Computex 2008 - ASUS HDAV 1.3 Update

by Gary Key on 6/6/2008 5:00 AM EST
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  • ebuyings0005 - Friday, September 04, 2009 - link

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  • gwolfman - Monday, June 09, 2008 - link

    As soon as ASUS throws this baby onboard one of their ATX/uATX motherboards, I'm buying it! Reply
  • gevorg - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    So does it have a HDMI output only, or there is an input too? Reply
  • gwolfman - Monday, June 09, 2008 - link

    there's an input too Reply
  • paulpod - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I ran their trial on a Vista test system after reading this. As usual, it is the typical mixed bag story for media software.

    The website says they do not support ATI cards under XP.

    Player controls are WAY better than WinDVD (similar to older versions of WinDVD) but there is too little control/information about whether GFX card acceleration is being properly used.

    For yucks, I tried their Bluray authoring to create a BD disc with clips of broadcast 1080i transport stream. The program seems better than Corel or Cyberlink but... Everything worked fine up to the write operation (to folder or BD-RE) when the program crashed. How can they possibly think a trial that crashes will lead to a sale?!?!

    As people mentioned, let's hope the card's video pass though properly handles HDCP and monitor detect, can be set to bypass any modifications, and can use any advanced video/audio sync features in the HDMI spec.
    Reply
  • cweinheimer - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I have a pre hdmi Harman Kardon 7.1 reciever with 8 channel analog input..hmm...would connect my HTPC and this card for blue-ray audio at full 7.1 best audio possible to date. I want one! Reply
  • chizow - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    You don't need this card to get lossless 8ch sound over analog, just get PowerDVD Ultra. If the DAC and opamps were better than whatever you're using now it might be worth it, otherwise the $200+ for the Deluxe version is probably more than you need (especially if you're planning to use analog anyways). Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    PowerDVD can't give you the full resolution of the audio. You're limited to 16bit audio no matter what, and it won't do DTS HD MA. Reply
  • Desides - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I think you're confused. No one's getting excited about its ability to handle lossless audio, but rather uncompressed audio.

    Lossless: FLAC.
    Uncompressed: WAV.

    The disappointing thing here is that you have to use Asus' playback software. I doubt very much their program is as versatile as, say, KMPlayer.
    Reply
  • gwolfman - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    So, does the video path works like this: PCIexpress video card->DVI/HDMI-to-HDMI cable->ASUS HDAV->HDMI->TV/AV Receiver? From my understanding, all current DVI and HDMI capable video cards are limited to 24-bit color on the output, or that HDMI 1.3x deepColor/x.v.Color is not supported. So with the ASUS HDAV we can benefit from HDMI 1.3x audio but are still limited to 1.2x color space? Reply
  • erwos - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Deep Color is an optional feature of HDMI 1.3, not its defining characteristic. I wouldn't get too hung up on it - and I say this as someone who actually owns a Deep Color-capable display. Reply
  • gwolfman - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Yeah, but it still seems limited and incapable of that feature, right? Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, June 09, 2008 - link

    vista does not support 1.3 spec only 1.2 mosty due to the fact it cant do 24bit Reply
  • AlexWade - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I see a lot about audio but nothing about video. HDMI delivers audio and video on the same wire. How does this bridge the two since this is an audio card. Reply
  • ViRGE - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    My understanding is this:

    Video card out (HDMI/DVI) -> Asus HDMI In -> Asus HDMI Out-> Receiver and beyond

    HDMI is packet based, using TMDS. So they're just creating a new stream by disassembling the video input stream, running it through their Splendid HD video processor, and then creating a final stream combining the output of the video processor with the audio packets generated by the sound card.
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Hopefully there isn't HDMI handshake problems that are common when you attempt to do *anything* to an HDMI signal other than run it over a cable from device A to device B. Between my receiver, LCD, a monoprice HDMI switcher and Motorola HD cable box, I have to jump through all kinds of crazy hoops to get the signal to sync sometimes.

    The product looks very good though. Asus does have a knack for putting out some neat peripheral gadgets like this with customized versions of existing software. I really liked their TV 880 tuner card from a few years back and this reminds me a lot of it.

    Its also nice to see they're able to output at a full 24/192, although realistically it won't matter too much as most HD movies are only 24/48 with a small handful in 24/96.
    Reply
  • madgonad - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I have already read some negatives about what Splendid does to video. This also will add a few links in the chain and valuable milliseconds to the process. I hope there are precise controls for adjusting lip-sync. I am also worried about this device extending the delay between clicking and seeing the result in games. Reply
  • chrnochime - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I don't know the details of the DTS-HD and whatnot, but wouldn't it make more sense for the general public (who can afford it) to get an AV receiver that allows uncompressed 7.1 LPCM output, without resorting to using such audio card and trying to figure out how to make everything work?

    And I trust receiver/amp manufacturers like Harmon Kardon/Denon more than Asus, when it comes to audio equipment...
    Reply
  • bonzichrille - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Hey Gary, just as Olaf pointed out isnt the comment about the analog outputs being better then the hdmi output totally dependant on what hdmi based reciver you got... Reply
  • pnyffeler - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Kudos to ASUS for pulling this off. I just won't be clammering to the store to buy one. I understand the desire to up the level of competition, but how much better is this than what is out there? Perhaps a better question is who will actually notice the difference?

    It seems to me to be like Bugatti Veyron. It's great that it can go 253 mph, but the only reason to buy it is because it can do it, not because you'll actually personally enjoy the top speed regularly.
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Agreed on not sure if its worth it. Realistically lossless audio over HDMI will be a standard feature on either audio or video cards or onboard in the future, its just the PC industry dragging its feet or half-assing their current implementation. The only way it might be worth it is if its encoding positional game sound and sending it over HDMI. Verdict is still out on Asus' emulated EAX, but for now I'm very happy with Creative's EAX5 in games. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    > This does not mean the HDMI audio output is in anyway degraded, it is just that ASUS has spent considerable time tuning the new card and as such the analog audio output quality is incredible for a consumer based card.

    Doesn't this (als) mean that the DACs of the card were better than the DACs used in the hardware on the other end of the HDMI connection
    Reply
  • madgonad - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    I was about to post the same thing about the DACs.

    Either that or the writer is being urged to encourage the purchase of the more expensive deluxe model.

    I am a little confused about the analog outputs since the whole point of this particular card is HDMI which includes the uncompressed digital content. I guess it is for non-HTPC consumers who want to listen to BluRay content on their computer speakers.
    Reply
  • madgonad - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    Oh, and the receiver being used is an Onkyo. Reply
  • ViRGE - Friday, June 06, 2008 - link

    It's all digital, there's no analog/digital conversions involved. Reply
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