need help in getting 5.1 from pc to receiver - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-16, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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need help in getting 5.1 from pc to receiver

HI,
I just recently hooked up my PC running XP Pro on a 8800GT video card and a Asus P5K Motherboard on board spdif cable output to my Denon 4308 in my home theater.
My distance is 25 ft. I used a DVI to HDMI for video and its great. A good cable I got on sale at NCIX for 16.99 but when it showed up it had a nice covering on it compared to the dvi cable I got for my Samsung 24" for my PC.
When I hooked up the 25 ft digital coax from spdif on the pc to the Denon I used a Steren Cable I believe they are called and it was really inexpensive at 16.99 regular price and fairly thin. Never used them or heard of them before but it was really cheap compared tot eh 28.00 NCIX wanted.
Anyway I only got stereo sound when I turned it on. I did a Google search and found out that I had to go to Sounds and Audio Devices in the Control Panel on my PC to change the speaker config to 5.1.
Well my desktop in my office is a 2 speaker set up and the 5.1 was greyed out or the "Apply " was greyed out so I chose 7.1. I went to the home theatre and at first nothing different then 2 channel and then I went to VLN software, whcih I use for playback, and checked the spdif cable and I got the 5.1 digital sound on my Denon but the sound came in really sketchy. Like it was echoey or on and off the signal sounded really quickly.
Also when trying to stop the playback the buttons to click off didn't respond too well.
Is it my cable that is too inexpensive that is causing that?
I turned it back to stereo and it was fine the sound. Also in my home theater room I was bale to chose 5.1 on the speaker config while I was using my plasma as my screen but still the sound was not right.
I don't know if I have given enough information on this but I am stumped as I thought digital either got thru or not.
Appreciate any help.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 05:11 AM
 
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Your symptom could be contributed by a few things but a bad cable is not one of them (at least not the cause of bad response from clicking the stop button). There is no data-handshaking on digital audio transmission so the PC doesn't care about the cable or the other end. That means you don't get bad response from clicking the stop button just by a bad digital audio connection.

That leads to my suspicion on your playback material. What is it? Since you expect 5.1 output, I suppose you're playing back 5.1 material. In that case, make sure your player sends audio to SPDIF (or passthru' as it's called sometimes) if the player uses internal decoder. If the player uses external audio decoder, make sure the external audio decoder sends audio to SPDIF.

If you're talking non-5.1 signal, then only soundcard with DTS Connect or Dolby Digital Live can convert non-5.1 signal to 5.1, or you need an audio decoder to convert non-5.1 signal to 5.1 and then "passthru'" to SPDIF (e.g. AC3Filter, ffdshow audio decoder).

Or if you're talking 7.1 signal, your player needs to know how to downmix signal to 5.1 stream. From my experience, Cyberlink PowerDVD (Bluray/HDDVD support) has been finicky on that on earlier versions.

There're other possibilities like video file has bad audio/video syncing but in that case I assume you've tried a trusted source like a commercial DVD movie.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for reply.
I am using VLC media player. Yes it is a movie that I was trying to get 5.1 sound from. I checked the " use spdif when available" in the tools menu.
I know the movie has 5.1.
The bad response happens as soon as I try to play it. When I went to hit stop on the player is when I noticed the lack of response. But hitting the stop button was only to stop the player , it had nothing to do with the echoey sound coming out.
I am going to try it again after work to see if the transmission is actually going on and off, or if it is a steady stream going to the receiver.

I read on a forum awhile back that someone used a long digital cable of a lower caliber and exchanged it with some better shielding and it worked for him, so I thought maybe...that was my problem??
I also thought it might be in my configuration on my pc as in windows I am telling my desktop I want stereo as I have 2 speakers but out thru the spdif I want 5.1. So I thought that might be confusing things for it.
I don't know.

Anyway I hope that explains my situation better.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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I checked it out a bit better today and when I change the config on my pc from stereo to 5.1 and change VLC to spdif I get 5.1 coming into my receiver as it shows the configuration on my Denon amp, but no sound only this sort of echoey banging sound. Also my sound on my pc has stopped - nothing. When I go back to stereo it is OK on both. I have the sound hooked up to spdif on the pc then to the reciever so I don't get why it is doing that.
My Asus motherboard shows that it should put out the surround sound??
I get stereo fine?
Any help would be great?

Thanks
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 07:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoWd0Wn View Post
The bad response happens as soon as I try to play it. When I went to hit stop on the player is when I noticed the lack of response. But hitting the stop button was only to stop the player , it had nothing to do with the echoey sound coming out.
I am going to try it again after work to see if the transmission is actually going on and off, or if it is a steady stream going to the receiver.
That seems to be your problem right there. When you say bad response I assume your player is having a hard time streaming the audio smoothly. Digital audio decoder in your receiver needs a constant bitrate audio stream to decode properly or else the sound will seem to cut in and out even if the transmission never cuts out. All it takes is an inconsistent timing in the data.

When you say echoey sound, is it like some remix song that repeat a single word repeatedly? That suggests audio stream buffer underrun (i.e. your player fails to provide a constant stream of audio data into the DMA buffer for the soundcard to pick up. Does the video play back choppy? If it's a commercial DVD movie, which audio track did you use? Have you tried DTS, DD2.0, etc.?

Have you tried a different video player? What video and audio codec does the "Properties" window (Hit and release "Alt" then "File->Properties") say in Windows Media Player?

Quote:
I am going to try it again after work to see if the transmission is actually going on and off, or if it is a steady stream going to the receiver.

I read on a forum awhile back that someone used a long digital cable of a lower caliber and exchanged it with some better shielding and it worked for him, so I thought maybe...that was my problem??
I also thought it might be in my configuration on my pc as in windows I am telling my desktop I want stereo as I have 2 speakers but out thru the spdif I want 5.1. So I thought that might be confusing things for it.
I don't know.

Anyway I hope that explains my situation better.
It shouldn't matter if you tell windows you have 2 speakers or 5.1 layout when you use SPDIF because it's a passthru' and it bypasses windows setting.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoWd0Wn View Post
I checked it out a bit better today and when I change the config on my pc from stereo to 5.1 and change VLC to spdif I get 5.1 coming into my receiver as it shows the configuration on my Denon amp, but no sound only this sort of echoey banging sound. Also my sound on my pc has stopped - nothing. When I go back to stereo it is OK on both. I have the sound hooked up to spdif on the pc then to the reciever so I don't get why it is doing that.
When VLC is set to passthru' to SPDIF, no sound will be going to analog output of your soundcard so you won't get sound on your PC (I assume connected to analog output of your soundcard).

You focus should be still why bad response with your player.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
No the video is fine.
You explained the echoey noise right. It is like a remix with the same word going over and over with a sort of reverb working. I hope I explained that OK.

In this movie there was only the 5.1 sound, nothing else.
I didn't realize that the spdif is a pass thru.
I tried leaving windows as is with the desktop stereo setting and I tried just changing the player to spdif and it does the same remix thing with the same word over and over quickly. I went into audio setting and tried 5.1 on its own but only stereo comes out but it is the correct sound. As soon as I go back to spdif it goes to that reverb , remix thing again.

My player is VLC - media player. Also the file is an iso file that can be burned and in the burned dvd it has 5.1 fine.

Appreciate your help. This is the first time I have tried connecting my pc to my home theater and would love for it to work properly in audio.

Could it be the length od the cord plus no separate sound card just on board audio from the motherboard? Just guessing??

Edit:
Yes the sound on the pc goes off when I use spdif on the player but that same remix thing though.
Could it be some setting in my Bios with my Realtec Audio
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-17, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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I found My Realtec Audio Manager in Windows and went into it to check my settings.
It shows for Digital the spdif is on and the Output Sampling rate is 48kHz.
The other options for Sampling are 44.1kHz and 98 kHz and 192 kHz.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 02:21 AM
 
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Try Windows Media Player and bring up Properties window like I suggested earlier and let us know what it says about video and audio codec.

I doubt it has anything to do with the cable length/quality. No, you don't need separate soundcard. SPDIF passthru' takes very little processing power. Any soundcard that supports SPDIF passthru' should get it right quite easily.

Onboard soundcard doesn't need much BIOS settings, which probably includes just the Enable/Disable parameter.

SPDIF sampling rate setting is only for the soundcard hardware to convert it's mixer output (from wave/PC-speaker/line-in, etc.) into SPDIF. All of those will be disabled when you have 5.1 stream to pass thru.

Again try Windows Media Player as I suggested and let us know.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 09:59 AM
 
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i didn't read all the above posts, but i've had problems with vlc in the past and would NOT reccomend it for spdif passthrough. windows media player with ac3 filter is the way to go.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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How do you get windows media player to play an iso file?
I tried it and it says it wont play it.
Can you help with that??

Again many thanks

Edit,
Actually they are .img files mostly.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 06:41 PM
 
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I pulled this off another post but it explains how to mount your iso or img files.

Quote:
Playing .iso's from the Hdd is easy. All you need is Deamon Tools or Alchohol 120%. Deamon is free, Alky has a 30 day trial. Once you've downloaded and installed the program, just mount the .iso on one of the "virtual drives" that the program has. It should autostart, then you can choose what method to play it with. If not, just open your viewing software and choose the drive that has the image mounted on it "you can change the drive designations through the options menu of both programs".
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah I actually had Daemon Tools - I forgot about it as I haven't used it in awhile. When I opened it it said it only did cue, iso, and a few others but when i tried it with img ( had to chose All files to show) it worked - well sort of. I got audio but no video.

I did a google search and it said to install K Lite Codec pack- which I did but no change. So far it didn't seem to change my 2 channel sound but until I get WMP running right - I wont know until then,
I will check Microsoft's webpage to see if there are any video codecs to download .

Any suggestions??
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 07:14 PM
 
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TryDaemon Tools. It creates a virtual DVD drive that you play the ISO on.

I simply rip my DVDs to VIDEO-TS folders and files. Media player and Media Center can handle those.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 2009-11-18, 08:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoWd0Wn View Post
when i tried it with img ( had to chose All files to show) it worked - well sort of. I got audio but no video.

I did a google search and it said to install K Lite Codec pack- which I did but no change. So far it didn't seem to change my 2 channel sound but until I get WMP running right - I wont know until then,
I will check Microsoft's webpage to see if there are any video codecs to download .

Any suggestions??
If you've set up K-lite codec pack properly WMP should be using ffdshow audio decoder which I've been appraising on the other thread and you should not have to download any other codec for 99% of the videos out there.

Despite having no video, what does the "Properties" window say about video and audio codecs?
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