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HTPC Motherboard Audio Help


Michael Brown

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Michael Brown

I've just placed a parts order for my first HTPC build and now have some worries. Additionally, my audio/video knowledge is evidenced by the fact that my wife just forced me to give up my 1988 26" RCA console TV. I've tried to base my build on a couple I've seen in this forum.

 

My parts list is as follows:

 

Case: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B

 

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

 

CPU: Intel Core i3-2125 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000

 

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

 

OS Drive: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

 

Data Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (already on hand)

 

PSU: SilverStone Strider 500W, 80 PLUS, Active PFC Power Supply ST50F-ES (Black)

 

Blu-ray: Not yet selected.

 

Input Device: IOGEAR Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel, 2.4GHz Wireless GKM561R

 

My concern is with the motherboard. Given my limited knowledge of Audio/Video, I can't tell if the thing will be able to pass 5.1 sound to an AV receiver. Other than the HDMI port, the board has an S/PDIF and only 3 audio ports (line in/line out/Microphone) Can the 5.1 be done simply with the HDMI port? The manual reads:

 

“(High-Definition Multimedia Interface) provides an all-digital audio/video interface to transmit the uncompressed audio/video signals and is HDCP compliant. Connect the HDMI audio/video device to this port. The HDMI Technology can support a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 but the actual resolu­tions supported depend on the monitor being used. After installing the HDMI device, make sure the default device for sound playback is the HDMI device. (The item name may differ from operating system)

Please note the HDMI audio output only supports AC3, DTS and 2-channel-LPCM formats. (AC3 and DTS require the use of an external decoder for decoding.)”

 

Any advice concerning this choice of motherboard would be appreciated. Also, any opinions concerning what is the best Blu-Ray software to install on an HTPC?

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I've just placed a parts order for my first HTPC build and now have some worries. Additionally, my audio/video knowledge is evidenced by the fact that my wife just forced me to give up my 1988 26" RCA console TV. I've tried to base my build on a couple I've seen in this forum.

 

My parts list is as follows:

 

Case: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B

 

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

 

CPU: Intel Core i3-2125 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000

 

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

 

OS Drive: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

 

Data Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (already on hand)

 

PSU: SilverStone Strider 500W, 80 PLUS, Active PFC Power Supply ST50F-ES (Black)

 

Blu-ray: Not yet selected.

 

Input Device: IOGEAR Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel, 2.4GHz Wireless GKM561R

 

My concern is with the motherboard. Given my limited knowledge of Audio/Video, I can't tell if the thing will be able to pass 5.1 sound to an AV receiver. Other than the HDMI port, the board has an S/PDIF and only 3 audio ports (line in/line out/Microphone) Can the 5.1 be done simply with the HDMI port? The manual reads:

 

“(High-Definition Multimedia Interface) provides an all-digital audio/video interface to transmit the uncompressed audio/video signals and is HDCP compliant. Connect the HDMI audio/video device to this port. The HDMI Technology can support a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 but the actual resolu­tions supported depend on the monitor being used. After installing the HDMI device, make sure the default device for sound playback is the HDMI device. (The item name may differ from operating system)

Please note the HDMI audio output only supports AC3, DTS and 2-channel-LPCM formats. (AC3 and DTS require the use of an external decoder for decoding.)”

 

Any advice concerning this choice of motherboard would be appreciated. Also, any opinions concerning what is the best Blu-Ray software to install on an HTPC?

 

Well you can ease your worries. 5.1 will work just fine with the HDMI as it has to do more with the software. Your HDMI will output everything including HD audio in up to 7.1 assuming you can decode it. Typically this done by passing the audio to your receiver and the receiver does the work such as BD. Software such as TMT or others will allow a choice of passing through or decoding to a different audio. In a nut shell your hardware selection is fine and the rest will be in your software configurations.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Michael Brown

Well you can ease your worries. 5.1 will work just fine with the HDMI as it has to do more with the software. Your HDMI will output everything including HD audio in up to 7.1 assuming you can decode it. Typically this done by passing the audio to your receiver and the receiver does the work such as BD. Software such as TMT or others will allow a choice of passing through or decoding to a different audio. In a nut shell your hardware selection is fine and the rest will be in your software configurations.

 

Got the thing built, set up the SSD per your web page instructions, and its working great so far. This is my first SSD and I can already see that I'll have to be moving that way on all my systems now. Before I began coming to this site, I could never have built something like this. THANKS to all who post and help!

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Got the thing built, set up the SSD per your web page instructions, and its working great so far. This is my first SSD and I can already see that I'll have to be moving that way on all my systems now. Before I began coming to this site, I could never have built something like this. THANKS to all who post and help!

 

Glad to hear you got it going and that we could help. Good luck and keep us posted.

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