I’ve not had much time to really grill this machine fully, but my initial thoughts are its pretty good. MKV and Blu-ray playback is nice and smooth in Windows Media Center / PowerDVD 9 and for the first time I am now able to bit-stream True-HD and DTS-HD audio to the AVR in this case an Onkyo TX SR606.
The whole computer feels faster and more responsive, My Movies Collection Manager is certainly quicker and the Media Center user interface also feels a bit snappier.
There was one main setting I had to change in PowerDVD 9 for the bit-streaming of True-HD and DTS-HD audio to kick in. I am also using the latest version of the Shark007 codec pack (2.4.8) with FFDShow DXVA settings, I might cover my latest shark configuration in more details in another blog post, however I did touch on it here
I had to turn on this setting in PowerDVD9 within MCE - “Non-decoded high definition audio to external device”
I tested two Blu-ray movies which were ripped ISO images on the hard drive, Total Recall which has a DTS-HD soundtrack and The Dark Knight which has a Dolby True-HD soundtrack. I am using Virtual Clone Drive beta 22.214.171.124 which My Movies (3.13) uses to mount the Blu-ray disc images.
Screen shots from PowerDVD 9 – Show Information.
Now this is what I always like to see on the AVR displays!
I definitely need to do some more testing with this new HTPC build and let it bed in a bit, but I think this new Intel platform has really impressed me so far.