Not quite getting digital audio, when for example, JA notes the Asus sound card processes 192 hz--but there's really good stuff at 177 or 188 (these are notional.)
But getting ahead of myself. Until the broadband duopolies (Comcast & Verizon) half monthly fees, I'm buying CDs. So in that context, is using a workstation and whatever drive (Plextor, e.g.) and the Asus card, a preferable solution to, e.g. Oppo 83.
This is a point of information. In current Stereophile, Reina I believe compares Oppo Blu 83 and same but 83 SE. And observes that 83 SE is much better if you need analogue out; but if you're going with HDMI, it's moot, even Oppo saying the standard ($500 83)will not be improved upon.
Admitting how little I understand: are there now amps that support stereophonic sound in on an HDMI port. I thought HDMI was principally delegated to television, providing both a video and audio signal in one cable.
Sorry to be verbose; any short answer will be appreciated.