List of Windows 7 Dual Audio out solutions. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-03-2012, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Many of us have a need for Dual audio playback devices in Windows 7. W7 unlike XP does not support this. A quick google search shows years of requests and frustration by users with no fix from MS.

There are many specific needs for dual audio such as , multiple displays, zone 2 audio, Headphones etc..

Due to the lack of dual digital/ analog playback one has to create workarounds.

Lists of possible workarounds to have simulated / selectable dual audio playback:
  1. Manually switch playback devices in the audio control panel
  2. Auto hot key scripts/.exe that you can have run with a push of a button on the MCE remote,
    http://htpc-hell.zxq.net/?p=74


Possibly a hardware fix that is true dual output:
PID 5557 at monoprice will strip the audio out of the HDMI and simultaneously output via L/R 2 channel- s/pdif-digital coax and HDMI.



My specific need is to get away from HDMI pass thru on my Onkyo and all the issues along with it:
1.Wasting electricity in pass thru mode
2.Causing media center to blink/ lose audio causing a need to close an reopen when the onkyo is power cycled.
3.Output L/R 2 channel simultaneous for Zone2 audio.

Does anyone else have any fixes/ ideas for this issue?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-03-2012, 02:37 PM
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Easy. I looked into this and solved this months ago.

1. WMC for all movies.
2. WMP for all audio.

WMP allows you to select your analog device as a completely different player than WMC (HDMI, for example).

So you can use WMP to play audio on zone 2 while watching full 1080p HD Audio on your HDTV.


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post #3 of 17 Old 02-03-2012, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Easy. I looked into this and solved this months ago.

1. WMC for all movies.
2. WMP for all audio.

WMP allows you to select your analog device as a completely different player than WMC (HDMI, for example).

So you can use WMP to play audio on zone 2 while watching full 1080p HD Audio on your HDTV.

I notice in XBMC you can select different audio out (analog or HDMI etc) is that switching the audio in Windows as well? would that be similar?

I have kind of the same issue as the OP, right now i send audio HDMI out to the TV and then SP/DIF Optical from the TV down to the receiver....but of course that ruins 5.1 as the TV decodes it as 2 channel. I have HDMI out and SP/DIF Analog Coax out on my Asus E-450 powered htpc. I would love to run both cables and switch to SP/DIF when i want to watch a movie in 5.1....
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-04-2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnztln View Post

I notice in XBMC you can select different audio out (analog or HDMI etc) is that switching the audio in Windows as well? would that be similar?

I have kind of the same issue as the OP, right now i send audio HDMI out to the TV and then SP/DIF Optical from the TV down to the receiver....but of course that ruins 5.1 as the TV decodes it as 2 channel. I have HDMI out and SP/DIF Analog Coax out on my Asus E-450 powered htpc. I would love to run both cables and switch to SP/DIF when i want to watch a movie in 5.1....

Yeah should work. I run spdif to a DAC and run analog out to 2-channel. I switch between them in Windows depending on which I want at the time.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-07-2012, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Easy. I looked into this and solved this months ago.

1. WMC for all movies.
2. WMP for all audio.

WMP allows you to select your analog device as a completely different player than WMC (HDMI, for example).

So you can use WMP to play audio on zone 2 while watching full 1080p HD Audio on your HDTV.

Learning of WMP and the audio select is a huge plus and this is a great alternative.

Unortunately for me I cant limit my video to WMC AND AUDIO wmp. I am looking for more flexibility. I watch a lot of flash content in browsers, use spotify, Zune pass,WMC, Pandora etc. It looks like a hardware workaround may be the only way.


HDMI to TV--S/pdif to Onkyo Receiver --Stereo to Zone 2, headphones, local media center closet display with speakers.
or
HDMI to HDMI splitter--1 HDMI to TV--1 HDMI to Onkyo Receiver--Stereo to Zone 2, headphones, local media center closet display with speakers




Only downside I can see is losing Full HD audio codec support from HTPC. However I think it would be wise to try a HDMI splitter from the output and send one HDMI to the TV and one to the Receiver. When I turn on the receiver I'll turn down the TV audio.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-07-2012, 05:13 AM
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I'd be interested in how this works for you. I use Apple TV now for all music and you can dual out both HDMI and optical but I still have to use a D/A converter (which I had) for Zone 2 analog. But I also like the idea of getting around the HDMI pass thru issues you list.
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-07-2012, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Yeah should work. I run spdif to a DAC and run analog out to 2-channel. I switch between them in Windows depending on which I want at the time.

That is something i will give a shot. Ideally i only want to run the receiver when i am actually watching one of my movies out of XBMC, but most often it will be just TV speakers using WMC. so dual out allows that to happen, but i will switch in XBMC if that is an option.

I hate to add another box into the mix, but that appliance might be OK just to keep on one output and take advantage of it splitting the audio into 2 and keeping one HDMI still going to the TV and then run SP/DIF out the back of it to the receiver. this whole thing needs to be wife-proof, and i think switching the audio source in Windows is a recipe for "The TV speakers are broken, there's no sound" kind of complaint that i want to avoid.

I will play with a few things and get back to this thread with whatever i discover.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-07-2012, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnztln View Post

That is something i will give a shot. Ideally i only want to run the receiver when i am actually watching one of my movies out of XBMC, but most often it will be just TV speakers using WMC. so dual out allows that to happen, but i will switch in XBMC if that is an option.

I hate to add another box into the mix, but that appliance might be OK just to keep on one output and take advantage of it splitting the audio into 2 and keeping one HDMI still going to the TV and then run SP/DIF out the back of it to the receiver. this whole thing needs to be wife-proof, and i think switching the audio source in Windows is a recipe for "The TV speakers are broken, there's no sound" kind of complaint that i want to avoid.

I will play with a few things and get back to this thread with whatever i discover.

Great, we will forge ahead!

"The TV speakers are broken, there's no sound"
This is one of my focuses too. Even mapping a hotkey to a single button on the remote doesnt seem bulletproof enough. My next dilemma is how to keep my blu ray in the mix because I only have a single 50' HDMI run to my TV and my receiver has been my switch. I don't want to add another or worry with switching TV inputs.

Basically I am wanting the system to behave the same but eliminate the receiver on all the time. TV speakers 75% of the time and when I want things to go BOOM BOOM, I kick in the receiver for the juice. All while adding the analog into my zone 2, and my media center closets display.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-07-2012, 04:19 PM
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Yep having to program the Universal remote macro to trip the switch in this unit would be required to make it wife proof. I do always use the AVR for sound because the sound on my 63" plasma just doesn't satisfy.

I was having more issues with HDMI handshake etc. until recently when my AVRs firmware was updated last week. Before this I had to sometimes switch on an off the receiver to get the correct aspect ratio.... But if this latest firmware did indeed fix this issue as it seems now, it may not be required for me. But if I had seen this unit earlier or understood that it pulled the audio out I probably would have gone for it for Zone 2 analog. But I ditched using the HTPC for music in favor or Apple TV which pulls my music library from my Mac and the AppleTV outputs both HDMI and optical. I had a D/A converter and run Apple TV from the optical to D/A converter to analog in for Zone 2 music, which is all I need in Zone 2.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 04:16 AM
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Here is another low cost solution, which works with CDs and DVDs (i.e., up to 48kHz sample rate): the Behringer UCA-202 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx)

This is a USB soundcard (inputs and outputs), with 3 simultaneous stereo outputs: 2xRCAs, 1 3.5mm headphone jack (with volume potentiometer), 1 toslink.

Sound is pretty good for the price and it works very well with most OSs. It is also a good solution to record line level audio.
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-18-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eiffel View Post

Here is another low cost solution, which works with CDs and DVDs (i.e., up to 48kHz sample rate): the Behringer UCA-202 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx)

This is a USB soundcard (inputs and outputs), with 3 simultaneous stereo outputs: 2xRCAs, 1 3.5mm headphone jack (with volume potentiometer), 1 toslink.

Sound is pretty good for the price and it works very well with most OSs. It is also a good solution to record line level audio.

Wow another great hardware alternative. Thanks for the info. Does your HDMI on the motherboard still output sound? Or do you have to manually select in playback devices the USB soundcard?
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-18-2012, 07:00 AM
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JRiver Media Center will handle as many audio devices as you have installed. You could read about "Zones" on our wiki.

Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center

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post #13 of 17 Old 02-19-2012, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetfxr27 View Post

Wow another great hardware alternative. Thanks for the info. Does your HDMI on the motherboard still output sound? Or do you have to manually select in playback devices the USB soundcard?

You do have to select the USB souncard in playback devices.

This being said, there is a very helpful trick: if the USB soundcard is set to be the default sound device and is not present, Windows7 will use the previous default sound device. As my USB soundcard is connected to a powered hub on my monitor, sound goes automatically to my projector/sound system when I'm not using the monitor, which is perfect for me.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-06-2012, 09:14 PM
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Anyone know if this usb device allowed both an hdmi our and usb line out to work simultaneously??
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-07-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jriver View Post

JRiver Media Center will handle as many audio devices as you have installed. You could read about "Zones" on our wiki.

I would definitely check out J River Media Center. One of the best kept secrets for an HTPC. They hands down have the best audio processing and nobody comes close to their functionality or features on the audio side. They have been spending a lot raising the bar on the video side with the same approach as they do with audio.

I currently have one room that is a zone in Media Center using analog and another zone that is digital. I can create separate play lists for each one or I can have them play the same playlist and control the delay so that the audio syncs perfectly when moving from room to room.

Play with it. Very good and free demo.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-09-2012, 06:39 AM
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Can someone please tell me if the PID5557 (or other device?) has the solution that I m looking for? I ll try to explain:

I see that there a quite some people with HTPC knowledge in this topic and I have a question that is a little off-topic but also is close to the things that are discussed here:

Let me try to explain:

I own a D-Box system which is simply said a moving seating during movies (www.d-box.com). The seating get s it signal from a D-Box decoder (D-Box MCI-2P). This (pc-based) D-Box decoder needs to receive the ORIGINAL core dts/dd signal via optical spdif input in order to work. One can use a simple SPDIF audio card (like the Creative X-Fi surround 5.1 usb). You can connect the spdif output of the audio card to the spdif input of the d-box decoder and from the d-box decoder spdif output you connect the decoder to your avr. Simple as that eh? Of course this way you cannot enjoy dts-ma/true-hd audio.

Over the past years D-Box users have looked for a HTPC solution to be able to use d-box and high-res audio at the same time. Some cable extractors where tried but it never worked (it did not work because the condition of the D-Box decoder is that it needs to receive the core UNALTERED dd/dts signal and with all these extension cables something went wrong that just didn t make it work).

So in all these years d-box users who wanted to have d-box and high res. audio simultanuously needed to use non pc player like the Dune and Oppo player which support audio over HDMI and SPDIF at the same time.

d-box always said they where working a a HDMI decoder but it never came......

But a few month ago there was a breakthrough and a d-box user on the AVS forum managed to get it working on a HTPC! He created his own (altered) version of Media Player Classic Home Cinema and LAV filters http://htpcfordbox.over-blog.com/art...-89040282.html). With his software d-box users can now enjoy d-box and high res. audio with a htpc. However, there are some downsides:

- First of all, d-box users are limited and can only use MPC-HC and LAV filters. The biggest downside of MPC-HC is that it does not support 3D so a 3D+d-box+high res. audio is not possible.
- Next there is the author who does not update the software anymore while there has been quite a few new versions of MPC-HC and LAV filters with important fixes. I do not have acces to the source codes.

So what I m looking for is:
Dual Audio Output simultanously via HDMI and SPDIF via 2 audio devices at the same time. More specific: DTS-MA/True-HD via HDMI out of videocard and at the same time the core DTS/DD signal via a second audio card (eg. Soundblaster X-Fi surround 5.1) through SPDIF optical out.
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-03-2014, 01:28 PM
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Any news on this front? I haven't had much luck finding a good software solution - they would be OK if I could adjust the audio lag to sync the sound, but otherwise its too far off. The hardware solutions (like the monoprice one) seem pretty good for the price..does anyone know if they work flawlessly and which is best?

Last edited by Crotia; 08-03-2014 at 01:34 PM.
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