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post #1 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
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HDMI sound output problem from HTPC

Hi guys,

I've spent considerable time searching forums and trying solutions, but still cannot get the sound via HDMI working. I'd be very grateful if someone could point me in the right direction.

Setup
Custom build based on Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3. Until recently sound was sent to 5.1 receiver via optical with no problem. That receiver just broke and was replaced by a Pioneer VSX-S510-s. At the same time, I reinstalled the OS (windows 7 ultimate). With the new receiver, I need to connect HTPC audio via HDMI.

The problem
No sound reaches the receiver. Audio however works fine.

The BIOS is set for S/PDIF to HDMI. In the Windows sound settings, I see the HDMI sound output and it's set to default. When playing a video or music, I can see the windows sound volume meter for HDMI moving up and down, as if Windows at least believes that HDMI sound is being played. From everything that I can see in Windows, it looks like all is correct and that it should be working. But, alas, no sound comes out of the receiver.

Naturally, I've tried changing cable. Even buying a high quality 1.4 cable. No luck.

The receiver works. Other devices, such as digital TV box, are connected and they work just fine. Latest AMD drivers have been installed and reinstalled. All imaginable HDMI settings in the control panel have been changed back and forth to try to get results. Nothing worked so far. Windows is happily pretending to be playing sound while the receiver refuses to acknowledge any.

In my desperation, my next step will probably be to buy a discrete graphics card to see if the onboard one is the problem. Another fresh reinstall perhaps, but since I just did that it seems unlikely.

And why not just use optical as I did before? The Pioneer seems utterly unable to show video from an HDMI source and audio from optical at the same time. Odd design feature. Still, it only has one optical in and I have another optical only source, so it's moot anyhow.

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm really stuck on this one...
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 08:39 AM
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Are you testing for sound just using the windows sounds menu? Have you actually tried playing some media files?

In windows Playback Devices, is the hdmi showing up and Pioneer showing up?

If you look at the Pioneer front panel or bring up osd on Pioneer what signal format is displayed about the input signal?

If you bypass the Pioneer and plug hdmi directly into a Tv, do you get sound?
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you testing for sound just using the windows sounds menu? Have you actually tried playing some media files?

I tried playing movies while testing. Various movie files with different sound encoding tried. Also tried using the Test button in Windows Control Panel Sound menu.

In windows Playback Devices, is the hdmi showing up and Pioneer showing up?

It shows Realtek HDMI Output, which is set to default. When playing a media file, the 'equalizer' next to this item moves up and down where the media file is supposedly generating sound. I do not see Pioneer there. Should I?

If you look at the Pioneer front panel or bring up osd on Pioneer what signal format is displayed about the input signal?

Sorry for being daft, but I'm unable to find an OSD/panel info about input signal. I'm reading the manual at the moment and still not finding it.

I do however notice that there is a small label on the panel saying HDMI, which usually is blinking. Generally speaking, blinking seems like a bad thing...

If you bypass the Pioneer and plug hdmi directly into a Tv, do you get sound?

No sound come from TV if connected directly.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 01:52 PM
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Do you have the latest BIOS?
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M4A...Desk_Download/
Some mention of hdmi audio there!


Have you installed the drivers for the ATI onboard GPU either from AMD directly or from motherboard mfr site? Don't rely on Windows drivers. I don't use ATI/AMD. Someone else here with ATI/AMD can instruct you better about verifying/testing driver audio settings. After you have drivers installed-

Quote:
Originally Posted by AStanton View Post
...No sound come from TV if connected directly.
Start with the basics. Make sure you can connect any other device like bluray player, game etc via hdmi to your Tv and get sound. After you know that works, try the PC. When trying the PC-
Power OFF the Tv.
Power OFF the PC.
Plug in the hdmi from PC to Tv.
Turn On the Tv and verify it's set to the proper hdmi input.
Power On the PC.
Test for audio.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdwn View Post
Do you have the latest BIOS?
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M4A...Desk_Download/
Some mention of hdmi audio there!


Have you installed the drivers for the ATI onboard GPU either from AMD directly or from motherboard mfr site? Don't rely on Windows drivers. I don't use ATI/AMD. Someone else here with ATI/AMD can instruct you better about verifying/testing driver audio settings. After you have drivers installed-


Start with the basics. Make sure you can connect any other device like bluray player, game etc via hdmi to your Tv and get sound. After you know that works, try the PC. When trying the PC-
Power OFF the Tv.
Power OFF the PC.
Plug in the hdmi from PC to Tv.
Turn On the Tv and verify it's set to the proper hdmi input.
Power On the PC.
Test for audio.
Yes, you're right. I should update the BIOS first thing. Haven't done that in ages.

I've got all the latest drivers from the ASUS site, so that should be ok. Actually, I'll verify with AMD's site just to be sure.

It's getting late over in my side of the pond. I'll continue my HDMI adventures tomorrow... Thanks for your help, Hammer!
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-21-2014, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AStanton View Post
Yes, you're right. I should update the BIOS first thing. Haven't done that in ages.
100% do this first, I changed to a Pioneer receiver a couple weeks ago and had the same problem. Updated the BIOS and it works perfectly now, I have an ASRock motherboard, but it may be the same problem that you are having.

Also, make sure that on your Pioneer there is a little H to the right of whatever input your HTPC is on. The H indicates that the audio is being sent via HDMI, if you have an A or anything else there, it's not going to work. The H should be the same size text as the source (so it would say DVD H if you are using HDMI with a DVD player).
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-22-2014, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I looked into the BIOS updates and found that the latest bios specifically addressed HDMI audio. Seeing that, I was so certain that this would fix my problem... but...

I still get no sound. Windows still seems to tell me that all is fine. While playing media files, I see the HDMI HD Audio equalizer moving up and down, but no sound is played.

I tried connecting to the TV speakers, and still no sound.

But, there's one change. On the Pioneer, there's a small text with the words HDMI which was previously blinking. Now it's solid. I suspect that this is the audio indicator that abc mentioned, but in slightly different visuals on my model.

So it now appears as if the Pioneer believes all is fine too. Looks like one piece of the puzzle is solved, but something else remains.

I'm close to going out to buy a new video card just to see if that works, but not sure if that's really the logical course of action yet.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-22-2014, 02:18 PM
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Do you still have that S/PDIF to HDMI setting in BIOS? I am not sure this is right, isn't this rediricting the Realtek S/PDIF output to the HDMI? I would try another setting that would not seem to engage the HDMI.
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-22-2014, 02:33 PM
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Right, in the BIOS-
Disable the onboard HD Audio Azalia
set SPDIF Type = HDMI
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-22-2014, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I just realized that there seem to be two ways to output audio to HDMI, neither of which are working for me yet.

First, the one I knew of before: HD Audio Azalia Device. If set to enable, I get to chose SPDIF out type. I changed that previously from SPDIF to HDMI.

Just now, I realized that under 890GX Configuration, there's an option for AMD 880 HD Audio, which was disabled.

First, I enabled both. That of course produced to HDMI audio devices in Windows. Didn't work on either. I went back and disabled Azalia Device, leaving me with one HDMI device in the Windows sound settings. Still no sound.

It would seem logical to leave the audio to the AMD card and simply kill off the Realtek. Then again, if I learnt anything so far about HDMI is that logic might not be as relevant as one might assume.

Thanks for your assistance, guys. I'm quite lost and really appreciate the help!
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-22-2014, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, one more quite critical piece of the puzzle:

After I've now updated the bios, disabled the Azalia Device and enabled the AMD 880 AMD sound, I can now get sound from the TV. If I connect the computer straight to the TV, via HDMI of course, I do get sound from internal TV speakers.

Ok, that should mean that the computer is on the up and and up. The Pioneer however, might need some serious talking to.
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post #12 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to wonder if my Pioneer is really working as it should...

So, quick situation update: I've managed to get sound out from my HTPC, by connecting it straight to the TV and using internal speakers. So the PC seems ok. But there's no sound from the Pioneer, despite the panel indicating that it's receiving HDMI audio.

I tried setting up the network, as you supposedly can update the Pioneer firmware that way. When I press the Network source button on the remote, the TV goes blank and complains about No Signal. There's a network cable in of course, which I know works. There's simply no way to bring up a network menu, as the manual speaks of.
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 10:39 AM
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Suggest you unplug the Pioneer POWER cord for three full minutes.
If you can't get network and/or update screens then do a Factory Reset and try again.
If you still can't then you can do an update via USB. Are you in UK? This is the UK update - http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/support/sof...l#download_375


Windows does not like hdmi hot swapping or input changing on AVR. It can cause funny things to happen with the audio/video drivers. It's best to-
Power off the PC.
Plug in all hdmi cables.
Turn on your Tv and AVR and set to the PC hdmi input.
Boot the PC.

Changing inputs on the AVR, powering off the AVR, powering off the Tv, all may result in various Windows audio/video problems. Best to power things off/on in specific order with pauses in between. If that doesn't work then get an hdmi box to put between the PC and the AVR that tricks Windows into thinking that the hdmi is always on. This can be a powered hdmi switch, Dr HDMI, HDMI Detective.

Last edited by hammerdwn; 07-23-2014 at 12:42 PM.
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in Switzerland, but the UK firmware seems to work just fine.

After doing a factory reset, I can now get to the previously unavailable Network Menu. Internet radio and all of that worked fine now. Sound still not coming out of course.

I updated the firmware, but no noticeable changes, and still no sound.

PC >> HDMI >> TV => produces sound.
Digital TV Box >> HDMI >> Pioneer => produces sound.
PC >> HDMI >> Pioneer => No sound.

Makes no sense to me. When I'm king, I'll make whoever came up with the HDMI standard walk around barefoot in a dark room full of lego on the floor.

I'll buy the Dr HDMI device before going postal though. This is getting so absurd that I'm looking around for the hidden camera...
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post #15 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 01:42 PM
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Dr. HDMI / HDMI Detective may not solve your NO AUDIO issue, it is used in situations where you have a working system but powering off the AVR/Tv or changing inputs on the AVR cause the PC to loose picture or sound or crashes the driver etc.

I don't have any ATI/AMD gpu experience but in Windows display properties and in Windows audio properties my AVR shows up as the display and audio device. Every AVR is different, some show up, some pass the info from the Tv/Display. What is showing as your display device and audio device? Pioneer AVR or Tv (whatever)?

Because of a bug in WMC, I set Windows audio to 2 channel stereo and then set all players (WMC, zoom player, mpc to 5.1, dolby, etc). So when using the windows control panel speaker test it just plays stereo R/L. But when playing an actual media file or WMC Tv the PC sends 5.1 and the AVR clicks into 5.1 mode.

Besides the HDMI light on the front of the AVR, can you bring up any signal format information (while playing media and not playing).
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post #16 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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The display device shows up as VXS-S10, but the audio device only says Digital Audio (HDMI), with no further details.

In the properties of the audio device, under Supported Formats, it states Max number of channels: 2. Driver is from MS, not AMD.

I'm attaching a few screenshots from the audio device settings.

I see your point about the Dr. HDMI device. Perhaps the next logical step, should I fail with the current config, would be to buy a discrete graphics card. A sub $100 passive cooler card should be enough for my movie needs, and if that would solve the problem I'd get one tomorrow...
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post #17 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 03:19 PM
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What is the screen resolution your PC is set to? I vaguely remember that AMD does not pass audio with other than standard resolutions (that is, other than 1080p or 720p).

Also, see if the AVR is listed as an adio device, and select it as the default one.

Also, check your AVR manual for the HDMI input settings (e.g. Pass-through, AVR audio, etc.) and/or change that. I had to change that on my Sony AVR, but do not remember to what.
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-23-2014, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AStanton View Post
The display device shows up as VXS-S10, but the audio device only says Digital Audio (HDMI), with no further details.

In the properties of the audio device, under Supported Formats, it states Max number of channels: 2. Driver is from MS, not AMD.

I'm attaching a few screenshots from the audio device settings.
Good that the display device lists the Pioneer.

Bad that the audio device does not. Under Controller it should say AMD/ATI or whatever NOT Microsoft. Under Encoder Formats there should be a whole list of DTS, Dolby, TrueHD, DTS HD... Yours is BLANK. Did you install ATI/AMD Catalyst drivers or??
http://support.amd.com/en-us/download

Last edited by hammerdwn; 07-23-2014 at 04:13 PM.
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-24-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Progress! I have sound. Only two channel it would seem, but a massive step forward.

First I uninstalled all Realtek audio drivers (they were already disabled), and uninstalled catalyst drivers. Then I reinstalled catalyst. Now the HDMI audio device in device manager is listed as AMD, not Microsoft. But, the sound device was gone from control panel.

After tearing a bit more of my already thin hair, I found some references to a RealTek ATI HDMI audio device driver that I should apparently have. http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/...&GetDown=false

Downloaded and installed, I now have an audio device listed as 'Realtek HDMI Output ATI HDMI Audio'. Using this, I now get sound to the Pioneer, but two channels.

I clicked the checkbox under the Custom tab 'Allow AC3/DTS/WMA output' and rebooted. Didn't seem to do that much. Supposedly the pioneer should show me on the front panel if it's getting DTS or other encoded signals, and it doesn't.

Hammer, you mentioned setting the applications to multi channel output. Could this be the final step? I failed to find such a setting in MPC. Mostly I'll be using Media Center, when I get everything operations.
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post #20 of 21 Old 07-24-2014, 05:43 PM
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In your windows audio properties hdmi supported formats under Encoder Formats there should be a whole list of DTS, Dolby, TrueHD, DTS HD. Are they showing up now?

I'm no expert on MPC, but in WMC you can run through the setup and it will let you select 5.1
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post #21 of 21 Old 07-25-2014, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Talking

Gentlemen. I am please to inform you that I have just accepted the formal and unconditional surrender of the Axis of Evil; the HTPC, the Receiver and the TV.

The final step was, in comparison, relatively easy. Installing the seemingly magical shark007 codecs resulted in full DD/DTS output.

So, for the benefit of the community, should others be stuck in similar insanity inducing situation as I was, I'll recap what happened and how it was solved. If not for Hammer, I would have attempted to throw money at the problem by replacing various components, which would have all failed.

1. In the bios, it was necessary to disable the Azalia HD Sound and enable the 880 HD sound, under chipset.
2. Bios needed to be updated as the last version specifically addressed HDMI sound.
3. Catalyst driver needed to be uninstalled and reinstalled AFTER the two steps above.
4. Realtek AMD HDMI device driver needed to be installed.
5. The Pioneer needed a firmware update, as some menus simply didn't show at all until that was done.
6. Shark007 codecs needed to be installed to get WMC to pass through DTS.

Thank you for your patient help, Hammer! It was clear to me all along that one way or another, a hammer will provide the ultimate solution. Perhaps that became increasingly clear to my equipment as well, contributing to their eventual capitulation.
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