• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Not getting 5.1 audio from HTPC

brontosaurus

Member
May 13, 2015
39
0
0
I'm totally new to HTPC, so I'd be grateful for any advice.

The HTPC (Windows 8.1 Pro) has a GTX960 video card with hdmi out plugged into the Yamaha RX-675 receiver. I have a 5.1 setup connected to the receiver. I can't figure out how to enable 5.1 setup. If I go to "Playback Devices" and "Configure Speakers" GTX 960's audio, I see 5.1 setup as one of the options but when I test that setup, sound only comes out of the left, right, and sub.

Can anyone provide any insight as to what I'm doing wrong?

Also, I have a TV that I connected via S/PDIF cable to the AV, and 5.1 works fine.
 

stockwiz

Senior member
Sep 8, 2013
403
15
81
hmmm... sounds like you are doing everything right. Maybe check the receiver settings to make sure you have it in a multichannel mode such as "Straight" mode which does no processing. My RC-160 automatically detects my HDMI from my 970 and sets itself in "multich PCM HDMI" mode for me.
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
I'm not at my HTPC now, but from memory, the device to set as default would be the AVR (Mine is listed as something like Onkyo 7.1 Receiver blahblahblah). If you see a similar listing for your AVR in the list of audio devices, right click that, set as default, right click Properties and in one of the tabs it should list all the Multichannel codecs like DTS etc. Then configure just as you did before. Hope that helps.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,596
471
126
Kind of an obvious question but is the source material in 5.1?
It's probably not. In my experience, setting your HTPC to 5.1 is pretty much worthless. Here's why...


  1. Your source material needs to have multiple tracks to support anything other than 2.1 audio. Chances are if you have a multi-channel stream, it's in Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio. Those codecs do not require you to enable 5.1 sound as they bypass the audio codec and are sent directly to the receiver.
  2. Windows doesn't save the setting anyway. This is pretty much the biggest reason why I never change it -- it never sticks! Every time I turn my receiver off and back on again, I'm back to stereo sound. There are way too many button clicks to make it worthwhile to do this every time. :p
If you do have 5.1 enabled in Windows, you should see "MULTI-CH" or something like that on your receiver. To note, you can always cheat and use post-processing algorithms (e.g. Dolby PLII) to turn a stereo stream into a 5.1 stream. In a lot of cases, I have very little problems using these methods. Although, I find that anime doesn't work well with Dolby PLII as the voices tend to bleed into the surround channels fairly often.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
5.1 rarely worked when I used Windows for my HTPC. I remember it working at one point, then it just stopped. Might have been when I switched to LAV, or updated it, or changed receivers...I dont know what it was. When I switched over to OpenELEC it worked without having to do anything at all.
 
Last edited:

brontosaurus

Member
May 13, 2015
39
0
0
Thanks for all the info and suggestions. I will check the settings per recommendations.

Regarding source material, I haven't tried anything significant like using MKV. I'm still quite new to audio and video codecs, so I'm trying to get my head around that. So all I really have is at the moment is Netflix as the source material. I thought Netflix has 5.1 audio for some movies that you can enable...

I know the receiver has all those various DTS audio codecs, but how do they "interact" with the the audio being sent over from HTPC?

I'm barely coming from learning about standard PCs and using a dedicated DAC/amp for a 2.1 setup. Adding the receiver into the mix makes me confused about how the audio goes from HTPC to receiver to speakers..
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
It might be a codec issue on your htpc. Once it gets to the receiver it should be fine, but it has to be sent multi-channel audio. It should go source -> codec -> digital out -> receiver. So check your codec settings, make sure Windows is set to use the correct output, and then make sure the receiver is set for multi-channel decoding (dts, ac3, direct, etc).
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,596
471
126
Regarding source material, I haven't tried anything significant like using MKV. I'm still quite new to audio and video codecs, so I'm trying to get my head around that. So all I really have is at the moment is Netflix as the source material. I thought Netflix has 5.1 audio for some movies that you can enable...

I know the receiver has all those various DTS audio codecs, but how do they "interact" with the the audio being sent over from HTPC?
In most home theater programs, they'll have options (automatic or manual) to setup your audio system. Typically, that includes the ability to set what your audio system can process (Dolby, DTS, etc.). If the home theater program encounters a codec that your audio system can handle by itself, the data will be sent directly across the audio channel (the HDMI cable).

I did a bit of research on Netflix on Windows. Here's what I found:


  • Netflix in Windows Media Center: This does not support Dolby 5.1. This add-on is being deprecated soon anyway.
  • Netflix Modern app on Windows 8.x: This supports Dolby 5.1.
  • Netflix Modern app on Windows 10: Dolby 5.1 support is currently broken.
You've got 8.1, so if you're using the Modern app (sometimes called by their old monicker, Metro), it should work. Although, I think Windows itself needs to see that you have a Dolby-capable receiver.
 

brontosaurus

Member
May 13, 2015
39
0
0
I did a bit of research on Netflix on Windows. Here's what I found:


  • Netflix in Windows Media Center: This does not support Dolby 5.1. This add-on is being deprecated soon anyway.
  • Netflix Modern app on Windows 8.x: This supports Dolby 5.1.
  • Netflix Modern app on Windows 10: Dolby 5.1 support is currently broken.
You've got 8.1, so if you're using the Modern app (sometimes called by their old monicker, Metro), it should work. Although, I think Windows itself needs to see that you have a Dolby-capable receiver.
Thank you for that information. I've only tried Netflix via Internet Explorer, because I've read somewhere that IE provides the highest bitrate. But I will try the metro netflix app.
 

brontosaurus

Member
May 13, 2015
39
0
0
In most home theater programs, they'll have options (automatic or manual) to setup your audio system. Typically, that includes the ability to set what your audio system can process (Dolby, DTS, etc.). If the home theater program encounters a codec that your audio system can handle by itself, the data will be sent directly across the audio channel (the HDMI cable).
Can you clarify what you mean by "home theater programs"? You mean like Netflix and its 5.1 Dolby audio?

If I understand correctly, an (software) audio codec is what I need to decode various audio formats. So whatever source material I'm playing, I would need to know what audio format it is in, thereby also requiring the right audio codec? Lastly, is this all done on the HTPC side prior to sending the signal via HDMI?

So if the AV receiver receives a decoded Dolby 5.1 source from HTPC, does that mean it should play the audio correctly (provided right setup on the AV settings to multi-channel)?
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,253
18
81
Under playback devices you should actually see the yamaha receiver listed as the default playback device. If you click properties for that device there should be an option that says "supported formats" or something like that. It should have check boxes where you can click dolby digital, DTS, DTS HD, and others along with the ability to test each one. What happens when you enable some of those?
 

Mushkins

Golden Member
Feb 11, 2013
1,635
0
0
Under playback devices you should actually see the yamaha receiver listed as the default playback device. If you click properties for that device there should be an option that says "supported formats" or something like that. It should have check boxes where you can click dolby digital, DTS, DTS HD, and others along with the ability to test each one. What happens when you enable some of those?
It depends on how you have it connected. I have pretty much the same setup as the OP connected to my receiver via HDMI and Windows 8/Windows 10 lists the audio device as my Sony TV via passthrough. But yeah, the OP needs to make sure it's set to 5.1 sound in the windows audio settings, as well as enabled in the particular filter/codec settings in whatever video playing app they're using. I just went through the same thing last weekend.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,596
471
126
Can you clarify what you mean by "home theater programs"? You mean like Netflix and its 5.1 Dolby audio?
In this case, I'm referring to applications such as Plex or Kodi that allow the end-user to manually set the audio system's codec support. In my case, I turn on everything but AAC.
 

Murloc

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2008
5,343
53
91
Under playback devices you should actually see the yamaha receiver listed as the default playback device. If you click properties for that device there should be an option that says "supported formats" or something like that. It should have check boxes where you can click dolby digital, DTS, DTS HD, and others along with the ability to test each one. What happens when you enable some of those?
funny, no checkboxes there in my end. It's just a list.

They get decoded by my AVR.

I also have the audio set to 5.1 in the computer. This doesn't matter if it's an audio track that can be decoded by the AVR as it gets bypassed of course.

To OP, my suggestion to run tests is to use media player classic (MPC-HC) with some MKVs, one with DTS or Dolby and one with 5.1 AAC audio.
The latter will work correctly only if the windows settings are correct.
 

Snowman09

Member
Sep 2, 2015
30
0
6
Thank you for that information. I've only tried Netflix via Internet Explorer, because I've read somewhere that IE provides the highest bitrate. But I will try the metro netflix app.
I don't know if someone commented on this yet, but I don't believe browsers support 5.1 but I could be wrong.

Also, as weird as this sounds, I changed my HTPC to 5.1 under the sound manager and then switched back to stereo sound and my receiver now automatically changes to 4.1 (as I don't have a center). I'd say go with a movie that supports 5.1 and try that way.
 
Last edited:

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
If the source is not HTPC compliant your system will decode it and then recencode at the default. If it is compliant then it is supposed to be simply passed through to the receiver without altering the digital audio. Some settings may affect this.

"Also, I have a TV that I connected via S/PDIF cable to the AV, and 5.1 works fine."

SPDIF is compressed Audio.
 
Last edited:

Deders

Platinum Member
Oct 14, 2012
2,401
1
91
You need something like Media Player Classic set up properly to truly bitstream DTS etc.

http://rubenalamina.mx/2014/03/04/bitstreaming-audio-with-media-player-classic-home-cinema/

If this still doesn't give you 5.1 then the issue might be with the receiver.

S/PDIF can't actually transfer a pure uncompressed surround signal, it has to be bitstreamed DTS or DD so I guess this is what is happening with your TV.

As for your HDMI link, is it also linked in to the TV? what happens if you unplug the link to you TV so that it is just HTPC to receiver?
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY