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HDMI Sound Output from a 670 FTW - PC Gaming

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
Not sure where to create this thread.

I'm wondering, does any game support Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1?

I am currently using a Denon 5.1 Receiver with a set of Cerwin Vega Floor speakers for L/R, a Precision accoustics center channel speaker, a 10 Inch Denon powered Sub, and 2 Denon LR/RR speakers.


I've always been a bit of a Sound Newb. I have a decent system, better than most home users. But I've never really payed attention to my gaming audio.


I use the HDMI out for sound/video into my Denon Receiver, then HDMI from receiver to my TV.

I am using SPDIF to passthrough HD sound only for Media Player Classic - Home Cinema. My receiver then processes and displays it using DD 5.1 or DTS.


My question.... do games support DTS / Dolby 5.1 at all? If so, anyway of making the game send untouched audio to my receiver through HDMI to let it process it?
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
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Have you set your hdmi output on the video card as your selection in the sound control panel and set it for 5.1?
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
The HDMI connection should support 6-channel PCM, so the game only needs to support 5.1 surround sound not Dolby or DTS lossy compression.

So instead of game creates sound => compress to dolby => send to receiver => decompress => DAC => send to speakers

It's just

game creates sound => send to receiver => DAC -> send to speakers
 
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jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
Have you set your hdmi output on the video card as your selection in the sound control panel and set it for 5.1?

I don't want that. I want the audio to not be processed by my PC, but to be sent to my Receiver to do the work.


To answer your question, it is enabled. With movies I override this setting though using a Filter in MPC-HC to send audio untouched to my receiver for processing though.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
126
Just as dave said is how it works...this is provided the game is using openal and isn't an older title that is using specific creative eax features.
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
The HDMI connection should support 6-channel PCM, so the game only needs to support 5.1 surround sound not Dolby or DTS lossy compression.

So instead of game creates sound => compress to dolby => send to receiver => decompress => DAC => send to speakers

It's just

game creates sound => send to receiver => DAC -> send to speakers
Good Info. Thanks
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
126
I don't want that. I want the audio to not be processed by my PC, but to be sent to my Receiver to do the work.


To answer your question, it is enabled. With movies I override this setting though using a Filter in MPC-HC to send audio untouched to my receiver for processing though.
Um...if you dont tell windows to use hdmi you wont get audio through it...

You have to set it as the output device. Most games use open al which uses whatever sound chip you select to use (motherboard, creatice xfi or recon3d, asus xonar, hdmi audio from video card) and it outputs through that. Your video card doesn't process anything. It outputs pcm which is why some games will only output as 2.0 stereo since it cannot interpret eax audio.
 
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jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
Um...if you dont tell windows to use hdmi you wont get audio through it...

You have to set it as the output device. Most games use open al which uses whatever sound chip you select to use (motherboard, creatice xfi or recon3d, asus xonar, hdmi audio from video card) and it outputs through that. Your video card doesn't process anything. It outputs pcm which is why some games will only output as 2.0 stereo since it cannot interpret eax audio.
I don't want that. I want the audio to not be processed by my PC, but to be sent to my Receiver to do the work.


To answer your question, it is enabled. With movies I override this setting though using a Filter in MPC-HC to send audio untouched to my receiver for processing though.



Not to be rude here, but I'm clearly using HDMI, and what your talking about has nothing to do with what I'm asking.

I simply want to know if games support DTS or Dolby 5.1, and if so, how can I send a direct signal to my receiver for it to process the signal. I already do this with Blu Rays and Movies perfectly.

As far as I know right now, this isn't possible with the majority of games. I want to see if there are any.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
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you can't it has to go as PCM...We've already said that. Your video card is doing no processing, just pass through.

The ONLY way to do what you're asking is to get a card that supports DTS Connect or Dolby Digital Live which has the sound card encode the audio in real time as DTS or Dolby Digital and output that to your receiver via optical or digital coax. When you use PowerDVD or other software to watch movies they can pass the encoded signal through HDMI to your receiver to decode, or it can decode it in software and send it as PCM. It's not the same. No games are encoded in DD or DTS.
 
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jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
you can't it has to go as PCM...We've already said that. Your video card is doing no processing, just pass through.

The ONLY way to do what you're asking is to get a card that supports DTS Connect or DOlby Digital Live which has the sound card encode the audio in real time as DTS or Dolby Digital and output that to your receiver via optical or digital coax.
Awesome. Thanks.

I said I was a sound newb.

Anyways I guess I'll continue to let my receiver process the PCM audio from games as "Multi Channel Pro Logic II". Seems to sound the best.

I don't need a sound card. I'm happy with what I'm using, but was just wondering. I'll look into sound cards sometime.
 
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jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
OK, who am I kidding, I am curious.

What would you recommend? Are there cards that can do both (DD and DTS)

Would you recommend it over what I'm currently doing?

I would need one that can do this and output either Digital Coax or Optical.

Thanks
 

tornadog

Golden Member
Aug 6, 2003
1,222
0
76
You know this thread is quite relevant because I was wondering the exact same thing playing Max Payne 3 yesterday. It kept saying PCM audio in my Receiver's display and I was wondering if there was any game that output audio as DD5.1 or DTS?
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
126
If you want to do Dolby Digital Live and/or DTS Connect you can get a Soundblaster XFI card. The Titanium comes with the licenses for DTS connect and Dolby Digital live already(you usually have to buy em for like $5 each or something due to the fees of making an encoder instead of a decoder). Then you can just use Optical from the card to your receiver. What happens is something like this.

Game audio > XFI card encodes it into a DTS or Dolby Digital bitstream > signal sent via optical or coax to receiver > receiver decodes

This is also the only way to get true 5.1 from games that use EAX if you are not using the analog outputs as far as I know.

The Asus Xonar also supports DTS connect and DDL. The DS line only supports DTS Connect, DX or D1 only supports DDL, and the D2 and D2x supports both.

The Xonar will have a higher quality DAC if you ever use the analog.
 
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nenforcer

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2008
1,767
1
76
You know this thread is quite relevant because I was wondering the exact same thing playing Max Payne 3 yesterday. It kept saying PCM audio in my Receiver's display and I was wondering if there was any game that output audio as DD5.1 or DTS?
They are very rare and few and far between on the PC. On the console both the original XBOX and PS2 have this capability since 2001 but it generally just takes too much storage space for a single DVD. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 had a few DD encoded cut scenes on PS2. There are far more games for XBOX that do, such as the Halo series.

For PC, Max Payne 2 and Battlefield series games comes to mind as one of the few which support Dolby Digital. Most games that do support surround (Doom 3, Half Life 2) just pipe the PCM audio to the receiver which then does a Dolby Prologic to distribute a stereo sound across a 5.1 or 7.1 setup.

There just so few people who pipe their game audio through a true surround system using SPDIF or Optical TOSLINK most developers don't even bother.

Also, to Adam the Giant, you may be better off connectiing your sound card directly to your receiver using coaxial SPDIF or optical TOSLINK if you want to avoid any potential degradation / altering of the audio signal by the video card over the HDMI interface.
 
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DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
The thing is, Dolby and DTS are not as good as 6-channel PCM. They are just lossy compression of the same unconpressed sound that you'd get with the PCM.

An optical or coax digital connection needs Dolby or DTS because the standards for them only support stereo 2-channel PCM, so you need compression to send 5.1

With HDMI, you can just send the 5.1 uncompressed.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
126
Yeah good luck. As I said some older games (pre openal) may only do stereo over HDMI.

Honestly I still think the best way is to run the multichannel analog outputs from the card to a receiver that can accept those. Some receivers today still have this capability but it is much less popular since HDMI.
 

nenforcer

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2008
1,767
1
76
Yeah good luck. As I said some older games (pre openal) may only do stereo over HDMI.

Honestly I still think the best way is to run the multichannel analog outputs from the card to a receiver that can accept those. Some receivers today still have this capability but it is much less popular since HDMI.
This sounds like it would work fine for games, but if you have a Dolby Digital or DTS encoded DVD does the receiver decode the multichannel 5.1 or 7.1 audio and distribute it to the analog connected speakers? I think when you have the sound card connected via the analog inputs to the receiver you lose this functionality. Maybe Dave Simmons can explain.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,868
286
126
This sounds like it would work fine for games, but if you have a Dolby Digital or DTS encoded DVD does the receiver decode the multichannel 5.1 or 7.1 audio and distribute it to the analog connected speakers? I think when you have the sound card connected via the analog inputs to the receiver you lose this functionality. Maybe Dave Simmons can explain.
If you are watching a DVD or Blu-Ray the software can decode the audio to LPCM and send it to the appropriate analog channels on the fly.
 

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