Another option is to pick up a bluray player, just something to use until i become more solvent.
How do you think they would compare against my htpc. I am thinking of Panasonic DMP-UB900
Since the Panasonic DMP-UB900 is discontinued you must be looking at the $500 one on eBay, it will probably work fine. Unless you have extra amps and speakers in your audio closet to do surround sound right away I would wait until you are more solvent. No hurry, do your research. The electronics you buy now may not work with what your get later, plans change. "i will be paying a lot of money for the bluray drive which i will never use.""i use cyberlink powerdvd as the media player which converts the dts-hd-ma and dolbyhd into pcm signals"
I haven't used Cyberlink PowerDVD in ages, why are you using it since you don't spin disks?
Are the DVD and blu-ray files in a remux rip that keeps the menu or in the mkv format? I thought DTS-HD MA and Dolby HD are only available on a disk or ripped blu-ray and not streaming.
If you are playing .mkv files try the free VLC Media Player
, when I tried powerdvd I thought it was a resource hog, it may be why you get the clicking. VLC also plays full blu-ray rips but doesn't show the menu.https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
VLC Media Player may solve all your current problems.
The latest Asus Essence STX II drivers are dated Sept. 2015, that is old and could be one source of the clicks/hiss. Make sure the audio output is using the STX II drivers and not the Windows sound drivers.
Do you have an optical out in the HTPC? The Music Room has a NAD T163 7.1 Channel Home Theater Processor for $149
Old processors with optical inputs will only do Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital, ProLogic IIx, DTS, DTS ES, DTS NEO:6. NOT DTS-HD MA or DOLBY HD
, but it is better is what you have right now.https://tmraudio.com/components/home-theater/nad-t163-7-1-channel-home-theater-processor-t-163-remote-am-fm-radio-1/
A SIIG DP SoundWave 5.1 Channels 24-bit PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card optical card is only $44https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16829270015?Description=sound%20card%20optical%20out&cm_re=sound_card_optical_out-_-29-270-015-_-Product
Your Dune smart D1 has an optical output, the NAD has 2 optical inputs so you can plug in both the Dune and HTPC and get 5.1 sound for less than $200.
There are a lot of cheap processors that don't have an HDMI input which means they won't decode DTS-HD MA and Dolby HD but will work fine. I'm just guessing but I kind of doubt you have the speakers and amps that would allow you to hear the difference between regular DTS and DTS-HD MA. An old surround processor is more than adequate for streaming Netflix, etc.
Note: the STX II S/PDIF output will work for 5.1 so you don't need a optical card bringing the upgrade cost down to $150.