Happy sonic co-existence: SPDIF MB Header & HDMI?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by cfineman, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. cfineman

    cfineman Junior Member

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    I am planning a PC to use as a streamer for both audio and video. I intend to feed the audio through a DAC. My preference is to use a coax to the DAC but it appears the ITX boards only have optical outs. Most of them (not ASrock it would seem) have SPDIF headers on the board which I could hook up to a coax jack.

    I intend to send video out to an AVR for all decoding of the multichannel stuff.

    My expectation is that I can do bitstream out of the SPDIF header when listening to audio but HDMI when listening to video. My guess is that, if I'm running windows, I have to change the playback device (which is a royal pain) but at least the hardware will do what I expect.

    Assuming I am right with my guess... does anyone have experience with this under something like XBMC or JRiver? How hard would it be to configure these guys to properly switch back and forth between those two.
     
  2. Duff99

    Duff99 Junior Member

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    What you want to do should be to hard assuming you can sort out the hardware. Your just going to have to switch the audio output device in the windows control panel when you want to change the output. Not real convenient, but doable.
     
  3. LoveMachine

    LoveMachine Senior member

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    With XBMC you can choose which device to output audio to without adjusting Windows settings. Don't know about other players. Out of curiosity, are you running two separate amps (one AVR and another that has a separate DAC)? If you are streaming digital info to the same AVR/DAC, I don't think it cares what method it comes in. The onboard DAC will convert the info regardless. If separate, I think you can use the SPDIF optical as the default Windows device, and anytime you play a video through XBMC, it will default to the HDMI out without adjusting anything in Windows.
     
  4. Auric

    Auric Diamond Member

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    The audio device can also be specified with MPC-HC player and different configurations can co-exist using ini rather than registry. BD player capability for same must be taken into account if launched externally from XBMC. But some optimal combination of selecting the default device and configurable players will do the trick to avoid having to switch.
     
  5. blotto

    blotto Senior member

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    Jriver should be able to handle that setup through Zones. Set up zone 1 as your avr and set video to play through that. Use your spdif as zone 2 and playback music there. You'd probably benefit from a remote app for an iOS or Android device rather than a media center type remote to switch playback zones.
     
  6. cfineman

    cfineman Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. Still trying to decide which platform/software I'm going with (all things being equal I would prefer linux but I'm concerned I would miss some of the streaming services).

    Since LoveMachine asked... here's a diagram of what I am looking to do:

    [​IMG]

    Basically I was really happy with the AVR for movies but for music it left me wanting (I had a great two-channel system for a long time - 20 years) so I got a nice integrated amp with an HT bypass (in that mode the gain is controlled by the IVR). Hopefully the diagram clearly answers what you were asking... I know it looks complicated... it is more complicated than I wanted but I think i'm satisfied with my choices/decisions. What would be ideal is if I could figure out how to get my Panasonic BD player to accept the MKV files (or something) but i've not had much luck with that.

    I will do a separate post to ask about the software choices... it's nice to know that some of the packages have worked out this particular problem.

    Thanks again.
     
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