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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:33 pm 
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This is the issue that kills the whole deal. As far as I could determine, the board does pass a 'protected signal' to any of these outputs, but only one. It would seem that the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry are terrified people will start lifting audio tracks from Dancing with the Stars. Which as we all know, would be the end of the world as we know it.

psiu wrote:
I wonder if the board is capable of handling Protected Audio Path sources, like Blu-Ray DTS-True HD or whatever it is called.


I was wondering this too--I've understood the HDMI hassles to be a big problem (and it was one of the things I was looking at in regards to receivers), so it would be perfectly acceptable to me if:
you could output video direct to TV/projector via HDMI/Displayport/DVI;
you could output 5.1 sound direct to the speakers;
and it all worked with bluray/dvd/hdtv nice and easy.[/quote]


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:50 pm 
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I've been waiting for this review, and while it doesn't have the breadth I was hoping for, it does have depth, so thank you for clearly reviewing what you did review, mike :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:02 pm 
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Now all we need is a way for unintegrated components to work with the system. The #1 problem people have when trying to ride this razor's edge is "if my computer is both my htpc out to a tv and my desktop computer out to my monitor, and it is now my amp, then how do I hook up my game console?"

You might be able to hack something up if you found video and audio input devices. But the real solution would be new hardware and drivers from AMD, which takes an a/v input, and lets you directly route it to a video output on the computer, and a sound output on the computer... an ability we don't have yet! So no using your AMD Maui as your xbox 360 amp.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:06 pm 
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Luminair: It does have line in for audio, and the video is of course connected directly to the TV or monitor.
I just don't see the problem here.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:42 am 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
This is the issue that kills the whole deal. As far as I could determine, the board does pass a 'protected signal' to any of these outputs, but only one. It would seem that the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry are terrified people will start lifting audio tracks from Dancing with the Stars. Which as we all know, would be the end of the world as we know it.

psiu wrote:
Quote:
I wonder if the board is capable of handling Protected Audio Path sources, like Blu-Ray DTS-True HD or whatever it is called.


I was wondering this too--I've understood the HDMI hassles to be a big problem (and it was one of the things I was looking at in regards to receivers), so it would be perfectly acceptable to me if:
you could output video direct to TV/projector via HDMI/Displayport/DVI;
you could output 5.1 sound direct to the speakers;
and it all worked with bluray/dvd/hdtv nice and easy.


So you only get 1 channels worth? Are these idiots (and I don't mean the hardware folks--I mean the entertainment maroons) ever going to pull their heads out of where the sun don't shine?

Nevermind. Forget I asked that last part--know the answer already :(
Deeper!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:44 am 
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Mats wrote:
Luminair: It does have line in for audio, and the video is of course connected directly to the TV or monitor.
I just don't see the problem here.

The line-in is only stereo. That's good enough if all you are connecting is a PS2, but not if you want to make full use of a PS3 of XBox360. It also means that you won't be able to make good use of a digital STB for TV watching. There's some talk of trying to enable some sort of digital audio in, but who knows if or when this will really happen.

PAP is a very good reason to just forget about a do-it-all HTPC and just rely on separates for stuff that isn't streamed of the Net or played of your hard drive. Come back every few years and check if they have the DRM nonsense sorted out, I'm sure one day it will be . . . just don't hold your breath.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:08 am 
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i think that d2audio digital amplifier uses the same technique as is used in the digital amplifier in my multimedia rig.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=47722

produces little heat and good sound.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:41 am 
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A minor error is that the link of the AMD CPU on page 2 actually links to an Intel page:)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:36 am 
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Availabilty and promotion seems to be for squat.

Can't find any mention on AMD's website.
MSI seems to be only board maker.

Don't feel the need to be a beta tester for a platform that might get economically right-sized tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:14 am 
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Mats wrote:
Luminair: It does have line in for audio, and the video is of course connected directly to the TV or monitor.
I just don't see the problem here.


You don't understand the full use of the platform! It could replace your home theater receiver, but right now it cannot. It could converge your desktop pc and home theater pc and receiver into one device, but right now it cannot.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:24 pm 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
This is the issue that kills the whole deal. As far as I could determine, the board does pass a 'protected signal' to any of these outputs, but only one. It would seem that the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry are terrified people will start lifting audio tracks from Dancing with the Stars. Which as we all know, would be the end of the world as we know it.

psiu wrote:
Quote:
I wonder if the board is capable of handling Protected Audio Path sources, like Blu-Ray DTS-True HD or whatever it is called.


I was wondering this too--I've understood the HDMI hassles to be a big problem (and it was one of the things I was looking at in regards to receivers), so it would be perfectly acceptable to me if:
you could output video direct to TV/projector via HDMI/Displayport/DVI;
you could output 5.1 sound direct to the speakers;
and it all worked with bluray/dvd/hdtv nice and easy.


Here's a comment on this topic from Jay Taylor at AMD, who runs the AMD at Home blog, which is all about HTPC:

Jay Taylor wrote:
PAP, ahh, the ever interesting topic.

This can get somewhat confusing...

As I understand it, AACS requires that in order to playback or pass DTS Master (or Dolby True HD) audio, the playback s/w must be operating inside the MS protected environment. If it is not (which none of the players are right now, at least none that I am aware of), then the player must ensure that there are no User Accessible Busses (UAB). If it cannot ensure the integrity of the audio path, then the players must encrypt the data or downsample it. Since the players really have no way of knowing if the audio path is secure, they default to downsampling it.

Now, how does this relate to Maui? Well, Maui’s design does not have a UAB (as defined by the AACS) and therefore, we believe we meet the requirements to playback full DTS Master audio. However, as mentioned above, the players by default are downsampling it. Therefore, we would like to get Maui reviewed by the AACS body to see if we can get an approval to handle full DTS Master audio. If we can get the approval, then we can work with the playback s/w vendors to do some handshaking between the D2 part and the s/w so they know the audio path is OK and then pass over the full DTS Master signal.

As of right now, this could go either way, we just don’t know how the AACS body will see the Maui platform.

So, the end result is that the part is certainly capable of handling the high bit rate stuff, but currently the players are just giving us the downsampled signal. Hopefully, we can get this changed but right now, we are not sure what is going to happen.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:27 pm 
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The comment from Jay Taylor above is just one of all the reasons not to buy the MSI Maui. :evil:

The AMD processors for it (Maui BIOS and mobo chipset compatible) are too old and inefficient now. :evil::evil:

The new AMD Phenom II (was thinking of the X3) are probably not supported by the BIOS and might never be.
Also i have heard the 790G chipset is recommended for the new AMD processors to run smoothly.

I really want a D2Audio 5 channel amp solution but this is just not good enough as a "computer" for the money any more.
Review showed start-up time is to slow and idle consumption is way to high.
That is now when the board finally is accessible here in Sweden. :(

Also Intel processors are still notably more efficient per watt.
Intel CPUs run at much lower Core voltage than AMD ones.

EDIT:
--------
I seem to be wrong about most of this. :oops:
That is good news if something. :)
Read Jay T post below.

I really apologize Jay T, but we are all glad for your reply. :)
Still I will wait for that Phenom II compatible BIOS to come out before I buy the Maui. Seeing is believing.
--------


Last edited by Alex on Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Quote:
Is quad core a good choice for a HTPC? The most demanding function for a media PC is probably to record and playback video/audio at the same time, so in our view, a quad core is not the best choice... unless recorded content is encoded on the fly with a threaded application that can utilize the potential of all four cores. One point AMD makes is that the use of a Phenom allows for HT3.0 speeds, which offers better de-interlacing performance for broadcast and other interlaced content. We never did spend any time with the tuner, so no comment there.


Why would HT3.0 make any difference on a board barely able to keep up with HT2.0? (According to MSI the board only supports HT@1GHz, which is one (the lowest) of the speeds in the HT2.0 Specification)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Alex wrote:
The comment from Jay Taylor above is just one of all the reasons not to buy the MSI Maui. :evil:

The AMD processors for it (Maui BIOS and mobo chipset compatible) are too old and inefficient now. :evil::evil:

The new AMD Phenom II (was thinking of the X3) are probably not supported by the BIOS and might never be.
Also i have heard the 790G chipset is recommended for the new AMD processors to run smoothly.

I really want a D2Audio 5 channel amp solution but this is just not good enough as a "computer" for the money any more.
Review showed start-up time is to slow and idle consumption is way to high.
That is now when the board finally is accessible here in Sweden. :(

Also Intel processors are still notably more efficient per watt.
Intel CPUs run at much lower Core voltage than AMD ones.


I am not exactly sure why you have a problem with my comments. We are aware of the desire to have DTS Master / Dolby TrueHD supported and we are taking steps to try to make that happen. The good news, is achitectually, we believe we can support it.

I disagree with your assessment of our products and platforms, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion. The 780 platform has proven to be a very viable chipset for HTPC use as evidenced by the substantial installed based of customers using for just such a use. It has also proven to be a great chipset for general mainstream PC uses as evidenced by the number of OEM systems as well as laptops shipping with this chipset.

Likewise, we have a wide variety of CPUs that are very viable in both perfomance and power draw that make great solutions for the HTPC. The system shipped to Mike had both a 45W dual core 5050e and the 9350e 65W part included. Unfortunately, Mike was unable to review both processors in the system, but there are plenty of other reviews on similar processors out there that show the potential of the 45W parts in HTPC usage scenarios. We shipped with the quad core part installed so reviewers could set up the system as both an HTPC and a Media Server driving content to extenders and the like. Just because Mike was unable to set up that scenario does not make in an invalid set up.

Maui is not intended to replace the general purpose PC or your gaming PC, it is meant to be a great platform for HTPC. We are working still on making improvements to the platform with BIOS updates. I fully expect that we will have an updated BIOS to support Phenom II parts soon. The board does have a max of 95W parts that can be used, but we do have that variety available in Phenom II now so I expect with a BIOS update, those will work.

790G is a great chipset as well. We chose 780M because it supports component video which the 790G does not. 780 is a perfectly capable chipset to support our processors. Perhaps you should see it in action first before suggesting it is in someway inferrior.

As for start up time, this is a function of both BIOS and the OS. As Mike pointed out, by limiting the number of things starting up in the OS, you can reduce that boot time. We are also looking at ways to improve the BIOS so that the start time can be improved as well.

Don't be so quick to rush to judgement if you have not seen/heard this platform first hand.

Mike did a great job on the review and has given us some real world feedback on the solution. I appreciate his honesty and openess with which he approached the review.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Wait, an AMD rep here?! :D

Jay, are there any other vendors planning on offering the Maui platform?
Do you have any kind of time frame working with the AACS folks?
What kind of future directions will the platform take?
Is it possible to put it into a regular board and have it work (ie not a "Maui" but maybe just a stock 780G)?
Also as some have pointed out, if the general idea is to replace a receiver, more inputs, and inputs able to handle surround/HD/digital inputs will be needed. Possibly a dual card solution (one input, one output), or perhaps more brackets needed with some jumpers connecting to the main card.
Does AMD/ATI have a page for this? A pretty quick look at the site doesn't reveal anything, doesn't make someone want to plunk down some cash on a concept that might get dumped next quarter.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:37 pm 
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psiu wrote:
A pretty quick look at the site doesn't reveal anything, doesn't make someone want to plunk down some cash on a concept that might get dumped next quarter.

I don't see the validity of that comment. I mean, OK, so you buy this board & build a system around it... and liked ANYthing you buy, in time, it's surpassed by other things. So what? How many old cell phones do you have kicking in your drawers? How many old PCs? (I have $6000 in a turntable that I hardly ever use any more... :lol: )

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Just to be clear, I cannot speak officially on AMD's behalf while posting in the forum. I will answer questions to the best of my ability, but none of my answers would be official statements or AMD policy or future plans.

With that said...
We are working with other vendors, but I cannot really speak on the status or plans of other vendors.

AACS: I am not really able to put a time frame down just yet. We are actively working this issue though so hopefully we can nail down in a timely manner.

Future Direction: We are scoping this out now, no firm decisions made just yet, but we hope to continue evolving this platform to better target this market segment.

Regular board: Not sure what you mean here...if it is about the amp card, then no. It must be used with the Maui board due to the D2 chip being integrated into the board design.

Inputs: Currently, there are 2 inputs (2 channel line in, SPDIF In). Vista does not provide a clear way to "monitor" the inputs as it tries to capture that inputs instead of just passing them through. Win 7 fixes this so that you can bring external sources into the platform and then pass them out to the amp /pre amp cards.

AMD Page: Currently, we have our AMD@Home blog. In addition to this, we are working on improving our at Home page on AMD's webpage and will have more info on this platform posted soon. Stay tuned for this one.

We are planning on continuing improving the current Maui platform through BIOS updates for the board and F/W updates for the amp card. As mentioned, we are scoping out the requirements for a 2nd gen platform to see how we can better serve the HTPC community.

Hope that helps.
Jay


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:25 pm 
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JayT wrote:
Inputs: Currently, there are 2 inputs (2 channel line in, SPDIF In). Vista does not provide a clear way to "monitor" the inputs as it tries to capture that inputs instead of just passing them through. Win 7 fixes this so that you can bring external sources into the platform and then pass them out to the amp /pre amp cards.

Now that is very interesting. Seems like Windows 7 makes this a much more viable platform. I see that you can buy a remote controlled 4-in/1-out S/PDIF switch box for ~$150. So, add that to your Maui MB and you are basically paying a $250 premium to do without an AVR. That seems like a reasonable price for those that really want to go that route.

JayT wrote:
As mentioned, we are scoping out the requirements for a 2nd gen platform to see how we can better serve the HTPC community.

Clearly you need to expand the package to include an input-card(s). Having 4X S/PDIF-in and/or 4X HDMI-in inside the HTPC would be a much better solution than having to rely on external boxes -- especially given that the whole point of the platform is to get rid of external boxes (the AVR)!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:51 pm 
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JayT wrote:
Just to be clear, I cannot speak officially on AMD's behalf while posting in the forum. I will answer questions to the best of my ability, but none of my answers would be official statements or AMD policy or future plans.

Of course. Now give us the inside scoop ;)
Quote:
With that said...
We are working with other vendors, but I cannot really speak on the status or plans of other vendors.

Cool. Economy probably doesn't help either. Just keep a little pressure on.
Quote:
AACS: I am not really able to put a time frame down just yet. We are actively working this issue though so hopefully we can nail down in a timely manner.
Future Direction: We are scoping this out now, no firm decisions made just yet, but we hope to continue evolving this platform to better target this market segment.

Goood.
Quote:
Regular board: Not sure what you mean here...if it is about the amp card, then no. It must be used with the Maui board due to the D2 chip being integrated into the board design.

Yep, that's what I was getting at.
Quote:
Inputs: Currently, there are 2 inputs (2 channel line in, SPDIF In). Vista does not provide a clear way to "monitor" the inputs as it tries to capture that inputs instead of just passing them through. Win 7 fixes this so that you can bring external sources into the platform and then pass them out to the amp /pre amp cards.

Thanks for the explanation.
Quote:
AMD Page: Currently, we have our AMD@Home blog. In addition to this, we are working on improving our at Home page on AMD's webpage and will have more info on this platform posted soon. Stay tuned for this one.
We are planning on continuing improving the current Maui platform through BIOS updates for the board and F/W updates for the amp card. As mentioned, we are scoping out the requirements for a 2nd gen platform to see how we can better serve the HTPC community.

Yep, would like to see more at the AMD site. I'm sure you know, but thegreenbutton and avsforums are good htpc sites. This one ain't too shabby either :P
Quote:
Hope that helps.
Jay

Yep!

MikeC wrote:
psiu wrote:
A pretty quick look at the site doesn't reveal anything, doesn't make someone want to plunk down some cash on a concept that might get dumped next quarter.

I don't see the validity of that comment. I mean, OK, so you buy this board & build a system around it... and liked ANYthing you buy, in time, it's surpassed by other things. So what? How many old cell phones do you have kicking in your drawers? How many old PCs? (I have $6000 in a turntable that I hardly ever use any more... :lol: )

Well, cell phones I use until they are broken. Then buy a used one that fits the bill. I am on my 3rd phone w/Verizon, last two have been used. Still have my old Nextel i60 activated on Boost mobile as well.
Anyways...
I've always been fairly confident that the cell phone companies are, you know, going to stay in the cell phone business. I don't have to worry that the phone will be useless and unsupported soon. Which is a very real concern when it comes to drivers for new OS's, patches for the ever changing DRM landscape and media capabilities, and even just the spare part aspect.
Especially with the economic landscape today, and the ever obnoxious and very short term outlook of many stockholders (ITS MY MONEY, AND I WANT IT NOWWW), I would hope to see a bit more of a commitment/investment from DAAMIT. Even if it is just a 5 minute to design static webpage :P
I would think the all new HTPC platform would at least show up in a press release when doing a search on their site :P









Can I have your turntable?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:03 pm 
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It is obviously a fringe product for AMD right now, but little do the bigwigs know, it is a very important one! This platform is the cutting edge of home computer convergence. Who wins when the status quo is disrupted and a new product is delivered to consumers that saves them money, brings them new features, and destroys old product niches? The consumer and the disruptive company that delivered the product. Members of the status quo get hurt and fight hard on their way down.

Imagine a box with with cablecard, bluray, the AVR built in, and two video outputs, one for the game console and one for windows desktop. One box that does everything, and extenders that connect to it and do everything too. It isn't a fantasy, it is possible now, and its arrival on the market place is a matter of when, not if. Who or whatever strikes first can take advantage of that market leadership.

And as far as the chipset and the processor goes, don't be silly. Intel is superior here, but AMD is good too, and the difference doesn't matter. A low power system from either company is more than powerful enough to do what needs to be done. The consumer doesn't care, only the fanboy nerds do.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:28 am 
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Mats wrote:
Which low price active speakers do you recommend for a HTPC?

I don't know what counts as low price but KRK for example makes very good active speakers with the cheapest about $200 per speaker. There are lots of manufacturers making active speakers in the $150-500 per speaker range.

Of course at the really low end there are the speakers marketed as "computer speakers", which are active, but I suppose we're not talking about that level here. There's a bit of a gap in the market between these and "proper" speakers but that's true for passive speakers too.

The main technical advantages of active speakers are efficiency, phase-response at the crossover point, and an easier impedance load for the amplifiers. I think that bass extension tends to be greater for a given physical speaker dimensions too.

Some info here: http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:35 am 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
Croddie? You're missing the point. Self powered speakers are a great concept until you have to run 25' of decently shielded cable, or more, to reach them.

You don't need thicker cable than you would for speaker wire and interference is not going to be a problem at this sort of length in the home, even with an unbalanced connection.
Quote:
For music? You are way better off putting your cash into a system dedicated to that.

An HTPC has a lot of advantages for music and can be of unlimited quality. The source quality can be excellent and there is nothing stopping you from attaching an excellent audio system to it. But yes if you mean not putting the amps inside the PC.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:42 am 
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MikeC wrote:
You know in theory I agree with a lot of what you say, but your conclusion is far off the mark. Why? Because none of the theoretical compromises had any audible impact here. OK, so we're talking about the amp hooked up to one pair of speakers only, not tried with half a dozen different types, which would give us a better handle on how well it interfaces with different spkrs. But for $100, the fact that it got even close to filling the role of the Linn amps is notable. No way it is useless for the intended market. In the low end, it's never about ultimate fidelity; it is about sensible balance.

Yes your view definitely tells us something (I shouldn't have put it as I did) but like any subjective view it's of limited value compared to measurements (which you need specialized hardware to get), which provide easy and objective comparison between amplifiers and predictions about how an amplifier will perform with different speakers.

At the low end yes I can agree it's fine for a basic passive setup but my main point is that at the low end the best setups are active; active is the technically correct way to do things. If you restrict yourself to passive speakers though, then yes, it's a good low-end system.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:45 am 
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Luminair wrote:
And as far as the chipset and the processor goes, don't be silly. Intel is superior here, but AMD is good too, and the difference doesn't matter.

AMD has the chipset (integrated graphics) advantage, Intel processor, both platforms are good but AMD needs to have something to respond to the NVidia Ion.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:16 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
The real reason is marketing. High end manufacturers purposefully make their stuff big and heavy because those attributes actually score them points on reviews, as the old school line of thought is that size and weight = quality. My Class D from Harman Kardon is gigantic for no good reason other than it would have been hard for them to have a $1500 list price on a 20lb receiver. I think things might be starting to change though. Rotel has a $2500 7 channel ICEpower amp that is the size of a DVD player and only weighs ~ 10lbs. On the other hand, Pioneer's new ICEpower receivers are still gigantic and weight 50lbs or more . . .


I guess the insane amount of connectors can be a reason :) Many surround amplifieers have the whole back filled with connectors, even though they are pretty large.

AtW


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:39 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
JayT wrote:
Inputs: Currently, there are 2 inputs (2 channel line in, SPDIF In).
Now that is very interesting. Seems like Windows 7 makes this a much more viable platform. I see that you can buy a remote controlled 4-in/1-out S/PDIF switch box for ~$150.


Just to follow up on this a little... My PS2 has an optical audio output, and my XBox 360 has HDMI. My Sony HT 5.1 system has multiple inputs of these types. I think Luminair still has an important point. I think the Maui platform is super sweet, but it can't replace my receiver.

I use SPDIF to connect my HTPC to the Sony receiver, and get nice surround sound, but I just watch OTA HDTV recorded using a Hauppauge PVR-1600. The Maui platform could clearly handle TV this way. I hope no one is still holding their breath for a "Cable Card" solution. Ha ha ha ha...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:38 am 
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Avalanche wrote:
I hope no one is still holding their breath for a "Cable Card" solution. Ha ha ha ha...

I was really hoping that Microsoft was going to announce DCAS (2-way software only successor to CableCARD) as a feature of Windows 7 and that they had gotten buy-in from the big Cable Cos to support it. Oh well, maybe Windows 8 . . .

It's too bad that Steve Job's thinks the future of TV is just iTunes, because this is exactly the type of thing Apple is great at moving forward by actually making sure it is functional and fairly user friendly on release.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:33 am 
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Avalanche wrote:
Just to follow up on this a little... My PS2 has an optical audio output, and my XBox 360 has HDMI. My Sony HT 5.1 system has multiple inputs of these types. I think Luminair still has an important point. I think the Maui platform is super sweet, but it can't replace my receiver.


And if I may add my $0.02, I hope that AMD doesn't even try to replicate a HT receiver with this solution. If they concentrate on making this work as a self contained HTPC I think they will create something great. All the hardware pieces are in place, the rest is political & software. If they open up the interface enough, I can see some very interesting software coming out of the DIY community for this platform.

But if they extend this to try and replace a HT receiver, I think they will fail. There are solutions out there that do the job, and trying to compete in the receiver space with a PC solution is just asking for trouble. Not to mention 'fanboy' abuse - just look at how people here are trashing the product and the review (quite unfairly, IMO).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:38 am 
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BeerParty wrote:
Avalanche wrote:
Just to follow up on this a little... My PS2 has an optical audio output, and my XBox 360 has HDMI. My Sony HT 5.1 system has multiple inputs of these types. I think Luminair still has an important point. I think the Maui platform is super sweet, but it can't replace my receiver.


And if I may add my $0.02, I hope that AMD doesn't even try to replicate a HT receiver with this solution. If they concentrate on making this work as a self contained HTPC I think they will create something great. All the hardware pieces are in place, the rest is political & software. If they open up the interface enough, I can see some very interesting software coming out of the DIY community for this platform.

But if they extend this to try and replace a HT receiver, I think they will fail. There are solutions out there that do the job, and trying to compete in the receiver space with a PC solution is just asking for trouble. Not to mention 'fanboy' abuse - just look at how people here are trashing the product and the review (quite unfairly, IMO).


The plan is not to displace or replace an AVR. From an audio perspective, the thought behind Maui is that if you have a nice AVR but want to integrate an HTPC into your entertainment stack without sacraficing audio quality, Maui + 7.1 pre amp card will do that.

If you don't have a nice AVR but want a good audio experience, then Maui + 5.1 amp card is a great soluiton.

There are many things we are trying to accomplish with this platform, but in a nutshell, we wanted a platform:
That was developed specifically for the HTPC market
It should be scalable enough to meet the needs of multiple usage models
It should provide a good video experience and capable of Blu-ray playback without a discrete GPU card.
It should provide a good audio experience that was comparable to mainstream AVRs and better than typical PC Audio.
It should be easy to set up and use
It should be able to provide mutiple functions (DVD/BD, Photos, Music, TV, etc.) out of a single box.
It should be cost effective.

I think overall, we accomplished what we were shooting for with this platform. It may not be perfect for everyone, but it is certainly unique in the market and I think it adds real value.

There are certainly some that are ready to dismiss this without every hearing it for themseleves and that is a shame. Most of those that have tried this out for themseleves have been pretty pleased with the solution.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:50 am 
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I don't think it should be designed to replace a receiver altogether (in the standalone version), but certainly a reasonable number of inputs is good--maybe enough for one set top box and one more device (game console).

I will definitely be keeping an eye on things--would be nice to put together a home theatre system completely self built and a lot cheaper (yet just as functional and possibly better quality) than a system with off the shelf components.

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