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Lizard1977

1458 posts

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#157200 23-Nov-2014 10:47
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I'm baffled by the way audio is being handled by my PC.

I have a standard LCD monitor connected by DVI, and speakers connected via the standard 3.5mm jack on the in-built sound card.  I've just added a TV which is connected via HDMI to the video card, and which is acting as an extended display.

What I'm hoping to be able to do is to move programs like XBMC or browser windows with youtube videos over to the TV display.  Ideally, I'd like the sound for those programs to come out of the TV's speakers.  An acceptable alternative would be for all sound to come out of the PC speakers that I normally use (i.e. no sound from the TV).  This is because the TV will be an occasional extra display, rather than an always on display.

The problem I have is that as soon as I plug in the HDMI cable, it diverts all sound to the HDMI output, even if the TV is off.  I've tried opening Windows audio mixer and switching it to Speakers rather than HDMI output, but it doesn't do anything, and it reverts back to HDMI output as soon as I close the mixer.

Can anyone suggest a simple fix?  Ideally, it would be nice if Windows could play only those sounds for programs currently on the second display on that display's speakers (i.e. the TV speakers), but I suspect it's not clever enough to know which is which.  Failing that, is there a way to tell programs to use a specific audio output device?  Or, at worst, can I override the HDMI audio output device so that the PC speakers are used for all programs

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Rikkitic
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12934 posts

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  #1181558 23-Nov-2014 12:42
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Different devices have different possibilities. It might be helpful if you include details of your PC, OS and sound card. Does your motherboard sound card have only a single audio output jack, or two stereo jacks, or does it have multiple jacks for surround sound? What about the video card?

 



 

Many devices with HDMI output allow the audio to be switched to analogue (PCM). If your computer can’t handle digital audio there might be a setting somewhere to do this. What audio drivers does your card use? External sound and video cards often install extensive control menus on the taskbar. The Windows audio mixer is very limited in what it can do. Real control lies elsewhere, probably with your card’s drivers. Is your HDMI from the card or the computer’s motherboard?

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


Lizard1977

1458 posts

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  #1181596 23-Nov-2014 15:08
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The motherboard sound card supports surround sound, so it has multiple jacks.  Currently, it's only got the line out jack occupied for my 2.1 Logitech speaker setup.  It used VIA audio drivers.  The video card is AMD Radeon 5850, and it has 2 x DVI, 1 X HDMI, and 1 X Display Port (I think).  I'm using Windows 8.1 Pro.

I've tried changing settings on the Via HD Audio Deck control panel, but even with the "expert" mode selected, it doesn't enable the kinds of things I'm trying to do.

I've actually moved on from my original problem.  I found I was able to set the speakers as the default audio device, and through XBMC set the HDMI audio as the audio device.  This meant that everything except for XBMC went through the speakers, and XBMC was output through the TV speakers.  Not 100%, but pretty close.

The problem now is that whenever I reset my computer it resets the default audio device back to HDMI.  If I disable HDMI in the audio control panel then it retains Speakers as the default audio device, but then XBMC is output via the PC speakers.  It's not really ideal, and I would have thought that Windows would remember the default audio device I've chosen.  A little googling suggests it's to do with jack detection, and because HDMI registers first, then it gets set as the default device.  

Nothing I've found has been able to explain how to keep the speakers as the default device.  Short of unplugging the HDMI cable each time, there doesn't seem to be a simple solution.  Any ideas?

 
 
 
 


Rikkitic
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  #1181619 23-Nov-2014 15:41
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Windows has a history of being stupid in smart ways. I'm sorry, I don't have a solution for you on this one. I would think there must be one. My own experience with earlier versions of Windows is that this kind of thing can usually be hacked around, but I wouldn't know how in this case. Hopefully someone who knows more will come along with an answer.

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


numfarr
329 posts

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  #1181718 23-Nov-2014 20:03
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Lizard1977: The problem now is that whenever I reset my computer it resets the default audio device back to HDMI.  If I disable HDMI in the audio control panel then it retains Speakers as the default audio device, but then XBMC is output via the PC speakers.  It's not really ideal, and I would have thought that Windows would remember the default audio device I've chosen.  A little googling suggests it's to do with jack detection, and because HDMI registers first, then it gets set as the default device.  

Nothing I've found has been able to explain how to keep the speakers as the default device.  Short of unplugging the HDMI cable each time, there doesn't seem to be a simple solution.  Any ideas?
You can reset the default sound device in a script, and if you put a shortcut to it in the Start Menu startup folder it should run after the drivers have had their little battle about who should be the default. See http://www.microsoftnow.com/2013/05/creating-a-shortcut-to-change-the-default-audio-device-in-windows.html for example.

Lizard1977

1458 posts

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  #1181820 24-Nov-2014 00:05
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I've kind of solved this (for now). I disabled the Via HD Audio deck control panel in startup, just to see what happened. Interestingly, the default audio device stayed set on speakers. So I've left it disabled and things seem to be ok. Xbmc outputs to the tv speakers, and everything else goes to the default audio device - pc speakers. Not perfect, but pretty close.

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