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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! I recently finished my basement and made it into a theatre room with projector. I am using my girlfriends MSI laptop for my HTPC. I have the video files stored on my desktop which I just access over the network. The laptop has HDMI out and a 3.5mm optical spdif port (shared with headphone port). I have the hdmi hooked to my projector so everything is working great there.


Yesterday, my 3.5mm to toslink optical cable arrived. i went to hook it up and this is where the fun began. First off, the most current realtek hd audio drivers supposedly auto detect the type of cable. Whether it is headphones or toslink, the port is supposed to react accordingly. It didnt. I would plug in the cable and it would act like it was just another analog cable. The digital would not highlight and the sound still came through the laptop speakers. It did detect the cable though, just as analog. I dug and dug and dug and found no way to enable the optical spdif in the sound properties or through the soundman app thing.


I tried setting media player to output through spdif. No change, it just keeps playing through the laptop speakers.


I tried using ac3 filter. AC3 filter showed activity but I couldnt get anything on the receiver. Also whenever I hit the option to use spdif in ac3 filter, the movie just hangs. It will not play.


I also downloaded spdifer to try that route and got the same result. When ac3 bypass or whatever is on, the movies just hang.


So, thinking this was a driver problem. I busted my behind to find an old Realtek HD Audio driver. I was able to find one from 2006. With this driver, when I plug in the cable it prompts for the cable type. I selected spdif and now am getting red light through the cable at least! WOOT! So I plugged it into my receiver and i do have sound now! YAHOO! However, it is definately not dolby digital or 5.1. My receiver does not show the dolby digital indications and it is only playing through my center and maybe my front speakers. It is also still playing the sound on the laptop speakers.


So then, I start messing with ffdshow audio, ac3 filter, and spdifer. Now on ac3 filter I see no activity at all, though i can hear it on my receiver/surround. Within ac3 and spdifer, if I check to bypass ac3 to spdif or whatever, i get the same result, movies just hang and wont play at all.


So basically, Im going to mess with it when I get home from work today. I am a computer tech so I sort of know what Im doing. Any tips on to how I should set this up? What am i missing here?



Thanks in advance for any help guys!
 

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AFAIK, laptops didn't come with Optical connection. The headphone/SPDIF connection would be a Co-Axial, at least that's what I have always seen.

Could you post an image of the port? According to what you mention, the 3.5mm should convert automatically to Optical signal, right?

Have you tried keeping it electrical to see if it works; 3.5mm=>RCA (Co-axial)?

Co-axial will give you the same result as an optical (for the most part).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is definately optical. Puts out the red light and everything. It also outputs sound via the optical cable. One end looks like a normal 3.5mm plug but it has a little hole for the light and the other end is a normal toslink that goes into the receiver. I was running 3.5mm to rca stereo and that worked fine but was only 2 channel.


Its a nromal 3.5mm headphone port that doubles as an optical spdif output as well. Sounds crazy, I know. I had never heard of it until recently and found out its actually pretty common on newer laptops. If you look down the port you can even see the LED in the port!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent /forum/post/18209706


AFAIK, laptops didn't come with Optical connection. The headphone/SPDIF connection would be a Co-Axial, at least that's what I have always seen.

Could you post an image of the port? According to what you mention, the 3.5mm should convert automatically to Optical signal, right?

Have you tried keeping it electrical to see if it works; 3.5mm=>RCA (Co-axial)?

Co-axial will give you the same result as an optical (for the most part).

No, I've seen this before. The Asus eeeBox's have the same thing. They give you and adapter plug that goes into the jack and allows you to connect the Optical cable. It's supposed to auto sense and work on it's own. My eeeBox has one one and it worked. But I didn't buy it separately - it came with the machine.


I see 4 possibilities:
  1. the adapter plug is bad/wrong. Is it possible you bought the wrong one, or a different brand/make that is not compatible?
  2. the jack is broken? long shot, but maybe
  3. driver problem: did you make sure you got the latest/greatest driver package, or maybe if you did - are there known issues that you'd need to roll back to an earlier version?
  4. is there a BIOS setting which enables / disables the multi-function jack? like maybe the bios has a setting for analog, digital, or both?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno Crash /forum/post/18209792


No, I've seen this before. The Asus eeeBox's have the same thing. They give you and adapter plug that goes into the jack and allows you to connect the Optical cable. It's supposed to auto sense and work on it's own. My eeeBox has one one and it worked. But I didn't buy it separately - it came with the machine.


I see 4 possibilities:
  1. the adapter plug is bad/wrong. Is it possible you bought the wrong one, or a different brand/make that is not compatible?
  2. the jack is broken? long shot, but maybe
  3. driver problem: did you make sure you got the latest/greatest driver package, or maybe if you did - are there known issues that you'd need to roll back to an earlier version?
  4. is there a BIOS setting which enables / disables the multi-function jack? like maybe the bios has a setting for analog, digital, or both?


1: Negative. Only one type and it does show the red light through it.


2: No visible damage. Possible but VERY unlikely. Shows optical light and headphones work perfect.


3: HIGHLY LIKELY. Have tried everything from the newest realtek hd drivers to the oldest I could find. Newest one had no way to manually activate the spdif optical out. looked like it should be automatic but no light ever came out. With the old driver, when you plug in, you select spdif and then the cord is lit up.


4. Checked the BIOS. No options for sound output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, heres my next plan of attack. Blow away the klite codec pack, ac3 filter, spdifer, etc. Go back to newest driver. Then try to decode and output through ffdshow. Now, with this approach, there is no way to manually turn on the spdif so will ffdshow turn it on?


Meaning there is no light output from the cable with the newest driver. Thoughts?
 
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