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Windows 10 Speaker Configuration

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Here is my setup;

 

HTPC

AMD HD5770 HDMI Out to;

Pioneer VSX-518-K AV/R

Pioneer VSX518 Out to 5.1 speaker configuration

Windows 10 Pro

 

My Pioneer has auto input detection and here are my various scenarios;

 

1. Windows 10 configure speaker setup as "stereo"

Windows 10 outputs two channel stereo via HDMI to my AV/R.  AV/R shows Dolby Digital input and outputs sound to all 5.1 channels regardless of source i.e. Netflix (via browser), Amazon video (via browser) or any other streaming type website.  It also does the same if I'm playing back movies from my movie library.  But my gut feel is that the surround is simulated and not true since the source is only two channel. Anyone know if that is a correct assumption?

 

2. Windows 10 configure speaker setup as "5.1"

Windows 10 outputs 2.0 or 5.1 audio via HDMI to my AV/R dependent on the original source material.  If the source is 2.0 then the playback is 2.0.  If the source is 5.1 then the playback is 5.1.  The strange thing in this configuration my AV/R detects input as PCM regardless of the source.  If I use the Windows 10 Netflix app, I get 5.1 channel playback if the source material has 5.1 or higher audio tracks.  If I use a browser for playback I only get stereo - my guess is that Netflix via browser doesn't support HTML 5 or Silverlight.  All Amazon video only plays back in two channel if I've got the speakers configured as 5.1. That is probably an Amazon video thing and might not have anything to do with the OS or hardware.

 

3. When playing bluray I use PowerDVD and have it configured to passthrough audio directly to the AV/R.  This results in my Pioneer AV/R detecting DTS or Dolby Digital depending on the source and passing the audio onto my speakers without interference.  Playback sounds perfect.

 

So for all you running HTPCs and Windows 10, how is your speaker setup configured in Windows 10?  Are you set to 2.0 Stereo or 5.1?  Does any of your gear exhibit the same behavior as mine or am I on a boat all alone?

 

IYHO what is the correct speaker setup configuration in Windows 10 when using an AV/R to decode and transmit the audio to your multi-channel speaker setup?

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I'm not at my windows 10 pc at the moment, and haven't tested it since installing windows 10.  But I know I was able to test before, because I had similar scenerios and wanted to be sure myself.  I don't know if it was a feature of whatever windows I was using, or a feature of the sound card (or motherboard sound), but I was able to see a visual layout of a 5.1 system, and each speaker had a "test sound" button that I was able to confirm when  it was true or not

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Yep, I've got the same visual representation in my Windows Sound Speaker configuration .  And regardless of whether I choose Stereo or 5.1 I get the familiar "ding" when testing the speakers that are available and present (i.e. stereo = left / right, 5.1 = LF/RF/LR/RR/Center/Sub).  My main thing is that when I use the 5.1 channel option anything played through a browser only comes through in Stereo and I can't use any of the advanced audio processing on my AV/R because the input is always detected as PCM.

 

If I choose "Stereo" in the Windows Sound speaker configuration my AV/R detects all inputs regardless of source as Dolby Digital II and allows me to choose what if any audio processing I'd like to use.  In that case I do get 5.1 channels of sound through all speakers in my setup.  I guess if I'm thinking about it further.........

 

If I choose the Stereo speaker option, is Windows 10 passing through additional compressed channels via HDMI, or is my receiver "faking" it when it's sending audio signals to all of my speakers?  This discussion is primarily for TV watching; i.e. Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and my Movie library.

 

I use PowerDVD for Bluray and DVD and it will passthrough Dolby, Dolby II, DTS etc. regardless of my Windows sound panel configuration.

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well uhhh

most "web browser" content is only stereo

I dont think youtube has a 5.1 channel output

not exactly sure what you are doing playing in a web broswer, but it might be normal 

 

netflix web broswer does NOT support surround sound

5.1 surround sound is not currently supported while streaming on a computer using Microsoft Silverlight or HTML5. However, it is supported in the Netflix app for Windows 8 and Windows 10.

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