Getting audio passthrough for spdif (ASROCK 330HT)
Posted 11 Oct 2010 - 09:28
I have been trying to find information for months by now and after receiving all the mixed signals, got totally confused. And here I am begging for help and clarifications.
I have a following setup:
- miniPC AsRock 330 HT (ION platform) (http://www.asrock.co...Model=ION 330HT) - Windows 7 and Window Media Center for music and Videos on top of it.
- A/V receiver Pioneer VSX919 AH (7.1 surround receiver, DTS, DD and everything else you might wish but never use)
- An advanced 5.1 Speaker system (Opera Mezza speakers).
miniPC has an onboard sound card and digital output which I use to connect to A/V receiver. Initially I was thinking of HDMI cable, but nVidia driver for HD audio on Win7 supports only Dolby Digital as an encoded format, so I preferred to stay with SPDIF output. However not sure about my decision.
What I am trying to achieve for ages now, is to pass through audio to receiver, so it does ALL the DAC and processing, however the Realtek HD audio Manager allows to select either Stereo output or DTS 5.1 with upmixing and no pass through!
When I listen to the music, I want to listen it in stereo and there is a huge difference in quality if I select DTS for audio on PC and then Stereo on AV receiver or just stereo output on PC. When I watch to movies, I want to make use of my receiver and setup.
Do you know any way I can try to achieve this goal? I am using Windows Media Center for playing audio (because I invested couple of weeks in making my music collection and collecting artist information) but can use any other player for playing back movies (dvd, mkv, etc).
Posted 11 Oct 2010 - 09:33
Posted 11 Oct 2010 - 13:15
There are several signals of sound that can come from your computer:
A 2.0 (two channel *stereo*) signal: this is found on CDs, most computer games, most downloaded movies
A 5.1/7.1 DTS/Dolby (six/eight channel *surround*) signal: this is found on DVDs/Blu-ray
A 5.0/7.0 (five/seven channel *surround*) signal: this is found in some computer games
My computer was hooked up to a receiver for many years. I had several cables too:
A optical cable for digital output (DTS/Dolby) from computer to receiver
A stereo cable for left and right channels
Two tri-stereo cables for centre, sub woofer, rear-left, rear-right, rear-surround-right, rear-surround-left
When I wanted to play audio(OGG, FLAC, MP3), games(Civilization IV, Battlefield 1942, EverQuest II), or downloaded movies, I'd have to flick a switch on the receiver to tell it to use the analogue cables. Since audio/games/downloaded movies aren't set up with a DTS or Dolby Digital signal, they must be sent in analogue. The S/PDIF optical port is used for sending a digital stream of audio, such as DTS or Dolby Digital.
If you use the analogue cables, whatever the game is trying to send to the speakers, will be sent. Whether it be five channels of audio, seven, six, eight, etc. If you use the digital cable, you'll only get two channels of audio. Since the audio/games/downloaded movies were not meant to send DTS/Dolby Digital, it'll send a PCM stream of two channels.
This is where the idiot Jean-Claude Durand comes into play. He says that you can get six or more channels from a stereo source. Yes, from a two channel audio source you can apply a filter to it and get six channels of audio: but it's not directional. Hence, you can not send six discrete channels of audio over a analogue stereo cable. What a 'tard...
Also, games are designed for 5.0 or 7.0 channels of audio. Since game designers know most people have Creative or Logitech speaker sets, they don't design the games for a discrete sub woofer channel. The speakers sets will take all low frequency sounds and play them via the sub woofer, so why code a discrete sub woofer channel? Just advertise 5.1 and no one will be the wiser. Pissed me off royally.
So for audio/games/downloaded movies, you'll need to use the analogue cables.
When I wanted to play movies(DVD/Blu-ray), I'd have to flick a switch on the receiver to tell it to use the digital optical cable. PowerDVD was configured to use the S/PDIF port *see attached image below. So when my movies from PowerDVD were played it would use the S/PDIF port and digital optical cable. If I told my receiver to use the analogue cables while playing a DVD/Blu-ray in PowerDVD, I would hear nothing, since the audio from PowerDVD is digital and not using those cables.
No matter what, you should have to switch your receiver between digital/analogue. You shouldn't have to touch the computer once it's set up.
Your sound card should be able to do both. Just set the computer to S/PDIF output and have both the digital and 3.5mm plug in too.
In other words, I want to know if there is any way to deal with REALTEK driver on a software level or I always will need to switch between stereo and DTS 5.1 when playin movies vs audio?
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