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HDMI, Audio, and Audio From HDMI

MeepZeroMeepZero Registered User regular
So I'm setting up a media box that will act as a HTPC. I'll be running HDMI up to the TV and have the audio run over the HDMI to the TV. Right now the system I'm putting together will only be using the on board audio, and the HDMI will run from the video card.

So here is my question, where is the audio being processed in this? Does the audio hardware on the board do it and then hand it off to some channel running through the vid card? Or is it just pure undecoded audio that gets sent over? Would I benefit by adding a sound card to this for better quality sound?

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    You will NOT be able to add a sound card and still use one HDMI cable under any circumstance. No one supports passing the audio processed from one card over to the video card. If you buy a sound card, the only thing you'll be able to do is run video through HDMI and run sound through an optical cable (few sound cards have HDMI ports).

    As it stands, the audio hardware on the board will direct the audio to the HDMI port. It will be raw PCM...there aren't too many onboard sound systems that will ENCODE the sound to Dolby or DTS. Assuming Windows 7, you'll just be selecting a different outgoing device from a list, and your video card will show up in that list.

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    MeepZeroMeepZero Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Scrublet wrote: »
    You will NOT be able to add a sound card and still use one HDMI cable under any circumstance. No one supports passing the audio processed from one card over to the video card. If you buy a sound card, the only thing you'll be able to do is run video through HDMI and run sound through an optical cable (few sound cards have HDMI ports).

    As it stands, the audio hardware on the board will direct the audio to the HDMI port. It will be raw PCM...there aren't too many onboard sound systems that will ENCODE the sound to Dolby or DTS. Assuming Windows 7, you'll just be selecting a different outgoing device from a list, and your video card will show up in that list.

    Thanks for the explanation. So the only benefit of a sound card is to possibly go through optical for Dolby DTS whatever. Since I'm only running this to my TV right now I guess it would be easiest to just go with the hdmi and worry about adding sound hardware later.

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    MeepZero wrote: »
    Scrublet wrote: »
    You will NOT be able to add a sound card and still use one HDMI cable under any circumstance. No one supports passing the audio processed from one card over to the video card. If you buy a sound card, the only thing you'll be able to do is run video through HDMI and run sound through an optical cable (few sound cards have HDMI ports).

    As it stands, the audio hardware on the board will direct the audio to the HDMI port. It will be raw PCM...there aren't too many onboard sound systems that will ENCODE the sound to Dolby or DTS. Assuming Windows 7, you'll just be selecting a different outgoing device from a list, and your video card will show up in that list.

    Thanks for the explanation. So the only benefit of a sound card is to possibly go through optical for Dolby DTS whatever. Since I'm only running this to my TV right now I guess it would be easiest to just go with the hdmi and worry about adding sound hardware later.

    My guess is unless you want to play games on this system there is zero reason for you to add any sound hardware. As long as your onboard is capable of decoding Dolby-TrueHD and DTS-HD MA.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    ArcticMonkeyArcticMonkey Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Scrublet wrote: »
    You will NOT be able to add a sound card and still use one HDMI cable under any circumstance. No one supports passing the audio processed from one card over to the video card. If you buy a sound card, the only thing you'll be able to do is run video through HDMI and run sound through an optical cable (few sound cards have HDMI ports).

    As it stands, the audio hardware on the board will direct the audio to the HDMI port. It will be raw PCM...there aren't too many onboard sound systems that will ENCODE the sound to Dolby or DTS. Assuming Windows 7, you'll just be selecting a different outgoing device from a list, and your video card will show up in that list.

    There are video cards that will accept SPDIF audio from the video card and add it to the HDMI signal. I don't know how common it is, but at least my Geforce 9600GT (ECS Elitegroup) does this.

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Scrublet wrote: »
    You will NOT be able to add a sound card and still use one HDMI cable under any circumstance. No one supports passing the audio processed from one card over to the video card. If you buy a sound card, the only thing you'll be able to do is run video through HDMI and run sound through an optical cable (few sound cards have HDMI ports).

    As it stands, the audio hardware on the board will direct the audio to the HDMI port. It will be raw PCM...there aren't too many onboard sound systems that will ENCODE the sound to Dolby or DTS. Assuming Windows 7, you'll just be selecting a different outgoing device from a list, and your video card will show up in that list.

    There are video cards that will accept SPDIF audio from the video card and add it to the HDMI signal. I don't know how common it is, but at least my Geforce 9600GT (ECS Elitegroup) does this.

    I'm too busy with school right now to look into this, but I'll look around my X-Fi when I get a chance. Granted that is only one card, others may be different, but I don't think it offers the option to send the SPDIF data back into the system. It seems to assume that if you bought the sound card, why would you want to send the sound anywhere but out its own outputs? This assumption is no longer valid, obviously, but I'm not sure I can take advantage of this. If anyone has a sound card and has sent audio through their video card I'd love to hear about it. It seems ridiculous that with the power of our systems these days a task like this is impossible but I don't personally know anyone who's pulled it off yet. It really does piss off my OCD that I have an optical AND an HDMI cable running to my receiver.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Scrublet wrote: »
    Scrublet wrote: »
    You will NOT be able to add a sound card and still use one HDMI cable under any circumstance. No one supports passing the audio processed from one card over to the video card. If you buy a sound card, the only thing you'll be able to do is run video through HDMI and run sound through an optical cable (few sound cards have HDMI ports).

    As it stands, the audio hardware on the board will direct the audio to the HDMI port. It will be raw PCM...there aren't too many onboard sound systems that will ENCODE the sound to Dolby or DTS. Assuming Windows 7, you'll just be selecting a different outgoing device from a list, and your video card will show up in that list.

    There are video cards that will accept SPDIF audio from the video card and add it to the HDMI signal. I don't know how common it is, but at least my Geforce 9600GT (ECS Elitegroup) does this.

    I'm too busy with school right now to look into this, but I'll look around my X-Fi when I get a chance. Granted that is only one card, others may be different, but I don't think it offers the option to send the SPDIF data back into the system. It seems to assume that if you bought the sound card, why would you want to send the sound anywhere but out its own outputs? This assumption is no longer valid, obviously, but I'm not sure I can take advantage of this. If anyone has a sound card and has sent audio through their video card I'd love to hear about it. It seems ridiculous that with the power of our systems these days a task like this is impossible but I don't personally know anyone who's pulled it off yet. It really does piss off my OCD that I have an optical AND an HDMI cable running to my receiver.

    Most addin sound cards will have internal pins for (non-optical) SPDIF so that you can route it to a jack on your case or whatever.

    ATI's new cards have a sound card built right into the graphics card, but it's not a particularly good one.

    Daedalus on
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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Now that's an interesting idea. Only thing is it's almost guaranteed I'll have to pull off the casing to that X-Fi Titanium I have to get to them if they're even there. I'll have to look into this online.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I was wondering the same thing myself not long ago.

    EVGA 8800GT cards do not have the necessary additional audio jack to route audio through their DVI outputs. At least mine don't.

    Synthesis on
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I was wondering the same thing myself not long ago.

    EVGA 8800GT cards do not have the necessary additional audio jack to route audio through their DVI outputs. At least mine don't.

    You can't route audio over DVI. The clue is in the name.

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    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Nevermind, I must be thinking of something else.

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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2010
    Just run an optical cable its easier.

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Just run an optical cable its easier.

    Unless you want to run one single cable, which is the primary purpose and reason for HDMI's existence, which in point of fact is the purpose of this thread.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2010
    Scrublet wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Just run an optical cable its easier.

    Unless you want to run one single cable, which is the primary purpose and reason for HDMI's existence, which in point of fact is the purpose of this thread.

    Zip tie them together as it is basically what the new Light peak is doing to provide power..

    He is running it to his TV that does not have 5.1 or 7.1 sound making true HD sound useless. If it is a huge pain in the ass to make sound work just run the optical or digital cable for sound. Or use one HDMI cable and have fun trying to make it work.

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    MeepZeroMeepZero Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Thanks for the responses so far guys. I was about ready to drop the whole thing here and basically go that route with not bothering at all. The optical jack is an option, and it would fit the idea of a future upgrade as well actually.

    Keep talking though, this is interesting :D

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    bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ATI 3XXX will process 5.1 through HDMI, and ATI 4XXXX 7.1. Not sure how NVIDIA does it. 3XXX card is like $30 if that.

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    bigwah wrote: »
    ATI 3XXX will process 5.1 through HDMI, and ATI 4XXXX 7.1. Not sure how NVIDIA does it. 3XXX card is like $30 if that.

    The question I'm looking to get confirmed by firsthand experience is can ANY of these cards process that sound if it comes from the card. Specifically an X-Fi Titanium since that's what I have.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I believe that's what NVIDIAs do, ie you have to have a sound card with an NVIDIA card. That is your best bet.

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Just built my 5870-based system. No luck there :( I think I'll have time tonight to screw with this so we'll see if I get anywhere.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    MoudisMoudis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    With regards to nVidia, some cards support digital audio passthrough to a DVI port, which is then converted to HDMI with an adapter. I had a MSI GeForce GTX 260 that used a two-pin cable to run SP/DIF out to the video card, which then ran it through spare pins in a DVI port to the converter. I have no idea which other cards support that, but it does exist.

    As for ATI, at least the 5xxx (specifically, the 5870 I have) series supports audio through HDMI with no additional cables, but I dunno about earlier cards.

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    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Moudis wrote: »
    With regards to nVidia, some cards support digital audio passthrough to a DVI port, which is then converted to HDMI with an adapter. I had a MSI GeForce GTX 260 that used a two-pin cable to run SP/DIF out to the video card, which then ran it through spare pins in a DVI port to the converter. I have no idea which other cards support that, but it does exist.

    As for ATI, at least the 5xxx (specifically, the 5870 I have) series supports audio through HDMI with no additional cables, but I dunno about earlier cards.

    This is exactly what I was talking about. Basically, it requires a HDMI-DVI cable (wherein the DVI end has that feature).

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Moudis wrote: »
    As for ATI, at least the 5xxx (specifically, the 5870 I have) series supports audio through HDMI with no additional cables, but I dunno about earlier cards.

    Audio from where? Have you specifically gotten sound from a separate sound card to the video's HDMI?

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    You dont need to. There is a sound card on the 3/4/5xxxx cards. Plug in HDMI. Profit.

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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    bigwah wrote: »
    You dont need to. There is a sound card on the 3/4/5xxxx cards. Plug in HDMI. Profit.

    How is it doing the surround sound for games? PCM? I guarantee it's not encoding to Dolby Digital or anything, and I can't seem to find anything that tells me for sure it will take game audio and push it over in 5.1 on the HDMI connection. Everything I've found only guarantees that it will take Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA from a DVD/Blu-ray and handle that.

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    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    All I know is every audio-over-HDMI scheme I've tried craps out when my receiver switches inputs so I've switched to using an optical cable.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Rook wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I was wondering the same thing myself not long ago.

    EVGA 8800GT cards do not have the necessary additional audio jack to route audio through their DVI outputs. At least mine don't.

    You can't route audio over DVI. The clue is in the name.

    Mentioned already, but this is untrue. Many DVI video cards support audio-out with a DVI->HDMI adapter.

    Still not technically audio over DVI, but you definitely can't assume a video card won't put out audio simply because it only has a DVI (and not HDMI) port built-in.

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