To start with I will be using 2 channel, but I want to have the option of expanding to 5.1 or even 7.1 in the future. I believe I will need time alignment on all my ouputs, yes. Will I need that many outputs? Possibly not. Is the Alpine unit able to time align every output? If so, then it should be factored into this project. When I first came across the idea of a carPC I made some assumptions regarding functionality, based on what a PC should be able to do, especially after looking at what the Alpine units are capable of. After reading through the 25+ pages on this thread, and reading opinions elsewhere, I have come to the conclusion that there are people being limited by the Alpines, and that there is a definite want/need for this type of functionality to be integrated into the carPC (Jan for one ). It is very true that an Alpine may do most of what I NEED, and I will definetly go that way if I can't get this to work, but it won't do everything I WANT, so if I can find a better way, then I will.Originally Posted by JasonWW
As far as software functionality, I have a couple of friends who are serious Audiophiles, as well as heaps of friends who do recording/mixing/playback at very high levels, for their own use, mastering CD's, and live venue concerts, so I am going to make full use of their knowledge while tackling this project to make sure everything is up to scratch and that (hopefully) all the functions needed are there. As far as actual writing of software goes, I am going to Uni at the moment and have a few friends who take programming, plus my Dad has over 30 years programming experience in more languages than anyone I know of (and I'm not talking him up because he's my Dad. Getting him interested enough to take time to help may be a problem though...). If I can't get it done that way, I will go talk to all the Computer Science and Music teachers and see if I can get them to use the project as some sort of task for their students and get it done that way. Failing that, I will try to find people online who can do it. I am thinking that open source software will be the best way to go on this project, simply so that it can keep evolving and grow functionality wise. If you put something this cool out and make it open source, it's gonna get cooler, I guarantee that.
Hardware shouldn't be a huge limiting factor I think, as long as very good quality components are used at the computer end and the converter at the amp end is done right. If I could figure out a way to remove the converter from the equation without having to add multiple outputs at the computer and/or optical abilities into the amps, I would, so if anyone has any ideas on this line, please interject.
Even if this project is sucessfull there will always be a place (in the immediate future at least) for Alpine style processors, especially for those out there who don't want a carPC. The idea behind this project is to make a carPC as functional as it (in my mind) should be, music wise. At this point it will be 6 months at least before I have the money to start installing my system, so I might as well use that time to see if I can make the system even better. If I can make something like this work, then I won't need a Poccessor, EQ, etc. If it doesn't work, oh well, time to fork out some extra cash, or spend less on my amps and speakers. That is what I'm really trying to do. Ensure that anyone who is building a system that is going to have a carPC has as large a percentage of their cash as possible to put towards the parts that really matter to sound quality. I know I would rather do all the EQing and Processing on a PC (even if it was a little harder to use), and have extra money to put into quality stereo gear if possible. That was what attracted me to the carPC in the first place - the ability to play better than CD quality sound. Sure, DVD's are a nice bonus, but if the sound quality was going to be the same on a PC, I would just stick with the HU I have and buy a H701 or H990 and call it a day.
Wish me luck, I'm probably going to need it...