I have my MCE 2005 box connected to a receiver via a coax spdif cable. I am using the motherboard audio, but have also observed this same problem with a Diamond sound card.
I setup my speakers as "5.1 via spdif coax" in MCE and "connected to a receiver via spdif" in the NVidia pure video decoder. Under these settings, the receiver gets the digital signal, the MC volume (1-25) has no effect and the sound is great.
The problem is that the analog audio jack on the computer is dead. To get it to work again, I have to switch the settings back to computer speakers and 2 channels. Then the receiver sees stereo. Switching back and forth is a pain.
Is there any way to hack the system to permit the spdif output to pass through the audio while having the analog jack remain active? Changing the setting in a single place would be better than having to go into both MC Setup and NVidia control.
Does Vista have this same problem?
Guys solution from the UK purchase a digital to analog converter,
Split the signal from the MCE PC via an optical or digital splitter, take one optical to the surround amp or TV etc, connect the digital-analog converter to the other side of the splitter and hey presto.
How aboutthe Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro? This is a USB sound card that can output either toslink or analog.
Does anyone know if it shuts off the on-board sound card?
thats more of a question for your mobo. will it disable the onboard if theres another foudn? but its harder than that. you need somethign that will pass the 5.1 and at the same time downmix to 2 channel analog. normally that downmix is in the decoder/directshow and you need to replace it with somethign else to get both. or you may luck out and setting for 2 channel for hte downmix won't stop it from passing the original stream out the spdif.
I've never tried this. I've done wacky things like 7.1 cards outputting 3 seperate 2 channel audio streams but never optical full and downmixed 2 channel at the same time.
OK, I'm aware I'm giving you half a story here, but I definately remember reading somewhere that it's physically impossible for one soundcard to pass Dolby Digital through SPDIF (or TOSLINK - I belive they're both the same thing) and the usual 3.5mm analogue jack at the same time. I've just tried to find the page I read but can't.
So, I've probably been no help whatsoever.
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Well, I'm not using a soundcard, but the onboard audio of my MB (sig below) uses a Realtek ALC880. I have it connected to my receiver with S/PDIF (coaxial at the moment) and with 6-channel descrete analog inputs. Right now I'm using WMP11 listening to B.B. King and I can choose either input on the receiver. The ALC880 is sending audio out both at the same time. I'm not changing any settings in MCE 2005. During setup I made sure digital audio was enabled and I set up the analog jacks for 6-channel output (I'm sure it'd be the same if I were only using 2 speakers). (Just double-checkedby plugging in my headphones to the analog jack while playing digital audio thru the receiver - heard the same playback on headphones and receiver...)
I use digital audio for most everything but there are a few games I play that don't do digital audio. If I want surround sound while gaming, I have to switch the receiver to 6-channel analog.
EDIT: Oh, in Vista (x64 RC2 anyway) the Realtek HD driver does NOT output digital and analog audio at the same time on this same machine. I was really bummed by that. I'm hoping Realtek will fix that by the time Retail Vista is released...
I am using the Analog Devices 1988 - SoundMax audio on my MoBo.
I left out one thing in my initial post. When I switch to analog 2 channel, I get SPDIF out, but it is the digital version of the 2 channel output (I think it is known as PCM), not the 5.1 DD passthru. When I feed it into a receiver, it shows up as ProLogic, not DolbyDigital. It also sounds like stereo, not surround.
My understanding is that the onboard processor is decoding the DolbyDigital signal into the descrete analog signals. The digital output then appears to be a reencoding into a digital bitstream. In my case, it contains the 2 stereo channels. When it goes into my receiver, it shows up as ProLogic and sounds like plain stereo.
I'm curious as to whether you are getting a full surround signal out of your digital output and whether your receiver is seeing it as prologic or dolby digital.
I'm not sure on this, but I think the 2 channel (PCM) audio, and the DTS/DD 5.1 are seperate tracks on the source (DVD etc..) so you would need your decoder to take 2 seperate streams on the source, and direct them to 2 serperate audio cards... I doubt that will ever happen.
So what you need to to always grab the DTS/DD 5.1 track off the source, and then in the CPU create it's own 2 channel down mix and send that out your jacks, and leave the pure stream out the coax. I doubt ANY main stream card driver would do that, but I fully beleive the cards are capable of it. My SB THX sound card requires me to leave the purevideo decoder on spdif out, and the driver tells the card to conver to my 6 ouputs (I run right to Creative THX speakers). You may be able to find the after market driver for SB cards that may be able to do this hack... the driver is the 'kxproject' or something like that. named after the core chip in the sound cards. I never did load them, but they have lots of features, including letting you use media center for volume on the spdif out.
hope that helps a bit.
A possible workaround is a tv that allows passthrough also. I recently discovered that my tv can take the optical signal, downmix it to the speakers AND pass it to a reciever. simple button on the remote for the tv to change between tv speakers and external receiver.
You may want to check out your tv manual.
cgsheen:EDIT: Oh, in Vista (x64 RC2 anyway) the Realtek
HD driver does NOT output digital and analog audio at the same time on
this same machine. I was really bummed by that. I'm hoping Realtek
will fix that by the time Retail Vista is released...
netarc:Suffering from the same issue - realized today when I tried this that my HP z558 system (uses the RealTek drivers) won't output analog and digital simultaneously ... when one is selected (via MCE's "set up your speakers"), the other is disabled.
I have your same configuration and can tell you I've tried to get this to work over the last few betas and now with rtm with no luck. The audio interfaces in vista are supurb but they should allow not only input balancing but output balancing.
In my config I need analog audio to power a whole house dist (rf modulation over coax) and the optical to power local sound through a THX A/V reciever. I've changed my setup to take the power the whole house through the A/V reciever but I sometimes don't want to hear the localized output.