doesn't appear that Asus has issued a press release as yet, the Xonar HDAV 1.3 has turned up on Asus' Website and we can now provide you with some more details about the first sound card to feature HDMI ports.
Some of the information provided by Asus doesn't come across as very clear and wee still wonder who is going to buy this. It might be useful if you have a graphics card that doesn't support audio over HDMI, but we expect these cards to be quite expensive, so it might be cheaper to get a new graphics card.
Besides being able to mix in an audio stream with full 96 or 192kHz Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support to the HDMI signal, Asus has added its Splendid HD technology to the Xonar HDAV 1.3. Asus claims that that "Splendid HD increases color performance and enhances edges for a more brilliant, crisper image, such as better visual contrast without flickering issues, and much vivid color than reality".
We're not sure we'd want more vivid color than reality, although some of the other features might be useful if you're watching non-HD sourced material, depending on how good the Splendid HD chip is at up scaling and improving the video quality.
The card also has swappable OPAMP's and the Deluxe version can also have the OPAMP's on the HDAV H6 extension board. In general, it seems like Asus has gone with quality components, such as Burr-Brown DA converters.
The cards will ship with ArcSoft's TotalMedia Theatre for Blu-ray playback. A bundle consisting of a DVI to HDMI cable, two 3.5mm to TOSLINK S/PDIF adaptors (they plug into the RCA jacks for optical in and out) and a 3.5mm to RCA adaptor cable. The Deluxe model will come with additional 3.5mm to RCA cables for full 7.1-channel analog output.
You can find the Xonar HDAV 1.3 product page here
, although the Deluxe model was up earlier, but seems to have disappeared again.