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Asus Xonar HDAV1.3  (Source: Asus)

Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe Expansion Card  (Source: Asus)
ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 unveiled at Computex 2008

ASUS made another interesting product announcement at Computex 2008 today. The company gave a preview of its upcoming Xonar HDAV1.3 HDMI-ready sound card. The card is HDMI 1.3a compliant and offloads audio processing from high-definition video.

The Xonar HDAV1.3 can decode lossless audio formats from Blu-ray films including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio at 24-bit, 96-192 Khz. The card runs on a PCI Express x1 slot and can deliver up to 7.1 surround sound.

To reduce noise Asus uses analog audio with 120db signal-to-noise ratio with distortion as low as 0.0004% on all 7.1 channels. To handle the video portion of Blu-ray discs ASUS integrates a Splendid HD video processor that provides a clear image form Blu-ray titles without having to rely on the CPU of a computer.

This means that users of desktop systems that don’t have a discrete graphics card or a high-end CPU can enjoy Blu-ray movies and high definition sound by installing one card into their computers. The brain of the Xonar is the ASUS AV200 codec chip that features digital to analog convertors. This card is the first in the Xonar family to use opamp sockets to allow for solder-less modifications to customize sound to the individual's liking.

A deluxe version of the HDAV1.3 offers all the same features as the standard card plus adds a HDAV H6 surround channel expansion card. ASUS declined to comment on pricing and availability for the HDAV1.3. With ASUS’ low end Xonar card—the Xonar DX 5.0—retailing for $89 it’s a safe bet the HDAV1.3 will go for well over $100.



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Too little too late?
By Varun on 6/4/2008 11:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
I am wondering if this product is worth it. By the sounds of it it will have a hefty price tag to go along with all of the super high quality analog components on the board. Personally I'd rather have a version that was less money, ditches all of the analog, and just contains the HDMI. That's all any new receiver will require, so why pay extra for things you don't need?

Also, there is a rumour the new ATI 4xx0 series will also do 7.1 HD Audio via HDMI, and if it can do bitstreaming via the protected audio path (PAP) then I would think this Asus card would be instantly obselete. However if it can not do PAP and/or bitstreaming then I for one will be purchasing this Asus card for my HTPC.




RE: Too little too late?
By FITCamaro on 6/5/2008 8:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
Assuming you get an ATI 4x00 series.


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