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Product Application:

7.1 Sound Card

Product Provided by:

HT Omega

Available at:

NewEgg.com

Estimated MSRP:

$139.99

Availability:

Now

Review by:

Darren

Edited by:

Scott

Review date:

January 26th, 2007

 

Crucial System Scanner
 

 

     The high performance PC has taken the living room by storm as high performance home theater PC builds continue to become an integrated part of your home entertainment setup.  The recent release of C-Media's CMI-8788 chipset brings the same high quality sound processing technology found in a top end home audio setup right to your PC.  HT Omega's Claro brings you the CMI-8788 at a very attractive price.  Let's see just what this sound card brings to the table.

     HT Omega may be a new name to many of us but they are a US based company specializing in multimedia hardware and peripherals.  New or not, the list of supported sound formats is most impressive.

     HT Omega also does a nice job of displaying information about the most desirable of these sound formats on the back of the packaging.  In a market dominated by the X-Fi cards the Dolby technologies offered in the Claro compete directly with Creative's cards costing twice as much.  With this focus on sound quality over PC gaming; both the Claro and HT Omega's Striker 7.1 cards offer an exciting option for crystal clear high end audio.

     The C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 chipset is the core of the Claro bringing a true wish list of audio formats to the table in a true 8 channel super high performance PCI audio processor.

     "The CMI8788 is a high quality PCI 32-bit multi-channel audio processor that can be built in the home audio electronics or personal computer to provide high fidelity sound and become a professional audio processing center in your life. It supports up to 12 outgoing channels and 8 ingoing channels. The 12 outgoing channels are composed of 3 playback DMAˇ¦s, which are multi-channel DMA (32 bits, 8 channels, 192k), S/PDIF DMA (32 bits, 2 channels, 192k), and front panel DMA (16 bits, 2 channels, 48k). The 8 ingoing channels are spread in 3 recording DMAˇ¦s (32 bits, 192k), namely recording A, B, and C DMAˇ¦s. The architecture of recording is a unique point of CMI8788 that makes the recording become the most flexible for the users. The details of the recording mode selection will be explained in the later sections.

     The CMI8788 can co-work with all the popular codecs nowadays from I2S codecs with over 120dB quality to the usual AC97 codecs. This ability gives customers the flexibility to design their products. The I2S, AC-Link, 2-wire master bus, and SPI interfaces are used to transfer audio data and control data between the CMI8788 and codecs. To facilitate the connection with the existing home audio electronics, the CMI8788 has incorporated the S/PDIF transmitter and receiver with 192k sampling rate in it." ~ www.cmedia.com.tw

Features and Specifications:

  • The C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 Audio Processor is main engine of CLARO

  • 4 pcs 24-bit/192kHz AK4396VF (120dB-part spec.) DACs for 7.1channel output. (24-bit/192kHz in 7.1channel playback)

  • 1 pc 24-bit/192kHz WM8785G (110dB-part spec.) ADC input (24-bit/192kHz recording)

  • 1 pc CMI9780 AC'97 2.3 CODEC for AUX input, CD input, MIC input (16bit/48kHz playback/recording)

  • Integrated up to 192k/24-bit S/PDIF high grade special Optical and Coaxial connectors for 44.1kHz,48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz SPDIF output. (work simultaneously)

  • Integrated up to 192k/24-bit S/PDIF high grade special Optical receiver for 44.1kHz,48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz SPDIF input.

  • Supports onboard Coaxial or CD Digital input connector for up to 192kHz SPDIF input. (Optional Cable need for Coaxial input)

  • Standard 10PIN Front Panel Audio supports connectivity for stereo audio output and a microphone input from PC case.

  • DTS® Interactive - A real-time 5.1 channel encoder.

  • DTS® Neo:PC - An upmix matrix technology.

  • Dolby® Digital Live (DDL) - A real-time 5.1 channel encoding.

  • Dolby® ProLogic IIx surround processor spreading stereo audio into 7.1 channel surround sound.

  • Dolby® Headphone technology, conveying 5.1 surround and 3D gaming audio over stereo headphones.

  • Dolby® Virtual Speaker solution, bringing amazing virtual surround sound fields via general two speakers.

  • C-Media FlexBass - LFE channel crossover frequency setable from range 50 to 250Hz in Small speaker mode and Small/Large speaker selectable.

  • C-Media Magic Voice, popular feature for disguising your tone in online chatting.

  • C-Media Xear 3D 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter technology.

  • C-Media's unique Karaoke functions: Microphone Echo, Key-shifting.

  • Individual 10-band EQ for each channel,.27 global reverberation environments.

  • Supports most industrial standards of 3D sound for PC gaming, including EAX 1.0 & 2.0, A3D 1.0, and DirectSound.

  • Supported operating systems: Microsoft Windows® 2000 Service Pack 3(SP3) / XP Service Pack 1(SP1) / Server 2003 SP1/ XP Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE) / XP x64 Edition

Technologies:

DTS® Interactive
A real-time encoder that takes any LPCM (2 channel or more) and encodes it into DTS bit stream (48kHz at 1.5 Mbps). DTS INTERACTIVE provides a single cable connection (via coaxial or optical) to your DTS enabled surround sound system. stereo or multi-channel (up to 5.1)audio sources are re-encoded into a DTS audio signal and sent out from the CLARO to any DTS enabled system such as, powered PC speakers, an A/V receiver or any other DTS compatible surround decoder sound system. The installation process is simple and eliminates the clutter, tangles, and cost of multiple analog cables

DTS® NEO:PC
An up-mix matrix technology that turns any 2 channel audio into 7.1 surround sound. You can turn your stereo audio (WMA, MP3, CD, and more!) into a convincing multi channel audio experience. Borrowing from DTS NEO:6 technology that provides you with surround sound from stereo sources in high-end home theatre products, NEO:PC is optimized for your personal computer and is the perfect companion to DTS INTERACTIVE.

Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx
The age of 7.1 surround sound for the home is here. But it's not just reserved for DVD movies encoded in Dolby Digital EX. With Dolby Pro Logic IIx, any movie, CD, TV program or video game can be enjoyed through this enhanced surround sound technology.

Pro Logic IIx is the first and only technology to expand any existing stereo- or 5.1-channel audio for a 6.1- or 7.1- channel playback, creating a seamless, natural surround sound field that immerses you in the entertainment experience.

Three listening modes--Movie, Music or Game--allow you to tailor the audio to meet the different needs of the programming. In Game mode, for instance, special effects signals are routed to the surround channels for fuller, dramatic impact. Music mode features three additional user controls:

  • Dolby Center Width adjusts the balance of the main vocals in the center and front channels.
  • Dolby Panorama creates a seamless, wraparound surround effect.
  • Dolby Dimension lets you set a deeper or shallower surround sound field.

DTS® Connect
DTS Connect is the latest thing from DTS that turns your PC into an action-packed entertainment experience that surrounds you in sound. Make your movies, music and games come alive in exciting, dynamic, multi-channel DTS Digital Surround®, the same sound format found in movie theaters. DTS Connect is a whole new way to enjoy your PC. DTS Connect makes it easy to turn your computer into the ultimate PC sound entertainment experience. Click here for a DTS Connect demo!

Dolby® Digital Live
Real-time encoding technology, converts any audio signal into a Dolby® Digital bit stream for transport and playback through a home theater system. With it, your PC or game console can be hooked up to your Dolby® Digital-equipped audio/video receiver or digital speaker system via a single digital connection, ensuring the integrity of the audio signal.

  • DTS Digital Surround®
    The sound format found in movie theaters. The Claro turns your PC into a DTS-Connect enabled PC capable of playing full surround sound from DTS-enabled movies, music videos, music discs, and games, as well as providing surround sound from normal stereo sources.

     

    Dolby Headphone:
    5.1 surround sound through any pair of headphones.

    Dolby® Headphone technology allows users to wear any set of headphones and listen to music, watch movies, or play video games with the dramatic surround effects of a 5.1-channel soundtrack.

    • Realistic 5.1 surround sound from any set of headphones
    • Processes 24-bit/96 kHz audio, such as DVD-Audio which produces surround sound bit-for-bit identical to the studio masters.
    • Superb surround sound with Dolby Pro Logic II from stereo music and movies.
    • Enables enjoyment of surround sound without disturbing others.
    • Improves listening comfort and reduces "listener fatigue."
    • Allows stereo content to be heard as 5.1-channel surround sound (when combined with Dolby Pro Logic II).
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