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This review is from: YAMAHA RX-V565 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver
Pros: Great sound quality!
4 HDMI inputs and plenty of other connections.
Extremely easy to set up speakers with the Yamaha YPAO.
Has every audio decoder you could really need.
Cons: Does not have multi-channel analog audio inputs to hook up an SACD player, etc. (Need to get the RX-V665 for mutli-channel).
Firmware update process is somewhat tedious (but worth it once you get it right).
Other Thoughts: For an HTPC not using onboard audio/video, it is best to update the firmware to K032. You can then control the Audio and Video inputs to set an optical audio from a sound card (use AV4) to match an HDMI input (use HDMI4). Instructions for doing this are included with the firmware download from Yamaha. When converting the firmware .wav to cd format, follow Yamaha's instructions and do not use Windows Media Player to convert, it won't work so you need to find some other software to burn it to a CD.
I have this set up in 6.1 matched with Polk TSi series in the front w/voice matched center from Newegg and Polk R150's for rear surround. The sound is phenomenal! Use "Direct" mode when playing DVD/DVD-Audio for the best quality sound when playing off of an HTPC.
This review is from: HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
Pros: Fantastic audio quality
Easy to intall.
HT Omega is known to have great support, and the web site is very helpful for answering questions.
Other Thoughts: I have this set up in a Windows 7-64 HTPC connected to a Yamaha RX-V565, and the quality and clarity of sound from this card is truly outstanding! I tested some DVD-Audio disks off of the onboard audio (on a different PC)that has a Realtek HD chip using HDMI output connected to the Yamaha reciever, and there is a noticeable difference when using this card in 6.1 DTS-ES playback. I'm not sure what a more expensive card would do that this doesn't, but I would buy this card again for another HTPC build without batting an eye.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Nice looking enclosure. Keeps the drive cool despite no fan. IDE and SATA options make it versatile.
Cons: Not as easy to install the IDE drive as I would have liked. The Power connector for SATA gets a little bit in the way.
Other Thoughts: Set my WD 160 GB IDE drive to master (removed the jumper) and it worked right away on Windows 7. This is a well designed enclosure to keep the drive as cool as it does with no fan, the venting is very good.READ FULL REVIEW