Design and Features
The Asus HDAV 1.3 Slim is intended as an High Definition Audio and Video device for reproducing Blu-ray and HD video and audio (imagine that). It centers on Asus’ AV200 HD audio chip and while this uses up CPU time to process the sound it takes only a miniscule portion of your CPU to do so. The AV200 is the core of the Asus Xonar line and has been able to outperform Creative in most of our listening tests conducted with the original Xonar D2. This part is a custom developed C-Media from the 8788 audio Chip with updated Signal Processing. This allows for positional audio support directly in hardware with EAX 1.0 and 2.0. Dolby Processing commands are controlled by the AV200 but are all done by the CPU.
The HADV 1.3 is fully HDCP [High Definition Content Protection
] 1.2 compliant so there is no worry about content resizing. It also uses HDMI 1.3a
, a lossless standard for audio and video connections. This makes it a little difficult to fully test as there are a limited number of HDMI 1.3a amplifiers and monitors out. Still, the standard is an improvement in the reproduction of digital audio and video. One thing that Asus did right when it dived into the audio world is they did not skimp in the op-amps used on their cards.
They went with Texas Instrument R4850 for this job. For DAC/ADC Asus went with a Wolfson WM8776S instead of the Bur Brown PCM1796 that is found on the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe, this is a step down from the higher end Bur Brown part but as it is meant primarily for front audio out it is still a good choice.
Asus has a pair of HDMI connectors for you to play with, one is the input from your Video source the other is the output to your audio/video equipment. As we mentioned above Asus included a DVI to HDMI cable, this allows you to bridge your non-HDMI video into the HDAV 1.3 Slim, the Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF connector allows for digital in of an audio signal from a secondary source. It also allows for digital audio out if you have separate audio and video systems. Software
The software that Asus provides for the Xonar line is very well rounded. It allows for you to chose the input and output of the HDAV 1.3. This is a handy little feature to have if you do not want everything to push out over HDMI.
As you can see the Xonar Center is very versatile, on a side note the any effects that are enabled in the Xonar Center are not used when running HDMI Digital audio pass through. These effects only work on analog audio out.
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