I recently upgraded from an Integra DTR-8.8 to an Onkyo TX-NR5010 audio receiver. Pretty excited about it. One thing I'm having a problem with, though, is getting the Onkyo to work with my Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC).
I really enjoyed the ease of use with the Integra. I permanently set my computer to mirror ("Duplicate Desktop")
the video image of the computer monitor to the receiver so I saw the same thing on both my PC and my HDTV - I never turned off this setting. And I had the Integra listed as the "default" audio device on my HTPC, so when I set the input selection of my Integra to its HDMI PC input, the computer would immediately send out any audio to be played via my receiver's speakers via my video card's HDMI output, rather than my computer's speakers. When I didn't have the Integra's input set to the PC's HDMI, the audio would go back to being sent through the computer's speakers. It was nice and easy - by selecting the input (PC's HDMI)
I wanted on the audio receiver's remote control, I immediately had audio and video all ready to go in my living room. And the receiver would immediately relinquish audio functions to the computer speakers when the PC input was not in use on the receiver.
But now after hooking up the TX-NR5010, the process is not nearly as easy.
* If I leave the screen resolution settings as "Duplicate Desktop" (PC monitor & audio receiver) and then turn off the audio receiver, the PC monitor inexplicably goes blank.
* When I change HDMI inputs on the NR5010 from "PC" to something else, its like the NR5010 tells Windows 7 to go into Extended Desktop mode for my PC's monitor - nothing is displayed on the computer monitor but my desktop (with no icons, etc). This renders my PC monitor essentially worthless.
* The audio does not default back to my computer's speakers when a different source is selected other than the PC input; I have to change this back and forth manually when I go from one monitor to the next. This means every time I want to watch something from my living room I must tell the computer to use the HDMI sound of the video card rather than the dedicated audio card I have. So basically two steps in the process - I must manually tell my HTPC to send the sound to the receiver when the HTPC's "PC" input is selected, and I must make sure I turn on "duplicate desktop" when ready to use the HTPC from my living room. And when I am done, I need to do those two steps over again to give back control to my computer room's monitor.
I figured there must be some setting in the Onkyo that makes it act so aggressive. So I tried using a HDMI switch as a go-between. It sounds good in theory: The NR5010 wants dominance - if it senses a HDMI cable connection it immediately tells Windows 7 how to behave - so I was hoping that connecting the HTPC to a switch and *then* connecting it to the receiver would make the NR5010 act more passive like the older receiver. (Note to receiver: when I want you, I'll switch to your HDMI input to tell you - stop hijacking my computer! When I switch to a different HDMI input, don't tell Windows 7 to freak out!)
I think my main frustration is that I don't even know if its Windows 7 that is treating the NR5010 differently than it did the other receiver, or if the NR5010 has some network architecture designed for better integration into a HTPC that actually is getting in the way instead. In other words, I'm not sure if I should shoot my audio receiver for misbehaving like an arrogant know-it-all prima donna that doesn't know how to share, or if I should yell at Windows 7 for not understanding what's going on.
As a side note, I'm not sure if it matters, but.... Regarding monitor numbering in Windows 7, the Onkyo receiver is monitor #2
and the computer monitor is monitor #3
. Does this have anything to do with the problem? Is windows deferring to the audio receiver because it has a lower number? Or are the numbers that windows assigns purely arbitrary? For what its worth, my video card is a AMD Radeon HD 7800. Catalyst Control Center v12.4.
I would appreciate it if someone could tell me which is more to blame: my new Onkyo receiver or Windows 7. Is there some setting on the NR5010 that I'm missing that would allow the receiver to back off? Right now it wants to be involved with everything I'm doing with the computer, whereas I just want it to shut up until I'm ready to use it.... I have all the latest drivers.
Any ideas on making this one-step seamless again? Thanks in advance.