computer audio help please

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Rex R

Apr 21, 2010
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so I just replaced my old amp with a newer one with surround sound. the Rx setup has been done and it has found all 4 speakers, it recognizes that it has a 4 ch input from the comp. windows 10 has been told to use 4 ch audio output. my games seem to have no problems with this...but I am only getting 2ch(front) when I try to play cds/dvd/ mp4. I have probably missed a setting somewhere. what did I miss? thanks,
I can tell you how it works with my Denon AVR-X1200. To make audio come out of the rear speakers when I have a 2 channel audio source (like a stereo CD or the TV) I have to set the sound mode to "Multi-Channel Stereo". That sends the front channel audio to all the surround outputs.
Most music is only stereo, so to get an expanded number of channels there needs to be additional processing. This would be an additional setting.
try using the "speaker fill" option... This is what it looks like on my PC.

well since my computer wasn't providing 4ch audio for the things I wanted to listen to(movies & cd's) I decided to tell the Rx that the comp was a cd player with 2ch audio and to fake 4ch. which meant disconnecting one cable and moving one over so, taint surround sound per say but it will suffice. bought a used Denon AVR-2307CI from the local pawn shop for a reasonable (to me) price. got to say, it used to be a whole lot easier to hook up a stereo when the instructions only ran to 4 pages long :). thanks for the tips,
In what manner is your computer connected to the receiver (amp)? Via HDMI cable? TOSLink or SPDIF optical audio?

I'm a Home Theater PC guy so I have some experience in these matters. Generally, if using HDMI or other digital audio, it's best to let the computer stream it as-is and have the receiver handle any decoding.
at the moment I am using a 'pin-plug' analog cable (it is what I had on hand). think I found out why the previous owner took it to the pawn shop, 'they' spilled something sticky on the remote and the buttons are stuck(they did a real nice job of cleaning the outside of the remote :)).
an 'RCA phono plug' is an industry standard, any rca plug will work with any rca jack.
at 40 some odd pounds each, neither unit is what I would call portable, nor do I want to make numerous trips to the store...after doing some research, it looks like I need standard size 'Toslink' connectors on a 6 - 10' optical cable, does that sound about right?
What outputs does the computer have, and which inputs does the receiver accept?

If you can use HDMI, go with that. Typically you would connect the computer's HDMI output to the receiver's input. Then use another HDMI cable to go from the receiver to the TV/Monitor.

Otherwise Toslink (digital optical) is the next in line to use to get digital audio to your receiver. Depending on your equipment, digital coax (using a regular RCA cable) could be an option.

Give us pics of the connectors available, and we can be more specific. Lots of computers don't have Toslink outputs these days, because HDMI has become ubiquitous. Most amps/receivers still include Toslink.

connector ports. please note that the photo of the Denon Rx is borrowed from 'Crutchfield' review and that it doesn't show the ports on the front(including 1 optical port). apologies for the cables in the way on the computer, I didn't feel like unplugging everything. the comp has 1 hdmi port being used by the monitor a bunch of usb ports and mini plug ports for analog audio.


went and bought a 6' toslink 'cable'. plugged it in and adjusted a few things. clicked on the windows 'test' button...after getting back in the chair I adjusted the master gain to lower the volume :).
the 'HDMI' ports are on the video card (as well as a vga port)
Sounds like you got it all worked out.

Yeah, one of the things you learn with digital audio is that if you let the Amp/Receiver handle the decoding, the volume can't be adjusted by the computer volume control. If you are streaming the original audio to the receiver, there's no opportunity for the computer to meddle with it. Us home theater audio freaks get into stuff like this.