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I use my main AVR's digital optical audio out as a feed for whole-house sound, having run fiber from my living room to a guest suite some 100 feet away. We like to entertain and have a common music feed throughout the house and even outside on the decks.

My new AVR added a huge complication: it will not output 2.0 PCM from the digital output. This is a new rub- all of my older, cheaper AVRs will do this.

The problem is, all of my MP3s are 2.0. And, like 99.99% of PC users, my PC does not have HDMI Bistream Audio output.

There is a great product called "AC3Filter" that will upsample your MP3s to 4.1/5.1 for output via SPDIF from your HTPC. The Denon recognizes this input as "Dolby Digital" and passes it via digital out, in the 4.1/5.1 format. The distant AVR has a perfect multichannel feed.

The problem is getting WMP to use AC3 all of the time.

If you rename an MP3 file with a non-media filename, WMP will ask you if it should try to play it. Say "yes" and it will play via the AC3Filter, and play the MP3 upsampled.

WMP will instinctively use AC3Filter for (DTS) WAV files.

But WMP will *not* use AC3Filter for a filename with a .MP3 extension, even if AC3Filter was installed "last." Also, WMP will *not* do as it says and use a ""priority" system, at least in Vista Home, as AC3's attempts to take priority are ignored.

WMP's internal MP3 decoder simply cannot be defeated. Even if you figure out how to get write access to the folde windows/system32, the built-in MP3 decoder is a DLL file, not an ACM one, so you can't even overwrite it with ac3filter.acm.

There is a solution. Download the free and slim "Media Player Classic" and associate it with MP3 play. It instinctively uses AC3Filter (I didn't understand or change any of its settings) and uses it on MP3s (and DTS WAVs).

So, download AC3Filter and MPC, and associate MPC with MP3s (and DTS WAVs if you like) Whole house multi-channel audio from any of your digital formats, with the added bonus you keep your MP3s as .MP3 files and thus available to your Squeezbox, etc.
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