5.1 from PC works Except for gaming, any help?

adam0s

Estimable
Jul 3, 2014
3
0
4,510
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I have an HTPC with an Asrock Z87 Extreme6 motherboard (http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87%20Extreme6/) outputting audio via optical cable to a Pioneer Elite VSX-74VXTi. I use this setup for both media watching and PC gaming. Currently if I play a movie that has a 5.1 track it will play in 5.1 (verified by my ears and the AVR's display switching to display the current audio format (DD, DTS, etc.)) however I cannot get it to detect surround sound from any PC games. I can turn on the motherboards "DTS Connect" feature, but that just makes it say DTS on the AVR any time any sound is played and does not seem to be a true 5.1 solution, plus it muxes stereo content into its pseudo DTS configuration as well and I would rather not have that on all the time. Is there any way I can get the PC to either simply output a raw signal and let the AVR handle everything or is there something that can be configured so that it knows how to properly handle the audio output from a game without messing with how it handles my movies and such?

I have several PC games that splash the DD logo when loading up and I know they offer surround sound, I get that the real time creation of many different sound streams within a gaming environment is a little different than just simply spitting out a pre recorded piece of content, but surely this is possible?
 

Eduello

Estimable
Mar 2, 2014
472
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5,260
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Optical only supports 5.1 audio if it's DTS or Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, games output PCM, and if turning on the "DTS connect doesn't work, you're probably out of luck.

You can try going to control panel > sound > playback devices, right-clicking SPDIF, and selecting properties. Then go to the 'advanced' tab and select DTS 5.1. Remember to turn 5.1/'home theater' on in the game's audio settings to enable 5.1.
 

Eduello

Estimable
Mar 2, 2014
472
0
5,260
94
Optical only supports 5.1 audio if it's DTS or Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, games output PCM, and if turning on the "DTS connect doesn't work, you're probably out of luck.

You can try going to control panel > sound > playback devices, right-clicking SPDIF, and selecting properties. Then go to the 'advanced' tab and select DTS 5.1. Remember to turn 5.1/'home theater' on in the game's audio settings to enable 5.1.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
@eduello

you are forgetting about Dolby Digital Live which can take a PCM stream and convert it so that it can be transferred via optical.

this is how you can play games with optical, however i'm not sure if he has support for it (he might need a soundcard)
 

Eduello

Estimable
Mar 2, 2014
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@ssddx

That's what I used back when I was using optical, but I figured his board doesn't support it since he has DTS support on his board (mobos rarely have both).
 

Eduello

Estimable
Mar 2, 2014
472
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5,260
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@ssddx: Yeah, thanks for that.

As for the other options, I can't say for sure until we know the exact model of the receiver. This is all I could find, so I'm assuming there's a typo in the OP: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Elite+Receivers/VSX-74TXVi

If that is indeed the right receiver, there are 3 options.
1. Buy the sound card and use optical (probably the most expensive option out of all 3).
2. Use 3.5mm to 2xRCA cables to connect the motherboard to the receiver.
3. Use HDMI pass-through to connect your GPU to the receiver.

Out of all 3, the last one will provide the best quality and even 7.1 DTS-HD MA (with Blu-Rays and other HD sources only) if you need it to, but it may increase the latency of your screen a bit, although I doubt it will be very significant since yours is a very high quality receiver.
 

adam0s

Estimable
Jul 3, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
Thanks for the helpful info guys, did not realize the limitations of optical, @Eduello: I think I will try option 3 first since all I will need is a mini HDMI adapter and like you said it should yield the best quality. You mentioned that this solution will support DTS-HD MA, is this true even tho the receiver pre-dates that technology? This would also be a good opportunity to finally get a BD Drive and stop using my BD1000 sample unit which takes a year to turn on. Also you were right about the AVR, it was a typo on my part.

@ssddx I forgot about this technology, My previous HTPC build did have a sound card equipped with that capability (I think I had to pay like $5 for the software or something) I now remember that when I chose my current mobo seeing the DTS connect stuff and assuming it would be a similar experience which it sort of is I guess, but it never really sounds quite the same as the real thing to me. If I cannot get this working the way I want via HDMI then I will likely end up exploring this route again.
 

Eduello

Estimable
Mar 2, 2014
472
0
5,260
94
My mistake, it does seem that the receiver doesn't support DTS-HD MA, but HDMI should still yield the best possible quality since signal is digital and the bandwidth is greater than that of the optical cable.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i have my own system hooked up via hdmi (actually dvi-to-hdmi cable but same thing pretty much)

pioneer elite vsx-30 receiver & hdmi out the video card.

transfers PCM & DD signals fine for me. hdmi is much better for quality and gives you more options.
 

adam0s

Estimable
Jul 3, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
Just wanted to follow up with you guys, I received my mini HDMI adapter today and ran a line from the PC to the AVR. PC knew all about the receiver as soon as I switched to the HDMI input and after a little configuration everything was working great. Now I can hear when something comes up behind me. Thanks again guys!

@Eduello: I played Darkness II for a couple hours and didn't notice any latency issues, I'll keep an eye out for it with some other games over the next few days but hopefully I will not experience any.
 
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