I have been building a new PC over the past two weeks. Everything seems to be working as expected except for the fact that I cannot get all 5.1 sound channels working when using the digital coax output. The front right and front right channels work but the others are silent. I came to this conclusion using a DVD with “THX Optimizer” sound test that highlights each channel as noise is played.
Here is my system:
MSI P6N Diamond Motherboard
Intel Q6600 Processor
4GB Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8500C5D
2 500GB SATA Western Digital HDD
2 SATA Lite-On DVD-RW
Windows XP with Service Pack 2
I have been swapping messages with MSI tech support but their last message referred me to the RMA process. I really do not want to dismantle the PC and be without one while the motherboard is replaced when it’s probably something I have done incorrectly during the build. Here are a few more bits of information:
5.1 audio works fine using analog speakers attached directly to the motherboard.
I have already tried uninstalling and reinstalling the audio drivers that came with the motherboard.
I was not able to find newer drivers for the motherboard than those that came in the box.
Any ideas as to what I can try next would be greatly appreciated.
I found a page on the Creative site (http://188.8.131.52/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE/,/?St=969,...(15176),Kb=ww_english_add,VARSET=ws:http://us.creative.com/) that indicates the onboard decoder must be disabled in order to use pass-through SPDIF with the digital coax output. That sounds like just the thing to fix my problem. Unfortunately, when I accessed the audio console using the software that came with the MSI P6N Diamond motherboard there is no tab labeled Decoder on which to disable it. The help document for the software that came with the motherboard references the Decoder tab for disabling it as well, but it simply isn't there in my installation.
I wonder if anyone has actually gotten this motherboard to product 5.1 surround sound using the coax digital output? It's a bummer to think part of the reason I bought it was due to the onboard sound and so far I've been unable to use it.
I finally had success with Power DVD 7. Power DVD 7 has an option to set audio output to SPDIF and apparently that causes the motherboard to pass the digital signal without decoding it first. I actually got it to produce 7.1 distinct channels -- nice.
MSI tech support said the documentation I found on Creative's site and the documentation MSI provides with the motherboard regarding the decoder tab does not apply to the on-board sound solution. Oh well.