My setup is this:
HTPC connected to my Samsung LCD TV by HDMI
Samsung TV connected to Pioneer VSX-818V by optical cable (I tried HDMI direct from laptop to receiver but it seemed worse)
I have some nice older fisher speakers that sound great for my ears. I don't need anything fancy, but I have 2 front, a center, and a subwoofer and would like to hear from them all. I have so much trouble getting the settings right... I have read that my trouble may be because the Laptop is feeding out 2 channel audio via HDMI. How do I prevent this? Is going Laptop > Receiver by HDMI my only option?
Is this the fault of my Receiver? the fault of the user? I actually work in IT and consider myself technical but I cannot figure this out for the life of me. I really appreciate any advice. I'm open to buying a new receiver if you say the Pioneer is the issue too..