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5.1 audio from HCPC problems...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Tonmeistermat, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    Hi Guys, I could do with some help.... I've got my PJ plugged into a PC in our home studio, and the picutre looks great, but I'm having problems with the sound! We've got two PCs, one came with WinDVD installed, the other with PowerDVD, and we can't seem to get the multichannel audio out of the installed sound cards (which work fine with all the other aplications). I've been advised to check the advanced setting in the speaker options in the sound and audio bit of the control panel, but next to the speaker icon it says no device and all the option buttons are greyed out. If I click on the default settings tab though, it happily recognises the sound cards and their outputs....

    any ideas?? So far both WinDVD and PowerDVD have been cr#p at answering emails, and I'm getting v. frustrated! :)

    Thanks,

    Mat
     
  2. Laura

    Laura
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    Which version of PowerDVD do you have?

    I'm not sure the freebie versions support 5.1 analogue.
     
  3. theritz

    theritz
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    Mat,

    What soundcard are you using ?

    I'm assuming that you are trying to pass SPDIF from the soundcard to an AV receiver - correct me if I'm wrong. As a general guide, you need to use a 3.5mm mono jack to RCA adaptor - you can get this in Maplins. (Some cards need to use a stereo adaptor, for instance the sonic fury that I use... Google your soundcard for details/reviews/specs and it should tell you what you need to do. Connect the adaptor to the topmost socket on the soundcard (usually) and use and interconnect to connect it to the "digital in" on your receiver.

    In the software which comes with the soundcard, you need to set the soundcard to pass SPDIF (if you're using a Creative soundcard ticking the "AC3" box won't do.... it'll try to send analogue multi channel through all the sockets on the soundcard.) In the software player (Windvd or Powerdvd) you need to access the audio menu and set it to pass SPDIF. Now you should be OK.


    If these suggestions are too basic/whatever, soz in advance, but this is the way to get it working.

    Sean.
     
  4. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    THanks guys (and galls!)

    Theritz, It's a little more complicated... I'm using RME Hammerfall HDSP9652 sound cards which provide 24 channels of output on ADAT... I want the software to do the AC3 decoding, and pass the decoded 5.1 to the first 6 outputs of this card. The ADAT outputs go into a digital mixing console that routes the channels direct to the 6 speakers.

    The problem is that the virtual sound devices that appear in the drop-down list in the Audio tab of XP's sound control panel don't show up anywhere in the audio setup panels of the DVD playback software. This would be fine if WinDVD/PowerDVD just used, say, the first 6 ADAT outputs for 5.1 - but WinDVD didn't do this, even when it claimed it would. This is despite the soundcard having MME drivers that are known to work (all our other software works fine with the multi outputs).

    Laura, yes, you're right that the freebie versions don't do 5.1 in any shape or forrm, but I've tried the trial of the full version of WinDVD 6 to no avail. I'm not prepared to try the PowerDVD trial version as it insists on uninstalling the freebie version before hand. The trial version of WinDVD has now expired (after 14 days) and we've hardly heard a peep out of them. I don't want to buy a piece of software only to find it doesn't work with our hardware!

    mat
     
  5. theritz

    theritz
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    Mat,


    .... you can say that again... :D

    I'm not sure that it's possible to execute what you're trying to do (but would be dlighted to be proved wrong). I haven't come across this situation before, the norm is to pass SPDIF and have occasionally come across people using the HCPC as a processor and passing the analog signals to power amps. Having had a (quick) squint at the soundcard you've referred to, I doubt that it's designed to work with the likes of Powerdvd....... but I'm stabbing in the dark here really.............. How essential is it that you use this equipment ? Do you have the option of using analog inputs (in which case an Audigy or mAudio card would appear to be an option, you could run one of them side-by-side with your existing equipment..... thought: noise floor might be an issue for you if you're using this equipment for recording.....)

    If Brannx doesn't see this thread you could try PM'íng him... he might have more useful advice.

    Hope you get sorted out,


    Sean.
     
  6. adriangs

    adriangs
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    Hi guys, I'm working with tonmeistermat on this one (it's our joint facility!)

    >>> I doubt that it's designed to work with the likes of Powerdvd

    Any application using audio under Windows should simply be calling the Windows MME or DirectX API with its requirements; Windows (and the card driver) takes over from there. In other words, WinDVD/PowerDVD should neither know nor care what kind of sound card is installed - it's going through a hardware abstraction layer and should just work.
    It's only the sound card driver itself that deals with the hardware specifics (ADAT outputs as opposed to SPDIF on phonos etc.).

    Significantly, WinDVD was successfully playing stereo-only using this card, using the first two ADAT channels, so this indicates that the basic connection is there...for some reason it just wouldn't do the multichannel stuff.

    Is there anyone here that uses PowerDVD (or even WinDVD) with a discrete multichannel output card - i.e. separate physical or virtual outputs as opposed to 5.1 multiplexed onto a single SPDIF connection? If so, could they enlighten us as to exactly what the audio setup panel for this looks like in the program and whether you can specify what physical outputs you want to use for the six separate channels?

    Adrian
     
  7. Laura

    Laura
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    From my machine using PowerDVD 5 and my motherboards integrated 6 channel audio.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Laura

    Laura
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  9. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    Hi Laura and Sean,

    That all looks great.... Adrian is going to look into those screenshots you've put up and will investigate the RME website. He's the wizz when it gets to hardcore technical stuff, so I'm gonna leave this thread pretty much in his hands for here on, but thanks from me anyhow....

    Mat
     
  10. adriangs

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    Hi Laura

    As it happens I had already checked out RME's site and specifically that thing about the 10 device limit...it turns out it's not the actual problem, but I have been in contact for days with both RME's tech support and Intervideo trying to get one of them to take responsibility for the problem...we'll have to wait and see what happens...

    Thanks for putting up the screenshots though; I can see already that it spells danger in that they're talking about "speaker configurations" rather than what it really should be about - physical output devices as addressed by the Windows MME API! Hmmm, nothing's ever easy...

    Adrian
     

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