I have my media centre - which is actually an HP Microserver - connected to my receiver (Arcam AVR360) via HDMI.
The audio is sent via HDMI and the media centre is configured to output in 5.1 24 Bit 192KHz over HDMI port to the Receiver.
The graphics card, a Radeon 6570, takes care of all the audio duties on the GPU via it's HDMI port - there is no separate sound card.
I have various FLAC files. If I put them on a USB thumb drive and plug it in to the USB port on the receiver - playing them directly on the receiver itself - they sound fantastic, yet when played on my media centre, they sound dull and lifeless.
I don't understand why; they files are a digital source being transferred digitally at a high resolution to the receiver over HDMI - oh, using a very short very high quality wireworld HDMI cable - yet they seem to be being subject to significant loss of clarity.
I don't understand why