2 channel audio over HDMI

Rpgparnell

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Aug 9, 2013
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My HTPC began playing XBMC videos very slowly 2 days ago. Googling brought me to look at audio drivers of all things. I have an ASUS MB with HD 3000 IG, AMD chipset and VIA VT1708S Audio (spec'ed at 8 channel.) I have tried updating drivers, a PCI E HD 3450 w/HDMI out, restoring the system back one week but still only have 2 channel sound. Resetting XBMC from 7.1 to stereo fixed my playback, but that's not the solution I want. With the PCI-e card, I realize how poorly I understand how to tell the machine to pipe the audio via the bus, into the HDMI cable. Is onboard audio enabled to get into that cable? The VIA HD Deck with its SPDIF, speaker and HDMI (but that never works anyway) are only installable if the bios enables it. The other devices in sound playback are both AMD Hi Def Audio. One is 2- channel (my only working sound) and the other reads not plugged in (presumably the rear panel [IG] HDMI port. So I tried to carry video to the AVR via HDMI and audio via fiber (SPDIF), but the AVR refuses to accept Optical audio if HDMI is enabled for the PC input.
So, I've fallen and I can't get up. I may have a bad audio chip on the MB, but how to sort it out? I could get a sound card, but how to make it work with an HDMI video device? A new MB would require a full reinstall with a week or two of installing & reconfiguring with no guarantees. Any ideas would be welcome. Even links to educate how to take control of HDMI might help. Thanks...
 

Rpgparnell

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Aug 9, 2013
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Actually, before I changed it to the 2 channel device, XBMC setting for the audio device listed a VIA 7.1 HDMI device which at this point does not seem to exist.
This link for this XBMC Wiki started me on my quest and is something I have thoroughly studied. This is where I learned that the Max No. of Channels must read 8. My problem is that the ATI HDMI device (which IS "plugged in") in my system only shows 2 channel support; no quadrophonic, 5.1 or 7.1 surround options are listed. Since I have disabled the onboard graphics, all the Via stuff (Speaker, SPDIF and HDMI) devices vanished, but even before, selecting via HDMI as default produced no sound and only showed 2 channel HDMI. Does the PC read the AVR and present options which it "sees" as supported by the receiver? The ATI card should pass audio from the PCIe bus to its HDMI port, so do the VIA drivers still play a role? I don't get it.

I must run an errand this weekend, so it may be difficult to follow up until Tuesday. Please don't give up on me - I usually don't find myself quite so stumped. Your help is much appreciated.
 

Rpgparnell

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Aug 9, 2013
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I have since returned to the onboard HD3300. There is a fair bit of chatter implying that the limited scope of supported formats is due to the AVR or TV to which it is connected. So I moved the HDMI cable to a laptop (with a different AMD HD HDMI driver) and it immediately popped up with 7.1, 5.1 support and all the stuff I covet. Re: drivers I have tried the newest Catalyst and the one listed by ASUS for this board. One post I read suggested searching for a driver based on the device managers>hardware ID (HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_1002&DEV_791A&SUBSYS_00791A00&REV_1000) which pulled up drivers from AMD as well as others including one Realtek, but not VIA. I have also read stuff that the digital audio bitstream over HDMI with only stereo support is added as it will then be processed by the AVR.

Any suggestions would be welcome.


 

Rpgparnell

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Aug 9, 2013
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It has been a while, but as I recall, I capitulated. In spite of the MB specs claiming VIA VT1708S 8 channel HD Audio CODEC, I read some claims that 8 channels were not supported below the HD 5000 series over HDMI (& I did get it to work over Toslink). So I found an HD6450 sans fan for about $30. The current ATI catalyst drivers yielded all the surround sound support I had in vain struggled to access via HDMI.
Sorry I can't help with your Intel HDMI headache, but I can recommend this inexpensive alternative.
 
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