No 5.1 via HDMI despite new HTPC

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No 5.1 via HDMI despite new HTPC

Post#1 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:17 pm

I've spend a few hours now trying to trouble shoot and it just won't work. My setup:
- Vizio m502-b1, connected to HTPC with HDMI and to Nakamichi SOUNWAFE PRO via HDMI ARC, set to bitstream for 2+/multi-channel audio and CEP activated and set too
[*]Intel i3-7100
[*]Windows 10 Pro 64bit

All have newest firmware/driver/bios. The i3-7100 is supporting 5.1 according to specs. The Vizio is supporting HDMI in and out 5.1 etc. The MSI shows Dolby Digital available.
Nevertheless I can only select stereo in the MSI HDMI output, not 5.1 or anything else. Indeed it does transmit only stereo as a sound test indicates, I have two sides activating and subwoofer, never all 4 speaker plus subwoofer.
I'd tried the generic Windows 10 driver, the MSI display driver (which included the intel audio driver for HDMI), the latest Intel display driver - no change. Does anyone have a solution? That drives me nuts and was not exactly a cheap setup.
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Post#2 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:56 pm

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Post#3 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:42 am

Your computer is working fine - the fact that it's exposing Dolby Digital as supported tells us that. Basic Windows drivers have supported 7 channel PCM over HDMI for what seems like eons. It's how I get away with using such an old receiver (Denon AVR-2807): I let my media center PC decode the bitstream and hands it off to the receiver as 5 channel PCM, with the receiver only doing delay/room corrections.

Here's the trouble:
wincel wrote:The Vizio is supporting HDMI in and out 5.1 etc.

Well, it kind of does. It will indeed output a DD/DTS bitstream from its own internal sources, and it will accept a similar DD bitstream coming in, but here's the catch: PCM processing in the TV is limited to 2 channels, so if at any point it gets processed, it exposes only two channels as available, and this is the intended behavior.

There are two choices: one might work, the other definitely will. The first is to change your audio output mode on the TV from PCM to bitstream - this might work. Of course, given it's a Visio, it may just always expose two channel as its only PCM input option regardless of any other setting - their documentation on it, and the rest of their products, sucks (I might be spoiled in that regard though).

The guaranteed method is to run your HDMI into the audio system, then out to the TV from there. If this isn't practical, then using a TOSLINK cable or other separate digital audio output is your best bet - PC sounds will still be in stereo, but whenever you have 5.1 source content it will simply stream it to your external decoder.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Post#4 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:51 am

I realize this is an older thread but after skimming through it, I didn't see my solution mentioned. A few years back I bought this cheap sound bar, entry level Sony. Of course I connect it HTPC to soundbar to TV. Then I tried HTPC to tv Vga HTPC to sound bar hdmi. Tried RCA, Toslink, etc. I was unable to get any reliability whatsoever.

Then I read about a few guys that were using powered HDMI splitters with some success, then finally I read about this guy using an HDMI Matrix Splitter. I figured I would try it out and send it back if it didn't work for me.

Long story short... that was 5 years ago and the HDMI 4X4 Matrix Splitter is still here. Lately, with more devices in the Media room I have been thinking about getting an 8X8 with HDMI and remote over Ethernet.

The beauty of the matrix is any source to any display or any source to all displays.

Since the subject of this thread is audio, what I did was connect the amp as a display. This allows the audio to go to the televison and/or the amp. I have two TV's, a projector and the amp connected as destinations... The HTPC, and two extenders allow me to watch three channels at a time. Usually the best game is on the projector and the amp, at half time or whatever I'll move the next favorite to the main screen and move the favorite to one of the lessor screens.

For the big games, Superbowl, Stanley Cup Finals, etc...... one game everywhere, all the PC's tabs and phones are streaming from Emby. Cable box on the 1965 NEC supplies audio to old school 70's Pioneer amp. It is fun to fire everything up once in awhile.

Using the hdmi 4x4 matrix splitter all the audio is in perfect sync with no help from me.
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