Connecting 5.1 Home Theatre In A Box to PC | Having only front 2 speakers + subwoofer working

I recently connected a Samsung HT TX52 5.1 to my PC (MSI Z87-G45) via an optical digital cable. While I'm enjoying the sound from the front left, front right, and subwoofer, I am not hearing sounds from the rear left, rear right, and center speakers.

Pretty sure I have all the bare wires connected, seeing as how when I test the supported formats "DTS Audio" and "Dolby Digital" I can hear the distinct sounds from all the respective speakers.

Browsing around the internet I came across this 5.1 speaker test:

Yet From playing that clip it feels like a "false" sort of surround sound, again with nothing coming from the other 3 speakers.

I also cannot seem to find an option for managing speaker setup, the realtek audio manager to me seems really limited.

I was playing some CS:S and set audio settings for 5.1, still had the same issue.

Lastly just wanted to add that I had the theater system connected to my PS3 for years before using the same optical digital cable connected and there was no problem having all speakers working correctly there.
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  1. Best answer
    Digital/optical(analog or HDMI will do 7.1+) is limited to 2.1 uncompressed anything above that is compressed. But it could be just the source material. For example, if it a stereo(2.0) recording you will only get stereo sound unless you simulate the rest of the channels.

    I didn't download that link but use a source like a dvd movie with 5.1 and check that out.If you have HDMI outputs use those outputs to the HDMI inputs on the HT system.

    PS: I can barely read that pick but realtek looks to setup as 2 channel not 5.1. Also if I read correctly the HT only does DTS and Prologic II. Prologic II is only simulated surround and not true discrete surround. Discrete channels would be analog or HDMI for above 2.1.

    Happy surround, the Prisoner...
  2. Thanks for replying the Prisoner.

    I can't find the option for 5.1, as seen through:

    So I should try to plug HDMI from the receiver to my motherboard then, and take out the optical digital?

    Also, what then makes a PS3 different in that it can give 5.1 surround sound (all speakers working) through a single optical digital cable?
  3. You probably haven't set your windows config to 5.1/7.1. I also recommend downloading the Realtek EQ

    The PS3 has a built in DSP(digital signal processor like realtek chip) but like I said it is simulated surround because of the limitations of digital/optical. You get sound from all speakers but not true discrete channels like analog or HDMI.

    Yes, if the HDMI works from mobo to receiver use that. You just have to reconfigure realtek and windows settings.

    Happy surround, the Prisoner...

    PS: Edit, so not to confuse people. S/PDIF is limited to 2.1 uncompressed, compressed 5.1 and can't do anything above 5.1. HDMI is digital but another/better format. For gaming, it may not matter that much since the audio quality is low.
  4. I can't get into windows config in sounds, apparently my receiver is supposed to take care of that or something. I'm on windows 8 by the way.

    Also I was reading these two threads:

    And was wondering if the simple solution to get all speakers to play in games would be to get a sound card that supports "Dolby Digital Live?"
  5. You right clicked on the windows speaker icon in the taskbar? Oh crap you have 8.

    Did you try the HDMI?

    I haven't checked lately but I haven't seen any soundcards that use HDMI but video cards do. The realtek EQ link sould work with 8
  6. Ya I've tried HDMI, optical, and heck even a white and red rca connector--which only gives off a static buzz when I set my receiver to "aux 2"--from the receiver to my motherboard ports.

    I'm thinking about

    Seeing as how I'm currently on my motherboard's built-in ALC1150 and a dedicated sound card could be as people say the "difference between night and day." Not to mention of course the "live Dolby Digital Encoding."
  7. If you are going to get a sound card, get the Z series. It has a great gaming card and the mic does well too but the realtek chip you have right now is very good. SO if you feel the need. It just could be that the HT receiver in those combo HT system sucks(and it probably does).

    In terms of "night and day" it's a perception thing, if your onboard sound is bad yes you will hear a difference. If your onboard sound is good but you spend $100-200.00 your perceived perception will be "wow" because you spent the money. With most/any sound card, they don't include a HDMI output which should be your goal, your video card might. I would take analog(5.1/7.1) output any day over S/PDIF. But low/mid end receivers( some mid end sound processors(home HiFi stuff like the Outlaw do)) don't do surround sound analog anymore.

    But I'm still thinking it's a config thing. The links you sent pretty much confirm that S/PDIF has problems but doesn't address the config thing. Windows I'm guessing is the problem in terms of setting up that first.

    Sorry for the somewhat confused posts but I have helping my buddy with this custom built HT room. We are almost finished with the construction part(digging out his basement). He helped me a number of years ago for mine so payback!! haha
  8. Ya the reason I'm hooking up the home theatre to my PC is because our 40" LCD TV that came with it recently died for like the 3rd time to a black screen.

    I like how that's the price is in sort of the "sweet spot" of what I'm really looking to spend.

    I'm running a GTX 770 which has HDMI ports yes, but I've tried plugging that in and nothing. I don't even think my receiver was made to receive HDMI audio since when I cycle through the functions HDMI doesn't even show up.

    I find windows 8 confusing so far. After you suggested that I try running a DVD I found out that I have to download third-party software to get it to play for free.

    That's sounds awesome that you guys are building an entertainment room. I'm finding it hard to cramp anything else in after moving this home theatre system in my bedroom.
  9. Yup, just found a manual. It is HDMI out on your receiver not in. So, once again, it is a config thing. You might have the same problem with a sound card. I should of asked, is this just for movies/TV. The problem might be the HT receiver since most HT receivers just aren't that good.

    I have to believe this is windows thing(or driver being needed to updated) because realtek isnt showing you an option for anything beyond 2.0(stereo). I do know you have to get windows to recognize 4.0/5.1/7.1 etc before a sound card/on board sound will.

    I suggest updating the drivers first on the realtek chip first. And I see from the pics you have the MSI mobo involved.
  10. This is for movies, music, and games.

    I just re-installed realtek yet the option for settings above 2 channels is still not showing up; config button in sound menu is still un-clickable.

    Still find it funny how when I test dolby digital/DTS under the supported formats tab I hear sounds from every speaker.
  11. Did you find the WIndows 8 sound config? Sorry, I havent used 8 so I'm not sure how the config works. Maybe post in the WIndows 8 forum on Tom's asking how to setup sound for 8.

    In 7, you right click the Win speaker icon , click on playback devices, speakers or whatever you need to change. Then hit the config tab and then click on 5.1 or 7.1.
  12. I read the online manual earlier and saw the buttons on the remote to change Dobly PL II modes. Guess I have to just use the remote to change stuff.

    If I set the mode to PL II "Matrix" mode then sounds start coming out of every speaker. Guess this HT system isn't made computer-friendly huh.
  13. Nope but it wasn't built for that. DB Pro II is simulated surround it works pretty good. Pro IIz is better.
  14. Oh well at least I have a better sound system compared to my Benwin Classic 2.1 that is like 10 years old ha! Guess I'll hold off on that sound card for now, things sound pretty good as is to me.

    Thanks for your all the help, the Prisoner.
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