Asus steps up the pressure on Creative by showing off the Xonar HDAV1.3, giving the PC audio world HDMI 1.3a compatibility.
Running in a PCI Express x1 slot, the Xonar HDAV1.3 will decode lossless audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio at 24 bit 96-192 Khz through 7.1 channels. The card is very similar to Asus’s existing Xonar D2 products in that it uses the same AV200 codec chip that has received high praise from users. The codec routes and interprets high quality signals to premium audio components, that include Burr-Brown PCM1796, 123 dB SNR, National Semiconductor LM4562 amplifiers, and Cirrus Logic CS5381 120 dB SNR analog to digital converter. However, Asus upped the ante on this one by adding its own HyperGround technology that allows the card to reduce EMI noise with distortion as low as 0.0004% on each of the 7.1 channels.
To sweeten the deal even more, Asus also included it’s own Splendid HD video processors that “increases color performance and enhances edges for a more brilliant, crisper high definition image” – all without getting precious processors power. In other words, the processor will polish up and increase color saturation to make your movie that much more dynamic. On the plus side, the processor should allow users with relatively entry-level specifications to enjoy high-definition content without having to upgrade their hardware.
Asus has not revealed pricing or availability yet, but users should expect two versions – the plain Jane HDAV1.3 and the Deluxe. The Deluxe will include the HDAV H6 expansion card that connects via ribbon cable and provides analog out capabilities for 8 channels.
The Xonar HDAV1.3 features HDMI input and output ports, line/microphone input, S/PDIF input/output ports, ad RCA front-channel output.