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Old March 14, 2009, 09:47 AM
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biff biff is offline
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Default Sound cards vs. onboard optical audio

I still can't make up my mind what I want to do for audio with my HTPC setup. I've been looking at sound cards and using the analog out and there seems to be a very broad opinion of any hardware on this front. My receiver doesn't have HDMI input but I'm not sure I need it anyway. I really have two choices to get sound to it, either analog or go optical and use the receiver's DACs.

Does a dedicated sound card have any advantages over on board when talking about optical? My initial thoughts are no, since I would think the signal sent over the optical should be bit for bit the same sound data that a dedicated sound card or external DAC would get.... after all that's the point of it isn't it?

My receiver is a HK AVR-235. My main concern is music quality and a distant second is 5.1 for movies. I realize I may not get HD audio when watching blu-rays but from looking at the specs it appears that standard sound is near CD quality anyway and it is only for movies so I'm not sure I'd notice (or care) about any difference there anyway.
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