Media PC Won't Recognize Center Channel Speaker for 5.1 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-04-2017, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Media PC Won't Recognize Center Channel Speaker for 5.1

System Specs

Receiver:
Onkyo TX-SR605
Media Server: Windows 7 64bit, 8 gigs of Ram, GeForce GTX 970, Unsure of Motherboard
Connection: Media Server is connected to my Onkyo TX-SR605 via an HDMI cable for video & an optical cable for audio
Audio Driver: Currently using Realtek Audio Driver R2.82 (64 bit version) downloaded from this Website: "http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloadsview.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=14&PFid=24&Level= 4&Conn=3&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false"

Problem

My media server PC that I use to play movies in my living room is not properly utilizing my 5.1 speaker system. The setup is that the media server is connected to my Onkyo TX-SR605 via optical cable for audio & HDMI for video (via my GTX 970). My receiver is then hooked up to 2 front speakers, a center speaker, and a subwoofer (I have my 2 back speakers disabled currently). I believe my PC is set up to use Dolby 5.1 (shown in the pictures below), yet it will not utilize the center channel speaker at all. All sound comes through my 2 front speakers & my subwoofer. When I open youtube videos that claim to test your center speaker, the sound simply comes out of my left and right speakers. I know that my center speaker works, because my PS4 uses it correctly, and if I use the receiver's built in sound test, the speaker plays just fine. Interestingly, if I do set my computer to Stereo Sound, it will utilize the left, right, and center speakers-- however it will predominately use the center speaker for everything (not just dialogue), and the L&R speakers will be much quieter.


When going to my sound control panel I see 3 possible Playback devices. "TX-SR605-0", "Realtek Digital Output", and "Realtek Digital Output(Optical)". My computer defaults to the optical one, and calls it the "default device". I'm not sure what the differences between the three are. I do know that my computer is utilizing the one with optical in the name, because if I make either of the other ones my default device, I get no sound. Interestingly when I right click on the Realtek Optical Device there is no "Speaker Configuration" option, yet the TX-SR605-0 does have this option in it's right click menu. Additionally if I click on "test" from the right click menu of the TX-SR605-0 device, the little soundbar next to it will turn bright green 5 times, as if it was playing 5 different test tones, but no actual sound comes out of the speakers. The "test" option for Realtek Optical Device does work, except I only hear the test tones in my R&L speaker, and nothing else. I do see that the "TX-SR605-0" device is listed as being controlled by "NVIDIA High Definition Audio", while the "Realtek Digital Output(Optical)" is listed as being controlled by "Realtek High Definition Audio"






Looking at the general properties screen for both the "TX-SR605-0" & "Realtek Digital Output(Optical)" devices, again highlights that they have different controller information. The "TX-SR605-0" has an "NVIDIA High Definition Audio" controller, while the "Realtek Digital Output(Optical)" has a "Realtek High Definition Audio Controller". Perhaps this matters? Maybe if I could get the "TX-SR605-0" to have a Realtek controller, this would solve my issue?







Here are some additional tabs in the "Realtek Digital Output(Optical)" properties. Under advanced you can see that I've set it for Dolby 5.1 Sound. I know my receiver is recognizing the 5.1, because if I switch between 2.1 & Dolby 5.1 in this menu, I can see the red Dolby light on the receiver going on and off. As mentioned previously, in this menu, if I do set my computer to 2.1 Sound, it will utilize the left, right, and center speakers-- however it will predominately use the center speaker for everything (not just dialogue), and the L&R speakers will be much quieter. As shown below I also have an option for Dolby Prologic IIX. I have no idea what this is, and have kept it off for now.







Finally I've included a picture of my VLC settings to show that I have it set to play 5.1 sound.








What I've Tried

1. First I tried playing around in Realtek HD Audio Manager. It pretty much had the same options as the advanced properties tab of the "Realtek Digital Output(Optical)". It was correctly set to 5.1.

2. Next I tried updating my Realtek audio drivers to the ones I posted above. All this accomplished was me losing access to my Realteak HD audio manager, which is why there are no pictures from it included. I've googled, and apparently the audio manager disappearing is a common issue when updating drivers. It's a totally separate issue I am going to have to resolve, but hopefully after I resolve this one. Either way before I updated my drivers

3. I tried fooling around with some audio options in VLC, but realized I have no idea what I'm doing, and that likely isn't the answer, since it's a system levels issue.

4. I attempted playing around with 2.1 sound, which led me to see that my computer can use my center channel, just in a strange way, as I detailed above.

Last edited by Megasabin; 10-04-2017 at 12:21 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-04-2017, 02:20 AM
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It sounds like you have your onkyo set up correctly, as well as the computer drivers. On VLC under audio make sure you pick the spdif choice which is the optical cable. That should work. You may want to check the HTPC section of the forums, they may have more feedback for you.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-04-2017, 06:07 PM
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I would not be bothering with the optical connection if you have an HDMI outlet to your receiver.

But to use the hdmi connection, you may need to activate a setting for using digital sound in the software relating to your video card (through control panel if there isn't any icon for the video card in the system tray).

Windows has a bad habit of resetting the audio paths at times - I have had similar experiences. Not sure whether, even after enabling digital sound through the video software that you may still need to go back to control paned and sound setting to set the receiver as the default.
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Also, AFTER you have set up digital audio through your video software, you may still need to use the audio menu in VLC to set the audio device, but the HDMI option won't show in there until you have enabled digital audio through the video card software

Last edited by madaudio; 10-04-2017 at 06:16 PM.
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