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How to get surround sound from pc>hdmi>receiver

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  • Audio
Last response: in Home Audio
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September 3, 2013 3:56:55 PM

I only get sound from the front left and right speakers. I have 64 bit Windows 7 and Realtek HD audio with updated drivers. I run the hdmi through the video card(AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series) to my receiver. When I go into the configuration for Realtek and test the speakers individually, they all work. My Receiver always says decoder off. What can I do to get surround coming from my pc? It seems like a lot of people have problems with this and answers likewise seem difficult to come by. Thank you.

More about : surround sound hdmi receiver

September 3, 2013 4:57:13 PM

If you want to use your video card's sound output, you need to set it as the default audio device.
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September 3, 2013 5:07:39 PM

unless you are playing games or movies most sound will be in stereo only.

even netflix doesnt support 5.1 via pc for the most part

i have windows 7 and connect in just about the same way (except i have a dvi->hdmi cable). i can personally verify that all sound is 2.0 unless specified above. in fact it would be the same on a 5.1 pc speaker set too. the only cases where 5.1 is used would be if you play a dvd or blueray movie or if you play a game.

if you're watching a movie on netflix or playing music and would like to use the rear speakers then set your receiver to "ext stereo" to use the back speakers as well as the front. its not surround (but the source is not surround to start with... its stereo)
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September 4, 2013 4:51:38 PM

It seem like I do get surround. My receiver says PCM. However, it seems like all sounds come through every speaker though. Any further ideas?
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September 4, 2013 5:13:03 PM

is the receiver set to auto-surround? thats what i leave mine at. if its set to ext stereo it will play stereo on the back speakers and the front.

if you are sure its not the receiver check your windows sounds settings to make sure nothing is awry there.
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September 4, 2013 5:16:11 PM

Well is there any way you can think of to test it so I can see if the surround speakers are functioning properly? I know it has to be a movie or game, but I need something that uses the back speakers heavily.
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September 4, 2013 5:20:10 PM

free roam games are easiest. find a static noise source such as a waterfall and turn away from it. the sound should go behind you.

or any action movie. there is normally alot of rear speaker activity there as well.
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September 5, 2013 2:19:41 AM

I do have one more question. I was wanting to play Gone Home, which I don't believe has 5.1, so what is the way to simulate 5.1?
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September 5, 2013 7:02:44 AM

well.. if you have a stereo source there really is no way to truly get anything close to surround sound.

if you just want sound coming out of the back speakers for a more immersive experiece however then change your receiver mode to EXT STEREO. this will play out the front and rear speakers.
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December 1, 2013 2:24:34 AM

I have exactly the same problem on a Radeon 5800 over HDMI to new a Pioneer receiver and then to 5.1 speakers and TV out of receiver. Under Win7 64bit only two channel output was available in the "AMD HDMI Output" but I finally narrowed that problem down to out of date video card drivers, which include the Windows HDMI driver.

Now just as Csice points out I too see 8 channels available and each speaker individually tests Ok but the encoder light never comes on and two channels is all I ever get no matter the content. I've checked to make sure my receiver isn't set to receive audio back out of the TV and am still looking for a solution.
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December 1, 2013 6:11:36 AM




sound devices
click configure
click 5.1

what audio sources are you referring to?
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December 1, 2013 4:44:45 PM

I see everything as you do but the decoder light for DTS or Dolby Digital on my new Pioneer VSX-823 receiver never lights up for any content I play.

I've been playing various downloaded movies encoded in both formats that are mp4, mkv and AVI's. Just for the sake of being certain I've also tried factory DVD's in my computers DVD player (I no longer own a dedicated player).

Because this receiver unit is new and I've never actually seen any of the encoder lights come on as my old receiver would, and because this new unit has fairly good simulated surround, I do not have any basis for comparison either. This is what I see on the front of my unit with a factory DVD set to play in Dolby Digitial 5.1...







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December 1, 2013 5:16:56 PM

what mode is your receiver set to? i leave mine set to auto-surround

my pioneer receiver (note: not a htib) typically displays one of three things when i'm on the pc.

stereo (for generic windows tasks, youtube, music, etc)
pcm (for surround soundgames)
ddigital (for movies)

depending on how the surround sound was encoded.

even dvd movies do not play in 5.1 (and are stereo only) when displaying DVD on the front panel?
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December 1, 2013 5:29:33 PM

Yes I've set my receiver to Auto-Surround as well. What is htib? The reason the display says DVD is because that is the HDMI socket I have my PC connected to at the back of the receiver.

Do you ever see the decoder lights come on when you are playing encoded content on your Pioneer receiver (items #24 and #25 in my above display diagram)?
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December 1, 2013 5:40:41 PM

home theater in a box. (ie the all-in-one sets). just letting you know i bought a dedicated receiver in case yours was a htib.

i'm connected up to the hdmi 2 port on my pioneer vsx-30

have you tried changing to a different port?

are you still getting no surround sound at all regardless of what the front panel says?
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December 1, 2013 5:52:03 PM

It sounds like only simulated surround sound that I am getting, my old receiver would actually light up DTS or DD5.1 on the front display panel when it detected encoded content. I have tried using the Game HDMI port at the back of the receiver as well but get exactly the same results.

This is my unit, I assume it is an htib as well?

http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POCEN/Home/AV-Receiver...
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December 1, 2013 7:17:01 PM

perhaps i wasnt very clear. ours arent htib. that term refers to the type bundled with speakers.

that model looks like a half decent one.

----------------------

here is one thing i did see..

your receiver shows adv-s on the faceplate

page 35 of manual
http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/StaticFiles/Manuals/Ho...

at least on mine "advanced surround" settings are different than "auto surround" (i cannot have both on at once).

perhaps you are stuck on front surround focus or some other mode.

----------------------

are you sure that the dvd is dolby digital 5.1?

are you sure that it is not a driver issue? (test it out with a different device if you can. do you have a friend with a laptop or dvd player?)
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December 1, 2013 8:11:43 PM

Firstly, thank you for the time you've spent attempting to help! I see what you mean with regards to the difference between Advanced Surround and Auto Surround however, even on Auto-Surround I never actually see any of the decoder lights illuminate. I do not have another player to try sending a signal to my receiver from, at least not one that supports 5.1 such as Optical or HDMI but I will see if I can get a hold of one to confirm the problem is indeed with my PC and not the new Receiver.

I might wonder if the Ultra ATA ribbon that my PC's DVD player is connected to the motherboard bus with is not able to transmit DTS or DD5.1 but then given that none of the movies I've downloaded light up the decoder lights on my receiver either...?

P.S. I should also add that the only confirmation I have that 5.1 is not working is the lack of decoder lights illuminating on my receiver's display, other than that the simulated surround is so good that I'm only assuming it's not actual 5.1
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December 1, 2013 8:47:36 PM

one thought would be that perhaps instead of DD Digital information being sent from the pc instead RAW data is sent and the receiver is processing it (my receiver displays PCM for this)

perhaps there is a button on your remote or faceplate which lets you cycle through the display (maybe it will swap from "DVD" showing on the faceplate to "PCM" or something... i dont have your model so i cant say for sure. honestly that would just be a visual thing just to see what its doing and it wouldnt affect anything.

PCM would show a complete lack of DD lights. however with that said... movies always play for me as dolby digital in windows media player on pc. most games are dolby as well. uncompressed audio (blue rays, some games) could be PCM. multi channel youtube videos show up as PCM though on my faceplate. strange i know.

why are you so sure that it is simulated surround?
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December 1, 2013 10:08:14 PM

Well that helps, I tried the DVD under Windows Media and sure enough the DD symbol on the receiver lit up and the difference in surround sound was significantly more distinct. The same DVD under both VLC and Media Player Classic would not play in DD though, and neither of the three will play any of my downloaded media content in DD5.1 or DTS. At least now I can confirm that the issue is not the receiver.
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December 8, 2013 2:24:45 PM

Hey Downtime,

The reason your sound isn't playing correctly in VLC is likely because you need to select the correct audio device. It's what was giving me the problem before I figured it out. Just play the movie (that you know has encoded surround sound) in VLC and then click audio at the top and then go down to audio device. Select the correct audio device from the list and it should fix the problem.
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December 24, 2013 10:14:10 PM

Go into your Playback devices and select HDMI. Go into Configure and set it to Stereo. I know what you're thinking - you have 5.1 and all.... nope. I went through the same thing you did a few years ago. It drove me nuts. I finally switched the Configure to Stereo and now my Receiver (Pioneer Elite SC-05) will play and show whatever the source is decoded in. If it is DD or DTS, it shows as such. However, a lot of content comes across the net as two channel stereo. If you've got a source with only two channels, you'll never get 5.1 no matter what you do. Just select Pro Logic II on two channel sources and you'll still have some surround sound. Hope that helps.
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January 8, 2014 10:40:31 PM

ssddx said:



sound devices
click configure
click 5.1

what audio sources are you referring to?


Hey, I'm similarly trying to get surround sound out of my computer through hdmi. When I go to confirgue, the only option available is stereo (same window as yours with Stereo, Quadraphonic, 5.1, 7,1 but there are no options under stereo).

Does that just mean that my computer absolutely cannot and will not output surround sound? Nothing I can do about it?

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January 9, 2014 3:26:20 AM

impossible to answer that without specifics.

you did not list your motherboard, video card or soundcard or the speaker system you have hooked up as well as if you are using a hdmi out of your video card or out of your motherboard (if you're using onboard video).

is hdmi/dvi output selected as default? this normally shows up as the name of your receiver in the list. is this what you clicked configure on? remember you need to have the device highlighted by clicking on it in the first image above before clicking on configure or it might have given you the configure window for lets say something like the headphone jack. double check.

in general though....if you have a 5.1 home theater and a pc you should be able to get 5.1 over hdmi no problem.
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January 19, 2014 8:58:49 AM

The only thing I am suucessful in getting proper Digital Surround out of my Computer with HDMI out to Onkyo receiver is playing Netflix movies through the Windows 8 Netflix app. It comes as Dolby Digital Plus.

I was never successful in getting proper digital surround audio playing video through any of the regular web browsers.

Anyone know Amazon Prime has anything similar to Netflix Windows 8 app?
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March 9, 2014 1:43:20 AM

csice said:
I do have one more question. I was wanting to play Gone Home, which I don't believe has 5.1, so what is the way to simulate 5.1?



I realize this post is kind of old, but you can use Razer Surround to simulate surround sound, works pretty well and it's free.
https://www.razerzone.com/surround
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