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HT receiver only getting stereo from PC HDMI?

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grendel0501

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
I'm at the last step of upgrading from computer speakers to a larger HT receiver and 5.1 speaker setup.
The receiver is connected through 1 HDMI from the mobo, there is also one on my GPU that I could use. Both put my receiver into the available devices, the only difference is the one on the GPU seems to think it is a second display as well as audio. My monitor is wired through DVI, so the GPU's HDMI is going to audio only.

The problem is that the under audio device properties of the HT receiver, it shows it as only stereo capable/16bit 4800hz. Its listed as "High Definition Audio Device" under audio devices, and the receiver model number automatically added to the audio device list. So it seems to be detected properly.

I know my MOBO can do better than that, if I check the properties on the available on-board Optical connection, it shows up to 7.1 configurations, Dolby Digital and Dolby DTS options, and lastly formats all the way up to 5.1 Dolby Digital Live.

If I go into a game, the receiver starts playing surround, but it just doesn't sound that good. Like low quality sound. I'm guessing this is my receiver stretching the received stereo signal.
*update* Not all games play through the speakers, some games don't have any audio at all.


Is there some setting I am missing to up the quality of audio sent to my receiver?
 
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OP
grendel0501

grendel0501

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
What do you have your windows speaker configuration set to?

While connected through the mobo HDMI my only option was stereo.
I switched from using the mobo's extra HDMI to using my GPU's HDMI, and then passing the monitor through the receiver.
I now have all options up to 7.1 configurations, music sounds great, but if I go into a game SFX like guns are extremly low compared to the rest of the sound. The front are making some sounds loudly, just not the sfx, which should be on the fronts.

Before when it was stereo I could change my receiver's sound mode to dolby p, and pl II modes, but now that the HDMI is run through the GPU I can only switch between stereo and PCM.

I also have a program that came with the mobo, its a Dolby equalizer, it no longer effects the sound at all.
 
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grendel0501

grendel0501

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
I still can't get it like I want it.

I have it to where both the properties of the MOBO HDMI or the GPU HDMI will send 5.1 192khz 24bit audio. But the receiver will only allow stereo or PCM modes.
All other modes are blocked.
I know I am still missing some sound quality, I connected a SDPIF from the motherboard to the receiver. The sound quality was much better/louder and receiver options (Dolby P or PLII) were all available, but the SDPIF only outputs stereo for some reason.
I read acouple of forums that said Win7 might be blocking it. I tried updating my Realtek drivers, but still can't get more than stereo from the SDPIF connection.
If I could get 5.1 working through SDPIF that would work for me, SDPIF allows the Dolby EQ that came with Realtek drivers to be used, not the HDMI though..
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
You can only get a 2 channel PCM signal (uncompressed audio) over SPDIF, -or- up to a 5.1 compressed Dolby Digital or DTS track. Unless you have a Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect encoder installed for your Realtek chip, you cannot get multi-channel audio over the SPDIF connection.

HDMI should allow up to 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio. The limiting factor will be the sample rates used, but generally up to 24bit, 96kHz is allowed up to 8 channels (7.1) over HDMI. Any higher and it will fall back to a stereo signal (ie 192kHz will be available in 2 channel only). This also depends on your HT receiver capabilities, but generally anything recent should be capable of 24/96 via 8 channels. Older HT receivers may only support up to 16/48 via 8 channels, so consult the manual for your receiver.

As far as low volume output, I'm not sure if there is much you can do for that. I notice the same low volume, and lack luster sound with my setup if I used the onboard HDMI, and even the GPU HDMI, as well as poor positional audio in games (sfx panning from one channel to another would frequently drop out). Only thing that solved the poor audio performance was going back to my Auzentech X-Fi HTHD card to output via HDMI, but that isn't much of an option now-a-days if you don't already own one.
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
it just depends on the game really, if the game puts out dolby sound then it should work. if its puting out an audio signal your receiver will not support it will default to 2.0 pcm.

the receiver can only do what its supposed to when dealing with uncompressed digital audio it comes down to what signal is coming out. so it depends on the source, playing a movie with aac audio will probably go to pcm. playing a movie with dolby audio will result in it decoding it fine. same with playing games. if the game is using dolby audio for output it sould work. check your game settings ect.
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
My htpc is about as low end as you can get on the skylake front. Passing audio to my receiver via hdmi gives me whatever signal is being sent (DD, DDS+, TrueHd, Atmos, etc.).
Also make sure you have your audio settings set so that programs can output their signal instead of the pc default. I forget what the exact wording is on the setting, but it let's individual programs override the default pc audio to output whatever they support.
Everything sounds great on mine, surround sound works perfect and no volume issues. I'm sure there's a setting your missing.
 
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grendel0501

grendel0501

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
You can only get a 2 channel PCM signal (uncompressed audio) over SPDIF, -or- up to a 5.1 compressed Dolby Digital or DTS track. Unless you have a Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect encoder installed for your Realtek chip, you cannot get multi-channel audio over the SPDIF connection.

HDMI should allow up to 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio. The limiting factor will be the sample rates used, but generally up to 24bit, 96kHz is allowed up to 8 channels (7.1) over HDMI. Any higher and it will fall back to a stereo signal (ie 192kHz will be available in 2 channel only). This also depends on your HT receiver capabilities, but generally anything recent should be capable of 24/96 via 8 channels. Older HT receivers may only support up to 16/48 via 8 channels, so consult the manual for your receiver.

As far as low volume output, I'm not sure if there is much you can do for that. I notice the same low volume, and lack luster sound with my setup if I used the onboard HDMI, and even the GPU HDMI, as well as poor positional audio in games (sfx panning from one channel to another would frequently drop out). Only thing that solved the poor audio performance was going back to my Auzentech X-Fi HTHD card to output via HDMI, but that isn't much of an option now-a-days if you don't already own one.

Well crap. I have a spare soundcard, but it doesn't use HDMI. None on the current market. :cry:
I gave up on SDPIF and am now using the extra HDMI on the motherboard. Its lowered volume/signal, but it is 24bit, 192khz capable.
I can hear the potential I am missing while running other signals through the receiver. I just have to get the proper format to the receiver and everything should be good.

What I need is a surround sound receiver like they made in the 90's. All channels had their own RCA connections, there were no all in one connections yet. If I had that it would work exactly like computer speakers work. With the receiver not doing much other than amplifing the individual surround channels from the MOBO.
DJ amplifiers get close to what I want, but are more expensive than a receiver.

I thought about buying a Logitech z906 and removing the provided stattelites, and using it as a power unit to power the larger 5.25speakers I bought, but its wattage rating is at 4ohm :shock:.

For now I am using a 3 year old Pioneer 5.1 receiver that I pulled from the HT in my bedroom to test how this setup would work/sound.
I was going to get a new receiver if everything worked out.. Now I don't know if that will help or if I will still be stuck with dimmed sound.
Some of the newer receiver allow audio to be streamed over LAN from a computer to the receiver. I wonder if this would fix the volume/quality issues?

You would think that windows or someone would have better AVR surround drivers out there since HDMI sends all my receivers info back to the pc.
 
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Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
The reason they don't make receivers with analog inputs is because of everything going digital and while keeping the audio in the digital domain, it's much easier to manipulate, as many receivers now (even low end) include some level of Audyssey's speaker calibration. You'll only find analog inputs on high-end HT receivers, so expect to pay at least $600+ easily for such a HT amp. If you can find one, you might be able to score a older used HT receiver for cheap on eBay or Craigslist. I have a receiver with 7.1 analog inputs which I used for a number of years, but one of the channels seems to have died and I ended up replacing it with a receiver that had only HDMI, for the Audyssey MultiEQ XT, and the price. The Audyssey MultiEQ XT made a very big difference in my setup, even though I had calibrated the previous analog setup as best as I could using decibel meters and calibrated mics, it just wasn't as good as the Audyssey calibration.

And the receiver is not streaming audio over LAN (for those that have that available), it's just using your PC as a file server to read whatever compressed music files you have (OGG, mp3, FLAC, etc) for playback and control directly from your HT receiver.
 
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grendel0501

grendel0501

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Pyle still makes analog input receivers, even a 2 channel mini amp for $50 that I could chain 3 of together to make enough power for a surround setup.
Problem is it's Pyle... If only a more reliable brand would make something similar, I'd be set.

What I need seems so simple.. Some sound card company should have made a driver to properly send audio to a surround receiver.