All listed HTPC builds are capable of smooth blu-ray& HDTV playback, hence you can upgrade or downgrade optical drive in any build depending on your blu-ray requirements.
Boards with 780g, 785g and 790g chipsets support stereo LPCM audio and bitstream Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 over HDMI. If you need 8-channel LPCM support (true HD via an amp), chose a build based on Nvidia or Intel integrated GPU, a discrete GPU, or install a sound card that supports bitstreaming over HDMI.
Software that comes with blu-ray players usually only supports stereo sound. You need to purchase software like PowerDVD 9 or Arcsoft Total Media Theatre to get TrueHD.
There is no support for real-time blu-ray playback under linux, however blu-ray rips can be played.
I would love to get this to work; but, so far I’m having no such luck.
I have an AMD A8-3850 APU which includes a Radeon HD 6550D attached via HDMI to a Sony STR-DH810 AVR. I’m running 64Windows7SP1 and version 12.2 of Catalyst CC. I followed bluray’s link in his blu-ray in 1080p with dts-hd and truehd thread, and, installed the Realtek Driver and ATI HDMI Device file and I’ve tried both DD and bluray’s version of XBMC+HD Audio.
I have both DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD listed as supported formats and my sound properties are identical to bluray’s screenshot in post #3 of this thread. Within xbmc, my video and audio settings are set according to bluray’s instructions.
Having said all that, when trying to play blu-ray rips to MKVs and M2TS files with DTS-HD, xbmc reports the audio failed to initialize and there is no sound; when trying to play blu-ray rips to MP4 and M2TS files with TrueHD AC-3, the AVR reports LPCM and the sound pops and crackles.