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Devastation by stupidity
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#191308 31-Jan-2016 17:21
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This is partly a rant, and partly a plea for help. When fiddling with computers, I often seem to run into issues that make me wonder about the common sense of the hardware and/or software designers. Sometimes these issues have good reasons that are hidden to me due to ignorance and lack of understanding on my part. Other times, though, they just leave me scratching my head in bewilderment.

Here is the latest example: I am trying to set up a streaming computer with 5.1 channel surround sound through the HDMI port. All the drivers I can find correctly say that the audio is digital HD, but then they insist on setting it to 2-channel stereo. I have been battling this for days, and apparently it is a widespread problem. Some of it seems to be the fault of Windows (nothing new there) but some also seems to be due to a stunning lack of perception on the part of graphics card programmers. At least, that is my impression.

What I don't get is why these cards (many different manufacturers, if not all of them) have no options whatsoever to override automatic assumptions and manually set things the way you need them to be. This is incredibly frustrating, not only to me. The problem in my case, as well as others, is that I want to feed the HDMI signal to a TV (Sony) that then passes the audio on to my amp via a toslink cable. 

From what I understand, the audio software sees the TV, with two speakers, but not the pass-through cable, with digital audio, so sets itself to stereo out with no possibility to correct that. Am I missing something or are the designers really that stupid? In any case, the result is that I can find no way to override this. There are workarounds to be sure, such as running a digital audio cable from the computer directly to the amp, but I think it is ridiculous to have to resort to this kind of thing when there is already a perfectly good digital audio signal going into the HDMI connector.

Is there a way to fix this? I would be grateful to know. 


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

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  #1482342 31-Jan-2016 17:39
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They will only output what the TV reports it is able to handle. Check the EDID of the TV if it says it can do multichannel. Most cannot, and at best will pass a bitstream from the HDMI over to the optical out, but really you should be going from the PC to the reciever over HDMI and then onto the amp so it can support multichannel audio.


Bitstream over HDMI is so limited and useless that its not really that well supported for legacy codecs that will output over optical.


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