5.1 FLAC through HDMI from Laptop - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-14-2014, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently added surround speakers to my setup and now have a 5.0 setup running off a Marantz SR6008 AVR. I have a fair number of 5.1 FLAC audio files on my windows 8.1 laptop that I'd love to play through an HDMI connection to my reciever.

However, no matter what I do the output seems to only come in stereo. If I go into the sound devices settings in control panel and try to configure the HDMI output, it only gives me the option of 2 channel stereo.

I'm not super clued-in on computer part tech, but what can I do to output 5.1 FLAC through HDMI (or any other simple solution).

I also wouldn't be against buying a cheap external media player that would allow me to stream the files as well.

 

Thanks for any help!

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 01:14 AM
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Which software media players have you tried playing your multi-channel FLAC files with?

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post

Which software media players have you tried playing your multi-channel FLAC files with?

I've tried Foobar2000, VLC Player, and Windows Media Player. All of which have the ability to play FLAC and supposedly multichannel (although WMP requires a proper codec that I installed). Everything plays the audio fine and Foobar2000 even shows that it's a 6 channel FLAC file, but the audio only comes out stereo no matter what the program.

I also tried a few types of video files with clips of movies in 5.1 to see if it was just the FLAC files, and even those only come out in stereo. I'm led to believe it must me something in terms of how my computer is actually transmitting the data through HDMI.

Does 5.1 output via HDMI require some certain criteria that my soundcard or video card might not meet?

 

As I originally said, I also would not be opposed to a cheap media player that I could either stream wirelessly to or hook up a hard drive to such as the Netgear NeoTV or a Roku or something of the like (but I haven't been able to find any confirmation that any of those work with multichannel FLAC).

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post #4 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 07:27 AM
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What do your output settings look like in foobar?
Try this -DirectSound with an auto-channel switcher

Also I'd give Jriver a spin. http://www.jriver.com/index.html
This is my go to media player ATM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trans_lux View Post

What do your output settings look like in foobar?
Try this -DirectSound with an auto-channel switcher

Also I'd give Jriver a spin. http://www.jriver.com/index.html
This is my go to media player ATM.

I've tried every output setting in Foobar and still none of them seem to work, but I don't see where the "auto-channel switcher" setting is. Where do I find that?

I'll also give Jriver a try, thanks for the help!
 

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post #6 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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So I gave Jriver a try and on any output setting it gives me the message:

 

"Playback could not be started using the format: 96kHz 24bit 6ch

 This format would work: 96kHz 24bit 2ch"

 

So again, this is looking like a computer hardware issue?

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post #7 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 09:51 AM
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Most laptops do not have the video hardware needed to pass 6-ch audio via HDMI. The HDMI port is assumed to be for connecting to a 2-ch display or TV.
So yes you'd probably need to look at a hardware upgrade for high-res 6-ch audio.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanengisch View Post

So I gave Jriver a try and on any output setting it gives me the message:

"Playback could not be started using the format: 96kHz 24bit 6ch
 This format would work: 96kHz 24bit 2ch"

So again, this is looking like a computer hardware issue?
What type of audio and video hardware is in your laptop?

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post #9 of 16 Old 05-15-2014, 03:43 PM
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What make/model laptop do you have?
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-16-2014, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got an HP Pavilion G6. Looks like the graphics card is an AMD Radeon HD 6480G.

Very basic laptop, and I'm not finding anything about 5.1 capabilities with that AMD so I'm thinking that must be it.

 

Think I'm going to try out a Netgear NeoTV and see if that works out. Thanks everyone for the help!

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post #11 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 02:29 AM
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Hmmm...

When I connect my Dell XPS 17 laptop to my surround sound amplifier via HDMI, and visit the 'Playback Devices' option and 'configure' the 'Speaker Set-up'? I see this: -




Cheers

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post #12 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 05:01 AM
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How about a USB to digital that supports multi-channel?
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 05:56 AM
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That's a good idea. Are there any well-priced products you can recommend?

If your HDMI output is able to pass a Dolby Digital bit-stream, another option would be to transcode your multi-channel flac sources to a DolbyDigital bit-stream. You would of-course loose quality....

Anyway, if you are interested look here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1522086/playing-multi-channel-24-96-flac-files-from-computer-over-s-pdif-coax/0_50

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post #14 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 10:00 PM
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 04:28 AM
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It might also be the Receiver is not passing the correct EDID info (device capabilities definition) to your laptop, as I beleive that level of AMD GPU should support multichannel audio. Look around for discussions of HDMI + EDID + Audio and you'll find plenty of feedback.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-01-2014, 07:53 AM
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What your working with is what is called using onboard sound which is so unpredictable less the laptop says it has 5.1 output I don't think you'll ever beable to get true surroundsound.
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