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how do i get surround sound working?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by WhereHere1, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. WhereHere1

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 10, 2017

    Posts: 229

    I have a surround sound setup and amp, so 5 speakers and a sub. These are then connect to I think it’s an amp, then I have an optical cable going from the amp to my computer.

    Do I need a sound card for 5.1?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  2. EsaT

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 6,064

    Location: Finland

    Except for already encoded sound like in movies, only way you get surround/5.1 out through optical is having Dolby Digital or DTS encoder.
    Something you don't get with huge majority of integrated sound cards.
    Because motherboard makers waste your moneys into useless marketing garbage and gimmicks. (+bigger profit margins)

    Sound Blaster Z is the cheapest sound card I know which comes with DD/DTS encoders.
    https://www.overclockers.co.uk/crea...ound-card-retail-70sb150000001-sc-087-cl.html
     
  3. Radox-0

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2015

    Posts: 2,614

    Location: Earth

    For 5.1 on my rig, I run a HDMI cable from my GPU into my Amp. I assume your likely to have a HDMI in on your AMP?

    The HDMI on the GPU can pass through audio and I can select 5.1 perfectly fine in windows.
     
  4. WhereHere1

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 10, 2017

    Posts: 229

    Hi I tried this, I unplugged the optical and plugged in the hdmi into the GPU however I didn’t get any sound. I’m not sure why though.

    On the amp I set it to the right hdmi port but I didn’t couldn’t hear anything
     
  5. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,831

    If you can use HDMI (as mentioned above), then that is the best way.

    If you can only use optical; then as Esat mentioned, using optical on a motherboard, you can only get 5.1 from media like DVDs or film/TV files that have Dolby Digital or DTS audio tracks.

    If you are wanting 5.1 for gaming, then you'll need a sound card, because the majority of PC games do not support Dolby or DTS. 5.1 audio needs to be encoded on the fly with either Dolby Digital Live or the DTS equivalent, so it can be decoded as 5.1 by the amp/receiver.

    The frustrating thing is that motherboards are capable of this on a hardware level. Dolby/DTS 5.1 encoding doesn't work from motherboard optical, because manufacturers disable it. Something to do with not having to pay royalties, or so they can include such features on more expensive boards, as an extra feature to make more expensive boards more appealing compared to budget ones. Hence why Esat says they'd rather waste money including pointless gimmicks instead.


    Could be HDMI audio driver, or maybe HDMI audio output was not automatically set to default audio output device.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  6. Radox-0

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2015

    Posts: 2,614

    Location: Earth

    As Marsman suggested, double check you have selected the option correctly. Will usually see something like so (I have a sony AMP and Nvidia GPU but works fine with either provided you have their drivers downloaded)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. WhereHere1

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 10, 2017

    Posts: 229

    Ok thanks guys, I’m going to order that sound card because on my pc I mainly want it for gaming. Whereas on my TV I want it for movies, so I’ll optical cable it to my pc and hdmi to the tv.

    So if I have any problems tomorrow I’ll get in touch again haha!
     
  8. WhereHere1

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 10, 2017

    Posts: 229

    Hi ok I’m back lol.

    So I purchased the Sound Blaster Z however I still don’t get surround sound. I plugged in the optical cable to the AV and it’s just the front 3 speakers working. The sub and 2 back speakers don’t work.

    It appears you can only get surround sound using the 5 3.5mm audio cables, but my AV doesn’t have these.

    I have tried using HDMI to my pc but nothing happens. I have looked for drivers for my AV but it doesn’t have pc driver. I have a Yamaha HTR-2071.

    Can anyone help on how to set it up, I can’t believe it’s so hard to connect surround sound to PC?!
     
  9. WhereHere1

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 10, 2017

    Posts: 229

    Oh god I’m stupid, I’ve sorted it.

    When I plugged the AV into my PC I had a small HDMI extension cable, when I unplugged that it all worked.
     
  10. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,831

    Judging by the post above, sound card is no longer needed: but just for the sake of troubleshooting, it must be a set up issue of some kind.

    I assume you had Dolby Digital Live enabled in the Sound blaster Z software?

    Could be something to do with surround sound speaker set up in Windows itself.

    Glad you got the HDMI working as it should.
     
  11. Safetytrousers

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 31, 2016

    Posts: 1,242

    Location: Moonbase Alpha

    For Sounblaster Z I find you have to opt for a full software install. You need to have the Cinematic tab available in the software (not there if I do custom install) and there you choose the appropriate codec.
    Also sometimes the sound cracks and goes in games, but just turning the codec off and on again sorts that.
    The Soundblaster Z software is so clunky and old looking but it does the job.