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XP + BluRay + PowerDVD + Realtek HD Audio = Problems

By Melf18
Aug 2, 2008
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  1. Hello,
    Maybe this should be in the Audio & Video Section, but I think my problem is software related.
    My PC has a BD/HD/DVD RW and DVD ROM and is connected to the following:
    Display 1: LG 17" 787LE with Audio 1: Altec Lancing Model #251 5.1 PC spkrs via blk/gold/brown 3.5 mm jacks
    Display 2: Sony 42" HD LCD RPTV (HDMI to DVI) with Audio 2: Sony Home Theatre 5.1 via optical digital (SPDIF)
    Using the (on-board) Realtek ALC888 and the Realtek HD Audio Manager I was able to play a BluRay on Power DVD on the Sony with audio from the HT while at the same time I can surf or play games at the monitor with separate audio from the PC spkrs. The TV itself even had a separate (3rd) stream of audio.
    I know this is possible as I had the set-up going in Vista Home Premium. Sadly, because of GPU issues (I have a Sapphire ATI Radeon 4850) I had to abandon this set-up in Vista and re-build it in XP Home. Sadder stil, is the fact that I can't get the same set-up to work.
    The XP Realtek HD Audio Mgr software is just messed up...it doesn't keep its settings, there's no audio via HDMI at all (to TV spkrs), I can't get it to multistream and I'm unable to set-up the 3 sets of spkrs separately. When I do a 5.1 spkr test, the audio samples are generated from a mix of the HT front spkrs and PC fr+rr spkrs.
    In addition, the Power DVD software in XP is just as messed up...again, the audio settings don't remain and the configuration tabs and options are ? ? ?

    For example, I had set the Rltk HDAud Mgr to "HD Audio 2nd Output" (HT via SPDIF). Then opened PowerDVD and in the Audio Tab set it to SPDIF. Placed a BluRay in drive and pressed play ---> Got video no prob..but No Sound AT ALL. So I checked the Power DVD settings and the HD DVD Tab was gone and the "Use SPDIF" option was also gone from the Audio Tab. So then I checked the Rltk HD Aud Mgr. It was at HD Aud 2nd Out so I did a spkr check and the 5.1 spkr icons scrolling on the screen corresponded to my frLHT-frRHT-frLPC-frRPC-rrLPC-rrRPC spkrs. WTF!
    So then I tried it with an HD DVD ---> got video...no sound again. This time the HD DVD Tab was still there but the first 2 options were now unavailable. The Audio Tab was again missing the SPDIF option.
    THEN I tried it with a regular DVD and it worked perfectly fine. Video and audio from the HT were in place. BUT...when I clicked on the Rltk Aud Mgr to enable the PC spkrs for another app the SPDIF audio to the HT would just stop.
    Is it me?...Or is it the software?...Or what?!
    This is baffling...any help, suggestions, info, solutions would be truly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. insoman

    insoman TS Rookie Posts: 158

    Looks like you are trying to configure the sound from an app point of view. What does the hardware look like. Have you set them (apps) to use a specific piece of audio hardware. Start with the hard ware and work your way to the app settings. Not sure about why your settings are being changed sounds like it is going back to a default or an original hardware setting (that the software is picking up..)?

    You must be running out of patience!
  3. Melf18

    Melf18 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes, I'm on the verge of running out of patience...
    I've looked at the hardware set up...all is the way it's supposed to be. I've been able to reach the point where I can play a blu ray on PowerDVD with audio coming from the PC to HT spkrs via SPDIF (as it should be).

    BUT...audio would completely STOP when
    a) I open another app (for example itunes) - In which case I would have to start playing my music on itunes (audio from PC spkrs - as it should be). THEN go back to PowerDVD, pause and play to get back audio via SPDIF. Only after doing this will I get separate audio from both sets of spkrs - Blu Ray on HT spkrs and music on PC spkrs.
    b) I open a web browser and click on any link. I would have to go to PowerDVD, pause & play to get back audio. This is a royal pain...surfing while watching a movie is next to impossible this way.
    c) I click on the Sound Manager icon (to adjust volume for example)

    BUT GET THIS...the only way I can get around these issues is to have both sets of spkrs output audio at the same time - ie Blu Ray audio via SPDIF to HT spkrs while PC spkrs out put itunes (for example). See a) above.
    I'm really perplexed!
    I guess what I'm trying to get at here is...Is it possible to configure the Realtek Sound Manager so that it sees the analog output separately from the digital output. And if so, is it possible to choose which output to use when an app gets opened.
  4. insoman

    insoman TS Rookie Posts: 158

    This all sounds like you might have to uninstall and start again as with most (including mine) you should be able to separate the sound. Its weird how the audio just goes when you do something else. I would have said there is a conflict of hardware somewhere but you would know by now. And if you can get both sets of speakers to work at the same time there is no issue with the hardware working correctly so it MUST be software related. There is probably some little check box lying in wait for you!

    I hate to say this but you might have to uninstall all the apps you use for or with sound (since you've been through everything else) and set them up one by one until the fault occurs, When it does you know what app is to blame.

    Sorry I can't be of more help but that is the way I would do it. If all else fails do it the hard way!
  5. Melf18

    Melf18 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for trying to help. I'll go through the process of elimination with the apps. (Even though it's boring and tedious!)
    The Realtek Sound Manger works so much better in Vista....If I can get around my Vista+GPU issues...I'm switching sides!
  6. Abigor

    Abigor TS Rookie

    The second audio stream comes from the socket on the front side of your computer case.
    It took several days for me to find it...
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