This is my first post, and I believe this is the right forum.
ISSUE: I want to toggle quickly from 2.0 to 7.1 speaker configuration, depending on whether I am listening to music or watching a movie. I can make that switch by clicking Control Panel -> Sound -> Realtek HDMI Output -> Configure -> plus four further mouse clicks to complete the switch. I created a "Sound" panel shortcut on my desktop to save the first step, but it still takes too many clicks. There must be a quicker way to toggle between 2.0 and 7.1. Please share your thoughts and insight.
HARDWARE: I have an HTPC for music and movies. It is built on a Intel 6600 Dual Core, and equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 4850. The ATI card connects to my Sony STR-DG720 Receiver via HDMI, and then from the Receiver to my speakers and HDTV. I have a 7.1 surround sound speaker configuration for movies, but prefer that music play in 2.0 channel stereo--the receiver filters low frequency from the 2 channels to the subwoofer (for 2.1 channels).
While the STR-DG720 Receiver is capable of upmixing a 2.0 HDMI signal to 7.1, it does not support downmixing a 7.1 HDMI signal to 2.0/2.1. Even if it did, I suspect the downmix would do a disservice to the intended stereo sound of the music—which I’d rather avoid. I think this means that toggling from 2.0 to 7.1 has to occur at the HTPC level.
OS & SOFTWARE: The HTPC runs Vista Ultimate 64bit. I use the Realtek driver for the ATI card. I use both MPC-HC and VLC for video play. I use Foobar for music.
1. Is there a quick way to toggle between 2.1 and 7.1 speaker configuration, using the Realtek Driver?
2. If no, is there an add-on sound utility I could try? I installed SpeakerTray a while back, which purportedly allows a quick toggle between 5.1 and 2.0, but the ATI card just ignores it.
3. If no, do you have any other suggestions? It's ridiculous that every time I switch from music to movies I have to open three windows and make six mouse clicks to go from stereo to surround sound.
Thanks for your help.