Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Slim PCI Soundcard

Introduction and Specification

Introduction
 
ASUS LogoAsus are really gunning for the HD market at the moment. I took a quick look at their newest slim and light external Blu Ray reader not long ago and now I have the opportunity to look at the Xonar HDAV 1.3 Slim.
 
Like it's bigger brother, the HDAV 1.3, the card provides High Definition support. The HDAV slim has the added bonus of being able not only to convert the Dolby True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio into non-downsampled linear PCM, but also to bitstream both high definition formats as well. This means that couple the HDAV 1.3 Slim with a compatible AV receiver or pre-Amp and the card will send totally un-tainted Blu Ray HD audio for the Amp to decode.
 
Whilst this may sound pretty boring to those not into their High Definition, this is quite something for all the AV enthusiasts. These are the people who have been waiting for a PC sound card to put into their theatre PC. One that does HD Audio 'properly'.
 
Let's look at what Asus have to say about it:
 
Without Xonar HDAV Series, Blu-ray audio DOWNGRADE to DVD quality on PC!!
PCs have limitations when you play back Blu-ray discs, as they can only bitstream DVD quality audio formats (48kHz sample rate) due to the lack of content protection and HDMI1.3 interface!

True blu-ray sensation from your PC Complete Audio + Video BD experience!!
With world exclusive blu-ray bitstreaming innovation, Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim provides true next generation Blu-ray audio with sample rates of up to 192/96kHz.

Cinematic Video experience – 24p support
Most Hollywood movies capture video at 24 frames per second. With HDAV1.3 Slim supporting 24p video via HDMI, users will be able to bring cinema-like visuals out of their HTPCs and fully experience movies like they were produced in studios.

Powerful bundle – ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre
Best Performance on HD Content Playback
Full supports playback of all three Blu-ray disc video formats: High Definition MPEG-2, AVC, and VC1's well as all kinds of other High Definition (HD) content: WMV HD, Quicktime HD, DivX HD, and H.264 HD.
HDCP Support
Full support for High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP)

Ready for your HTPC – right out of the box
Low-profile bracket bundledNo need to buy extra bracket to fit chassis of different size
 
 
Specifications
 
Without much ado, let's take a look at the specifications of this High Def card.
 
Audio Performance

Sample Rate Conversion Quality:
Almost lossless, high-fidelity floating-point filters, with:
-140dB THD+N (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)
145dB Dynamic Range (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)

Bus Compatibility

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface):

-Compliant with HDMI v1.3a industrial standard
-HDCP 1.2 compatible
-DVI 1.0 compatible
PCI:
PCI v2.2 or above bus compatible

Main Chipset Audio Processor:
ASUS AV200 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24bit)

Video Specification Video Resolution:
-DTV Resolution: 480i, 576i, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i up to 1080p
-PC Resolution: graphics, Sgraphics, XGA, SXGA, UXGA

Color Depth and Range:
-Color depth: supports higher 24, 30, 36, 48-bit/per pixel color depths (RGB or YCbCr)
-Color range: supports broader xvYCC color space standard

Sample Rate and Resolution Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution:
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
S/PDIF Digital Output:
Dolby Digital, DTS, WMA-Pro
ASIO 2.0 Driver Support:
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
I/O Ports Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner):
CD-In, Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)
Digital S/PDIF Output:
Coaxial and High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector
Supports 192KHz/24bit
Digital S/PDIF Input:
Coaxial and High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector
Supports 192KHz/24bit
HDMI Input/Outut:
HDMI1.3 - In/Out Type A *1
Front-Panel Header:
Supports analog audio playback / recording up to 109dB SNR
Driver Features Operation System:
Windows Vista/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005

Dolby® Technologies:

Dolby® Digital Live:

Dolby Digital Live encodes any audio signal on PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround sounds to your home theater environment through one single S/PDIF connection

Dolby® Headphone:

Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play games with the dramatic 5.1-channel surround or realistic 3D spacious effects through any set of stereo headphones

Dolby® Virtual Speaker:

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.

Dolby® Pro-Logic IIx:

Dolby Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio into a 6.1- or 7.1- channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround sound field.

DTS® Technologies:

DTS® Connect contains DTS Interactive Encoder and DTS Neo:PC technologies. DTS Interactive encodes any sound on PC
to “DTS 5.1 Surround” high bitrate digital stream to your home theater through S/PDIF connection. DTS Neo:PC can convert stereo audio into 5.1 or 7.1-channel high-fidelity surround sounds.
Smart Volume Normalizer™:
Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your 3D sound listening range and advantages in gaming
Xear 3D™ Virtual Speaker Shifter:
Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning and shifting to adjust the optimum soundfield for your speaker placement
Magic Voice™:
Modifies and disguises the sound tone of your voice for VOIP and online chat applications
Karaoke Functions:
Music Key-Shifting and Microphone Echo effects
FlexBass™:
Professional Bass Management/Enhancement system for small or large speakers
Other Effects:
10-band Equalier/27 Environment Effects
3D Sound Engines/APIs:
Vista: DirectSound3D® GX 2.5, DirectSound® HW, DirectSound SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

XP: DirectSound2.5 SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

Bundled Software Utility

ArcSoft Total Media Player:
Supports playback of all three Blu-ray disc video formats: High Definition MPEG-2, AVC, and VC1's well as all kinds of other High Definition (HD) content: WMV HD, Quicktime HD, DivX HD, and H.264 HD

Accessories 1 x S/PDIF optical adaptors
1 x DVI-to-HDMI cable
1 x Low-profile Bracket
1 x HDMI to HDMI Cable
 
With a specification that looks great for Blu Ray audio, but lacks some things you'd expect from a 'normal' sound card, it's a bit of a mixed bag here. Let's see what the card looks like before we go any further...
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Most Recent Comments

04-09-2009, 04:22:41

FarFarAway

Featuring full bitstreaming HD Audio and only digital connections on-board, will the slim version of Asus's HTPC sound card be a winner?



Link

04-09-2009, 05:33:10

Rastalovich

+ Fantastic high Def sound

+ Decent enough value for money



Think these are the key things. Good to see that the pass-thru is not molested. Tipping the balance is the bundle.

U spend cash on a card that u may think is borderline too much and it hasn't got a good bundle and it makes it worse.

It has a front panel header on the pcb, does that qualify as atleast half a point deduction from it not having an analogue output ?

Great review, like to see u get ur hands on a mobo with ALC889a, like a Gigabyte flavor, just to see how u like it in comparison.

04-09-2009, 06:22:22

FarFarAway
Yeah it gets half a point but I don't think a full point is warranted.

If a company wants to provide me with an ALC889a mobo I could review the audio, but I don't think they'd just be after an audio review

12-09-2009, 18:27:34

Rastalovich
Just an FYI (and tbh I can't believe it worked first time myself).

Got a thread to post in it's own right which may come sometime sunday, but:

Take 1x Abit IX48 GT3 (Onboard RealtekHD, just ALC888), DTS 5.1/7.1 available.

add 1x Quality built (even with loud cooler) EN9800GT gracious prize from ASUS

Throw in, Vista 64 bit, Q6600/4g.

Connect the spdif (optical) out from the onboard to the spdif (yep the gfxcard actually has an optical input aswell as a header for coax).

Download VLC, take a cheap 5m HDMI cable and connect it from ur Samsung L32 (setup as a 1920x1080i resolution), and hmmm we have audio whilst watching Matrix Revolution

Excuse the bumpage, but this hasn't worked since...

EDIT: Linky to HDMI cable 10 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Labgear-Premium-Gold-Plated-Cable/dp/B000GHOT86

19-05-2010, 05:03:03

hadesan
Might be my next addition to the HTPC...
Reply
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