Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


5.1 Sound - PC Processing vs. Stereo Receiver Processing

  1. #1


    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts : 15
    Win 8.1 Pro x64

    5.1 Sound - PC Processing vs. Stereo Receiver Processing


    Laptop: Sager NP9150
    Receiver: Sony STR-K850P
    Audio: Realtek HD
    Connection: SPD/F Optical Cabe
    Listening mode: AFD Auto - runs everything as 2.1

    Issue: when I know I'm utilizing a 5.1 source, the receiver only auto-detects 5.1 sound from DVD movies. Sources such as Netflix streaming and Steam games do not detect as 5.1.

    I've run a few tests and for Netflix, I think the answer is as simple as selecting whatever Dolby flavor I think is applicable (Dolby ProLogic I or II, etc.) That seems to work fine.

    For games, I'm less certain. I've read that games do not send 5.1 audio over SPD/F optical. The tests that I've run seem to indicate that in games, when I force a Dolby format with the receiver, it just sends the audio to all the speakers. In movies (DVD or netflix) I can (I think) tell that the individual speakers seem to be doing different things.

    So, anyway - I apologize if this is all very confusing.

    One thing I've hit on, is that I can use a hacked Realtek HD driver that allows me to force Dolby Digital Live. What is that? How does it work? Right now, it just seems to be muddying the waters.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    What is your windows sound playback settings set for the output? Is it set to 5.1 under configure speakers?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts : 15
    Win 8.1 Pro x64


    When using the stock driver and the Realtek Digital Output (or SPDIF), audio output is 2-channel only.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    Quote Originally Posted by loaba View Post
    When using the stock driver and the Realtek Digital Output (or SPDIF), audio output is 2-channel only.
    Oh that sucks spdif should be able to output pcm 5.1 at least. It must as your dvds show up on the receiver as pcm or dts I imagine. Dolby live is 5.1 through pcm only. It may even be emulated 5.1 if I remember correctly. If you can try using your video out off the saber as a second screen but make it a separate screen not a extended one. Then you should be able to feed your digital 5.1 to the Sony str. You don't need anything connected to the receiver video out. I'm on my phone atm or else I'd look up your model and tell you what you can do for that method if you reply with what video outputs your model has I can help you further.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts : 15
    Win 8.1 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
    Oh that sucks spdif should be able to output pcm 5.1 at least. It must as your dvds show up on the receiver as pcm or dts I imagine.
    Yes - DVDs come in and auto-detect as 5.1 source. Nothing else does.

    Quote Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
    Dolby live is 5.1 through pcm only. It may even be emulated 5.1 if I remember correctly. If you can try using your video out off the saber as a second screen but make it a separate screen not a extended one.
    If I'm understanding you - run the second monitor as the only display?
    Quote Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
    Then you should be able to feed your digital 5.1 to the Sony str.
    You seem to be indicating that the HDMI out on the Sager has something to do with the SPDIF out?

    I'll give it a roll.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    no you can run your hdmi out as your audio so that you have true full sound capabilities. Then you should support up to 7.1, you would being using the second output for nothing but audio. That make sense for you?

    EDIT got time to look up your laptop and if it is the one with an nvidia gpu then you would set up dual screens then just use the nvidia hdmi audio for it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts : 15
    Win 8.1 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
    EDIT got time to look up your laptop and if it is the one with an nvidia gpu then you would set up dual screens then just use the nvidia hdmi audio for it.
    I was thinking that might be how it had to happen, which is a bummer. My Onkyo receiver does support HDMI - but the Sony does not.

    / yes, yes, just move the Onkyo... Well, it's in the Family Room with the Xbox 360 (that only has HDMI out)
    // I'll look into HDMI-to-RCA cables
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    I'm not sure hdmi to rca will work without some kind of active adapter as that is digital to analog. Yes looked up your receiver and it is only audio so yeah your out of luck it would seem. It does support optical and rca in for surround though so if you get an adapter and break it into the rca it should be able to use it as long as you can set in Windows your hdmi to be 5.1 this is how I send my audio to my onkyo with a second screen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    You could also use this to make it toslink optical like the way you were doing it but it would be correct signal. 4X1 HDMI Switcher w/ Toslink & Digital Coaxial Port
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 8
    Microsoft Windows 8.1


    Noticed your thread loaba while reading as a guest. I decided to join this forum to respond.

    Issue: [w]hen I know I'm utilizing a 5.1 source, the receiver only auto-detects 5.1 sound from DVD movies.
    The receiver is likely set to auto; therefore, the receiver chooses the default audio codec and plays your DVD in Dolby Digital (or DTS) 5.1.

    Sources such as Netflix streaming and Steam games do not detect as 5.1.
    They will not detect 5.1., either, and they will continue to play the way it is intended; in an uncompressed format. You will have to manually set your receiver's source setup's audio selector to find S/PDIF and fix the mode to Dolby Digital or DTS (whichever you prefer) for Netflix and games. S/PDIF can only play uncompressed in 2.1 formats, unless there are codecs to play the audio in DD or DTS, while will result in 5.1. I will not leave you hanging though, if you download the Netflix application (only available on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1) you can configure the Netflix application to play videos to utilize Dolby Digital 5.1.

    For games, I'm less certain. I've read that games do not send 5.1 audio over SPD/F[sic] optical. The tests that I've run seem to indicate that in games[,] when I force a Dolby format with the receiver, it just sends the audio to all the speakers.
    That is correct. Games will send uncompressed audio format. However, you can force your receiver to play in fixed modes in order to get all of the channels as you have done.

    One thing I've hit on, is that I can use a hacked Realtek HD driver that allows me to force Dolby Digital Live. What is that? How does it work? Right now, it just seems to be muddying the waters.
    This seems to be a modern common occurrence with manufacturers. Dolby Digital Live is proprietary, and is subject to licensing fees; therefore, some manufacturers opt out of using this for economically beneficial reasons for their companies. The hack is a workaround based on Realtek 2.73's version (don't quote me on what version they are using I am not sure offhand and I am just using my memory), which gives end users the Dolby Digital option (via the workaround hack) that normally manufacturers have to pay the licensing fees for. While I will not tell you what to do, you're using that at the risk of your hardware!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

5.1 Sound - PC Processing vs. Stereo Receiver Processing
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