If you do not know who ASUS is then you probably stumbled on this page by accident and, although you are welcome to stay and enjoy, you might find the following pages boring and not to your liking.
ASUS has been moving toward a broader market presence in the computing world. They have been expanding their product line over the last few years into the audio, notebook, server, networking, and just about every other market out.
Their audio entries have been particularly impressive with Xonar family even giving Auzentech and Creative a run for their money. But while the Xonar is impressive all on its own it is the versatility of the line up and how quickly and effectively Asus has brought these products to market. As part of our Home Entertainment Section we are taking a look at the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Slim. This card boasts HDMI video and audio pass-through for a full 24 FPS sync as well as a low profile for slim HTPC cases. We dropped this card into our HD HTPC system complete with Blu-ray drive to see if it can really give us the HD Audio and Video we want.Packaging
Asus has been doing some good work with their product packaging. They have moved from the traditional Far Eastern cluttered mess featuring mass of images and graphs - to a more classic and simple design. This type of move will entice a broader range of customers; as audiophiles do not like a lot of garish images. The classic black case with a clean image of the product on the front will do more than a box full of graphs any day.
Even looking under the front flap we find a cleaner presentation than most. It simply gives you the facts and a few pictures to provide visual reference.
The back is not as clean but does provide details about the card in 12 languages.
Inside the box we find the HDAV 1.3 Slim and its associated gear inside a plain black box. Asus has always done well with the accessories they provide. With the original Xonar they provided more connectivity cables than any other sound card I have worked with. With the HDAV they actually include a loop-back HDMI cable. This length of HDMI cable would normally cost you about $30-40 but it is provided for you by Asus. They also provide a DVI to HDMI converter cable; this is another $20-30 value you get with the HADV 1.3 Slim. Asus rounds out the gear with a good quick start guide Driver CD, a Software component [TotalMedia Theatre 3.0], a Toslink adapter for their combination Coax and Toslink S/PDIF [Sony/Phillips Digital Interconnect Format] connection and a secondary tang for half-height cases.
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