HTPC + Saphire Radeon HD 5450 = nothing but 2 channel PCM to receiver, HELP! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Here goes nothing. Sorry in advance for the long post.

I currently have a HTPC connected via HDMI but i'm only getting 2 channel PCM to my receiver. It appears that windows fully believes that I have at least 5.1 but its not getting to the receiver that way. Here is my setup thus far.

HTPC:
AMD 5200 64x dual core chip
MSI 7390 mobo (has on board realtek 5.1 sound)
2 GB of RAM
Saphire ATI Radeon 5450
Trying to mainly use WMC as my main content player (I have a wife that doesnt care for technology and thus it needs to be as easy as netflix to use)

I've downloaded and installed all types of codec packages, media players, drivers, EDID information, etc. All Video formats are working fine .. everything plays (all types of files) as it should. I just cant get 5.1 to my receiver.


TV:
Samsung 50 inch Plasma (HP-S5053)

Receiver:
Yamaha 5.1 (HTR 6130) capable of formats i'm trying to send to it.


I have the HTPC, my comcast cable box, PS3, and an XBOX 360 all connected to an HDMI 4 port switcher that i got from monoprice. The switcher connects to my DVD in slot in the receiver. The receiver then feeds the TV.

The switcher has a dual purpose. First it allows everything to be connected at once with minimal effort, but it also allows me to pass 5.1 from all the devices to the receiver. This particular receiver has HDMI pass-through which i'm sure many of you are familiar with. By using this switcher i'm able to have all the devices feed all the audio via HDMI to the switcher and then i have a digi coax going from the switcher to the receiver allowing it to process the extra audio information and pass it to the speakers.


As a caveat here. All of my other devices have NO issues passing full 5.1 through the switcher to the receiver. All three have been hooked up for months this way and all three (xbox, cable, ps3) have been tested with 5.1 content and they sound great.


I've read all types of posts and followed all types of instructions and i've completely wiped all traces of audio and video drivers and software multiple times.

I've explored the EDID thing, but i've read that 1) Yamaha receivers dont really have that issue and 2) if i have all the supported formats under the supported formats tab in audio properties then its NOT an EDID issue. (pic attached)



notice this is with the Realtek ATI drivers installed. I'm pretty sure i get the same information if i just have the AMD ATI drivers installed ... cant remember completely ... i'd have to double check that.

Ive followed guides that had me download the shark007 codecs, just ffshadow (or whatever) codecs along with media player classic cinema edition .. all kinds of stuff.

I need some help here. I'm sure i've left out information that is needed so please let me know if there is anything else i can provide (screenshots, programs/codecs installed, etc)

Thanks in advance


more information to hopefully help someone understand whats going on ..

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post #2 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 09:02 AM
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Did you set the number of speakers you have to 5.1/7.1? Click that 'Configure' button that's in the bottom left picture you posted (in the window titled 'Sound'). I think that's where you set it.
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post #3 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherarden View Post

By using this switcher i'm able to have all the devices feed all the audio via HDMI to the switcher and then i have a digi coax going from the switcher to the receiver allowing it to process the extra audio information and pass it to the speakers.

The digi coax cannot carry the HD audio to the receiver for processing. It must be HDMI.
EDIT: I just researched your receiver - It doesnt look like it can decode HD audio.

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post #4 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post

The digi coax cannot carry the HD audio to the receiver for processing. It must be HDMI.

I'm sorry .. i dont mean HD audio such as True HD or whatever. I'm really only concerned with dolby digital 5.1. the receiver shows dolby digital and all 5 speakers are "lit" up on the receiver.




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Originally Posted by mslide View Post

Did you set the number of speakers you have to 5.1/7.1? Click that 'Configure' button that's in the bottom left picture you posted (in the window titled 'Sound'). I think that's where you set it.

Yes. I have options for stereo, 5.1 and 7.1.

I have set 5.1 (also tried 7.1 and disabled the side set)
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 09:46 AM
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You SHOULD be configured for 2-ch stereo in order to pass DD and/or DTS. Also, your software that is playing the source must be set for PASSTHROUGH or SPDIF so it will not attempt to decode it.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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so i have to set it to stereo?

what about windows media center? do i set it up for 2 channel as well?

if thats the case what combination of codecs / 3rd party players should i use?

how does the 2 channel get turned into DD 5.1? do the codecs do that? will the receiver show DD 5.1?
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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is it because if i set windows up to do 5.1 then it tries to process audio instead of just passing it off to the receiver?
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 10:00 AM
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YES to your last point! As long as you set your PC to use HDMI as your default audio, then any applications you have set to "default" audio renderer will be treated the same... just be sure if it's not working right to see you have it set for passthrough.

PERSONALLY I use a tiny app called SPDIFer and have it set to pass DTS & DD... try that IF what you have doesn't do right, and YES, DD will light up on your AVR.
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

YES to your last point! As long as you set your PC to use HDMI as your default audio, then any applications you have set to "default" audio renderer will be treated the same... just be sure if it's not working right to see you have it set for passthrough.

make sure i have what set for passthrough? the individual application i'm using for video playback?

i'm only using WMC ... do i set it up as stereo as well?

should i use an external play that specifically has the "passthrough" option? I've seen that in the MPC settings i believe ... i'd like to stay totally within WMC if i can though.
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post #10 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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ah .. you ninja'd me with the second part of you post ..

i'll check out spdif'r and see where that gets me.
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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i just looked up spdifer ...

i'm not using the spdif connection on my mobo .. infact i have the the onboard sound disabled in BIOS ... from what i can tell that app is just for shoving data to the spdif connection.

i get system sounds and all that currently through my HDMI connection (its the only connection out from the PC) ... its all in PCM.
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherarden View Post

is it because if i set windows up to do 5.1 then it tries to process audio instead of just passing it off to the receiver?

During configuration, do you get all 6 speakers working when you run the sound test? Are you running exclusive mode in the advanced tab?
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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all speakers dont work. only the 2 front channels during the "test" from the audio device properties ..

generally the left speaker doesnt fire the first time, because when it sounds off you can see the receiver's PCM light, light up. so it only plays the right channel, then if i do it again really quick i get both (i assume because it triggered the receiver to PCM mode which allows it to get both channels from the start)

the strange part is that the test option under the speaker setup in WMC it sounds like it gets most of the speakers (however i think its just the fake surround from 2 channel) .. the sub doesnt sound off from what i can tell though.

advanced tab pic:

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post #14 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 11:07 AM
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What happens if you connect the HTPC direct to the AVR via HDMI? Perhaps the comcast box is messing up the audio.
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 11:32 AM
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I have this exact same problem except instead of an HDMI switch, I'm passing through my Sony Bravia TV. I'm passing XBOX 360, Blu-ray player, DirecTV HD-DVR as well as the HTPC to the TV via HDMI. Then I use an optical cable from the TV's audio out to an Onkyo Receiver (receiver only has HDMI passthrough).

I get DD 5.1 from all sources except the HTPC, which defaults to 2 channel PCM. I've only had this HTPC up & running a couple months but haven't figured this out yet.
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 11:34 AM
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You will NOT get 5.1 channels to "test" on the AVR and this is the correct setup (odd as it may seem). Put a DVD into the PC, let Windows Media Center play it... go into the audio setup of the DVD and assure it has a 5.1 sound track then jump into the main movie and what does your AVR indicate?
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.zombie View Post

I have this exact same problem except instead of an HDMI switch, I'm passing through my Sony Bravia TV. I'm passing XBOX 360, Blu-ray player, DirecTV HD-DVR as well as the HTPC to the TV via HDMI. Then I use an optical cable from the TV's audio out to an Onkyo Receiver (receiver only has HDMI passthrough).

I get DD 5.1 from all sources except the HTPC, which defaults to 2 channel PCM. I've only had this HTPC up & running a couple months but haven't figured this out yet.

And you will not because a TV will not pass DD and/or DTS out its optical output due to HDCP issues. I'm SHOCKED to hear you say the Sony TV is passing DD & DTS for sources other than the PC! It was my understanding it was there to pass the optical digital audio from the TVs internal tuner to an external AVR to enjoy DD audio while watching the TVs tuner. As you see, these issues are not the samy bacause of HDCP in the Sony.

I would agree to "test" connecting your PC directly to the AVR thus bypassing the HDMI switcher... just as a test. Oh, and you're right about when you first play a test tone the Left channel isn't there - it's because the AVR is switching modes (internally) to decode the audio stream... this is why I suspect you're already configured to hear DD but you haven't played a DVD to demonstrate this, yet.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

And you will not because a TV will not pass DD and/or DTS out its optical output...

2010 & up model Sony Bravia TVs will pass through DD, as mine does for those other sources. It does not, however, pass through DTS. I use a separate input on the receiver when I need DTS.

So it seems like the exact same problem to me: an AV device capable of passing thru DD but isn't doing it for a PC, while doing it for other devices. At any rate, I just want to try whatever solution ends up working for him. Thanks for any suggestions.
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

You will NOT get 5.1 channels to "test" on the AVR and this is the correct setup (odd as it may seem). Put a DVD into the PC, let Windows Media Center play it... go into the audio setup of the DVD and assure it has a 5.1 sound track then jump into the main movie and what does your AVR indicate?


I dont have a DVD player hooked up. Just playing files via WMC ... i know that the files i have include a 5.1 track though. I even have a dolby digital test file that i've played to death to no avail ..

when i get home i'll test it out from a known good file via WMC now that ive changed it to 2 channel in windows.

Do i need to install any other codecs or anything in order to get 5.1 to go through WMC?
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.zombie View Post

2010 & up model Sony Bravia TVs will pass through DD, as mine does for those other sources. It does not, however, pass through DTS. I use a separate input on the receiver when I need DTS.

So it seems like the exact same problem to me: an AV device capable of passing thru DD but isn't doing it for a PC, while doing it for other devices. At any rate, I just want to try whatever solution ends up working for him. Thanks for any suggestions.

I found a Sony Bravia KDL-40/46/52XBR4 and XBR5 manual that states this about the Optical Output: "Dolby Digital Audio signal from HDMI input will be output as PCM." All I know is a typical steup will route the HDMI to a AVR and then pass the video onto the display.
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

All I know is a typical steup will route the HDMI to a AVR and then pass the video onto the display.

I wish I had that luxury, but like I said my receiver only does HDMI passthrough (and only 2 of those). So rather than have to switch inputs on both the TV & receiver every time, I'm passing it all through the TV until I can upgrade to a full-HD capable receiver.

Also, this 200-page thread here is dedicated to the EX 500/501 Sony model TV that I have, and you'll see the DD passthrough topic covered over & over again. It it supported by this model TV.

Sorry for further hijacking the thread, OP.
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-06-2012, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

You SHOULD be configured for 2-ch stereo in order to pass DD and/or DTS. Also, your software that is playing the source must be set for PASSTHROUGH or SPDIF so it will not attempt to decode it.


this worked.

i owe you a beer man ... if youre ever in nashville let me know haha ...

seems so counter intuitive at first , but damn if it didnt work ...

thanks again!
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-07-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherarden View Post

this worked.

i owe you a beer man ... if youre ever in nashville let me know haha ...

seems so counter intuitive at first , but damn if it didnt work ...

thanks again!

Would you mind outlining exactly what it was you changed? My PC appears configured for stereo, but I don't see any options in WMC (or the other apps I use like VLC or XBMC) that mention PASSTHROUGH or SPDIF. Thanks for the info.
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post #24 of 24 Old 02-07-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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the only thing i did was select "stereo" from the windows speaker configuration under the properties pane for my audio device.

Nothing else.

if you are stuck i would advise to uninstall all drivers for your video card and or onboard sound, remove the devices from device manager, reboot and reinstall only what you know you need (ie drivers).

Then ensure you select stereo under windows options. Then test with something you know is 5.1 (you can find many test videos online).

i have my onboard Realtek device disabled. FYI.
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