I wish to build a setup delivering audio from a single board computer, probably running Linux, to my receiver, a Denon X1000. I don't have a particular board yet, and the choice of audio over HDMI may / may not be available to me. That actually poses a question - if HDMI audio is available, is that preferable ? I'm only talking about stereo audio here, no video, about 99% flacs.
At the moment both audio and video are stored and replayed on a computer running Win7, and feeding the Denon through HDMI (video and audio); that works great, but I think is overkill if all I want to do is play some music. I have the desire to have a smaller machine to do this. A small, low power (7 or 8 watts) computer controlled by a tablet is the goal (though it may seem a bit nonsensical, given the power requirements of the amp).
I've looked into USB to S/PDIF converters and have been warned against them. Does this mean that I'm better off converting my files to analogue with an external DAC then feeding the Denon with the analog signal ? I've now looked further for USB2 DACs, found a few
Are these the type of devices that I should be looking at? The Denon has HDMI, digital coax, optical and RCA analog inputs, no USB.
There are quite a few of these listed on eBay. Are there certain chips that I should be looking for? I only have a budget of (tops) $US150 for this, hopefully though something a little lower.