Getting only stereo sound via HDMI instead of 5.1

darkflame91

Honorable
Oct 5, 2013
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Hi all,
I've been struggling with this problem for a few days now. I've scoured the net looking for solutions, but nothing seems to work. I'd really appreciate some help with this.

My setup is like so:

Code:
[SOURCE] ---<HDMI Cable>---Audio Extractor ---<HDMI Cable>----Projector
              .                            +---<SPDIF>-----------5.1 Speakers
My source is one of these three:

    A Windows 10 Laptop with HDMI coming from Intel HD4000


    A Macbook Air with Thunderbolt, and a DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable


    A PS3 connected via HDMI


When using the Win10 or Mac, Audio settings show only Stereo, with no option of changing it.
However, when the PS3 is connected, and I've set the appropriate settings(Audio from HDMI etc), I get full surround sound.
How do I enable these on the other two? I would prefer on the Mac, but either one will do.

Please note that I'm looking for proper surround sound, not just virtual surround of stereo audio.
Thank you
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
IF your source is stereo 2.0 and the only way to get surround sound is by virtual surround.

And most laptops don't have the DAC to do 5.1 and up. SPDIF can only handle 2.1, it doesn't have the bandwidth to do 5.1 and up so the other channels aren't true discreet 5.1/etc.

If this is for gaming, true discreet surround doesn't exist like a movie or multi-channel audio disk. Games use sound clues and make sounds on the fly.

I'm really not sure what you're trying to do so more information is needed.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...

 
Is all on the software Player you are using, and what file format. With a multi-track video file and a player able to choose which track (stereo, surround, other language etc just like playing from a disc) it should work.

VLC is often mentioned as a versatile media player on both Win and OSX.
 

jeff_35

Commendable
Feb 21, 2016
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spdif will carry pcm 5.1 or Dolby 5.1 just fine. almost ALL source are in 2/2.1. that makes it hard to get 5.1. pcm format is re encoded from a source; ie: cd, dvd ,etc. the 2/2.1 is stereo with image settings, used to produce pcm 5.1. dolby is done in the same way, but only on licensed hardware and or software.
check ps3 sound setting, i bet pcm is turned on.
 

darkflame91

Honorable
Oct 5, 2013
2
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10,510
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Okay, I finally figured it out myself.
With Win10 or Mac, when connected, the settings are always going to show Stereo, because that represents the number of PCM channels and NOT the actual number of channels that it can handle. SPDIF can handle only 2 PCM channels, but 5.1 Dolby/AC3 channels. The 5.1 channels can be transmitted even if it states Stereo in the settings, as long as it is encoded as expected. My HDMI Audio Extractor for eg, expected surround audio data to be in AC3. Videos that had audio encoded in say, AAC would only play as stereo. To solve this, I've been using Kodi (Previously known as XMBC). It has settings that convert audio to AC3 on the fly while playing videos. This way I can get TRUE surround sound, not just doubling the front speaker data in the side speakers.
I've looked for a way to enable this on VLC, but apparently, its not too straightforward, and I'm happy with Kodi.
I've noticed that tons of people have faced this problem online, so I hope this helps whoever else is looking for help on this subject. If anyone's reading this thread in the future and looking for help setting up, feel free to ask. :)
 

jeff_35

Commendable
Feb 21, 2016
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1,560
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spdif, PCM is converted from 2 channel digital to 1,2,3,4,5,6 analog audio streams. its so common almost everything supports it .
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
[/quotemsg]

spdif, PCM is converted from 2 channel digital to 1,2,3,4,5,6 analog audio streams. its so common almost everything supports it . [/quotemsg]

I misspoke, SDPIF can do 2.0 uncompressed.

The protocol used to send and receive audio over optical connections (Sony / Philips Digital Interchange Format, or S/PDIF) does not allow for more than two LPCM channels to be present at the same time. It does however allow for a Dolby Digital or DTS bitstream to be sent. HDMI has similar features, but allows up to 8 LPCM channels to be present at the same time. So, when connecting a surround system via optical, the source must be in the form of a Dolby Digital or DTS bitstream, either recorded or generated in real time. When connecting a surround system via HDMI no such constraint exists, so the source can be up to 8 channel LPCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS. Most receivers will figure out which it is receiving and handle it appropriately.

I'm somewhat of an audiophile person so I prefer something better.


It's a very confusing topic and I wish they would get rid of the Optical format and just go HDMI.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...
 

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