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Direct sound from applications to different outputs

Last response: in Home Theatre
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July 30, 2011 9:00:25 AM

Hi everyone!
I have a question about directing sound from different applications to dedicated outputs. Example: Windows Media Player - HDMI output, Games - Speaker outputs.

My computer is connected to a gaming monitor via DVI + speakers in one room, and also to a 55' flat screen TV in the living room via HDMI. I have all my DVD movies on the hard drives.
The idea is that my family can watch movies on the big TV from Windows Media Center at the same time as we play games on the smaller monitor.
This works perfect regarding the visuals. My problem is that I can only activate one audio output at a time! So either game with no sound or soundless video.

Is there any software that can direct two sound streams simultaneously to different outputs on the motherboard?

I have a P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard and running SoundMax sound drivers. Windows Ultimate 64.

I hope someone can help!

Eddie from Sweden
July 30, 2011 3:20:44 PM

Eddie_01 said:
Hi everyone!
I have a question about directing sound from different applications to dedicated outputs. Example: Windows Media Player - HDMI output, Games - Speaker outputs.

My computer is connected to a gaming monitor via DVI + speakers in one room, and also to a 55' flat screen TV in the living room via HDMI. I have all my DVD movies on the hard drives.
The idea is that my family can watch movies on the big TV from Windows Media Center at the same time as we play games on the smaller monitor.
This works perfect regarding the visuals. My problem is that I can only activate one audio output at a time! So either game with no sound or soundless video.

Is there any software that can direct two sound streams simultaneously to different outputs on the motherboard?

I have a P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard and running SoundMax sound drivers. Windows Ultimate 64.

I hope someone can help!

Eddie from Sweden


sometimes you dont need software to decide.
if you get the chance to specifically choose which soundcard to use within the video player (or the video game)
then you dont need any software.

if i were you..
i would use media player classic home theater, then go inside the output settings and choose your graphics card as the output.

within windows.. you keep your selection as the onboard soundcard.
that way you get audio from the graphics card with the movies.. and audio from the onboard motherboard for the video games.


your only problem is..
windows media player doesnt let you select which soundcard to use.
media player classic home cinema does allow you to choose which soundcard to use.
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August 12, 2011 3:38:16 PM

Thank you very for the answer!

What makes it even more complex is that sometimes we play games on the big TV while someone is watching a movie on the smaller monitor. So I (and the kids) need a way to quickly redirect which soundstream goes where.
Also, I only have one soundchip - ADI AD2000B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC, on the motherboard. The sound stream to the graphic card (and HDMI out) is coming from that same audio chip feeding the speakers. But according to the specifications, the audio chip supports multi-streaming. Still I can only activate one stream at a time. I read somewhere that it is up to the motherboard manufacturer to implement the multi-streaming in the drivers - which apparently ASUS haven't done.
That is why I am looking for some third part drivers or software by which I can control the soundstreams.

Thanks a lot again for the reply!

Eddie
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August 12, 2011 5:39:54 PM

i dont know how the multi-streaming works.
but
i would start with recording one thing while playing back another.

that seems to be the ONLY logical feature, because you simply cannot output two different things of audio from the same outputs at the same time.
using the front speakers to output something, and the rear speakers to output something else .. this is something very much easier for a program to do it.
a lot of the jukebox software and 'whole house' programs are giving the choice to use the front outputs for one room, and the rear outputs for another room.
or
use two soundcards .. one for each room.


it seriously doesnt seem logical to think the soundcard will output a digital output while playing back an analog signal from the analog outputs.
yes.. the 'marketing' says it can .. but the smell of the situation hasnt been very easy thus far has it?

probably a lot easier to buy a $15 - $20 soundcard that has a s/pdif output that goes to the graphics card.

i know there are $400 soundcards that wont output a s/pdif signal while outputting a completely different signal through the analog outputs.
the processor might be able to do it.. but NOBODY is going to be using it without paying 'studio' or 'home studio' prices for it to work.
and i seriously doubt there will be anything available in the 'home studio' market that will ever output s/pdif and analog at the same time (with two different audio sources)

i think you are taking 'multi-streaming' a bit out of context.
or
the developers havent provided the option/feature in the software that comes with the soundcards.
maybe those experts could program something to make it work.
but
my soundcard has multi-streaming.. and 'advanced' audio programs simply say '4 inputs and 4 outputs'
as if it was an I/O mixer

two front speakers for the movie .. and two front speakers for the game
this situation isnt ideal.
just go get a cheap soundcard that will send a digital connection to the graphics card and call it done.

anything that talks about the 'multi-streaming' is going to talk about the multiple inputs and ouputs of the soundcard.
it doesnt mean you will be outputting a digital connection for a movie.. and then an analog connection for the video game.

if you could..
there would be another selection in the soundcard selection option area when you turn the multi-streaming on.
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August 14, 2011 9:32:23 AM

Thanks! Yes I 'm starting to realize that multi-streaming probably means being able to stream more than 2 channels from the same source, and not multiple sources simultaneously.

It's funny thought, that in windows it's really easy to use multiple screens for different applications. Game on one screen, movie on the other, news-channel on the third and so fourth. But no one thought of the need to direct the sound to where the picture goes!

My vision has been to have only one monster computer hidden away in the house. All nessecary cabling in the walls (wireless not being reliable enough for full HD streaming).

Maybe the solution is multiple soundcards. Or maybe there are some smart soundcards out there, that can do this. I'll look around.

Thanks again!
Eddie
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August 14, 2011 1:55:02 PM

oh..

they thought about it, but it boils down to these two things:
1. dolby digital not allowing it
2. the processor would be more expensive if the soundcard could do it


see this is where people might fall off and remain confused..
dolby digital is a copyright.. PCM stereo is not.
that is why there are soundcards that might output a PCM stereo signal from the s/pdif output .. and output a different signal from an analog output.
BUT
s/pdif is a trademark .. and that means the digital connection is under someone's control by law.
the law states what can and cannot be sent across the connection.

dolby digital MAYBE says what can and cannot be done on their processor chips.

the creative x-fi elite pro allows a whole bunch of connections and outputs.
it doesnt really say anything about sending each stereo connection to a specific output.
instead.. it says everything can be connected to a mixer board and the mixer board can mute each connection independantly.
a mixer board is not the same thing as a switch board.
a switch board lets you put all of the audio on one output.. or all of the audio on seperate outputs.. or anything inbetween.


nobody really is expected to stick with stereo sound for movies and video games.
your HDMI connection screams 5.1 or 7.1 capable devices only.
s/pdif screams 5.1 or 7.1 capable devices only.


if the soundcard says it will multi-stream .. the software that comes with the soundcard might not allow anything more than recording one thing and playing back another.
other software, like those jukebox software programs.. they will use the multiple input and outputs.
BUT
it will be stereo, this is mandatory.
it will be analog, this is the standard.

could you use the s/pdif to output PCM for the front left and right speakers?
yes.. probably very easy because the soundcard defaults to doing this.

could you then use the software to output stereo analog from the rear left and right speakers?
yes.. but it has to be audio from the music player (or completely different software).

you wont be able to watch a movie and send surround sound out of the s/pdif outputs.. because that will use the rear left and right output channels for the movie.
7.1 soundcards probably default to using the two extra speaker outputs when a 5.1 movie is being decoded.
you could use the last two speaker outputs if you let the software decode the surround sound and send the decoded audio to the soundcard.
but
lets face it .. you want to play a video game while playing a movie.
you probably wont be playing any good video games if the software is decoding the surround sound.
it will eat up a lot of the CPU power and really get in the way.

the software has to be specific when it says 'use only the front left and right speaker'
that is how you can use the rear left and right speaker for something else.
playing 5.1 on a 7.1 soundcard MAYBE will let you use the two extra speaker outputs, but the soundcard might lock those two channels from being available.
you would simply have to try it out and see what the soundcard says about it.


i didnt want you to get confused or give up because i was talking about stereo outputs.
surround sound output can complicate things a bit more, as i have mentioned those complications in this post.

i really think fighting with it and hunting down the software to make it work in stereo.. it might be worth it if you have the time and you are willing to listen to stereo for both.
but
otherwise, it would be a lot quicker and easier to spend the little amount of money on a generic soundcard (or any soundcard for a small price)

hopefully you have an extra PCI slot for the extra soundcard.
you might be able to get two quadrophonic setups from a 7.1 soundcard.
but
as i said.. you will probably have to decode the movie using software.



but consider this gamble..
you start the movie in the movie player and you tell the software decoder you have two front and two rear speakers (quadrophonic)
then you tell the decoder to output s/pdif.
- your first gamble is .. maybe the decoder sends 5.1 to the soundcard anyways

lets say the movie player did send only four channels of audio to the soundcard with the digital method.
now your soundcard is decoding two front channels and two rear channels of the movie.
- your second gamble is .. will the soundcard allow you to use the four remaining outputs for something else?

the soundcard might say 'i am decoding a movie and i will not let you use the *surround sound* channels for anything else'

this seems to be everything i can come up with on a quick rundown.
two front speakers and two rear speakers is much better than stereo for movies and video games that use it.
you can get positional surround sound from headphones or from a 5.1 speaker system.

**edit**

there is no such thing as dolby digital quadrophonic or dts quadrophonic.
i really dont see how you are going to send two front channels and two rear channels to the soundcard without letting the software decode the audio first.
i think the software will decode the surround sound and remove whatever speaker channels you tell it to (then split the center channel across the two front speakers if the channel is discrete)
this right here alone is going to eat up some CPU power and get in the way.

your video games will be very simple 2d or some very old 3d games.
you could have the most recent and fastest processor available.. and the most recent and fastest video card available .. but the chipset on the motherboard is going to take a hit because something is in the way.
it will be like trying to walk and there is somebody slower in front of you.
it might not be all that bad if you are only sending ONE s/pdif connection to the soundcard.
much better than SIX pcm connections because there is no decoding = much less processing running along the train tracks.

but
if you get a second soundcard to send some spdif to the graphics card.. this would be a good reason to overclock your motherboard and processor.
maybe when you are done with the overclock .. the extra audio and video will be like it never ever happened at all.

makes me wonder if sending s/pdif to the video card slows the frames per second down any.
and i also wonder if you are sending video to the same graphics card.. and if that slows the frames per second down any.
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November 23, 2013 8:12:10 AM

Sorry about the grave-digging here, every once in a while I decide to look for new solutions to the "audio to different displays" problem and found this thread.

I found a solution that works well with a media player such as MPC a while ago.

The best solution I found is a dual video card setup. This may require a rebuild of your pc if you do not have the space on your motherboard, so this can get a little expensive.

I purchased a cheap GTS250 a while back and use that to output to the television. This also requires a spdif pass-through cable from the motherboard to the sound card.

Granted I am not running a surround setup at the moment, but with this setup 1080p video and 1080p gaming are possible.

Another issue is control over two monitors.
This can be difficult to setup initially. A setup with a usb-uirt, promixis girder and a universal remote can give control over the movie without interrupting the game.
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