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Unable to play PC games in 5.1

  • Sound Cards
  • Components
Last response: in Components
November 19, 2011 7:58:42 PM

Hi guys,

After searching the threads I am unable to find exactly what I am looking for.

Here is my scenario:
Onboard Sound via Realtek HD Audio Manager
Sony Amplifier with all the appropriate decoders
Optical Cable from the back of the PC to the amplifier
Inwall speakers.

I do not get 5.1 while play games.
I want my PC to run all the audio data uncompressed to my amplifier.
Then I want my amplifier to decode the signal and run 5.1 for gaming.

I have figured out for movies I need to use the ffdshow icon and set the S/PIDF output to "passthrough". My movies will now run 5.1 and the blue light turns on on my amp.

How do I get 5.1 for gaming? I've tried both battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2 and Skyrim.

Thanks for your help!

More about : unable play games

November 20, 2011 1:31:37 PM

This worked for me in Skyrim. Tick only the Speaker Fill option though, the other two options made NPC voices very weird (very deep and too bass-like).
November 20, 2011 9:32:49 PM

Optical Cable from the back of the PC to the amplifier

Figured that before I read the thread:

Optical can carry one of three audio formats:
2.0 PCM
5.1 Dolby Digital
5.1 DTS

All PC audio is uncompressed PCM, which optical can NOT transmit as 5.1 over optical. Only Dolby/DTS tracks can be passed through as 5.1 via optical [which is why, if you watched a movie with a DD/DTS track, you'd get 5.1 in that movie, but not in games].

Your only option to get 5.1 out of the optical port for games is to buy a soundcard with a realtime encoder to either Dolby or DTS [which most do, for this very reason].

Also FYI, the only thing "speaker fill" does is repeat the front channels onto the side/rear speakers; it doesn't give 5.1, just copies the stereo signal to the other speakers.