:17 PM

No doubt the sound card will improve audio quality. People think there's very little difference & that sound card is just a waste of money (when onboard sound serves you rather well), but trust me, once you hear w/ a sound card attached, the expense seems totally worth it. Also the sound card frees up the CPU to dedicate itself to pure data processing rather than also have an additional audio overlay.
The Creative X-Fi titanium is a good one. You could also get the Fata1ty version if possible.
June 12, 2010 6:12:19 PM

Charlezman said:
Yes I know, but I want a better sound coming out from my pc cause when I see a movie from my home dvd the sound is much better so I though that if I buy a sound card my pc sound will get better.

Your home theater speakers are:
(1) Attached to your digital receiver? (home audio speakers)
(2) Attached to your PC? (PC speakers)


June 12, 2010 7:05:41 PM

I have 5 b&W speakers + yamaha sub woofer. Front main are big floor standing 200w the others center and surround are smaller hang on speakers 100w. The sub woofer is 100w everything is attached to my home receiver
June 12, 2010 10:30:16 PM

ksampanna said:
No doubt the sound card will improve audio quality. People think there's very little difference & that sound card is just a waste of money (when onboard sound serves you rather well), but trust me, once you hear w/ a sound card attached, the expense seems totally worth it. Also the sound card frees up the CPU to dedicate itself to pure data processing rather than also have an additional audio overlay.
The Creative X-Fi titanium is a good one. You could also get the Fata1ty version if possible.


dude if its dgital... there is no or absolutely tiny difference.... its passing the raw signal that was barely processed or not at all.... this guy is talking about passing to the receiver... if u have an amplifier at home, then im sure you'd understand that there is barely perceptible difference when passing digital signals, the only difference you would mostly be able to tell, would be the reasons of using bad wires.

we are not talking about analogue here.....

and yes i know theres a diff in audio cards (analogue > digital)....

and creative isnt as gd as ASUS or Auzentech or HT omega//, quality is better on these cards, oh and the price.
June 12, 2010 10:31:55 PM

Charlezman said:
I have 5 b&W speakers + yamaha sub woofer. Front main are big floor standing 200w the others center and surround are smaller hang on speakers 100w. The sub woofer is 100w everything is attached to my home receiver


if you want to have gd sound quality, use your SPDIF, or Co-ax, HDMI from your motherboard to your receiver, if you have one. And invest in a gd Monster digital cable.
June 13, 2010 12:08:57 PM

Thanks dude, that's an interesting idea, I'll be catching 2 birds with 1 stone, better sound and a gc upgrade and as I am into a quite pc this card seams to have everything I need its passive so no noise, consumes few power so its good for my fanless psu and its not expensive. I will give it a serious thought

I have a pioneer receiver, nvidia 7300gt with dvi out asus mb and an infocus projector
June 13, 2010 3:18:23 PM

If I buy this card how am I going to connect the sound to my receiver? There is no coaxial or optical out in this card and my receiver doesn't have hdmi.
June 13, 2010 6:10:52 PM

then there is no way, use the digital connection from your mobo
June 13, 2010 7:41:22 PM

That complicates things a bit.
But I think a HD 4350 with S-Video is still an option.
Better video decode and HD audio options I think.
June 14, 2010 9:32:09 AM

well s-video connection doesnt carry audio signals.

anyway i dont really see the reason why the OP wont just use the mobo , has he not got one???
June 14, 2010 11:53:57 AM

If you use a Digital output, there will be close to no difference in audio quality between an onboard chipset and soundcard, so if your mobo has a digital output port, just use that.

If not, then all you really need is a cheap soundcard [preferably with DDL/DTS-C support, in case you want 5.1 for more then just movies], such as the ASUS Xonar DS, ASUS Xonar D1/DX, or HT Omega Striker.
June 14, 2010 9:28:26 PM

Yes I am using digital out. Could it be the software? I am watch movies with wmp or vlc
June 14, 2010 10:40:36 PM

what do you mean by could it be the software?
June 14, 2010 11:13:24 PM

I play movies using wmp or vlc those are software no, maybe there are other software that can produce better sound than these two
June 15, 2010 3:21:29 AM

WR2 said:
A sound card is not required if you use a HDMI cable to connect your PC to your receiver.


Onboard HDMI ports don't support MCPCM or HD compression formats, just 2 channel PCM.

The only sound card that does MCPCM and HD compressed is the Asus HDAV 1.3.
June 15, 2010 4:44:40 AM

astrallite said:
The only sound card that does MCPCM and HD compressed is the Asus HDAV 1.3.
Since the OP doesn't have his speakers connected to the computer the uncompressed MC PCM isn't important to him, correct?
The HD 5450 and it's HDMI ver 1.3 support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) would have been an easy, inexpensive way to get the compressed audio bit-stream to the OP's receiver for unpacking.

June 15, 2010 5:43:37 PM

why not use optical on his mobo? or does he not have one?
June 17, 2010 3:09:50 AM

Asus Xonar DS is the best sound card.
June 17, 2010 8:08:25 AM

WR2 said:
Since the OP doesn't have his speakers connected to the computer the uncompressed MC PCM isn't important to him, correct?
The HD 5450 and it's HDMI ver 1.3 support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) would have been an easy, inexpensive way to get the compressed audio bit-stream to the OP's receiver for unpacking.


???

If his speakers aren't connected to the computer, how the hell is he gonna get Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD? Magic?
June 17, 2010 9:07:51 AM

lmao!!!! this just aint working...
June 17, 2010 9:11:31 AM

but he does have a receiver :D 
June 17, 2010 11:24:09 PM

I think WR2 doesn't understand the difference between bitstream and linear PCM. The former is compressed and requires decoding on the other end, the latter is uncompressed and requires no decoding, and both are hdmi digital formats.

He also states that you can avoid using a sound card by using onboard hdmi, but this is incorrect. The onboard chipsets, only have 2 channel PCM functionality, as they lack hardware acceleration.

The first soundcards to support multichannel (linear) pcm was the ATI 5xxx series, and the only ones that can do linear pcm AND bitstream is the HDAV 1.3. For movies with hd codecs you absolutely need the asus hdav 1.3, since only the oldest blu ray movies had uncompressed audio, and no other card can do bitstreaming right now.
June 18, 2010 12:12:39 AM

Did THG get it wrong when they said:
HTPC Use: Bitstreaming Encoded Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
The Radeon HD 5450 is a silent passively-cooled low-power card with a half-height bezel option. All of these attributes are ideal for home theater PC duty. In addition, the card is able to bitstream high-def audio codecs to your compatible receiver over a protected audio path. This is the only $50 card with this ability (if you're not counting Intel's Clarkdale-based processors and H55/57 motherboards), and HTPC enthusiasts will undoubtedly gravitate toward this card as a result.
June 19, 2010 2:55:44 AM

WR2 said:
Did THG get it wrong when they said:
HTPC Use: Bitstreaming Encoded Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
The Radeon HD 5450 is a silent passively-cooled low-power card with a half-height bezel option. All of these attributes are ideal for home theater PC duty. In addition, the card is able to bitstream high-def audio codecs to your compatible receiver over a protected audio path. This is the only $50 card with this ability (if you're not counting Intel's Clarkdale-based processors and H55/57 motherboards), and HTPC enthusiasts will undoubtedly gravitate toward this card as a result.


Yes they did. Anybody who knows anything about blu ray playback knows this. That's why everyone is handcuffed to the HDAV 1.3 unless you want to rip your movies in multichannel FLAC.
June 19, 2010 5:11:14 AM
June 19, 2010 11:13:30 AM

that is what i understand so far. arent u guys now mixing the same thing together. i think its teh little deatil to bitstreams and LINEAR PCM
just like ast. sed, ati 5 series and HDAV 1.3 are the only CARD so far, that can do 8 channel linear PCM am i right so far???
June 20, 2010 5:00:08 AM

Gee, WR2, let me see, writing up your own code for some manual hacking that *may* work for some people, that really proves that it works.

Let me ask you WR2, do YOU have HD audio working? If so, please post an image of your receiver's front panel; it should be very easy since I'm obviously wrong. I've been struggling with ATI 4xxx and 5xxx series HDMI audio for years.
June 20, 2010 6:45:59 AM

The problem is not the hardware, it's the software support obviously. All the HDMI interface is a digital bypass device, it relies entirely on software. Functionality can always be hacked in if you are a proficient programmer, but this doesn't really work for the majority of end users.
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