Very confused about my htpc setup. Help appreciated. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-31-2014, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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My setup is the following.

 

gigabyte p-55a ud3 motherboard

realtech onboard sound Acl892

msi gtx 580 twin frorz II

receiver is a denon avr 591

 

The two connection options I've attempted are hdmi from my video card to my tv and toslink to the reciever. Or hdmi to the reciever from the video card as my video audio out.

 

My issue is that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get any true surround sound out of my receiver from my pc. I have tried both toslink and hdmi out. With toslink I can get PL II emulation across the board but that's it. No true 5.1 output from any applications/games that support it. I get true surround is from certain videos that have 5.1 hardcoded. I think. I'm in over my head here so I very likely am misinformed.

 

With hdmi using the GTX 580 all I get is multichannel in. I lose even the PL II emulation at that point. As far as I can tell the 580 is only outputting stereo. After extensive driver updates and searches through forums, spec sheets, and anywhere else I am thoroughly confused. If I understand correctly the 580 does not have the same audio capabilities via hdmi as other 500 and even 400 range cards and the realtech chip doesnt provide dts or dolby live which I would need to get 5.1 via toslink. So I think I need a soundcard or a video card at this point. Any education or corrections at this point would be vastly appreciated. I have become very aware during my research that I have no idea what I am doing.

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post #2 of 17 Old 02-01-2014, 06:49 AM
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Get the Diamond Multimedia 7.1 XS51 sound card.

MWAVE sells it for only $20.

In looking at your motherboard, however, it appears that it has 3.5 mm analog output jacks for 5.1 or 7.1, and you don't seem to have tried using those. Just get some 3.5mm to 2 RCA adapter cables (Monoprice #5606 or 5608 or equivalent) and run those outputs direct to the analog inputs of your receiver (each one of those colored jacks puts out the audio signals for two of the channels).

They are the solution to your problem. You probably don't need another sound card.

The standard color coding of those jacks, by the way, is:

GREEN= FRONT CHANNELS

BLACK= SURROUNDS

ORANGE= SUBWOOFER AND CENTER CHANNEL

GREY= SIDE CHANNELS
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I considered the rca option but unless I'm misunderstanding my receiver. It only has two channel audio input. http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-591-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B003H04Q8C

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post #4 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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As far as I can tell my receiver ( denon avr 591) does not support analog surround input via rca. Each rear channel simply consists of L and R rca inputs.

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post #5 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

As far as I can tell my receiver ( denon avr 591) does not support analog surround input via rca. Each rear channel simply consists of L and R rca inputs.

Hi arsyn1c,

I'm not familiar with your mobo, but if it has at least an i3 Intel microprocessor you are good to go via HDMI to your Denon 591.

Here's a good article for you, and if you read it carefully and follow it to the letter, you will be able to set up your system for true surround sound.

I have a Toshiba laptop with i5 Intel and based on the above article I could have successfully setup my system to play even true HD sound, like Dolby Digital True HD and DTS HD Master Audio.

See this pic of my Denon AVR-2310 showing "Toshiba" (my laptop), DTS-HD MSTR and all the input indicators lit on the left side of the Denon display showing the number of input channels together with the "Big Blue Light" on the right side showing HD audio input.



Report back please. smile.gif
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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So just prior to you posting the guide I attempted HDMI connect again. I had read a solution from a prior forum that suggested setting windows default sound settings to stereo. This did in fact allow me to prevent two channel stereo signals from being viewed by the receiver as multi channel sound. I am now able to set prologic II emulators for 2 channel sound, and the receiver is detecting Dolby digital signals as well. I looked over the guide you posted anyway, and this brings me to the unresolved part of my problem.

 

Nvidia hidef audio drivers supports the following formats according to my sound driver properties:

 

DTS Audio

Dolby Digital plus

Dolby digital

 

So I am still loosing out on my receivers Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio capabilities. Leading me again to the conclusion that my hardware is not capable of outputting those. I am in a better place than I was at time of OP though.

 

*Edit* Looking into my chipset it seems that the h55 is the first set to support what that guide talks about. I have the p55 which is the set prior. So I think my only options are to purchase a new soundcard. As my 580 gtx is far from obsolete.

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post #7 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

So just prior to you posting the guide I attempted HDMI connect again. I had read a solution from a prior forum that suggested setting windows default sound settings to stereo. This did in fact allow me to prevent two channel stereo signals from being viewed by the receiver as multi channel sound. I am now able to set prologic II emulators for 2 channel sound, and the receiver is detecting Dolby digital signals as well. I looked over the guide you posted anyway, and this brings me to the unresolved part of my problem.

Nvidia hidef audio drivers supports the following formats according to my sound driver properties:

DTS Audio
Dolby Digital plus
Dolby digital

So I am still loosing out on my receivers Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio capabilities. Leading me again to the conclusion that my hardware is not capable of outputting those. I am in a better place than I was at time of OP though.

First off, your Denon is definitely capable to decode Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio without a problem. Problem here seems to send such encoded signal to the AVR. Please note, Dolby ProLogic does not have a role here since it is a matrixing solution for 2 channels inputs to make them into 5.1 surround. But that's a different issue, so let's forget about it for the time being and concentrate on how you could sent a "bitstream" of Dolby or DTS from your PC to your AVR.

Is your microprocessor an Intel i3, at least? Try setting your windows default settings to multi-channel.

To be cont'd. smile.gif
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I looked into what your talking about and I think the issue isn't which processor I have but my chipset. I have an i7 870.

 

Here's my ninja edit.

 

Looking into my chipset it seems that the h55 is the first set to support what that guide talks about. I have the p55 which is the set prior. So I think my only options are to purchase a new soundcard. As my 580 gtx is far from obsolete.

 

So basically my thoughts are my current hardware isn't capable of sending such a signal. I changed the windows setting from 5.1 to stereo and back again. No effect. My AVR still recognizes stereo and Dolby digital correctly. dolby true hd and dts hd are recognized as multichannel audio.

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post #9 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

I looked into what your talking about and I think the issue isn't which processor I have but my chipset. I have an i7 870.

Here's my ninja edit.

Looking into my chipset it seems that the h55 is the first set to support what that guide talks about. I have the p55 which is the set prior. So I think my only options are to purchase a new soundcard. As my 580 gtx is far from obsolete.

So basically my thoughts are my current hardware isn't capable of sending such a signal. I changed the windows setting from 5.1 to stereo and back again. No effect. My AVR still recognizes stereo and Dolby digital correctly. dolby true hd and dts hd are recognized as multichannel audio.

Ooops, that's good news, you may not have to buy anything. If Denon is recognizing dolby true hd and dts hd as multichannel, that means your PC is decoding the signals and is sending them to the Denon in a form of PCM. Or in other words PC has broken down the "bitstream" to discrete channels (PCM) and the Denon has nothing more to do. This is the difference between "bitstream" (encoded) and PCM (decoded). Are the input indicators on the Denon's display all lit (as seen on my photo)? Hope my explanation is clear for you. smile.gif
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking the same thing. Thanks that confirmation is helpful. As far as the indicators go I have no idea. This model is a bit different. Many of the are lit :). My question would be if there would be any audio quality difference between the AVR doing the decoding or the PC?

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post #11 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

I was thinking the same thing. Thanks that confirmation is helpful. As far as the indicators go I have no idea. This model is a bit different. Many of the are lit smile.gif. My question would be if there would be any audio quality difference between the AVR doing the decoding or the PC?

There really can't be any difference, both are in the digital domain, so it doesn't matter who is doing the decoding. As a kind-a silly analogy, just imagine that you have to go through three room where at the end you must enter the last room with shoes off. As a final result it should not matter whether you took off your shoes in the first room or in the second. Once you enter the third room you are there without shoes. Capito? smile.gif

Enjoy your system! smile.gif
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Gotcha. Makes perfect sense. You have all been very helpful. Thank you for your time.

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post #13 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

Gotcha. Makes perfect sense. You have all been very helpful. Thank you for your time.

You're welcome. smile.gif
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

My setup is the following.

gigabyte p-55a ud3 motherboard
realtech onboard sound Acl892
msi gtx 580 twin frorz II
receiver is a denon avr 591

The two connection options I've attempted are hdmi from my video card to my tv and toslink to the reciever. Or hdmi to the reciever from the video card as my video audio out.

My issue is that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get any true surround sound out of my receiver from my pc. I have tried both toslink and hdmi out. With toslink I can get PL II emulation across the board but that's it. No true 5.1 output from any applications/games that support it. I get true surround is from certain videos that have 5.1 hardcoded. I think. I'm in over my head here so I very likely am misinformed.

With hdmi using the GTX 580 all I get is multichannel in. I lose even the PL II emulation at that point. As far as I can tell the 580 is only outputting stereo. After extensive driver updates and searches through forums, spec sheets, and anywhere else I am thoroughly confused. If I understand correctly the 580 does not have the same audio capabilities via hdmi as other 500 and even 400 range cards and the realtech chip doesnt provide dts or dolby live which I would need to get 5.1 via toslink. So I think I need a soundcard or a video card at this point. Any education or corrections at this point would be vastly appreciated. I have become very aware during my research that I have no idea what I am doing.

One approach for getting multichannel out of your PC that I have not read a lot about in this thread involves using a third party digital A/V player software package such as:

PowerDVD http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd-ultra/features_en_US.html?&r=1

WinDVD http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=prod4090071#tab3

etc., etc. - more listed here: http://dvd-player-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

and here: http://www.top5freeware.com/top-5-dvd-player-software-for-windows

Your PC may have come with a demo version of one or more of these products installed, and you are using it. It might be kinda brain dead compared to the pay-for versions.
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsyn1c View Post

I was thinking the same thing. Thanks that confirmation is helpful. As far as the indicators go I have no idea. This model is a bit different. Many of the are lit smile.gif. My question would be if there would be any audio quality difference between the AVR doing the decoding or the PC?

It is probable that any software player that features a branded, licensed decoder such as Dolby True HD is running code that Dolby provided. Dolby is very interested in their software having high and consistent quality, so the answer is that they are probably working hard to make SQ the same whether decoded in a hardware DVD player, the AVR, or the PC. If you use HDMI as your link between the PC and the AVR then the audio link is digital which is your best possible deal for consistency.
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It is probable that any software player that features a branded, licensed decoder such as Dolby True HD is running code that Dolby provided. Dolby is very interested in their software having high and consistent quality, so the answer is that they are probably working hard to make SQ the same whether decoded in a hardware DVD player, the AVR, or the PC. If you use HDMI as your link between the PC and the AVR then the audio link is digital which is your best possible deal for consistency.

With due respect Arny, couldn't dig out any added info the OP may use/uitilize compared to what we (OP and me) have discussed here already.
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-06-2014, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It is probable that any software player that features a branded, licensed decoder such as Dolby True HD is running code that Dolby provided. Dolby is very interested in their software having high and consistent quality, so the answer is that they are probably working hard to make SQ the same whether decoded in a hardware DVD player, the AVR, or the PC. If you use HDMI as your link between the PC and the AVR then the audio link is digital which is your best possible deal for consistency.

With due respect Arny, couldn't dig out any added info the OP may use/uitilize compared to what we (OP and me) have discussed here already.

Well, I reviewed the thread again, and still found no other mention of the A/V player software which is critical to exploiting Nvidia's multichannel decoders. I think that the OP's difficulties are centered on that element.
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