13 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2011 9:42 PM by Flying_Kiwi

    Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work

    Hossy

      I have an Intel DH67GD motherboard with Intel HD Audio (Realtek AC892).  I'm using the optical SPDIF (Toslink) to connect to my receiver.  When I test the surround sound (through the WMC wizard or by playing a DVD), the reciever indicated it's getting a 5.1 signal, but no sound is coming out of the rear speakers.  I know my rear speakers work as I've tested them with my other components.

       

      I'm running Windows 7 x64.  Installed the latest drivers as posted on Intel's site last night (5/13/2011).

       

      Anyone run into this problem?

        • 1. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
          CarWiz

          Open the Realtek HD Audio Manager then click on the Digital Output(Optical) tab. Check to see there is an X next to the little speaker to the right of the main volume slider. If there is an X, the output is muted. Click it to turn on sound.

           

          Also, click on the Default Format tab below that and make sure your output matches the input for your receiver.

          • 2. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
            Hossy

            The audio was not muted and Optical was already set as the default device.  Again, I get audio on the left front and right front speakers, but the center and two rear speakers are silent.

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            • 3. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
              CarWiz

              Are you talking about your receiver's speakers or PC speakers? I don't see speakers in your Sound Manager.  If you're expecting to get all channels via the S/PDIF, you mis-read the specs. S/PDIF is stereo only (front). If you want all channels (Stereo, Quad, 5.1 or 7.1), you have to use the analog jacks. That's why you don't see a channel option/selection on the digital panels--There's only two. That's how Intel comes up with 10 channels in their sales brochures. (7.1 + 2 = 10.)

               

              Sorry, I misunderstood your origial issue.

              • 4. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                Hossy

                My PC has no speakers.  I'm referring to my receiver.

                 

                What specs are you reading that indicate 2.0 over optical?  That makes no sense to me.  That's what S/PDIF was designed to do.

                 

                My receiver doesn't have individual analog input for surround sound.  I don't know any home theater receiver that does.  I've always understood that if you want surround sound, you have to use S/PDIF (optical or coax).

                 

                Also, I tried to send the audio over HDMI.  The Windows playback dialog enabled the "Configure" button which provided a speaker arrangement selection, but, when I tried to configure it for 5.1, sound again only came out of the front right and left speakers.

                 

                I understand Intel marketing on 10 channels.  According to the Realtek AC892 specs, the front panel audio port (headphones) is the additional 2.0 while the back panel ports provide the 7.1.

                • 5. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                  CarWiz

                  The front panel connects to the HD Audio header and the "headphone" jack can be tasked to operate as front speaker output.

                   

                  I may have found something. Does your receiver have a matrix decoder? If so, you can "Enhance" the S/PDIF output to provide surround. Open Windows Sound configuration. You can open it through the Control Panel or via the hidden icons by right clicking on Realtek HD Audio Manager and clicking on Audio Devices.

                   

                  From the Sound panel, right click your digital output then click on Properties. Click on the Enhancement tab. In the scroll box, check (click) on Virtual Surround. Next, click on the Advanced tab. In the drop-down menu to the left of Test, be sure to select the output that's compatible with your receiver. Click Apply if active then click OK.

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                  • 6. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                    Hossy

                    My receiver isn't new by any measure, but it still has nice features.  I have an Optimus STAV-3790.  I tried the Virtual Surround enhancement, but no change.

                     

                    I still don't understand why you are saying that the S/PDIF port is 2.0 only.  Where in the specs are you seeing this?

                    • 7. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                      CarWiz

                      It's in the specifications for S/PDIF. To get more than two channels, the unit providing the output must encode the data (DTS/Dolby) and unit receiving the data must be able to decode the data when received.  I don't use the digital output so I didn't know about the "Enhancement" provided by Windows.

                      • 8. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                        Hossy

                        And this doesn't encode to Dolby Digital?

                         

                        Also, for DVD audio which is already encoded DD, why don't I get 5.1 from that?  Shouldn't it just pass-through the encoding to the receiver?

                        • 9. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                          Hossy

                          I have some new information.  I've been browsing around and I saw someone mention Dolby Pro Logic, which my receiver has.  I re-enabled the Virtual Surround option and turned on DPL and now I'm getting sound out of all speakers.  I tried searching online and didn't find anything definitive so far.  Is DPL the matrix decoder you mentioned earlier?  Also, it really isn't good quality sound -- I'm getting skips and pops.  Do you have any recommendations?

                           

                          I honestly feel Intel jipped me on this motherboard and I'm close to returning it to the store.

                          • 10. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                            Flying_Kiwi

                            I'm using a Toslink cable with my DG45ID here and get perfect surround sound via the Dolby Digital signal being sent down the cable encoded and then decoded by the Dolby Digital capable receiver. Dolby technologies vary widely (thats without even touching on DTS, a competing but not cross compatible with Dolby, technology). It's therefore important to make sure your receiver is ideally matched to your motherboards capabilities for maximum performance. My receiver is Dolby Digital compatible and that gives 5.1 surround sound. It's also Dolby Pro Logic capable but when switched to that mode THAT only results in stereo output. If the receiver is capable of Dolby Digital, then configure it accordingly for full surround sound. I think the issue is simply that your receiver isn't up to (or at least configured to match) the capabilities of your motherboard.

                             

                            If you read up about Dolby Digital on the web, that may help to clarify things for you. parsec wrote a small novel in response to comments made here a few months ago regarding surround sound and I found that very useful. Here's the link: http://communities.intel.com/message/104084#104084

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                            • 11. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                              CarWiz

                              Hossy wrote:

                               

                              I'm getting skips and pops.  Do you have any recommendations?

                               

                              The Toslink cable must be in perfect condition--No kinks or sharp bends.

                              Try changing the sample rate under the Supported Formats tab (Sound properties). I looked at a manual for your receiver online but I couldn't find anything on the specs. Someone with more knowledge of your unit and DPL may help more.

                              • 12. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                                Hossy

                                First, I want to thank you both, especially CarWiz, for the helpful (and quick) replies.  I resolved the audio problem I was having, but unfortunately I don't know the true cause and am open to your thoughts.

                                 

                                I ended up replacing my receiver -- bought an Onkyo TX-NR709 AV receiver.  I am also, simply for the convenience of a single cable, sending the audio over HDMI (the optical cable worked fine as well).  What's interesting is that the Onkyo is detecting the signal from my PC as "Dolby D" (which I presume means Dolby Digital) and my old receiver supports Dolby Digital.  My old receiver received the DD encoded audio from even the latest Blu-Ray discs without issue, so my thoughts right now are that maybe the encoding from the PC doesn't exactly follow the DD standard as I haven't seen anything to indicate that "Dolby Digital" has versions.

                                 

                                If you care to help me with my video problem, that'd be awesome (and hopefully won't cost me another $800). :-)

                                 

                                http://communities.intel.com/message/124993#124993

                                 

                                Thanks, again!

                                • 13. Re: Intel HD Audio Optical (Toslink) Rear Speakers Don't Work
                                  Flying_Kiwi

                                  Hossy wrote:

                                   

                                  First, I want to thank you both, especially CarWiz, for the helpful (and quick) replies.  I resolved the audio problem I was having, but unfortunately I don't know the true cause and am open to your thoughts.

                                   

                                  I ended up replacing my receiver -- bought an Onkyo TX-NR709 AV receiver.  I am also, simply for the convenience of a single cable, sending the audio over HDMI (the optical cable worked fine as well).  What's interesting is that the Onkyo is detecting the signal from my PC as "Dolby D" (which I presume means Dolby Digital) and my old receiver supports Dolby Digital.

                                  You mentioned earlier in the thread that the 'old' receiver supported Dolby Pro Logic (which is not the same as Dolby Digital and is effectively Stereo with any additional speaker feeds artificially created - thats where that matrix stuff you referred to earlier comes into it). If, on the other hand, your receiver handled DD (as opposed to Dolby Pro Logic) as its default format and was working fine that way (as your new receiver seems to be doing), you would not have had a problem. Manufacturers will be keen to brand their hardware with its capabilities and there are different Dolby related logos depending on which your receiver supports - my guess is that the logos printed on your old and new receiver are different - either that or your old one is faulty in some way when it comes to full Dolby Digital functioning. If you do have the ability to configure the 'Sample Rate' within the drivers/windows, it's also important that this matches your receivers capabilities or you will get things like popping and poor quality audio. Some people set it to the highest possible thinking that'll give the best results but actually it needs to be set at what matches the receiver (in my case 'only' 48 kHz even though options going all the way up to 192 kHZ are also present).

                                   

                                  If you haven't read parsecs explanation I linked to earlier, it does make for lengthy, although educational, reading on the topic and will help to explain these things. In this case it appears your problems were not due to Intel but were receiver or configuration related. As far as your hdmi issue, that does sound driver related although you should make sure your TV is fully powered on before even powering up the PC for best possible hdmi compatibility. HDMI is supposed to be hot pluggable but with some hardware, there are issues in this regard and using this 'switch on order' sometimes helps.