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Windows 7: HD Audio stereo and S/PDIF simultaneous output?

20 Jul 2010   #1

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 
HD Audio stereo and S/PDIF simultaneous output?

Hi,
1st a little set-up explanation:-

My mobo is an ASUS P5n-E SLI with Realtek ALC883 on board. It has a co-axial S/PDIF output for my digital connection to my DD/DTS 5.1 surround system.

I used to be running XP SP3 and the PC is in an adjacent room to my Lounge so I have a PC monitor but also connections into my LCD HDTV and surround system. (DVI video and S/PDIF digital audio).
For watching DVD and Bluray I would switch displays and use media portal and TMT3. I would get DD and DTS sound through my amp, and, if i switched back to my PC monitor for general PC use (not watching movies) the standard two channel stereo speakers on it would work with windows & internet explorer etc.

Now i have switched to Windows 7 (using 7MC and TMT3 for movies) and windows updates included a new driver for the realtek audio, i notice the interface for the realtek audio manager has changed visually for the better but for my particular set-up, it now appears I have to choose a "default playback device" between either standard analogue output to my pc monitor, or choose my digital S/PDIF output. That means I have to jump through more hoops when switching displays to watch a movie with digital sound or standard pc monitor use in stereo. (note I have to use either monitor stereo speakers or my digital 5.1 surround amp because they are in adjacent rooms and the amp might be being used by somone watching TV whilst i am on the PC).

Further more, if it helps, i followed the sticky on the AVS HTPC forum for setting up 7MC with the shark007 codec pack, media browser, TMT3 for Bluray and the internal 7MC player for everything else.

Have i got something set-up not quite right or am i dreaming??

My only other thought is to leave it set as digital S/PDIF as default and switch to analogue if i need it for you tube or something but hope that for the other users logging in to use the PC, (like the kids and the wife), their profile can remain as analogue in the realtek settings??

So in summary, in my old set up with XP (Same PC) I had a sort of simultaneuos sound output with windows sounds and internet flash video through my monitor's stereo speakers but if i wanted to watch a movie on the HDTV, i turned my surround amp input over and got digital audio via the S/PDIF.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by byngo View Post
Hi,

So in summary, in my old set up with XP (Same PC) I had a sort of simultaneuos sound output with windows sounds and internet flash video through my monitor's stereo speakers but if i wanted to watch a movie on the HDTV, i turned my surround amp input over and got digital audio via the S/PDIF.
You might try using the latest drivers from Realtek.

Realtek

I think this link works, looks like they've changed their site a bit.
Also, the Realtek drivers may need to be installed twice and the first time removes the current driver.

Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2010   #3

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Thanks for the reply,

Having googled since my post i found some info that suggests things have changed in the way audio output is handled in Vista and Windows 7 compared to XP.
I picked up that some had gained success using the actual Realtek driver rather than depending on the windows update process.
I have the latest realtek driver to try tonight and also the latest for my mobo from ASUS to try.
Thanks for the installation tip.

I also had the following response from my similar post over at AVS forums, which, although i think i tried out last night, will confirm again if works.
"
You don't have to change "default playback device". Set it to "Speakers" permanently. Then

- TMT3: Settings > Audio > Sound Card: 3-Realtek High Definitio... (or something like that) & Output Mode: S/PDIF
- MP: Configuration > Codecs and Renderer > Video Codecs & DVD Discs/Image Codecs > Audio Renderer: Realtek Digital Output (3-Real (or something similar)

This way, TMT3 and MP always use Realtek Digital Output (S/PDIF) for playback. Windows and other players (unless you specify a different sound devce like TMT3, MP) always use Windows' default device (Speakers)."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by byngo View Post
Thanks for the reply,

You don't have to change "default playback device". Set it to "Speakers" permanently.
Yes, I meant to mention that some applications can access any available sound device as long as it's -enabled-.

The free (donateware) audio editor "Audacity" can access all available audio devices.

Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2010   #5

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Well i tried 1st enabling speakers as default with TMT3 set to use s/pdif but had no sound from a movie via s/pdif (or speakers) unless i changed the default to s/pdif in realtek settings.

Tried also the latest realtek driver - no difference
Tried the latest ASUS audio driver - no difference.

Furthermore, whatever i set the default device to, it changes accross all user accounts, no matter which account changes it.
If i were to try audacity, how do i set that up. do i need to uninstall realtek audio manager or the realtek drivers or both??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2010   #6

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

YeeeePPieee !! I fixed it.

Not that i noticed it in settings before, but after an update to TMT3 the audio configuration game me the option to choose a default device, I dont mean S/PDIF settings, they were there before but in a drop down box at the top i changed it from "defualt device" to "Realtek HD audio".

Maybe i'm thick and it was there all the time.
Anyway, i now have stereo analogue coming through my pc monitor (for everday pc use) and when i play a DVD or Bluray via 7MC (and TMT3) the digital sound goes via the S/PDIF to my amp.
Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by byngo View Post
YeeeePPieee !! I fixed it.
Maybe i'm thick and it was there all the time.
Anyway, i now have stereo analogue coming through my pc monitor (for everday pc use) and when i play a DVD or Bluray via 7MC (and TMT3) the digital sound goes via the S/PDIF to my amp.
Thanks for your help.
Nice!

Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #8

Seven
 
 

I also have the same setup.

I'd really like to output both simultaneously. We use our PC for the sole source of our television in the living room, and one less step to getting TV on the screen would be great for the...uhm...ladies in the household.

I didn't follow the above too well, honestly.

Anyone have any additional thoughts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2011   #9

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Subliminal,

As Aphelion said, some applications (programs) can access any of the audio devices (so long as they are enabled). In my case windows is set to use Speakers as default, but within the settings of my chosen program for playback of Bluray and DVD, I can select the digital output through the S/PDIF connection to my surround system.

I guess you are using Media Centre (7MC) for your TV channels, (good choice BTW).
I can do this also via a HD satellite tuner card in the PC, but since I have a Freesat Recorder box, I rarely use this function of 7MC. However, I do know that 7MC will use the default windows audio device and I dont believe you can change that in MC settings.
I never investigated the audacity suggestion but I believe it would not help anyway, I would imagine that it was an example of a program that can access any of your audio devices.

Here's a suggestion though,,,
Apart from any digital audio connections from your PC to your audio system, you could also run an analogue (stereo) cable from the green speaker output of your PC to another input on your suround system perhaps?
You dont need to worry what your missing from digital audio with regards to TV broadcasts anyway.
Then , If TV or general PC use is the most common use, leave windows set to "speakers" by default.
You can switch to digital for watching a DVD if you have to, but you might find using a program like Power DVD or Arcsoft Total Media Theatre (TMT3) that you can leave the windows setting as speakers, selecting the digital output in your playback software.
If you playback DVD via Media Centre, you can set it to not use Windows Media Player, but an alternative such as those I mentioned.
Media Browser is also a good option for a media centre plugin, but thats another thread really.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #10

Seven
 
 

Actually, I don't really use any of that garbage...lol. I switch audio and video outputs from one room to the other and then just select what I want to watch, or surf, or whatever. I have my wireless keyboard/mouse combo receiver behind my TV, so it picks up the input devices from both rooms, so I just walk into the other room with the mouse and I'm set.

Also, We watch TV thru VLC, Firefox and Chrome, but we also use the browsers in the office, so switching programs outputs wouldn't necessarily do it.

I definitely like the digital output rather than analog into the TV room, as most of the 720p stuff i watch is in dolby digital 5.1, which is what my TV room is setup for.

I just wish it would output to both digital and analog, so I have one less thing to switch over when I switch rooms...

Oh well, I guess Windows 7 can't be perfect...maybe 8 will fix it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HD Audio stereo and S/PDIF simultaneous output?





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