Not getting 5.1 from system

tinpanalley

Golden Member
Jul 13, 2011
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I have my motherboard outputting a 5.0 signal from my desktop and sent to my multi-channel input. But despite setting games to 5.1, I don't get audio in the rear or center channels. Everything is connected correctly so what can I do to test the channels to see if it's the cables?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,704
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Some audio chipsets have a test feature and/or in windows audio dialog somewhere to test each channel. If windows "helped" you by finding your driver, and it doesn't have the app to do that, you might gain it by installing the full driver package, or maybe it's there already, hunt for a folder named appropriate to your audio chipset or look on the motherboard manufacturer's site if integrated audio.

Is it analog or digital out of the computer? If analog you can play a continuous tone or just music and measure for roughly 1VAC (lowest single digit applicable range on a multimeter), at both ends of the cable, at the jacks/sockets/etc. You can also follow the analog signal path within the amp it's going to, using same multimeter measurement. If it has high voltage AC internal to the amp (wall powered to an internal PSU instead of a wall wart brick style AC-DC adapter external to the amp), assess your own safety working inside a live amp.

If digital, it's not going to be the cable, either all channels would work or none, unless you have some kind of setup that I can't imagine at the moment.

I might try a different source, get some movie clip that has 5.1 sound or something and play that.
 

tinpanalley

Golden Member
Jul 13, 2011
1,034
2
81
Some audio chipsets have a test feature and/or in windows audio dialog somewhere to test each channel.
What I finally did, which seems to have worked is that I got the latest Realtek Audio drivers for my mobo. They were only for Windows 8.1, but I ran them in compatibility mode. Then, once inside the Realtek software, I was able to unplug and replug the headphone in the Realtek HD audio 2nd output mode I wanted it to be used in, then, switching to the audio mode for "Speakers", I replugged and unplugged each of the three analog pairs assigning them one by one to the right output.

I think when a Windows reinstall happened several months ago, I completely forgot to do anything other than letting the computer just take basic Windows audio drivers. And since I hadn't been actually using the 5.1 from the computer for months, I hadn't noticed. Nevertheless, this is far far too complicated and should be a simpler setup.

What I'm now wondering is...
My receiver has no HDMI inputs. So for 5.1 HD video on my computer (but mostly for games) I send HDMI video to my TV for video and these analog audio cables go to the receiver. But I also send my gaming consoles and raspberry pi (both with 5.1) to the TV via HDMI and then simply passthrough their 5.1 audio to the receiver via SPDIF out from the TV itself. That allows me to send 5.1 to the receiver via one main optical to deal with the lack of HDMI inputs on the receiver.

So, what I'm thinking is... What if I sent video AND audio from my GPU to the TV via HDMI, which is already hooked up and which I already do for video, then I could output the audio via optical through my tv like with the other devices. The only question is if there isn't some problem with windows sending 5.1 from my GPU (AMD R9 280). Does that sound like it would work?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,704
280
126
I have a mental block about trying to do ANYTHING using AMD drivers so have no experience with that, maybe someone else will know.
 

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