Print 31 comment(s) - last by Lazarus Dark.. on Jun 6 at 6:37 PM

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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By JonnyDough on 6/5/2008 7:00:11 AM , Rating: 3
I believe this is intended for people with old computers that want to turn it into a good HTPC with high def sound AND video, but currently lack both the required HDMI/HDCP vid card and a high def sound card. Take any combination of parts such as a cool running Sempron, a couple of 512mb slower DDR ram sticks, pair it with a weak onboard chipset and you still have yourself a quaint little HTPC/Blu-ray player if you buy this card.

Essentially, this takes an old computer and lets you turn it into a high def video player for cheap. The part that will cost you the most is still likely to be the Blu-Ray drive.

By phusg on 6/5/2008 7:37:55 AM , Rating: 1
Looks like it, but the only piece that doesn't fit that puzzle is the lack of PCI interface...

By ultimaone on 6/5/2008 6:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
its a pci-X interface....

By MrPickins on 6/6/2008 1:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
You mean PCI-E?

They are two very different things.

By rdeegvainl on 6/5/2008 7:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
The part that will cost you the most is still likely to be the Blu-Ray drive.

Depending on what you put in it. Item=N82E16827106225
(Just take out the space)

That is a 140$, so just as likely could be that you spend more on a cpu or something.

By JonnyDough on 6/5/2008 7:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to a weaker computer you already own. Besides, it looks a though laptops and external GPU's may be the new fad. With 2TB drives coming out, I can't imagine that a laptop couldn't hold a decent amount of media...

Notebook HTPC anyone?

By MrPickins on 6/6/2008 1:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest laptop HD's I have seen are around 320GB, still too small for dedicated video storage.

By omnicronx on 6/5/2008 10:56:46 AM , Rating: 2
Why on earth would you think this would only attract people wishing to upgrade their old PC. I know countless people who have been waiting for a real HDMI audio solution. I can't tell you the hassles I have had getting Lossless codecs to output correctly through a videocard.

I can't wait to have a dedicated soundcard that takes care of the processing (decoding to lossless PCM takes a chunk of CPU cycles no matter what system you are running).

I would also bet that soundcards like this will open the door to allow 3rd party tools to output 7.1 lossless sound for any audio source(such as the 5.1 surround plugins that exist today for DD or DTS soundcards).

By phusg on 6/5/2008 12:23:25 PM , Rating: 1
Is this card worth the bother for people like me who still have to upgrade to a HDMI receiver? If I buy a half decent HDMI receiver surely that will support hardware decoding of all the new HD audio codecs? I'm assuming that a G45 motherboard will support audio output over HDMI too or is that a mistake?

By JonnyDough on 6/5/2008 5:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
I never said ONLY. I said it's intended for them. Why go out and build a whole new system when the one you have will work? Even $200 isn't too much for a high def video/audio solution I don't think. Individual cards would run you that much. Having it all in one in a small package is pretty sweet if you ask me.

I can't wait to have a dedicated soundcard that takes care of the processing (decoding to lossless PCM takes a chunk of CPU cycles no matter what system you are running).

They have that soon as other comments mentioned. It's from AMD/ATI in what they refer to as the 4x00 series video cards.

By Lazarus Dark on 6/6/2008 6:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
All of you are confused.
This thing still requires a half decent video card or processor. It does not decode any video formats, only audio. The video comes out of your vid card or mobo like normal, but then loops back into this Asus card. The Asus card then adds the 7.1 sound (in either decoded lpcm or in its original HD audio codec) to the signal and then outputs it again to go to your 7.1 hdmi receiver. This device is for adding 7.1 sound to the already existant hdmi signal coming out of your system (or dvi with an adapter). Additionally, according to Anandtech, you have to use the included Arcsoft media player, as currently PowerDVD and WinDVD do not support this card. Still, if no better solution exists by the time this comes out (namely a vid card fully capable of this), then I will buy it. I am currently waiting for a 7.1 digital solution for pc's before I will upgrade from my 5.1 reciever. I refuse to output analog sound from a computer.

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