Question Recommendations For HTPC Sound Card?

Jul 31, 2021
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I am putting together a home theater PC in a low-profile case and PCI Express-only motherboard. Size matters in my rather small abode. Does anyone have any recommendations for a low-profile sound card that supports DTS over Toslink optical? Every low profile sound card I've found either doesn't have Toslink or doesn't support DTS over digital, or both. Every sound card that has Toslink and supports DTS is a standard-sized card, so won't fit my case.

I'm looking to plug my computer into my A/V receiver for my 5.1 home theater setup, hence the need for such a card.

I'm wondering if I've overlooked any decent options. Any help would be very much appreciated!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Can you provide a make and model of the chassis you're working with? Perhaps you can look into another chassis and perhaps shoehorn a full size sound card(with better quality audio and componentry) into said chassis. What is your budget and please include the make and model of your receiver to understand the inputs and outputs you're going to be working with. If your motherboard has a SPDIF header, chances are you can get DTS off of it, negating the need for a discrete sound card.

back to the topic, please parse your HTPC's specs and the audio gear and then we can move forward ;)
 
Jul 31, 2021
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Thanks for getting back to me, Lutfij!

It's an eMachines EL1352 I picked up for free, so I was hoping not to replace the chassis. My current budget allows for about $30 bucks, maybe $40 if I'm pushing my luck, so I doubt I can get both a new card and case. As for the board, it does not have any integrated SPDIF headers.

I know those things don't leave a lot of room for assistance without getting really creative, so I appreciate your consideration even if we end up not being able to find a solution.

My receiver is a Denon AVR-1705.

The specs of the HTPC are:
NVIDIA nForce 430 chipset
AMD Phenom II X4 945 95w processor
AMD Radeon R7-240 PCI-E x16 card
nForce integrated Realtek High Definition Audio
nForce integrated Gigabit ethernet adapter
8 GB DDR3-SDRAM (2x4 GB)
Seagate Pipeline 500 GB 5900 RPM SATA drive
Windows 10 20H2

The worst thing that will happen is that I'll have to use the integrated audio, which has an option in the Realtek control panel for transforming stereo into signals for the Dolby Pro Logic II option on my receiver. That wouldn't be bad, necessarily, but I do like having 5 discrete audio channels for a fuller theater effect.
 

Theresa N

Prominent
Dec 10, 2019
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A good sound card costs quite a bit especially one with the features you're looking for, $40 won't buy such a card. Just use the integrated audio.
 
Jul 31, 2021
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A good sound card costs quite a bit especially one with the features you're looking for, $40 won't buy such a card. Just use the integrated audio.
I was afraid of that being the case. Oh well. I did exactly as you said, and the integrated audio does a more than decent job matrix decoding signals over the analog stereo for Dolby Pro Logic II. I can live with that. Thank you for getting back to me, Theresa!
 

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