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135 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


Topic # 30863 24-Feb-2009 08:17 Send private message

Hey all,

Anyone here in NZ have this board, MSI Media Live Diva (MSI-7411) http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&maincat_no=134&prod_no=1654? It has a built in 5.1 channel amp assisted by a daughter board so you can plug your speakers in directly and eliminate the need for a receiver/amplifier. Supposedly quite good quality considering the price. A lot of discussion here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1003579

It's not normally available in NZ but someone found Ascent at least are able to get it as a custom order http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=15889327#post15889327 . I presume other good retailers who have a decent relationship with the MSI distro are as well (I asked Playtech who MSI list, they've said they're looking in to it). So perhaps someone already has it? (Didn't find anything from searching but who knows?)

While expensive, it isn't extreme amount considering it's a custom order IMHO (see http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=15891637#post15891637). Mind you, perhaps the ubiquity of Sky and the fact recording via means other analog from the STB will make this less popular here as people may prefer a receiver so they can connect their Sky box directly.

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2113 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 41


  Reply # 197682 24-Feb-2009 10:11 Send private message

I know Arche Technologies import a lot of MSI gear so maybe they can help.

The DVD video servers I am looking at importing from the USA have these boards in them.
Haven't had a chance to test one yet as the two I recevied the first time were damaged by the freight company :(
Waiting on the replacements to arrive...






135 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 197687 24-Feb-2009 10:26 Send private message

I did e-mail Arche actually (they were the other one listed by MSI) but still no reply (e-mailed on Monday morning). Mind you, although the MSI websites suggest PlayTech is a distributor, from the e-mail I got, I don't believe they are they're just a retailer, so they probably just asked Arche.

483 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 197688 24-Feb-2009 10:27 Send private message

I don't get it...

For the same sort of money you could buy a 780G motherboard and this:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/Home-audio/Amplifiers-tuners/auction-204478992.htm

Not saying its a great amp or anything, but I know which one I'd rather have.

Or you could just go to the $2 shop and buy 5 of those anoying little $1 cars that go round and round, rip the amps out and stuff them into your HTPC case, and pocket $345 bucks.  And it would only cost you $3 more to add 7.1 sound...

Not meaning to offend anyone but that pricing is just plain ridiculous...

2113 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 41


  Reply # 197696 24-Feb-2009 10:55 Send private message

Nil Einne: I did e-mail Arche actually (they were the other one listed by MSI) but still no reply (e-mailed on Monday morning). Mind you, although the MSI websites suggest PlayTech is a distributor, from the e-mail I got, I don't believe they are they're just a retailer, so they probably just asked Arche.


I know Arche are a distributor only and don't deal direct with the general public.
You would need to find out who is an Arche dealer in your area.






135 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 197718 24-Feb-2009 12:15 Send private message

CYaBro:
Nil Einne: I did e-mail Arche actually (they were the other one listed by MSI) but still no reply (e-mailed on Monday morning). Mind you, although the MSI websites suggest PlayTech is a distributor, from the e-mail I got, I don't believe they are they're just a retailer, so they probably just asked Arche.


I know Arche are a distributor only and don't deal direct with the general public.
You would need to find out who is an Arche dealer in your area.


Actually I didn't ask to buy it from them, just if they were planning to bring it in any time soon. From what I've learnt since, the answer appears to be no but I didn't know that at the time. From my experience, some distributors (not all) are willing to answer that (some just ignore you).

Also it's helpful IMHO to ask distributors directly, if they don't ignore it completely, it lets them know there is interest. Asking retailers may do that it may even be more effective in some cases, but sometimes the distros may not notice particularly if it's coming from different retailers or may not consider why there is interest. (For example I know several Australians are emailing their distro to try and convince them to bring it. There's discussion on some thread.)

And I still think Playtech (and I'm guessing Ascent) are an Arche dealer... :-P



135 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 197720 24-Feb-2009 12:21 Send private message

RustyGonad: I don't get it...

For the same sort of money you could buy a 780G motherboard and this:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/Home-audio/Amplifiers-tuners/auction-204478992.htm

Not saying its a great amp or anything, but I know which one I'd rather have.

Or you could just go to the $2 shop and buy 5 of those anoying little $1 cars that go round and round, rip the amps out and stuff them into your HTPC case, and pocket $345 bucks.  And it would only cost you $3 more to add 7.1 sound...

Not meaning to offend anyone but that pricing is just plain ridiculous...


You're wrong on the pricing. As I mentioned in the post I linked to by my calculations for a board roughly equivalent in specs (of course there is no board roughly equivalent) except for the amp out bit, you need to spend over $200. (Bear in mind the price of AM2 boards, well most components, has gone up a fair amount in recent months because of the NZ currency drop) Of course if you don't want those extras then perhaps it's not so interesting. But for me at least, the component out (the thing of most interest to me as the only other option is for a stand alone card or a very old and crappy board), IEEE1394, 2x PCI-e 1X ports and M780G/power savings is worth it. And actually you arguably should take into account the Realtek888 (most cheap mobos have crappier 883 or equivalent). If you spend $350+$15 shipping on a receiver you're spending $71 more ($200+$350+$15-$494). Not a lot of money extra perhaps but some. And the receiver you linked to is also a display model so could have suffered some abuse.

Also the key point you seem to be missing is a lot of people don't want another box. One of the whole points of a HTPC is to have an all in one system to serve all your needs without needing other components. (I've never understood why some people have a HTPC and a Bluray player). A receiver/amp is another box. As I mentioned in my earlier post, if you have Sky, a game console or for that matter some box (like a Bluray player :-P ) then a receiver may seem a better option. Particularly if your TV has a built in Freeview decoder, may be you even want a receiver so get sound from the TV without your HTPC. There are obviously many people who will want receivers, I can understand that. But as I've mentioned there are also many people who would prefer to do away with receivers which I've seen evidence both from here and elsewhere and the friend I'm helping to put a HTPC together for (which is why I'm looking in to this motherboard). I would have thought people could understand that not everyone wants another box.

The other question of course is whether the AVR-1508 AV gives better sound output then the MSI mobo. I can't  answer that but I've seen a lot of people, including people with expensive amps and speaker set ups who say it sounds very good for the price and can be compared to a $500 (that's US of course) or more amp. Perhaps they're lying/MSI plants. Perhaps they have terrible hearing and should never have purchased so expensive an amp. Perhaps they're just deluding themselves because they wasted money on the mobo. I don't know. (And I haven't finished looking in to the sound quality anyway).

Another key thing is that so far, I haven't actually seen anyone who has tried it and criticised the sound quality. Perhaps it's because no one with half a brain will actually purchase/try the thing (although some of the people appear to have received them for free e.g. MikeC from SPR http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=51005&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 who is also from my experience an excellent reviewer who actually takes the time to test things properly and in a logical fashion, although may be not the best reviewer of sound quality from later comments). I've seen a lot of people come up with theoretical criticisms, saying it can never be as good as XYZ because of whatever reason. But the arguments I've seen haven't been compelling. I'm very sceptical of comments originating from audio-philes because I'm well of the sort of junk many of them spew which has little relation to science or logic (e.g. people who think $50 speaker cables make a difference). The best thing of course would be some sort of double blind test with with a variety of speakers and sound sources conducted on a random variety of listeners. Alternatively the ability to actually compare one against some receivers (it's not for me anyway but for a friend) under double blind conditions. Of course neither's going to happen but one can dream :-P

The issue here is that if the mobo gives better or even the same sound quality as an AVR-1508 AV and you don't want a receiver or 7.1 sound (many don't, it's questionable IMHO if it makes any difference for a smallish room and in any case it's easily not worth the added hassle and besides spending more the same amount on a set of 5.1 speakers as you would have spent on 7.1 could easily make up for any loss in positional info), tell me why would purchasing one be better? The answer of course is it won't...

P.S. I have no idea what your car comment means. There is no question in my mind that the amp on this mobo is better then anything you can do yourself with $1 components from toy cars unless perhaps you also spend a lot more money on additional components. To suggest otherwise is more ridiculous then anything

483 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 197753 24-Feb-2009 15:05 Send private message

Look - as I said I didn't mean to offend anyone...

If you want to spend the best part of $500 on an microATX AM2 motherboard with Digital AMP, go ahead - no issue here.

I simply used the Denon as a price comparison... And well the toy car thing was a joke that you obviously didn't get... Maybe lighten up a little...

Believe me I've bought a few AM2 motherboards, so I know you can get 780G's for well under $200, from alot of different retailers.  But having said that I would never buy another one because of the well known h.264 issues.  My one however does a fantastic job as a WHS.

As being value for money - you will never convince me.  I'm just not there, never will be... I also got one of those big amp thingies so its a dead loss on the sound argument there too... :)

BTW, Component Out - Doesn't support HDCP, which may cause future issues with Bluray.

Good luck!


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