No 5.1 audio on PC to AV receiver setup (via TV ARC)

Jan 2, 2019
Hi gang,

I’m at the end of my rope here, and hours of troubleshooting and Googling have turned up nothing.

My setup is Windows 10 PC –> Samsung KS8000 TV –> Denon 740H AVR. All connections are HDMI, with the audio going from the TV back to the receiver via ARC. Audio out on the PC is via HDMI on a GeForce GTX 1080.

My problem: I can’t for the life of me get Windows to recognize my 5.1 surround speakers. Speaker settings have 5.1 (and 7.1) options greyed out. Sound config only shows two speakers, and stereo is my only speaker setup option.

My audio playback device is listed in Windows as “SAMSUNG (2- NVIDIA Nigh Definition Audio)”. With my old Pioneer receiver, my playback device showed as the receiver model (it was also connected via ARC) and 5.1 worked flawlessly. But Windows apparently can’t see the Denon receiver connected to the Samsung TV via ARC, and I have no idea why.

Things I’ve tried:

* Updating/reinstalling Nvidia audio drivers

* Installing the generic Windows HDMI digital audio driver

* Making sure I’m playing a 5.1 audio source when I try to change the settings

* Switching the TV HDMI audio format from Bitstream to PCM and back

* Trying every surround preset on the receiver – Dolby Digital, DTS, Pure Direct, Pure Auto (I can produce fake 5.1 with the multichannel stereo preset but that’s not what I’m after)

* Scouring the Denon receiver settings for something that might be affecting this – no dice

* Swapping out HDMI cables (dumb I know, but I’m desperate)

* Turning it off and on again

* Sacrificing a goat on the altar to the audio gods

“But why don’t you just plug the PC directly into your receiver?” you say. WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!

While going Windows 10 PC –> Denon AVR –> Samsung TV takes care of my audio problems – the audio playback device in Windows shows as “DENON-AVR” with this setup and I can choose the 5.1 speaker setup – I get black bars on either side of the screen, even though Windows resolution is set to 3840 x 2160 (the Samsung TV’s native resolution).

If I set the Windows resolution to 4096 x 2160 – an option that ONLY shows up when I’m running through the Denon AVR – the black bars disappear, but I suddenly get all kinds of stuttering and performance drops in games. I can’t find any setting on the AVR that says “don’t upscale or process this video signal, just send it along to the TV as is.”

Sorry for the novel. If anyone has any advice on how to fix either of these problems, I’m all ears. If you can actually solve it for me, I will be eternally grateful and will let the rest of the sacrificial goats go free.


May 29, 2018
Run the HDMI out from GPU to receiver. Connect receiver to TV. Make sure Denon supports 4k passthrough and that's it's enabled in receiver settings.

What model Denon?


Try enable external speakers in tv or look for audio settings to do with this. Like TV speakers + external speakers or just external speakers. Possibly your graphics card is only detecting the TVs speakers rather than allow passthrough detection.
Jan 2, 2019

As per my post, running from the PC to receiver directly seems to cause graphical glitches, as well as black bars on the sides of the screen even though my Windows resolution is set to the TV's native resolution (3840 x 2160.)

It's a Denon AVR-S740H and supports 4K passthrough, but if there's a way to stop the AVR from upscaling output to 4K -- or whatever it's doing to cause the black bars and other freakiness -- I can't find it. I've dug through every setting in the menus.

I'm going to try fiddling around with it a bit more, but I'm open to any other suggestions.
Jan 2, 2019

Sound output on the TV is set to Receiver (HDMI), so whatever signal it's receiving it should theoretically be sending right along to the AVR. This same config worked fine on my old receiver - Windows detected the playback device a Pioneer VSX-830-K, through the Samsung's ARC - but somehow it can't see the Denon receiver. Driving me nuts.


this may also help

My line of thinking is since the avr has changed, the TV may need to be reconfigured seeing this line from there.

if the HDMI control of the receiver is activated, the device name should also be available.
Jan 2, 2019
Turning ARC off and on sounded really promising but no dice. Good idea though!

I did figure out what was causing the black bars on my screen when connecting the PC directly to the AVR - it was simply a "fit to size" picture setting on the TV that was toggling on :/ argh.

I'm going to focus on getting the PC to behave properly when connected to the AVR, since that's the more logical setup anyway. I appreciate the attempt to help!
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