HD4350 real HDMI audio support?


I bought a HD4350 for a little media PC I set up to watch movies on. The guy at the store said it would be fine for what i need.
I guess I should have asked this before i bought it but the salesman and my shortage of cash persuaded me.

To keep it short, I got to checking the 4350's HDMI specs compared to higher end cards specs and the with the 4350 they keep it kind of vague while they get into detail with the higher end ones (supported audio formats etc.)

Do the higher end cards treat HDMI audio different then the 4350?
Do they support formats that it doesnt?

I'm pretty clueless when it comes to surround audio formats but you probably already see that :P

I pasted the specs from the ATI site here:


HDMI output support

* Supports all display resolutions up to 1920x1080
* Integrated HD audio controller with up to 2 channel 48 KHz stereo or multi-channel (7.1) AC3 enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution


HDMI output support

* All display resolutions up to 1920x1080
* Integrated HD audio controller with support for stereo and multi-channel (up to 7.1) audio formats, including AC-3, AAC, DTS, DTS-HD & Dolby True-HD4, enabling a plug-and-play audio solution over HDMI

If anyone could clear some of this up for me and educate me a bit I'd really appreciate it.
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More about hd4350 real hdmi audio support
  1. It is different audio formats. They do not bother listing all of them on their low end card HD4350
  2. HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface
    Implies it (The Socket & Cable) are capable of transferring whatever HD signal is sent over it. Which in turn implies that equipment on either end of the cable should be capable of decoding the signal.
    I believe if you have the card in the computer and a good AV system attached to the other end of the HDMI cable, it'll give you all those sound formats as long as the codecs are present in you computer and the AV system can decode them.
  3. Thanks alot for responding.

    So there is no type of audio processing going on on the card itself?
    Its just a matter of the audio codecs installed on my pc (ac3filter) and my receiver(2009 model pioneer) supporting the audio format?

    When I set my receiver to "auto surround" mode (meaning its supposed to detect the audio format of the incoming signal), while playing a file encoded with ac3 or dts, it just plays stereo. Thats what raised my suspicion.

    "you can select from the many possible surround modes manually, or engage the Auto Surround feature and let the receiver select the surround mode based on the input signal format, your speaker setup, and, of course, the judgment of Pioneer's programmers. " - my receiver spec sheet

    I have a 5 speakers and a subwoofer hooked up to the receiver.

    Could it be a codec issue?

    Sorry if this thread is kind of deviating from the topic of this section.
  4. For computers not having a real good sound card or integrated sound chip, this is an issue that is very common.
    So what the computer does is, that it actually creates a virtual surround effect which is not True Surround it's surround thru 2 speakers alone.
    What I would suggest is if you have a little money to spare , pic up a good sound card and let it do the sound processing for you.
    And another tip is configure your Audio out as 5.1 or 7.1 in the playback tab of windows audio settings.
    Secondly , configure the AC3 filter to the same 5.1 Dolby Downmix or Pro try these two at first and if that doesn't help then we'll talk about a decent card for your audio.
  5. Before I read your last post I checked out the AC3 filters setting and saw it was outputting 2 channels so i set it "same as source" and the bars on all the channel indicators thing started moving, it sounded better but still got stereo when switching to "auto surround" on the receiver.
    After reading your post I configured the windows output (ATI HDMI) to 5.1 and then the sound and definition of each different speaker really improved. I get surround when the receiver is on "auto" and it sounds a lot better although the format type indicators that are supposed to light up on the receiver indicating the detected format don't light up. I'm not going to nitpick about that, just mentioning it. Overall there's a really noticable improvement. Thanks so much man.
    So would you say I'm done or would I be even better off considering a good sound card? Can you show me one that you recommend?
    Again, I really appreciate your help.
  6. Well, it actually all depends on the budget but still these are worth reading thru and drooling over.... :)

    ASUS Xonar Essence ST/STX - http://www.stereophile.com/computeraudio/asus_xonar_essence_ststx_soundcards/

    ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 - http://hothardware.com/Articles/ASUS_Xonar_D2_Ultra_Fidelity_71_PCI_Sound_Card/

    And a mix is here - http://compreviews.about.com/od/multimedia/tp/SoundCards.htm

    And here is a mix of the top end cards - Really cool ones.... - http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/reviews/hardware/soundcards
  7. Those cards look cool. I play/record music as a hobby and I have this old DSP24 card lying around here collecting dust since I replaced it with a M-audio profire 610, I replaced it because the company went out of business a few years back so the latest drivers released for it are for XP (I'm on win 7 64). Its a good card though and I guess I could try slapping it on the HTPC and seeing what happens (its also running win 7).
    Even if it works, its not meant for home theater use and the spec sheets of the cards you listed say that their processors support all the different surround audio formats but isn't that a driver/software thing? or does the processor itself play a part in the decoding and stuff?
  8. The processor on the sound card plays a big role in delivering the quality of sound that we'd like to here from a million dollar home entertainment system.
    If we leave everything to the drivers and software, then it's the CPU that's handling the audio, but , in the case of a high end sound card, it's the processor like the EMU10K for creative or the YM754 on the Yamaha on the sound card that handles all the audio signals.
    So it's like having a great DAC or ADC in the card itself. Thereby letting you analyze and play or reproduce tracks and music as they were meant to be heard by the company or artist.
    Both your audio cards are amazing and are actually Studio quality types, Mostly used for professional or semi pro recording. It's tragic the the DSP24 company went down but it's a good card.
    The cards I listed are not these type of specific cards, they are for amateurs although they are never listed or priced that way :)
    But the quality of sound that your present cards are going to give is way superior than these plug and play and be happy kind of cards that I have listed, not that their audio quality is bad, but for today's systems where everything goes digital, they do a good job.
    People mostly don't have the time or the patience to setup all the eight channels for crystal clear clarity of every note, actually, the iPod spoilt it all, it's only the people who generally love music, not the Bieber kind, and really enjoy it that take the pains of setting up a rig that plays like a million dollar system.
    The cards I mentioned come bundled with their standard day to day software to play DVDs, BLU rays and stuff like that, I think one of them should do fine for your HTPC 'cos it's all digital these days so a good digital card with ample computing capabilities for sound will really give you the sound effect you'd like while watching a movie and it'd be relatively simple to setup.
  9. Yeah there's no question about that if you want superior performance in a specific area, your gonna have fork up the extra doe for the specialized components.
    I have a pretty good grasp on that concept with my music equipment and other stuff I own so my questions seem kinda silly now. You can find drivers/software that will let you do DAW work with an oldskool soundblaster but without real decent gear throughout the whole chain you're not going to get great results. That being said, there's decent and a whole bunch of dollars away there's top of the line. so unless money is no object to you, its a matter of understanding what you're needs are and the capabilities of the components you're willing to spend money on. In my DAW setup I have a few guitars, an amp sim/fx unit, electronic drum kit, midi keyboard, soundcard, powered monitors, a few mics, headphones and a few other little doodads. Obviously Theres some money put in to all that but I'm a hobbyist not a proffesional recording studio so i bought the gear that suits my needs and my pocket, not at all really high end stuff but over the years I've gained some knowledge in that area so I can decide what I need to have and what I need to just keep drooling over in the store.
    With the whole home theater thing I feel like a big noob. I just bought a 42' LCD and a receiver like 2 weeks ago, maybe I would've bought different ones if i had a clue but I'm pretty happy with what i got so far. a friend hooked me up with the speakers on loan for now and i set up a little pc from spare parts i had and bought the 4350 for the HDMI connectivity. Getting back to our discussion, its given that a better audio processor would upgrade my sound, but would I really need or benefit from the more expensive cards that have the high quality connectors and stuff with the htpc connected to the receiver though the graphics cards HDMI output? or could I just leave it like that and go for a more modest card with decent processing? something like this maybe?
    BTW, I tried slapping the DSP24 on the HTPC but windows 7 isn't having it, wont even detect it. I think its because the OS is 64 bit. That reminds me, do you think I even need to be running 64 bits for my htpc? Its an old pentium D 2.66 with 2 gigs of ram and I really dont know if the 64 bit OS is helping or hurting the performance. Right now i can actually feel its pain with 1080p fliks :) but its chuggin on by.
    Sorry to be picking you brains like this, hope you don't mind :)
    have an awesome night, or day wherever you are.
  10. If you use Dolby Digital or DTS passthrough then the quality of the soundcard is completely irrelevant. Most soundcards present on HDMI capable adaptors or that have SPDIF outputs will pass on Dolby or DTS encoded sound. Incidentally you should'nt need the AC3 Filter as this is designed for decoding the AC3 signal locally rather than passing it on to your reciever. If you have movies with AC3 (dolby) or DTS audio streams and Windows is set up to support these (in Vista or W7 you get the option of enabling WMA Pro, Dolby Digital and DTS). When you click test next to the DTS and Dolby Digital, it should send DTS and Dolby coded feeds to your system and you should get Xylophone sounds out of all the sattellite speakers one at a time and a Timpany/bass drum sound from your subwoofer. if this is all set up correctly you then only need to use compatible player software like VLC player, Windows Media player or my favourite XBMC Media Centre - http://www.xbmc.org

    Don't buy an expensive sound card - it isn't required when passing on Movie content as it is completely un-modified. Only do this if you want to generate your own content!
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