I want to transmit from the PC digitally.
I could send the audio via HDMI or S/PDIF coaxI want the solution to handle video from the PC as well as audio.
This is probably the best product on the market atm.RME Fireface UCX
I did say he could get something cheaper.
If he didn't require HDMI or video handling an EM-U 0204 or similar @ ~£100 would be fine.
The OP seemed to be interested in what was the optimum quality for the job in hand. RME offers genuine pro quality, buller proof build quality, rugged construction, unrivaled ongoing product support (software support in particular) and instant residual resale value. It's what an audio professional would have for his personal use.
I had a broadly similar requirement to the OP and bought an M-Audio Fast Track Pro (~£150). It was fine but I almost immediately realised how useful the multichannel IO and DSP would be. So I got a 10 in / 14 out unit and now wouldn't be without it. It replaced my old int. receiver. I plug all my old stuff in, record decks, headset, microphone, tape, cassette, CD/DVD telly, laptop, desktop, guitar, tuner etc
the interfaces you mention don't provide "HDMI or video handling."
For the best-possible image quality, capture uncompressed video via HD-SDI or HDMI with 4:2:2 10-bit color depth and full-raster 1920x1080 HD resolution.
RoseVal Thanks for your answers.Yes my players do support most lossless formats and yes I do use ASIO and WASAPI, but as I said I was assuming that once you choose any of these they do not impact the result.OK, so I did not realise that the receiver slaves itself to the transmitter. If that is the case, what are the critical issues that can impact sound quality in such a system.We seem to be saying that:The timing to the DAC is determined by the PCSo the PC can impact sound quality even with a lossless bitperfect signalI assume, as I did before that latency is not an issue, so I assume that the PC can buffer the PCM signal to ensure it can be sent with good timing without problemWhat determines a good DAC?I assume the main issues are post the conversion to analogue and that these issues are the usual ones that impact an amp (pre or power), such as clean power supply, suitable analogue filters, etc.However are there any differences in the digital part of the amp (such as up/over sampling circuits, or the conversion itself)?Thanks again,icstm
I recommend using TCP/IP over ethernet or 802.11 to send a digital audio and video signal to a media box with upnp/DLNA rendering features, and then from the media box to my TV and AVR. I find this offers higher quality in terms of signal transmission and can be cheaper and more flexible to implement than HDMI, USB or other methods. Many use something like the Western Digiital TV Live box.
DAC - Some are cleaner, clearer, better than others--go out, research and listen (You really have to. There are no shortcuts. Even if you wanted to throw a ton of money at a sound-system you still may end up with crud unless you listen hard and demo it.)EQ/Soundboard - see DAC aboveCables - see DAC aboveSpeakers - see DAC above
I'm not trying to be an a&&. You have to go out and listen.
As PCs runs a multi-tasking OS by design it is not guaranteed that data will be delivered at a specific moment. So all I/O is buffered. In practice it works fine most of the time and is able to fill the buffer of an audio device in time.As long as you use a synchronous protocol the quality of the timing is determined by the clock of the PC. You might compare SPDIF and HMDI as HMDI often has a very poor jitter performance.http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/Conn...DMI_connect.htmDACs often use PLLs/ ASRC to reduce the impact of input jitter.In case of a DAC of course everything counts, the quality of the power, the filtering, the analog stage, etc, etc.In practice you often find the same chip (by Wolfson, Burr-Brown, ESS) in all kind of products.Modern well designed consumer grade products often do have a very good DA conversion.
"most sensitive parts of chain?"A. the speakersB. their positioning C. your room
>> Playing audio, PC to speakers—best way? most sensitive parts of chain?This hobby named 'hi-fi music appreciation', it's a lifelong pursuit...
The most sensitive part of the chain is your own ears.The most important part of the chain is owning fantastic speakers.The signal quality coming out of the PC is a trivial issue if you have not spent many years developing those first two things to a high degree....until I met a really nice guy selling vintage Hi-Fi audio; he would allow me to take home any amplifier in his shop (for free, no strings attached, price of amp no problem!) and hook it into my system and hear for myself in my time, playing my music, in my environmental space. After many months of 'borrowing' amps from his shop like a kid in a candy store, my awareness of "quality sound" coming out of the speakers was highly trained.That Yamaha Receiver I had was total crap, but I didn't have good enough "aural" experience to make judgements. That Hi-Fi dealer and his altruism were an incredible blessing to me.