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Need help with getting HDMI audio going

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Cathar, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Cathar

    Cathar Storm Father

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    Ok guys, I got a bit of an odd one, and I've not been able to find an answer.

    I have a Radeon 7970 video card, and previously was driving my old 1920x1200 monitor with a dual-link DVI cable, and driving a surround sound system with an HDMI cable plugged into the HDMI out of the video card. That all worked well.

    I've since upgraded my monitor to a Samsung SA850T, and am driving it at 2560x1440 resolution. The problem I have now though is that if the HDMI cable is plugged into, the screen resolution drops back to 1920x1080, but with nothing displayed. I can see the desktop background, but nothing else, and can't do anything. There are no icons, control bar, or anything.

    If I unplug the HDMI cable again, no problem.

    I tried with an HDMI out sound card. Same issue. As soon as I plug the HDMI cable in, video messes up.

    I then tried a cheapie second video card with HDMI out. Same deal.

    I then tried DVI->HDMI out of the second video card. Same deal.

    I then tried DVI->HDMI from the second video card to the HDMI sound card's in port, and then HDMI out from the sound card to the surround receiver, and still have the same frustrating problem with the original display messing up.

    I am at wits end on how to drive a 2560x1440, and still get HDMI surround sound working.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  2. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    The resolution problem suggests HDMI 1.0 to me. Wikipedia supports my suspicion that this is all it would do. Perhaps the video hardware is smart enough to figure this out in the various configurations you are testing?

    I assume you can get full res over DVI and that 1080p will work over HDMI if you set your display res to that setting (granted it won't look much good).

    I don't us HDMI (I am still on a 1080i CRT TV and connect my monitor over DVI) but assume there is a way to do vid. over DVI and audio over HDMI. I suppose it is possible that some DRM constraint could be struck...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Cathar

    Cathar Storm Father

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    Ok, got it all sorted now.

    I finally managed to figure out the correct sequence to do it all in (Windows 7):

    1) Unplug the receiver HDMI from the vid card
    2) Shutdown ALL desktop windows (precaution for next steps)
    3) Plug the receiver HDMI in
    4) Move the mouse around (and keep moving) until it is seen on the blank desktop
    5) right-click, and select Screen Resolution
    6) Click the Multiple Displays drop-down box, and set it to "Extend Displays"
    7) Select the Samsung monitor from the Display drop-down
    8) Click the make this your primary display check-box (for the Samsung)
    9) Now set the resolution on the Samsung to 2560x1440


    That has brought me to the point where I now have the dual-link DVI output on the 7970 driving the Samsung SA850T at the full 2560x1440, and the HDMI out on the 7970 linked to my Yamaha RX-V371 receiver acting as a "secondary display", and the receiver now doing full uncompressed 5.1 surround sound.

    The only minor caveat is that the mouse pointer can now move off to the left of the screen into the non-existent second display, and I need to move it right far enough again to bring it back to the Samsung display.

    I'm a happy boy now.
     
  4. user5124

    user5124 Member

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    I use "duplicate display" rather than extend to prevent the side-screen mouse cursor problem.
     
  5. mr_wrxman

    mr_wrxman Member

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    That's what caused him the problems in the first place, to duplicate displays you're limited to the lowest denominator, in this case the HDMI 1.0 output limited to 1080p.

    You could probably lower the resolution of the HDMI output and move the screen so it sits in a corner thus minimising the likelihood of off screen cursors.
     
  6. user5124

    user5124 Member

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    I had the same problem as him and it was caused by the main display being set as the receiver, and the extended display being set as the computer's LCD.

    I simply played with it until I got it to recognise that the pc display was the "main display" - after that I was free to set it to duplicate displays..
     
  7. pb3xunleashd

    pb3xunleashd Member

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    Why not just optical? Certainly make your life a hell of alot easier and frees up slots on the card at the same time?
     
  8. user5124

    user5124 Member

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    hdmi is lossless - it's the absolute best sound output available.
     
  9. pb3xunleashd

    pb3xunleashd Member

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    @ 7.1, yes. @ < 5.1 there is such a minute difference, that if there were problems like the OP is having, I would go with optical and be done with it. :thumbup:
     
  10. verbatim

    verbatim Member

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    I'll have to disagree there.
    Optical is a old format. I cannot believe computer sound card makers are still focusing on it.
    In regards to Home theater Optical is limited to compressed audio streams from most DVD's or at best uncompressed 2.1 streams.
    DVD's are about 448kb/s bitrate where blurays lossless audio ranges from 2-4MB/s. The difference is instantly recognizable to me and probably most people if you have a decent HT system.

    Only HDMI (or 7 cable analog audio) can deliver lossless audio to the receiver and is all that should be used. Optical cant cut it.
    HDMI is the standard now and has gotten to be so mainstream that almost nothing else is used now a days. Its the basic standard. Its strange to see computer components years behind in this regard.

    Read up these fantastic guides if you want the details
    http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=41820
    http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=40821
     
  11. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    S/PDIF, though it does have its problems, is very good for transmitting high resolution stereo either over coaxial cable or TOSLINK. While better coax receivers will have isolating transformers TOSLINK is a great way to electrically decouple a PC and a DAC. I am glad to see it is still supported.

    That said, you are right verbatim in saying that HDMI is a far superior standard for surround sound.

    I had to resort to 6x analogue interconnects for DVD-Audio and SACD, combined with component video (yes my gear is aging) it is a cabling nightmare.
     

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