Pioneer VSX 930 - ARC 5.1 Question - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-24-2017, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Pioneer VSX 930 - ARC 5.1 Question

Hey, just picked up a VSX 930 yesterday at a fair price second hand off a guy who previously sold me some speakers and a subwoofer; originally getting my 5.1 (though I might move to atmos with this receiver, who knows) anyway, after finally getting everything set up, which was a whole lot more complicated than the plug and play nature of my previous VSX 516K.
I tried setting up the ARC, hearing it would only do 2.0/2.1 audio I didn't assume much and also set up an optical cable. Using the TV's own settings (LG smart TV) I can get pretty awesome true 5.1 surround sound through the ARC HDMI cable. It's been tried on a few movies (streamed from my PC) and the receiver instantly defaults to Dolby Digital as well as being able to run true 5.1 through ARC using Netflix; which again is built into the TV.


However when it comes to my PC (about 8 metres of high speed, 4k HDMI cable from my TV; although I still sometimes get the odd picture glitch; though I am fairly sure this is a windows error and not a hardware issue) I only get two channel support. However I'm not sure this is a driver issue, or a hardware limitation of the TV not allowing ARC pass-through, but giving ARC with the TV's own features. I've heard conflicting reports on the subject, some saying Dolby Licencing won't allow it and others saying it's a driver issue. People did have screenshots of their sound menu asking how to get 5.1, there were replies in these threads to download drivers which I can now only find from somewhat dodgy sites, I did download and install one legit driver, I'm still stuck with 2.0; however the people who fixed the problem had their own screenshots showing an option to change between 2.0 audio and 5.1 audio.

I'm inclined to believe it is at least partly a driver issue (though the TV may still not support 5.1 passthrough via ARC) however in the sound menu, when selecting my HDMI sound output, it says it's limited to two channels. However I've seen screenshots of people also using similar (older) AMD graphics cards posting screenshots of the ability to use 5.1 audio too via the HDMI cable. They swore it was a driver issue, though never said if it's connected to an AVR then to their TV (I believe they were using 4k too) or if it's connected to their TV then ARC'd through to their AVR.

It leaves me with three (well four, if it is driver related and not TV related) options. I'm inclined to go with the cheapest since I can stream and this would only really be used for 5.1 gaming.
1) Get a long 8-10m optical cable and hope it works, the PC supports optical out and I can choose which sound output to use. This would probably be cheapest.
2) Get another (eBay expensive, about £10) 1m 4k HDMI cable and run the PC through my AVR. Though I don't know if that will give me access to 5.1
3) The most expensive; use old, short optical cable to attach to an optical to an optical - digital coaxial converter then run digital coax cable into the AVR. This would only be considered if the optical cable wouldn't work. There is no coax output on the PC, only optical TOSlink.

Some pertinent information:

The TV is an LG 49UG668V.
The graphics card outputting sound is an AMD RX 480 8GB made/distributed by ASUS.
The AVR is a Pioneer VSX 930
My OS is Windows 7 X64
The optical output is "Realtek HD audio"

A bit of wisdom would be needed. I can answer any questions you need. All answers are welcome. Thanks in advance, I know this is a complicated question.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-26-2017, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Update
10m of optical cable arrived. It only does two channels unless I test DTS or Dolby Digital encoding and then it goes for the full five channels.
I've read I need to buy a specific sound card. They're really pushing this "buy more stuff" agenda.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-29-2017, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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A final update. I apologise for bumping the thread, however this post is in case anyone runs into the same problems as I did. I wish a 'no bump' button was available.

I bought 1m high speed high quality HDMI cable from eBay, I had bought 10m of it before and was quite impressed. They call their brand 'juicebitz' and make great HDMI cables, though they are a few orders of magnitude more expensive than the cheap, braided HDMI cables you can get that proclaim to support HDMI 2.0 and 4k, don't waste money on those if you want 4k streaming.

I swapped the decade old HDMI cable out for a the new one and connected the PC to the receiver. I tested to see if I could get the PC to display picture on the TV; it worked flawlessly. I opened the sound menu and instead of LG TV labelled as the sound device it changed to VSX-930. When I opened the "configure" menu (right click device in sound devices window, which can be accessed via the control panel) and you get the option to have stereo, quadraphonic, 5.1 and 7.1 instead of just stereo when it detected LG TV. The sound is broadcast to the AVR using PCM, rather than Dolby; however streaming videos to my TV from my PC (via media server) gives only Dolby Digital, I've heard PCM is better, however streaming to the TV seems to upscale and treat the images better than VLC does. I will however be able to get surround sound in games now, which is just what I wanted really.


The issue seems to be that the amp detects the TV as a 2 channel output and thus only allows stereo out when plugged into the TV, when plugged into the AVR more settings 'appear' for it. They should be greyed out so people don't buy expensive sound cards when their AVR can be as good as them, often better.

Note:
This may not work with other operating systems or newer or older windows (I use 7-x64) operating systems.

It may not work on other AVRs

There is a chance you could maybe hack around the limitation; however PCM passthrough via the TV and out to the amp via the ARC is very unlikely, probably impossible.

You need to select the sound out type via the 'sound' menu on your PC; which can be accessed via control panel.

Your graphics card may only support 2.1/2.0 audio via HDMI

Last edited by David Daivdson; 09-29-2017 at 09:16 PM.
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