Connecting Home Theater System to PC

imail724

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I am trying to get the 5.1 sound out of my Panasonic SA-HT05 to work properly with my PC and I can't seem to get it to. For a while I had just the HDMI going from my MSI R9 270 GPU to the TV, and then the TV connected to the receiver via coaxial, but having it set up like this I could never get the computer to display more than 2.1 sound in Playback Devices. Recently I thought connecting my Gigabyte GA-880GMA mobo directly to the receiver via optical cable would help, but it seems the same issue persists. The speakers all seem to work fine, it's just the rear two speakers play the same sound as the front two. I have no issues when using my sound system with my blu-ray player.
Can anyone help me to set this up correctly?
Thanks
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
a receiver? i'd say its a sure fix for the pc audio issue. it would get used instead of whatever htib control box you have now. you would route all your inputs to it instead of the tv and then pass any video content along to the tv via its output hdmi to the tvs input hdmi. if you want audio from the tv itself you would need to either hook it up how you do now (spdif) or use hdmi-arc if your tv is compatible with that. generally using a receiver fixes most of these issues with htib units or tv's not passing through sound from pc correctly.

ultimately i think the problem is that your pc senses the tv only has stereo speakers (and doesnt sense the htib at all since its not connected via a hdmi link) which is why its refusing to broadcast in 5.1 and only does it in 2.1. i'm not aware of a fix or way to trick your system into broadcasting in 5.1 though.

buying a receiver is an expensive fix but a receiver really opens up connectivity options for you as well and is worthwhile if you ever upgraded your speakers later on.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
likely the same issue many other people with cheap htib's (home theater in a box) have. many of the cheaper units do not support anything more than 2.0 from aux sources. notably ones without hdmi input or arc support though even some of those are affected as well. the included dvd/br player works fine and is generally the only source of 5.1 you can get.

now, some do support 5.1 over optical (for this both the pc and the receiver would need to support the same format for audio compression. on pc this is things like dolby digital live.

normally models with hdmi input do support 5.1 over hdmi however some cheaper units i've helped users with do not and only support 2.0 even over hdmi (which blows).

this is why i normally hold up a big red flag when people want to buy a htib and suggest they read the limitations of many htibs before they buy. now, some htibs do work fine and do accept 5.1 from aux sources (normally the more expensive models with hdmi inputs) but i always suggest that people get true avr's instead (audio video receivers) since they are much more capable.

 

imail724

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I don't know if it makes a difference, but the blu-ray player I referred to didn't come with the sound system. The blu-ray player is a sony, the home theater system is a Panasonic with a receiver, a sub, and 5 speakers.

Do you have a suggestion to see if I can get it to work with this system, or is my only option to upgrade?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
oh, its not included in that htib package? i thought it was as the system you bought came with a br/dvd player. didnt know you got an aftermarket to work.

if its an aftermarket thing, theres hope since that would mean it mightaccept 5.1 (are you sure its true 5.1 or a simulated 5.1). how does it connect to the htib? (Hdmi?)

 

imail724

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right now i have hdmi coming from my cable box, blu ray, and pc directly into my TV, and then i have a coaxial cable going from the TV to the receiver.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
and you are getting true surround (not faked by one of the dolby digital modes like pro logic or similar)?

do you have another pc (or laptop) you can test with? have you updated your audio and video card drivers on your computer and then try manually setting the speaker to 5.1 in windows sound?

given that the receiver seems capable of 5.1, i would try coax or optical from your pc (though do make sure your motherboard or soundcard supports 5.1 out of this port before the test)

 

imail724

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I'm pretty sure I am getting true 5.1 with the blu-ray player, but I don't know how to tell for sure.

I may have another laptop to test with, I'll have to check when I'm home. Yes, I have updated everything, and tried different programs such as RealTek HD audio, and nothing seems to help. The problem with manually setting the speakers to 5.1 in windows is it does not give me the option. When connected via optical, I can't even click 'configure' because it is grayed out. When I press 'test' it only tests the front two speakers. Pressing 'configure' with the HDMI output only shows 2.1 sound as well.

I am trying a optical cable from my motherboard which does support 5.1 and it does not work: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3424#ov
 

imail724

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Additionally, I've noticed that when I have the TV set to the cable box or blu-ray player, the receiver display looks like this:

Which shows all the speakers that are working in surround.

But when I have the computer set up, it displays this:

Which does not show the speakers, but actually says the word "surround", which the previous display does not.

Does this mean anything?
 

imail724

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Every component (blu-ray, pvr, pc) connects to the TV via HDMI, from there the TV is connected to the receiver via coaxial out. So the receiver stays set to the same input no matter which component I am using.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
a receiver? i'd say its a sure fix for the pc audio issue. it would get used instead of whatever htib control box you have now. you would route all your inputs to it instead of the tv and then pass any video content along to the tv via its output hdmi to the tvs input hdmi. if you want audio from the tv itself you would need to either hook it up how you do now (spdif) or use hdmi-arc if your tv is compatible with that. generally using a receiver fixes most of these issues with htib units or tv's not passing through sound from pc correctly.

ultimately i think the problem is that your pc senses the tv only has stereo speakers (and doesnt sense the htib at all since its not connected via a hdmi link) which is why its refusing to broadcast in 5.1 and only does it in 2.1. i'm not aware of a fix or way to trick your system into broadcasting in 5.1 though.

buying a receiver is an expensive fix but a receiver really opens up connectivity options for you as well and is worthwhile if you ever upgraded your speakers later on.
 

imail724

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Okay I ordered it so we shall see in a few days.
What you said about the pc not recognizing the 5.1 because the TV only has stereo makes sense, but that doesn't really explain why I still couldn't get it when I had the computer plugged directly into the receiver via optical cable.
Anyway, hopefully this fixes it. Thank you for all of your help, and I will be sure to post make my results with the new receiver.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
there was another user with the same issue you had a few months ago or so.

apparently no matter what he did the pc only recognized the tv as a stereo source so refused to output 5.1. while i find it a bit odd that you cannot manually output 5.1, i'm not aware of a way to force this.

as for direct optical, my assumption would be either your source (pc) or destination (receiver) do not support the same compressed audio formats for optical. pc can be a bit finicky when it comes to 5.1 optical support and needs dolby digital live, dts-connect or similar otherwise only stereo sound is output.

i've found that direct hdmi output is the most reliable way to get surround sound from a computer and send it to a receiver. while there have been issues i've come across, generally it is the most problem free of the different connection options.
 
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