HDMI Sound Cards

As i am looking into upgrading my Home Theater to support Full HD, one problem that comes up is audio. While most people are just starting to become familiar with optical connections, the industry has already moved beyond that point. Thing like True HD sound use too much bandwidth to transfer over an optical connection.

So where does that leave us? HDMI supports video and audio. The only problem is combining the output from the graphics and sound card into one signal. I was initially looking for a video card with audio-in capabilities but did not find any that supported the newer HDMI 1.3 standard. This solution poses another problem as well: when such card becomes available, it will be very expensive. HDMI capable video cards however, are already available and very well priced.

The solution? HDMI capable sound cards. They have a HDMI input for the video signal from the graphics card and a HDMI output that sends out a combined Audio / Video signal. I have found 2 models already in the works:

Auzentech HDMI X-Tension Sound Card
Asus Xonar AV1

I will post more on them as they get released… and i decide which to buy :)