SPDIF output


Established Member
Jun 12, 2002
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Huddersfield UK
Got a strange one here ...

Originally, when I first set up my HCPC, I used to get ALL sound output from my SPDIF.

However I've recently found that this is no longer the case and only DVD DD or DTS streams are being sent through. For all other Windows sounds I have to use the analog outputs.

Any one got an idea why this might be the case, or is this in fact normal?

Asus A7N266VM motherboard with SPDIF out (built in soundcard)
ATI 8500DV
Windows XP
Power DVD 4.0 XP


Any one using the latest Catalyst drivers (1/8/02) ??? Any problems???
Depending on your setup, including s/ware & drivers, there could be a well-hidden setting that has changed its configuration.
Look for things like on-screen mixer panels that may have "advanced settings" that have somehow muted or redirected certain types of output.
I had a similar problem with my Turtle Beach Montego sound card ; I found one particular mixer's advanced settings had muted an output for me, stopping my quad-speaker configuration working. It seems I have about 4 different so-called "mixer control panels" installed in the system - so tracing problems can be complicated.
Playback (or output) applications themselves may also have settings that can enable or disable SP/DIF (or other) routings.

Chris Muriel, Manchester.
Thanks Chris,

The only thing I can think of that might have changed my config somewhere is installing Creative's PlayCenter2 (for a DAP).

Can't remember seeing a mixer anywhere though :(
A good place to start will be in the Multimedia part of Control Panel : Start-settings-Control Panel- Multimedia.
Look for any entires under Mixer or MCI devices.
Also right click on the loudspeaker item if it's on your bottom right toolbar ; this may bring up some extra mixer options or virtual control windows. Don't forget that within these there may be "advanced" (or similarly named) radio buttons to push - perhaps yielding yet more settings you can check.
My Montego card s/ware also installed a very pretty (but not too clever) virtual "Midi HiFi" deck with loads of silly controls that can over-ride existing settings. Another unwanted extra came with the install of my ATI Radeon VGA card - can control (& play) audio as well as video.

Hope it turns out to be one of these & not a hardware problem.

Chris Muriel.
Hi, I have the same motherboard and found that I need to change XP's regional settings from UK to US in order to select and make changes in the Digital/SPDIF tab in the nvidia media control tool in Control Panel. From here you can select what output you want from the analogue and digital ports.

Thanks "halephil" for the XP tip!.
I too use the A7N266VM due to the realtime "DOLBY DIGITAL" encoding. I can just use one optical cable to the amp and still get surround sound in games etc(as well as DD/DTS for DVD).
But came across the XP bug that stopped selecting Digital/SPDIF settings, and was just about to put Windows ME back on!.

I'm using the lastest Catalyst drivers and apart from the above bug have had no problems. If the ideas above don't work, try deleting the sound drivers in "Device manager", then reload them etc.

I like seeing "normal" Windows XP running in full DD(full blue LED) with my amp!.

Anybody reccomend a good game to test the rear surround speakers?

Thanks guys ...

Halephil - changing the regional settings - doesn't this screw up things like your keyboard and currency stuff in other programs?

Also, I don't recall seeing a nvidia media control tool in control panel? Is this something on the motherboards install CD?

Hi, you should have an icon in Control Panel called NVIDIA nForce APU1 - this is the nForce Audio Panel and you want to select the tab between Utilities and MIDI. If the tab is called SPDIF then you'll need to change your Regional Settings (if only temporarily to avoid things like keyboard mapping and other regional changes) to US - reopen and the tab should now be called "Output" - now you can select what you want out on each of the two outputs. Make your changes, close the window and then change your Regional Settings back to UK.

If you don't have the NV Audio Panel in Control Panel then I'd suggest re-installing the drivers either from the CD that came with the Motherboard or from the Asus support web site. I'd also suggest going to the Microsoft Windows XP support updates site and seeing if XP offers a later driver set.

Good luck.

Tried as you suggested ... and ... it all works beautifully now! Nice to see my amp switch to Digital and hear the XP start up tune via the SPDIF !!!

Any idea what the speaker layout setting affects? Surely the SPDIF will output just a sound stream?

Can I ask how you found out about the XP bug and changing the regional settings temporarily? You've saved me a great deal of hassle!

fulabeer - try Medal of Honour to test out your rear speakers, it's like being in Saving Private Ryan ... i.e. very scary :eek:

Once again, thanks all!
Mark, glad you've got things working OK.

Not sure what difference, if any. the different speaker choices make to be honest with the digital output - I've just left the digital output as regular stereo.

Original solution to the problem came from a long trawl through the newsgroups with Google - it would seem that this affects other Asus motherboards as well - as is usually the case there's always someone out there that has had the same problem and fixed it. I don't know how I'd survive without this Internet thing!!

Cheers, Phil

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