Laptop audio , amp/receiver , Realtek problems


Standard Member
Hey..sorry about long post but I've run into Abit of trouble and just don't know what to do....
I have a Sony 6.2 surround sound system with 1510w amp/receiver.
I recently upgrade my acer net book model KAVA0 on XP to a acer net book AO756 on windows 7.
All of this is running through my hd tv..which is my screen.

With my older acer (XP) I could have all speakers running at once to its full potential by just plugging a 3.5mm jack to a red/ whit RCA cable from laptop to receiver..and using Realtek..

Now with the new laptop (which I don't understand as its better in all ways to the older one) when plugging my sound system in as I have done on old lappy and using new version of Realtek.. It's only coming up as analog stereo and only running 2 speakers..
It won't even give me the option for surround sound.
I spoke to the acer tech support and they couldn't help
I updated all drivers. Uninstalled and reinstalled and still no luck.. Spent hours surfing net for answers.. Nothing
My laptop only has a hdmi port 3Xusb one Ethernet,VGA and a mic/headphone jack... Anyway I try it won't pick my other speakers up...

My last option is a analog to digital adapter...where I will attach the 3.5mm jack to laptop the red/white rcas to adapter then a optical coax from adapter to receiver...... Will this work?????

My biggest problem is Realtek not finding my surround sound....
What should I do, what can I do..
Should I downgrade from win7 to xp just so I can use old Realtek again and so my stereo will work once again

Any help or ideas please


Well-known Member
You would only get 5.1 audio from a single 3.5mm connection if it is outputting a digital audio signal (coaxial or optical). This is a hardware feature on some soundcards, but if you just have a standard analogue 3.5mm audio jack on the notebook you will be stuck with stereo audio.

One solution would be to buy an external/USB soundcard to provide you with a digital audio output. Another would be to upgrade your receiver for one with HDMI connectivity as you can typically output 5.1 audio over HDMI from a PC/laptop. You’d need to confirm this for your specific netbook though.

Going by the cable you were using (3.5mm to red/white RCA), I’d be surprised if you were actually getting 5.1 audio from the old laptop. Was this connected to one of the digital inputs on the receiver, or just to the red/white RCA inputs? If it was connected to a set of red/white RCA inputs, you could only have been listening to stereo audio. If one of the surround sound modes (Dolby Pro Logic, DTS Neo, etc) was enabled on the receiver, you would still have gotten sound out of all the speakers.


Standard Member
hey steviebuck

thanks for the reply
i thought that might be the case. i was just a little confussed, even tho i was running stereo analog through my old pc via 3.5mm-red/white rca i still had the option of 5.1-7.1 as an additional sound choice and although this isnt surround sound, it still sounded alot louder and clearer plus bassy then what my new pc produces even tho its set up exactly the same....

i have invested in a external USB sound card that gives me 7.1 so im yet to try this out once i receive it
plugging this from usb port to amp/receiver, will my pc's realtek hd audio manager pick it up as digital so that i can change it from analog, as the realtek is my biggest problem at the mo..

all sound is playing through all speakers but only as 2.0 stereo analog and i dont get the option to change the speaker config

also i bought an analog to digital sound adapter, will plugging this into the 3.5mm jack then to digital port on receiver still count this as an analog connection as its still plugged in throgh the headphone port????

thank you for the help
also with hdmi... can i just go from pc to amp for the sound or because my tv is my pc screen do i have to go from amp to tv aswell for both the audio and video hdmi qualities...

basically my set up is laptop, tv,surround sound..
laptop to tv and laptop to amp



Well-known Member
The realtek audio manager is for the built-in audio. The USB soundcard should have it's own software bundled with it for configuring the outputs.

It sounds like you've rushed into buying a soundcard without actually checking that it meets your requirements. What sound card did you purchase? Does the specification say it has a digital output function? Even though it says 7.1, this may just be analogue 7.1 audio over 4x 3.5mm jacks. Even if it does have an optical or coaxial digital out, this will limit you to 5.1 audio. Only HDMI has the required bandwidth to transfer digital audio in full 7.1.

I'm not sure what you mean about the analogue to digital adapter. The headphone output on the netbook will be analogue. If you have a spare analogue input on the receiver, connect it directly to that with your 3.5mm to RCA cable. There is no benefit to be had from converting the analogue headphone signal to digital prior to connecting it the to the receiver. The receiver has to convert digital signals back to analogue before it can perform any amplification. If anything, the analogue to digital converter will only diminish the audio quality.

If you had an HDMI compatible amp/receiver, the preferred set up would be:

Laptop --HDMI--> Receiver --HDMI--> TV​

Without an HDMI receiver, your current set up is best having the audio and video connected separatly to the TV and receiver.


Standard Member
Thank you for the reply...
This is all very useful to me...
with my receiver, its a hdmi receiver. i have brought a External 7.1CH Optical SPDIF USB 2.0 Sound Card Audio Adapter For PC Laptop Win7


Even if it only converts to 5.1 that's fine with me as I have a 6.2 surround system...

Will this do it for me..
Also I have purchased this:

Analog to Digital Optical Coaxial Toslink Signal Audio Converter Adapter RCA L/R


Although I don't think this will work..
So if I go laptop--hdmi>receiver then hdmi>tv it shoud solve the problem of being analog/ stereo



Well-known Member
If it’s an HDMI receiver, I would connect it as I described in my last post (Laptop --HDMI--> Receiver --HDMI--> TV).

After connecting it up and turning everything on, go to Control Panel > Sound, on your laptop. On the Playback tab of the sound options, select/highlight the Sony receiver. Hit ‘Configure’ and change the speaker configuration to ‘5.1 Surround’.

The audio output should show up as 5.1 PCM on the receiver’s display if it’s working properly.

You will need to use a suitable media player (and configure it properly) if you want to bitstream Dolby or DTS encoded audio to the receiver.

The links for the external sound card and analogue to digital converter don’t seem to have come through properly. If you can get the system working as I’ve just described, you won’t need either of them. The analogue to digital converter is of little use to you regardless.

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