HTPC and AVR/TV issues

sinttesi

Standard Member
Hi folks,

I’m looking for some help using a HTPC with an AVR as I have found some really annoying issues which I’m struggling to solve. I know other folks have come across similar issues but information about this is very scattered! I’ve set out the issues I’m having and what I want to achieve below. I haven’t found a solution that can do everything. Any suggestions or help will be much appreciated!

Problems/issues I’m trying to solve:
If I turn on the HTPC without the AVR/TV powered on beforehand, windows defaults to 800x600 resolution. When the AVR/TV power on the change in resolution to 1080 50p typically causes KODI to crash. I can’t change the default resolution to 1080 50p, although I can get close to stop KODI crashing.

With everything powered on, if I restart the AVR/TV (i.e. power off then on) windows will forget it is attached to a 5.1 capable source and defaults to stereo. The screen will also revert to 60Hz when I normally leave it at 50Hz to match TV framerate.

Other stuff I want to achieve:
Ability to leave the HTPC turned on (it stores our media for other PCs to access), but turn the AVR/TV on and off without disturbing the setup

Allow HDCP passthrough so I can watch BluRay DVDs

I think I want Dolby TrueHD/Digital Plus and DTS:HD audio passed directly to the AVR to get the best sound quality for watching films and DVDs

Change refresh rate to match the content, e.g. 50Hz for TV, 24Hz for DVDs etc. I can do this in KODI but given I mostly watch TV, it works best if windows is set to 50Hz so KODI doesn’t change the refresh rate every time I change channel as this is very annoying!

If I could view the AVR menus on the TV that would be great but isn’t a deal breaker

Solutions I’ve tried:
I’ve tired blocking pin 19 on the HDMI connector. It doesn’t solve the start up resolution issue (although this is close to workable), the biggest issue is this method blocks HDCP so I cannot watch BluRays.

I’ve tried a Dr HDMI EDID emulator, however it appears it is not compatible with the Yamaha AVR and I get no picture. I’ve been in touch with HD Fury but they were no help. Perhaps it was a Dr HDMI issue and another brand would work. Would this solve my issues? Any recommendations?

Other Solutions:
HD Fury suggested I should buy there Integral2 or Vertex boxes and split the signal to the TV and AVR separately. They didn’t provide any further information as to why this is necessary or how it would work in practice. TBH feels a bit over the top as they can’t explain why the Dr HDMI isn’t working and why these boxes would. They are also very expensive at £227+ and not a solution I’ve heard people using.

I could buy a new graphics card with separate feeds to the TV and AVR by mirroring the screens in windows. I’m not sure this will fix the initial power on issue. Would this method fix the audio settings in windows? I’m expecting that every time I power cycle the AVR windows will forgot what it is attached to?

I could buy a new graphics card and use a EDID emulators (maybe one or two) on the TV and AVR feeds so windows never knows the devices are turned off. This will be very expensive so would prefer not to go down this route. I would question why a single EDID couldn’t do this.

Use a separate sound card to permanently output sound. The AVR has a optical in, however I believe this cannot transmit Dolby TrueHD or DTS:HD audio. This should fix the audio settings issue and maybe a EDID emulator could fix the screen resolution issues, however I’m not sure I want to lose Dolby TrueHD or DTS:HD audio.

Would a switch to Linux solve these issues? I’ve never used Linux so this would be a huge learning curve, not only to set up the HTPC but also network it with several Windows 10 PCs for access to media storage. This might be a step too far!


Kit:
PC - Windows 10 HTPC with a AMD A6-5400k APU and integrated AMD Radeon HD 7540D powering the onboard HDMI port. Latest version of Windows 10 AMD drivers (although they haven't changed since ~2015!)
AVR - Yamaha RX-V483 with the latest firmware update
Display - Samsung UE46F6400 with the latest firmware update
Remote – Logitech harmony IR blaster, I can start the AVR and TV in any order. It cannot start up the HTPC.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I have been using HTPCs since Media Centre 2005, and never thought I would be suggesting this solution. But.. it is working really well for me..

Keep the server PC as a standalone device, hard wired if possible (mine lives in the cupboard under the stairs).

Buy an Nvidia Shield Pro to use as a client, attached to the AVR. It does everything. I use a mixture of Plex and Kodi, but you could just stick with Kodi if you prefer.
 

sinttesi

Standard Member
I had considered a Shield but couldn't find a way to watch BluRay/DVDs without ripping them first. Have you found a way around this?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I had considered a Shield but couldn't find a way to watch BluRay/DVDs without ripping them first. Have you found a way around this?
A flippant answer, but I use a Blu Ray / DVD player!

Most stuff is ripped for watching on any TV in the house. Occasionally we watch on the main system from the actual disc.
 

sinttesi

Standard Member
A flippant answer, but I use a Blu Ray / DVD player!

Most stuff is ripped for watching on any TV in the house. Occasionally we watch on the main system from the actual disc.

I thought you might say that!

I understand you have loads of HTPCs attached to AVRs, have you run into any of the issues I've described?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I thought you might say that!

I understand you have loads of HTPCs attached to AVRs, have you run into any of the issues I've described?
Yes, to various degrees. Another reason for switching out to other devices, that and the fact that HDR / HEVC is so difficult to get right on Windows PC's. It shouldn't be, but I lost too many hours faffing around with it to make it worthwhile.

I have sold most of my HTPC's now, I have one left which has an Nvidia 1050ti, but is connected directly to a TV, which in turn is outputting stereo to some active speakers, so that solves most of the problems.

In your set-up have you tried dual outputs from the graphics card? One to the TV for video and one to the amp for audio?
 

sinttesi

Standard Member
Yes, to various degrees. Another reason for switching out to other devices, that and the fact that HDR / HEVC is so difficult to get right on Windows PC's. It shouldn't be, but I lost too many hours faffing around with it to make it worthwhile.

I have sold most of my HTPC's now, I have one left which has an Nvidia 1050ti, but is connected directly to a TV, which in turn is outputting stereo to some active speakers, so that solves most of the problems.

In your set-up have you tried dual outputs from the graphics card? One to the TV for video and one to the amp for audio?
I'm using onboard video so only have a single HDMI port. I was considering a graphics card, likely a 1050ti (appears to be a good budget choice), but I don't think it will solve the handshake issues. I'm wondering if it will get confused and reset the default audio device. Obviously I will select the AVR, however the TV does have speakers so can image Windows may decide to defaut to that at times.

I have found a way to solve the audio issues using passworth options in KODI, so that is one issue solved!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: The Best TVs and Projectors of 2020, plus AV, TV Show & Movie News & Reviews
Top Bottom