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Rising Dragon 2012-04-24 18:05

Sound routing
So now that I've retired my old computer, I'm dual-screening with my current machine. With this computer, I'm used to it issuing sound out of the TV, which is used as the second monitor. Now that I'm using dual screens, though, and have plugged in the old speakers, it now uses only the speakers to issue sound. Managing this is apparently the Realtek HD Audio Manager program. It's bugging me that when I watch a video or play a game on the TV screen, the sound is coming from elsewhere, or vice versa--if I'm not using the speakers, and am using the smaller computer monitor in front of me (TV's off to my right) the sound comes from my side instead of in front of me.

My question is this: how can I get it to use both my speakers and my TV for sound?

SeijiSensei 2012-04-24 20:54

The easiest solution is to buy some type of splitter, either a simple cable that plugs into the computer's audio jack and has two outputs, or a switch box.

synaesthetic 2012-04-24 22:41

Or you could enable bitstreaming audio over HDMI if the TV is connected to your graphics card with an HDMI cable. Most modern graphics cards have audio support for HDMI baked right in. Tell the games and media players to use that device in their settings, rather than using the AC'97/Intel HD codec on your motherboard.

Rising Dragon 2012-04-25 11:31

Yes, it's plugged into the card with a DVI-to-HDMI adapter and HDMI cable. How would I go about setting up that?

SeijiSensei 2012-04-25 13:21

If it has a DVI to HDMI cable, it's not carrying the audio. You'd need a combination audio/video card with HDMI outputs to do that like this one. (Not an endorsement, just one I found.) The specs for this card include "Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required; Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats."

Searching for cards with both audio and video suggests that syn's comment about "most" cards having audio support is a bit of an overstatement. It looks like NVIDIA cards starting with the GTX 4xx series support audio, and ATI Radeons starting with the 5xxx series do as well.

Rising Dragon 2012-04-25 16:02

I'm running a GTX GeForce 560 Ti, if that helps. It's using a pure HDMI cable, but a DVI-to-HDMI adapter so it'll plug into the card. I can get sound through it, so long as I don't have a computer speaker plugged in.

synaesthetic 2012-04-25 17:23

The card should have an HDMI port directly on it, which will carry both bitstreaming audio as well as the video signal.

Rising Dragon 2012-04-25 18:46

Yeah, I noticed it does... but it's partially blocked off by my case, so I can't use it.

synaesthetic 2012-04-26 00:07

Er, how is it blocked off by your case?

SaintessHeart 2012-04-26 07:30


Originally Posted by synaesthetic (Post 4129559)
Er, how is it blocked off by your case?

Lemme guess. The port is situated at the side that the casing gets in the way of the cable.

synaesthetic 2012-04-26 08:13

Almost all GPU are double-width cards these days. Nothing should be blocking the card slots on the back of the case unless you've done some questionable modifications.

Rising Dragon 2012-04-26 11:27


Originally Posted by SaintessHeart (Post 4130055)
Lemme guess. The port is situated at the side that the casing gets in the way of the cable.

Pretty much, yeah. I'd take a picture of my own machine but I have no camera at the moment. Next best thing.

This is the case I'm using:

This is what the back end looks like:

The HDMI port is on the far right of the expansion slots, halfway out from under that black release tab.

Dhomochevsky 2012-04-29 18:00

The HDMI output and your (onboard?) sound chip are different sound devices.

Any given software usually only serves one output device at a time.
You would have to switch between the two, either in the software itself, or by changing the default playback device in windows mixer.

HDMI audio should appear under your graphic card's name as an output device there. Even cards that don't support things like AC-3 or AAC will be able to route audio through HDMI, which will make them show up as an audio device.
This is a normal HDMI spec and won't usually be mentioned in the cards description, other than saying it has a HDMI connector type. At least for my Ion2 based HTPC, I have to turn off AC3 in the serving software in order to get sound over HDMI.

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