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HTPC & HDMI Audio nightmare. Please help.

Last response: in Systems
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May 27, 2011 10:10:03 AM

Hi folks. A friend of mine built me a new HTPC with the aim of having smooth iso file 1080p playback & full codec HD audio. Here is the spec list:

Hardware
AMD Athlon 64 X2 7550 Bundle including AMD Athlon 64 X2 7550 AMD Processor, Asrock AM2+ N68C-S UCC mATX Motherboard and Heatsink and Fan

Inno3D GT 430 1GB SDDR3 DVI VGA HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card

Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory Kit CL5 1.8V

WD 250GB 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 7200RPM 16MB Cache

Linked via 1.3 HDMI lead to my Yamaha RX-V1900 -> Panasonic AE-4000 projector.

Software
Window Media Centre

Arcsoft Total Media Theatre 5

All drivers up to date, correct software settings. Using 2m HDMI lead to my amp.

The problem
No probs at all with video - projector display is 1080p 24fps. However, after selecting the movie, when it starts, the Yamaha display is PCM uncompressed. This is despite setting the default audio device to be the Nvidia graphics card and selecting "Use primary audio source only". The only method which has worked occasionally is by switching the input on the receiver to something else then back to my PC input again to get the HDMI handshake - this results in DTS-HD Master Audio or True HD etc.... but only sometimes. Usually the picture just freezes and I have to start from scratch.

I've racked my brains and torn my hair trying to reset the settings... I'm wondering whether I have a dodgy HDMI lead but I feel that's clutching at straws.

Any ideas please???? :sweat: 

Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
May 27, 2011 11:59:39 AM

Are you using the stand-alone XP-based 'Window Media Centre' or the WMC from inside Vista or Win7?

May 27, 2011 12:08:09 PM

Hi,

WMC in Windows 7
a b B Homebuilt system
May 27, 2011 6:24:37 PM

Ouch.

Have you tried the stand-alone Arcsoft media player outside of WMC? There may be a conflict of sorts. If the same deal happens I'd take a stab at the nVidia drivers. If it works fine in Arcsoft I would then suspect a codec/driver conflict.

In order for hardware acceleration and HD audio to function properly with an ATI/AMD video card, you must have the Avivo codec package and a special HD audio driver. I'll assume something similar for nVidia.

If you are familiar with the Windows Device Manager, open it up and see if there is a *Bang* mark, or a question mark with an 'unknown device.' If you find the proper HD audio device for your card you will be able to update the driver OR uninstall the HD audio driver entirely (while removing all the drivers from the system) and reboot, forcing Windows to reinstall.

There is also the little red 'alert' flag in the task bar that may prompt you if there is an area of concern.

Is the HD audio driver part of the PureVideo package, or is it separate? I'm under a double-whammy as it has been a while since I've used an nVidia card -- and I'm not familiar with Arcsoft.


edit --- that should be system tray - not task bar on the red flag thingy
!