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5.1 wont play through optical SPDIF output

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March 29, 2011 9:55:21 PM

Hi i have been having this issue for quite some time now and i haven't been able to find a good answer. I know others have had the same problem but no outsiders seem to understand what is going wrong and they give completely useless suggestions.
The problem is, for some reason the fiber optic output that i am using to connect my Asus Rampage III Extreme to my receiver cannot be configured as a 5.1 setup. in 'playback devices' in windows, the 'configure' button is disabled, preventing access to the wizard that allows you to change from stereo to 2.1, quadrophonic, 5.1 and 7.1. the same is true in the Realtek manager. the screen showing the speaker configuration in the room is not present. I know for sure that the output is capable of sending 5.1 because when i go to playback devices, select realtek digital output (optical), click properties, and go to the supported formats tab, if i test the DTS or Dolby Digital encoding the sound is played perfectly through all 5 speakers.
Now to avoid confusion, i am not asking how to get 2 channel music to play out 5.1. i really don't care about music right now because my receiver has an enhancing function.
also please don't tell me that only applications with DTS or Dolby digital encoding will output 5.1 because i already know that. however VLC, PowerDVD 10, Divx, and Crysis 2, which all support either of those encoding formats will NOT play 5.1 (in the case of the media players i listed, i tested them with either a bluray or a digital copy of Avatar).

the way i have everything set up (which has the above problem) is i am currently running HDMI from my graphics card to my TV, and optical from my motherboard to my receiver. i want that option to work because the only alternative is running HDMI to my receiver, then HDMI again to my TV. with this option the 5.1 works perfectly, however routing the video signal through my receiver creates a tiny delay that is unpleasant in Crysis 2.
March 30, 2011 2:27:06 AM

Hi,

Are you talking about 5.1 directly from your motherboard? If so, I had the exact same issue with an Asus P6T Deluxe V2. I couldn't get the sound indicators from all of my speakers, though - only front left, front right, and bass.

As far as I could find, it should work with movies - which I never tried - but not with video games due to codec reasons. I read many times that you need a dedicated sound card. This could be a completely wrong reason, but it's all I could find for information.

Sorry I couldn't help, but I figured I would let you know your not alone.
March 30, 2011 12:12:37 PM

SPDIF does not have the bandwith to send uncompressed 5.1 audio, hence, why only Dolby and DTS can give 5.1 audio over SPDIF. Unless you have a realtime encoder, probably from a soundcard, you will not be able to get 5.1 audio unless the track you are trying to send is already in Dolby/DTS format.

Quote:
however VLC, PowerDVD 10, Divx, and Crysis 2, which all support either of those encoding formats will NOT play 5.1


These media players [to my knowledge] do NOT support realtime encoding [without a codec like AC3Filter at least], but will happily pass through any audio already in Dolby/DTS if configured properly.

Make sure you are using the Dolby Digital/DTS track, and not the default 2.0 or one of the 7.1 formats [TrueHD/Master Theatre]. Its also possible the players are decoding the audio first, then sending over the uncompressed 2.0 PCM format. [You want the players to pass through the encoded audio, not decode it then send it out].

In the case of Crysis 2, as I've never played the game, I am unsure if it has a Dolby/DTS track for audio [which is rare for PC games; the only one I can think of that did was Bioshock], so I can't comment. I can gurantee its not encoding on the fly.

Quote:
the way i have everything set up (which has the above problem) is i am currently running HDMI from my graphics card to my TV, and optical from my motherboard to my receiver. i want that option to work because the only alternative is running HDMI to my receiver, then HDMI again to my TV. with this option the 5.1 works perfectly, however routing the video signal through my receiver creates a tiny delay that is unpleasant in Crysis 2.


Odd, as HDMI to HDMI through a receiver shouldn't be causing any noticable delay between audio and video...maybe its the TV processing as opposed to a delay of signal? [Make sure all the enhancement options, like any 120Hz Truemotion features are disabled].

Quote:
Go to klite Codec pack and set the output to pcm


You are aware your not actually getting 5.1 when you do that, right? Plus, that doesn't solve the problem with 5.1 in games.
Related resources
March 31, 2011 6:00:40 PM

Quote:
FFDShow settings and enabled the Dolby Decoder andset the codecs settings for AC3 and DTS from the default of liba52 to SPDIF


So, your decoding the dolby signal and sending PCM over SPDIF, so you're really sending 2.0 over, and virtualizing the extra channels through AC3Filter. Not a real 5.1 signal. You want to ENCODE audio to 5.1, not DECODE it.

Likewise, AC3Filter is useless for games, as it operates though another program like VLC. For 5.1 from that, you need audio encoded to either Dolby or DTS in realtime, which to my knowledge, no software can do.
April 3, 2011 12:57:00 AM

[/quote]Likewise, AC3Filter is useless for games, as it operates though another program like VLC. For 5.1 from that, you need audio encoded to either Dolby or DTS in realtime, which to my knowledge, no software can do.[/quotemsg]

I has a similar setup with same problem... hdmi to tv, optic out on tv to avr... only programs like VLC play true 5.1 everything else is pcm48 and 2.0 spread over 5.1 speakers... and you're saying that if the people who developed my games didn't make support for dts then i no can has surround sound on my pc... i has to play on xbox with out keyboard and mouse!!! :cry:  is there something i can buy like a sound card that will make this work?
April 3, 2011 7:38:15 AM

Quote:
I has a similar setup with same problem... hdmi to tv, optic out on tv to avr... only programs like VLC play true 5.1 everything else is pcm48 and 2.0 spread over 5.1 speakers... and you're saying that if the people who developed my games didn't make support for dts then i no can has surround sound on my pc... i has to play on xbox with out keyboard and mouse!!! :cry:  is there something i can buy like a sound card that will make this work?

What gpu do you have? Windows 7 api is different. The games comes with their own sound engines where windows api do the work. Download this driver
http://downloads.guru3d.com/Realtek-HD-Audio-2.35-Drive...

Remember to use a driver sweeper to remove the old driver. You can also find that at the above linked sight. When your done cleaning it install that driver. Its the HD driver for realtek which is stable[/quotemsg]
nvidia gtx470 that driver supports ATI hdmi devices... i already have realtek hda driver for my mobo and i tried changing those settings hoping it would recognize nvidia m-hdmi out
April 3, 2011 7:47:43 AM

also, i'm not OP and i'm on windows xp pro 64 unlike OP...
May 20, 2012 5:17:33 PM

GTheFlea said:
Hi i have been having this issue for quite some time now and i haven't been able to find a good answer. I know others have had the same problem but no outsiders seem to understand what is going wrong and they give completely useless suggestions.
The problem is, for some reason the fiber optic output that i am using to connect my Asus Rampage III Extreme to my receiver cannot be configured as a 5.1 setup. in 'playback devices' in windows, the 'configure' button is disabled, preventing access to the wizard that allows you to change from stereo to 2.1, quadrophonic, 5.1 and 7.1. the same is true in the Realtek manager. the screen showing the speaker configuration in the room is not present. I know for sure that the output is capable of sending 5.1 because when i go to playback devices, select realtek digital output (optical), click properties, and go to the supported formats tab, if i test the DTS or Dolby Digital encoding the sound is played perfectly through all 5 speakers.
Now to avoid confusion, i am not asking how to get 2 channel music to play out 5.1. i really don't care about music right now because my receiver has an enhancing function.
also please don't tell me that only applications with DTS or Dolby digital encoding will output 5.1 because i already know that. however VLC, PowerDVD 10, Divx, and Crysis 2, which all support either of those encoding formats will NOT play 5.1 (in the case of the media players i listed, i tested them with either a bluray or a digital copy of Avatar).

the way i have everything set up (which has the above problem) is i am currently running HDMI from my graphics card to my TV, and optical from my motherboard to my receiver. i want that option to work because the only alternative is running HDMI to my receiver, then HDMI again to my TV. with this option the 5.1 works perfectly, however routing the video signal through my receiver creates a tiny delay that is unpleasant in Crysis 2.


If I understand your situation, you should be able to get this to work.

The Realtek Azalia HD Soundcard supports Dolby Digital Live, which means is converts surround sound audio to Dolby 5.1 in real time and will output that via SPDIF Optical.


By default, the Realtek card outputs stereo over optical, so you have to enable Dolby Digital Live via the Realtek Audio Manager program. In your tray, go to Realtek Audio Manager > Digital Output (Optical) > Default Format > click the big Dolby Digital Live button under Default format.

Enjoy 5.1 audio over your optical cable in all your surround sound games games.
June 9, 2012 1:19:49 PM

As far as i can tell this is a general windows & realtec error.

Realtec refuses to inform windows the allowed speaker settings.
So windows will inform applications that there are only 2 speakers.

Applications that allow you to select the type of audio stream or take the source stream as default can output any surround type.

Applications like games ask windows for the speaker setting wich results in stereo mode.

Stupid!
Lazy programmers!
August 4, 2012 4:25:41 PM

Hi

If you can't change the 'Default Format' to 'Dolby Digital Live (5.1 Surround)' in Realtek Audio Manager in the 'Digital Output (Optical)' tab do this (for Windows 7):

1) In Windows Sound Control go to tab 'Playback' and choose 'Realtek Digital Output(Optical)' --> Properties --> Enhancements --> 'Disable all sound effects': UNCHECK !!! --> Click 'OK' --> 'OK'

2) In Realtek HD Audio Manager go to tab 'Speakers' and change the Speaker Configuration to '5.1 Speaker'. Then go to tab 'Digital Output(Optical)' and change the 'Default Format' to 'Dolby Digital Live (5.1 Surround)'.

August 4, 2012 5:14:34 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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