Little did I know about Onkyo line of HD HTPC products in US, but they already on 2nd generation releases in Japan with the announcement of APX-2. The new HD audio PC is a joint venture effort with the Japanese PC company, SOTEC as distribution store front.
The APX-2 is probably not what you think of just-another-HTPC product or a Hi-Def media player. In fact, i believe the HD audio is referring to audiophile quality. The ambitious demonstration of APX-2 coupled with B&W Nautilus 801 picture said enough right? The greatest feature of all is probably a built-in 2 channels digital amplifier, with ability to handle 4 Ω impedance with maximum power output at 100w each. The digital power output stage is merely a palmed-size amplifier about 3 times smaller than a traditional transformer.
The Digital to Analog conversion is handled by PCM1792. To avoid interference, an external AC adapter is provided to use for PC operation, while the amplifiers and audio circuit get the power from a separated but built-in power unit. The Apx-2 like most PC features hard drive to storage media content, but it’s keep in a Super Floating HDD unit to eliminate operation noise and vibration.
A base model HDC-2.0ABM with Vista Home Premium-APX-2 features Core 2 Duo T5500 (1.66GHz), 1Gb memory and 160GB hard drive will cost you around $2000 USD in Japan. It has a DVD player, pair of analog, digital coaxial, optical inputs and similar outputs in addition of a DVI with HDCP enabled video output.