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Sony Home theater - 5.1 Not Working with SPDIF

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May 7, 2012 3:01:50 AM

So let's make this fast, I bought a Sony home theater (pc use) "sony home theatre ht-ddwg700" This is the back panel of the digital amplifier. http://store.sony.com/wcsstore/SonyStyleStorefrontAsset...

Got this plugged to my pc through the SPDIF cable and I can't listen the 5.1 working, let's say it is just "left and right" I want to try out the left front speaker but the back and centre also work when doing the test, same with right side. And if want to try a back speaker won't work, same with center and bass. I have the Realtker HD audio control panel with my Asus P8Z68-V LE. Games and stuff also work just with "left and right" as I said before, I can't hear any sound that should be at the back.

In the realtek control panel I just got the "Sound Effects" and "Default Format" tabs, isn't there any way to plug my digital amplifier to the computer with the rear speaker out, center/subwoofer out, etc? Or any way to enable the Dolby Digital and DTS Audio for games and stuff?

Thanks for reading, If you need any information just comment, I would like to solve this problem :) 

Best solution

May 7, 2012 4:27:17 AM

Sigh...

SPDIF is incapable of transmitting uncompressed 5.1 audio; it simply does not have the bandwidth. The only way to get 5.1 using SPDIF is to use a compressed format [Dolby/DTS].

Now, because PC's have typically always used direct analog output, the majority games do NOT come with a Dolby/DTS soundtrack. Some do, but its rare. So to get 5.1 via SPDIF, you have to buy a soundcard that can encode in realtime to one of those formats.

The reason the speaker test works is because each speaker is tested individually [its like 6 tests, using one channel at a time, not a full 5.1 stream]. Likewise, a Dolby/DTS audio format will play without problem. The problem occurs because most PC games don't have a Dolby/DTS soundtrack.
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May 7, 2012 4:35:09 AM

Thanks for replying! I downloaded some DD and DTS 5.1 video test and I used KMPlayer and actually DTS and Dolby Digital worked fine, Yeah most of the games I tried out with my home cinema, I tried them out before with another 5.1 sound system but WASN'T via SPDIF (or coax) and worked great, I could hear the explosions at my back and stuff, with my Sony home cinema it won't PCM stereo it's enabled when playing games, games such as Dirt that has the Rapture 3D Sound, I just can't change the 2Channel to 5.1, says I don't have 5.1

Also Battlefield 3, says it comes with Dolby Digital but if there's any way to enable it I just can't find it, PCM is enabled while playing.
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May 7, 2012 5:29:26 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPDIF

So you need to meet these TWO conditions:
1) the audio format is one of the ones mentioned in the article above

2) the software is configured properly (you may have to have S/PDIF checked specifically in your media player for example)

The entire audio situation in computers is a MESS. They put HDMI outputs on graphics cards so people hook them up to TV's or monitors with HDMI input only to discover no audio. Why? It only decodes certain formats (no Windows or Game sounds).

This begs the question:
Why would I hook up to an HDMI output on a computer if I ALSO have to hook up to the audio card directly anyway to get the OTHER sounds I miss?

So for people SOLELY using their HDMI outputs for movies it generally works great. Uh, then wouldn't I just use a DVD/BluRay player?

(The exception is motherboard HDMI and laptop HDMI. That's setup to transmit all sound correctly since it just connects to the audio chip. IMO they should drop HDMI from graphics cards completely. We're headed in this direction already with Virtu technology.)
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May 7, 2012 4:03:52 PM

Best answer selected by gogirb.
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May 7, 2012 4:09:18 PM

Now I understood how DD and DTS works, PCM would be there if those two aren't enabled or whtever. Now I need to find how to enable DTS and DD on every game then. GOt 2 HDMI, one through the motherboard, the other one it's on my videocard (radeon hd6790) but my home theater doesn't have hdmi connector.
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