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HTPC - 5.1 audio issue

Last response: in Components
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June 25, 2008 7:05:12 PM

Hello everyone

First of all, I am not a pro on this field, and I have spends almost 2 weeks on this, tried to read a lot of post, but still can't solve my problem, hope this is the right place to post, and someone can help me solve this out.

I have purchased a new computer recently; the problem is, after I installed Vista x64, use coaxial cable to connect to my receiver, on computer SoundMax control panel, I don't have an option to pick 5.1 speaker, the only two options is headphone and stereo speaker. And my Yamaha receiver showing only left and right speaker. Is there any way I can have 5.1 with these hardware?

For my computer, other than using the coaxial/optical cable, i can also use HDMI cable for both video and audio. As long as I connect a cable between the video card and motherboard/soundcard. (the blue cable in the middle)
http://www.tbreak.com/reviews/fullimage.php?image=14777
But still, I have the same outcome, I can't have 5.1 option, only headphone and stereo speaker.

I will play computer games and watch Movies on this system, and hope to get the 5.1 from it. Please help!!

I have the following computer:

Intel Core 2 quad Q9300 2.5GHz/6M/1333Mhz processor
http://processorfinder.intel.com/Det...px?sSpec=SLAWE

ASUS Striker II Extreme ATX Motherboard, nVidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI Chipset
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...14&modelmenu=1

Kingston DDR3 4GB RAM
http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/conf...R1066D3N7K2/4G

Seagate 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.js...&reqPage=Model

Asus EN9800GX2/G/2DI/1G nVidia GeForce 9800GX2 Chipset 1024MB GDDR3 Video Card
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...95&modelmenu=1

Running Vista x64

Following are my Home Theatre:
1. TV - Sony's 40” BRAVIA V-Series LCD HDTV with ATSC Digital Tuner
KDL40V3000
http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/ser...h=32050n100188

2. Receiver - Yamaha HTR6080
http://www.yamaha.ca/av/Receivers/HTR6080B.jsp

3. Speaker - Energy Take Classic
http://www.energy-speakers.com/v2/pr...ine.php?id=337

More about : htpc audio issue

June 25, 2008 7:41:31 PM

Don't know if this would help, didn't have a soundmax since my old msi board. There should "somewhere" be an option to set to 5.1 mode in the soundmax panel and the line-in and headphone jacks should turn into the other 2.1 remaining channels.
Or
if you right click on the volume icon on the taskbar and select playback devices, and select configure on the window and select 5.1 surround and press next. Etc.
REALLY sorry if you already tried this!
June 25, 2008 8:23:50 PM

blackwidow_rsa said:
Don't know if this would help, didn't have a soundmax since my old msi board. There should "somewhere" be an option to set to 5.1 mode in the soundmax panel and the line-in and headphone jacks should turn into the other 2.1 remaining channels.
Or
if you right click on the volume icon on the taskbar and select playback devices, and select configure on the window and select 5.1 surround and press next. Etc.
REALLY sorry if you already tried this!


Thanks for your reply. But I have tried all the ways/methods that I "think" is related to speaker, but don't see that 5.1 options........
Related resources
June 25, 2008 8:46:05 PM

Option 2: buy a pci or pcie sound card. I've heard good things about the asus xonar. Disable onboard sound in bios if you decide on the add on card
June 25, 2008 8:57:53 PM

I'm with Blackwidow_rsa... again, I'm agreeing with you in a lot of threads atm :p 

Anyway, it's odd for 5.1 options not to show up in windows if your sound hardware is capable of outputting it. You're better off going for a PCI sound card anyway, the quality will be higher and you won't get as much interference from other motherboard components. The Asus Xonar is a nice card, especially for running vista, because it hardware emulates a lot of the features that were in XP but were taken out of Vista when they removed DirectSound in favour of OpenAL
June 25, 2008 9:57:12 PM

Microsoft chose open source openAL? Wow, thats unexpected. I just wish EAX will die already
June 25, 2008 10:00:04 PM

@willempire
did you use the latest drivers from asus' website?
June 25, 2008 10:33:58 PM

Have you tried a 5.1 source material in your computer such as a DVD? My system will only give you 5.1 sound that way, it automaticly kicks in the 5.1 decoder. All I get is stereo otherwise. I can go in and force 5.1 synthisized sound thru my audio propertys but my system uses the Realtek HD Audio. But unless you otherwise use a 5.1 source such as a DVD your not going to get 5.1 sound. With Vista and games most games use EAX to provide surround sound in games and Vista doesn't support it. If you get the Asus sound card it will synthisize EAX sound in games.
June 25, 2008 11:42:46 PM

stoner133 said:
Have you tried a 5.1 source material in your computer such as a DVD? My system will only give you 5.1 sound that way, it automaticly kicks in the 5.1 decoder. All I get is stereo otherwise. I can go in and force 5.1 synthisized sound thru my audio propertys but my system uses the Realtek HD Audio. But unless you otherwise use a 5.1 source such as a DVD your not going to get 5.1 sound. With Vista and games most games use EAX to provide surround sound in games and Vista doesn't support it. If you get the Asus sound card it will synthisize EAX sound in games.

I was going to say that. Also try conecting the motherboard the analog way (3 minijacks that turn into 6 rca), maibe then the 5.1 option will pop up or something like that (I also have realtek so I don't know a straight solution)
About the guy who told you to buy a pci sound card because the motherboard's will be low quality, if you use a coaxial or optical conection you'll have digital output, which (I believe) means no quality loss other than the codecs your pc uses. Do as he says only if you don't find a solution to your problem and make sure it has optical or coaxial output.
June 26, 2008 9:23:36 PM

blackwidow_rsa said:
@willempire
did you use the latest drivers from asus' website?


Yes, I do. Installed the most updated driver from ASUS website. But doesn't help.
June 26, 2008 9:28:19 PM

rojito said:
I was going to say that. Also try conecting the motherboard the analog way (3 minijacks that turn into 6 rca), maibe then the 5.1 option will pop up or something like that (I also have realtek so I don't know a straight solution)
About the guy who told you to buy a pci sound card because the motherboard's will be low quality, if you use a coaxial or optical conection you'll have digital output, which (I believe) means no quality loss other than the codecs your pc uses. Do as he says only if you don't find a solution to your problem and make sure it has optical or coaxial output.


I did try to play a 5.1 DVD by my optical drive, and I can see the "input" is 5 channel, but then the "output" is 2 channel only. Of course, my Receiver will be able to make it 5.1, but then, now the case is from 5.1 => 2 => 5.1!! I think this will reduce the quality, isn't it?

I did try to connect a "5.1 computer speaker" by those minijack cable; once it plug in, the computer show the 5.1 options.
But I haven't try the minijack to rca cable before. Can you show me how it looks like? maybe attach a link of the pic, please? Thanks a lot!

I did try both coaxial and optical cable, no luck.....
July 8, 2008 12:53:44 AM

you'll get better quality with spdif, but since it doesn't work and analog does, you'll get good results (if you don't have golden ears).
July 8, 2008 3:57:00 PM

rojito said:
you'll get better quality with spdif, but since it doesn't work and analog does, you'll get good results (if you don't have golden ears).


Thanks a lot for your help! I will go buy the cable to give it a try. Thanks!!
July 8, 2008 5:54:52 PM

you're welcome, and yes, you'll need 3 cables
!