updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu June 5, 2008
ASUS HDMI1.3a soundcard
At the Complex 2008 show yesterday, ASUS revealed its Xonar HDAV1.3 HDMI-ready sound card. ASUS says the HDMI1.3a-compliant card is the first of its kind in the industry to offer advanced audio and HD video capabilities for PCs. The card will give desktop PC users without high-end CPUs or graphics cards the option to watch Blu-ray movies in their full 1080p DTV or UXGA (1600x1200) PC resolution, as it features a PCI Express x1 interface. The company's own AV200 codec chip featuring 24-bit digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters is responsible for the high resolution levels.
The Xonar HDAV1.3 supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless digital audio formats, among others, that deliver high-quality, 24-bit, 96-192KHz sound. Its use of DIP-type operational amplifiers makes it the first card in ASUS' Xonar line-up to offer the technology, in turn allowing users to tailor the sound output to their liking. For gamers, the Xonar HDAV1.3 includes DS3D GX 2.0 audio support that allows EAX 5.0 and 3D gaming audio in Vista out of the box.
ASUS reduced PC noise levels thanks largely to a thorough circuit grounding design, resulting in a 120dB signal-to-noise ratio and 0.0004% distortion level. A higher-spec Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe cards adds ASUS' HDAV H6 surround channel expansion card, which adds 7.1-channel surround sound support via an H6 extension board complete with 6 additional audio RCA connections.
Neither pricing nor availability for either HDAV1.3 card have been announced, but expect pricing well north of ASUS' current high-end offering, which retails for nearly $100.
Asus Xonar HDAV1.3
Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe Expansion Card