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Old January 10, 2011, 11:28 AM
TimTheEnchanter's Avatar
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Default Surround audio problem?

This must have something to do with channels or audio configs in windows... but somehow i can't seem to be able to change anything... Seems like we cannot configure spdif output?

My HTPC has optical audio output to a Pioneer VSX-520-K receiver. I do not get surround sound with certain type of files : avi files, music files, and even certain dvds. Some dvd even mention 5.1 audio but do not deliver.

Any ideas on the problem?
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Old January 10, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Unless some sort of compression is added (dolby digital, DTS), SPDIF can not output more than 2 channels. Most DIVX movies & music have 2 channel soundtracks. Some soundcards can encode and compress the sound in to AC3 though.

I bet if you were to play an mkv w/ a DTS soundtrack would get 5.1 no problem.
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Old January 10, 2011, 11:57 AM
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I see... well what are my options? I do have a Auzentech X-Fi Forte i can swap on the HTPC. I also have HDMI output (which would force me to take away the old video card though...)
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Well music is suppose to be 2 channel so you would need to upscale it to 5.1. I know the Creative drivers that are used w/ the Forte can do this.
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:10 PM
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I've never found that with my optical out lowfat. I've used two different onboard and an older creative card optical to my receivers and both have outputted in 5.1. Mind you i only use winamp for my music and vlc for video so they may do something behind the scenes that i'm not aware of. All i know is that all my music players in 5.1 and all my videos output in 5.1 as well.

Tim what applications are you using for playback?
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:10 PM
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I mostly aim the best results for movies.. so i guess i should just go with hdmi... that would work out well, right?

I use XBMC and VLC.
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:12 PM
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As long as its 1.3 you'll get full audio out, though what playback applications are you using?
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:21 PM
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XBMC, VLC, might go with Winamp but i'd rather keep everything with XBMC.
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:24 PM
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What signal does your receiver report receiving from your pc?

I get full 5.1 playback on my htpc connected to my receiver via HDMI however i will look at the settings to see if there was anything extra i had to do

Here are my settings for XBMC
System > Settings > Audio output
audio output - HDMI (for me)
Speaker Configuration - 5.1 (manually set it to that)
Dolby Digital capable receiver - enabled (mine is)
DTS capable receiver - enabled (mine is)
Audio output Device - WASAPI: ATI HDMI Output (what the pc primary audio output to xbmc)

For my PC connected via optical from onboard
Sound -> Digital Audio -> Supported Formats
DTs audio - enabled
Dolby Digital - enabled

Last edited by Arinoth; January 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM.
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Old January 10, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
I've never found that with my optical out lowfat. I've used two different onboard and an older creative card optical to my receivers and both have outputted in 5.1. Mind you i only use winamp for my music and vlc for video so they may do something behind the scenes that i'm not aware of. All i know is that all my music players in 5.1 and all my videos output in 5.1 as well.

Tim what applications are you using for playback?
His can play 5.1 if he has a DTS or AC-3 compressed soundtrack. Like I said above some soundcards can encode and compress all audio in to AC-3. And if your playback sofware is set to upscale the audio then you very well may get audio out of all of your speakers w/ just a 2 channel soundtrack.

As an audio purist () though, I prefer my 2 channel music to play in 2 channel. If you have movies that only have 2 channel audio, your receiver can definitely do a better job at upscaling to 5.1/7.1 w/ PLIIx.
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