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Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD

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April 14, 2011 10:30:16 PM

Anyone have any experience with this card? I'm only finding it on Auzentech's site - retail $249, refurbished $189. Anything wrong with the refurbished card?

If I'm spending this kind of money should I look at a different card? This looks like the only way I can integrate HDMI audio with my AMD video card.

More about : auzentech hometheater

April 15, 2011 3:21:14 AM

All modern AMD videocards can do audio natively over HDMI. Or are you looking to just bypass it completely?
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April 15, 2011 11:56:04 AM

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All modern AMD videocards can do audio natively over HDMI. Or are you looking to just bypass it completely?


Yeah, but not at really good quality. The HTHD gives the ability to output the GPU's video output as HDMI to the sound cards HDMI input, have the sound card do the audio processing, then output a unified audio/video HDMI stream from the soundcards HDMI output, avoiding the GPU's low-tier audio chipset.

I've never used the HTHD, but have been leaning towards buying one in the near future. The only other card like the HTHD is the ASUS HDAV 1.3 deluxe, but it had some early teething problems which I am not sure are resolved or not.
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April 15, 2011 3:42:53 PM

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Only way you can get 5,1 surround with the use of the card is thru analog. Yes you can hook it up with your gpu but with PAP it will be downsampled. What are you planning to hook it up to?


The HDAV is perfectly capable of 5.1 over SPDIF [via usual SPDIF transmission limitations] and 7.1 via HDMI [PCM or compressed formats]. Analog is NOT the only way to get 7.1 with the HTHD.

Quote:
Supports IEC60958 2-channel PCM or IEC61937 compressed audio (Dolby® Digital, DTS, etc.)
Supports 8 channels, 192 kHz PCM or High bit rate audio (Dolby® Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio)


http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzentech-xfi-home-theate...
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April 15, 2011 4:22:34 PM

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Here we go OP that's a good card. That's the minimum you should look at if you really want to hear a difference in sound. But you got to match it up with a good pair of cans. Then you'll hear the difference in the sound. Something budget soundcards don't provide which make them a total waste in money.

Only way you can get 5,1 surround with the use of the card is thru analog. Yes you can hook it up with your gpu but with PAP it will be downsampled. What are you planning to hook it up to?


I'm connecting to my Yamaha YSP-4000. My connectivity options are SPDIF and HDMI. I'm replacing my X-Fi Fatal1ty which appears to have failed. I miss it - there's a huge degradation in sound quality going from the X-Fi's processing to the basic output of the built-in HDMI audio of my ATI card.
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April 15, 2011 4:30:53 PM

At this point, I figure based on my gaming needs and HT desires I'm down to two cards - the Creative Titanium HD and the Auzen HomeTheater HD. I continue to play games designed for EAX - so I don't want to leave that chipset. I do however have driver concerns.

Given the Auzen is an older card, and still more expensive than the Titanium - I'm finding it difficult to choose.
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April 15, 2011 7:49:09 PM

Ummm...The HTHD is what, a year old?

Between Auzentech and Creative, I always choose Auzentech. Lets headaches to deal with, and better quality to boot. While the Titanium HD is actually a solid offering [with stable drivers? Unheard of!], I still rate ASUS and Auzentechs offerings ahead.
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April 15, 2011 8:00:49 PM

gamerk316 said:
Ummm...The HTHD is what, a year old?

Between Auzentech and Creative, I always choose Auzentech. Lets headaches to deal with, and better quality to boot. While the Titanium HD is actually a solid offering [with stable drivers? Unheard of!], I still rate ASUS and Auzentechs offerings ahead.


Any reason not to take the refurbished route? I can't find the card anywhere but Auzentech's online store.
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April 30, 2011 8:01:53 AM

I personally waited a year before buying it, and waited a year prior to that for it's release. I finally bought it at NCIX a week ago, but sadly the HDMI out doesn't seem to be picked up by my sound receiver OR TV. Auzentech is not responding to any of my tech support tickets... it's been over a week. Their forum is full of people with similar problems, no HD sound, auzentech is out to lunch...

I wouldn't recommend the Auzentech Home Theater HD. I do have their previous flagship card, the Prelude, and it is amazing, but only does 5.1 dolby/dts over toslink compressed sound. The sound is still spectacular, but I have yet to hear true HD sound to compare. I will wait for Asus to release a decent HDMI out card that supports Dolby True-HD and DTS HD.
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May 2, 2011 10:36:05 PM

senvae said:
I personally waited a year before buying it, and waited a year prior to that for it's release. I finally bought it at NCIX a week ago, but sadly the HDMI out doesn't seem to be picked up by my sound receiver OR TV. Auzentech is not responding to any of my tech support tickets... it's been over a week. Their forum is full of people with similar problems, no HD sound, auzentech is out to lunch...

I wouldn't recommend the Auzentech Home Theater HD. I do have their previous flagship card, the Prelude, and it is amazing, but only does 5.1 dolby/dts over toslink compressed sound. The sound is still spectacular, but I have yet to hear true HD sound to compare. I will wait for Asus to release a decent HDMI out card that supports Dolby True-HD and DTS HD.


Hmm...disappointing to hear that about Auzen - but since I can't find it anywhere BUT Auzen they may be cutting back...

I did get a Creative X-Fi Titanium - haven't made up my mind about it yet. I'll post back shortly.
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May 3, 2011 6:10:43 PM

Well I would like to acquire the ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 instead, which claims to handle Blu-Ray sound through Dolby and DTS, with an HDMI out. But the only user review I found said the drivers weren't working so great. It is almost 100$ cheaper as well. I have heard good things from the Xonar lineup, but not this one card in particular. I will need to do some research.
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May 6, 2011 6:36:27 AM

Ok - my impressions of the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD [THD]:

First - my specific application. I'm using a Yamaha YSP-4000. This means my connectivity options are left/right analog - and that's IT for analog - S/PDIF (either coaxial or optical), and HDMI. The THD is primarily an optical S/PDIF card - so it seems like the right fit.

I wanted an X-Fi card to maintain compatibility with my existing library of EAX games. That narrows my choices down quite a bit. For the price, and based on the specs, looked like the THD was the deal.

Packaging - not that I care - but it looks nice initially. The part that I think is rather stupid is the included connectivity. The THD uses mini optical S/PDIF - instead of the standard S/PDIF connectors. Included with the card are a pair of SHORT mini-S/PDIF to regular S/PDIF cables. Short in this case means 18". If this card is intended for a HTPC located adjacent to a receiver then maybe it makes sense. As I'm installing the card in my gaming tower case, with my Yamaha mounted on the wall 8 feet away - those silly cables are useless. Fortunately - I knew this was going to be the case, so at the same time I ordered the THD from NewEgg I ordered a mini-S/PDIF to regular S/PDIF adapter plug (found it on Amazon for under $3). Why Creative couldn't include a pair of these in the box makes no sense whatsoever. NewEgg got me the THD a few days before the Amazon vendor got me the adapter - so I had to wait a bit before playing.

By the way - the connectors LOOK like they're coaxial S/PDIF - they're NOT! Optical only!

Ok - got it physically mounted - no issues. Driver time! I uninstalled my existing drivers for my Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty that had failed - including the DDL/DTS pack I paid extra for 2 years ago, installed the new ones - and no sound. After fiddling with my setup for a while, including temporarily disabling my AMD Radeon HDMI audio - got sound back.

And...without having my Fatal1ty to compare to, I don't know that the exciting specs on this card make any difference. Playing games or movies sounds as they did before - which means great, but nothing more than great.

As for drivers - I continue to have issues with X-Fi mode switching. I tried leaving the X-Fi in Game mode for general purposes, with an auto-switch to Entertainment mode when MPC-HC ran - but something would go wrong. I can manually switch to Entertainment mode, and it usually works - but the thing is, while I can tell a difference in games when I'm not in gaming mode, I don't recognize anything significant for movies. Maybe if I used more of the X-Fi processing on my media I'd hear something different - but right now I don't. So I've turned off the auto-switcher and leaving it in Game mode.

Overall - I'm underwhelmed. I don't know if I'd hear anything different from a "pure" digital connection using one of the HDMI options - I'd have to have one to compare. And having heard a few comments regarding lack of support & quality on the Auzen, plus a lack of an X-Fi option in the other choice (Xonar) - I'll probably stay with this card.

In summary - I'd have to say, if you want a card that will provide a 5.1 DDL/DTS signal to a receiver, using an optical S/PDIF connection, and you have any interest in EAX support - this card will do it. Keep in mind the need to purchase a cable adapter if your receiver is more than a foot away from your PC (and that means the PORTS, not just the boxes!). If you're looking for an upgrade from any existing X-Fi - this isn't it.
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May 7, 2011 6:50:56 AM

I'd hate to recommend Auzentech since I was shafted by them recently but... my older Auzentech Prelude is an X-Fi card with X-RAM and etc, does EAX, DDL DTS packages comes with it, has Toslink output and input, it bears the creative drivers unfortunately since it has the X-Fi, and it's just a fantastic card in every way. It also had top notch ratings in almost every review I've ever seen. My Hometheater HD may not be working (with no support from Auzentech), but if you could get your hands on a used Prelude you might save money and the card has been mostly stable for me.

But then... like I said... tech support seems to have gone missing. Considering how much of a fan I was of the Prelude, it's sad that the Hometheater HD has to be such a disappointing purchase.
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