hardware device as audio analog to digital converter (ADC)

My PC sound card is (still) the original integrated one; it’s a SigmaTel with the CXD9872RD chipset – not too bad to be an integrated sound card; plus, it has the ability to capture bit-perfect audio via the digital input – and that’s a VERY GOOD feature, when you must capture laserdisc PCM/AC3/DTS soundtracks.

However, the analog input/output, even if good, is not comparable with the best sound card around. The solution is simple: to buy a better sound card! Even if the solution is simple, I can’t afford the brand new sound card I’m dreaming of now, so I thougth about an alternative solution. Which one?

It’s possible to use an external device as ADC (Analog Digital Converter); Continue reading

Laserdisc PCM to low compressed AC3

I know, I know, laserdisc PCM soundtracks should be left “as is” (when possible, because they must be converted at least to 48KHz to be BD/DVD/AVCHD compliant), but I did my projects with several soundtracks in different languages, and I guess I could spare a little bit of disc space compressing them, and leave video more space. You know, adding four PCM soundtracks could “eat” something like 9/10GB disc space, and leave only 15GB to video in a BD-25…

As there are wonderful LD AC3 5.1 discrete soundtracks (and they are all 384kbps), I think a PCM 2.0 could be compressed with little or no artifacts at 640kbps (for BD/AVCHD) or 448kbps (for DVD) – or even less. I thought also to use DTS, but to achieve a similar quality I should compress at higher bitrates, and AC3 decoder are a little more spread than DTS ones.

Ideally, it could be converted to DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD, but I know no software (free and/or open source) that could do that, and these kind of decoders are less spread than AC3 and DTS…

Opinions?