I know I'm coming into this kinda late but...
Originally Posted by Anthony1
This is one area where consoles have a slight advantage. Shiz... The PS3 had lossless 7.1 back in 2006.
PS3 is capable
of supporting 7.1 surround but it is entirely up to the game developer to support it. If you are always getting 7.1 surround from games, then you probably have virtual surround or matrixing enabled on your receiver. Some games support discrete 7.1 and many are just 5.1; it depends on how thorough the programmers are at implementing the audio engine in their game and also depends on the audio engine used in the game; for example, Batman Arkham Asylum on PS3 and PC supported 7.1 because it used FMOD for its audio engine but Arkham City only supported 5.1 because it used Wwise. Wwise only supports up to 5.1 channels.
Originally Posted by Ugly1
How do you enable directsound? Most of the new games I'm trying don't have a choice for "direct sound" or even how many speakers. Most just seem to do 5.1 and have a bunch of volume sliders in the sound config area. NFS and Diablo 3 both have a 7.1 selection you must make and when I do it works. I've recently tried Dishonored, Far Cry 3, Dungeon Siege 3, the Witcher 2 and Skyrim and couldn't get 7.1 out of any of those though they could do 5.1.
You don't enable DirectSound, it's a component built into older games.. As has been said, DirectSound is an outdated audio engine from the Windows XP era used in many older games; it's a component embedded into the game. Most games now days don't use DirectSound but use a number of audio engines such as FMOD, Wwise, XAudio2, and OpenAL. Dishonored only supports up to 5.1 because it uses Wwise and Wwise only supports up to 6 channels. Far Cry 3 and Skyrim use XAudio2 which supports 7.1 output but the programmers were perhaps incompetent and failed to implement the necessary programming to get those games to see an 8 channel speaker configuration. The Witcher 2 uses FMOD and I'm certain that this game supports 7.1 so I'm not sure why that's not working for you. Make sure that your speaker configuration in Windows is set to 7.1. I use analog output from my X-Fi card so I haven't tested these games through HDMI; maybe HDMI audio does something with Witcher 2 that prevents it from detecting 7.1 channels.
I'm slightly enthusiastic about PC gaming audio so I created a page with my findings of what audio API the game uses and what channel output it supports:
That stuff is mostly about gaming with direct analog connections from a sound card to a receiver. I think using HDMI automatically mixes bass to the subwoofer and I'm guessing you guys are probably using HDMI. When using analog connections, if the game isn't specifically programmed to route audio to LFE then you get no subwoofer usage unless you tell the sound card software to do bass redirection.