Solved HDMI audio to TV through Receiver does not work consistently

Asus P8b ws workstation motherboard - in...
September 3, 2012 at 13:38:51
Specs: Windows 7 Professional, Intel iCore 5-3570 3.40GHz / 8Gb RAM
Ivy Bridge HDMI to TV Sound Issues:

I have a self-built HTPC running Windows 7 Pro x64 with an ASUS 1155 motherboard and Intel iCore 5-3570K "ivy bridge" processor. Previously I was using a Zotac motherboard with an iCore5 "sandy bridge" processor but had to replace the motherboard 3-4 months ago. With the "sandy bridge" processor I was not having any HDMI sound issues. However, ever since rebuilding that PC with the new motherboard and "ivy bridge" processor, I have had nothing but trouble getting HDMI audio to work consistently.

The HDMI output from the motherboard is connected to one of the HDMI input ports on my Denon AVR-4210CI receiver and the HDMI output from the receiver is directly connected to my Samsung 55" LED-LCD TV. This is exactly the same setup I used previously with the "sandy bridge" processor and which used to work perfectly. I use a Harmony 900 remote to switch between my various setups. When I switch to my "HTPC", the receiver turns on and automatically switches to its "DVD input" which is the one my computer's HDMI cable is connected to, and the TV turns on and switches to the approprpriate HDMI connection. The HTPC is always on. In the control panel, my sound playback device is set to the "Denon Receiver" as it should be. I also tried disabling all of the other playback devices which did not help at all.

Now, with the new motherboard, getting HDMI sound to work is a major and very frustrating problem. For example, if I start media player, there is oftentimes no sound initially. To get the sound working, I have to go to "Configure" the playback device (i.e., the receiver) and change the speaker type setting from the "5.1 sound (with rear speakers) to "any" other setup such as "stereo". When I select "stereo", I usually get a message that "another device is using that playback device" and I have to click OK to "grab" that device. After doing this, then I can test the speakers and they will usually work. I can then change back to "5.1" and that will also be working now. Then I can go back to media player and any songs will play.

If I then close media player and open Windows Media Center (there are no video issues) and try to play a movie, I will usually have the same issue as with Media Player. I, once again, have to change the speaker settings to get the sound working, and then change back to the "5.1" setting. Then, the movie will usually start playing with sound. If I'm trying to play a BlueRay disk with BD Live content, the BD Live will play with sound "until" it finishes and the screen to start the movie appears. When, I start the movie, once again, there is no sound. I have to go back to the speakers settings once again and change the settings to something else and then back to "5.1". Now, usually, the movie will play. And the next time I want to play or watch anything, I pretty much have to go through the same process.

All of this is absolutely ridiculous. I just can't believe that the HDMI sound is such an issue. I have spent weeks trying to resolve this problem, including searching through any and everything I could find on the internet -- to no avail. I have not found anyone else with a situation exactly like mine. I've found lots of HDMI sound problems on the internet but most of them can be fixed "for good" without a whole lot of effort. I'm totally lost on this one. Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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✔ Best Answer
September 5, 2012 at 20:29:27
If it worked fine with the old motherboard but has issues with this one.... I'm just sayin'

September 5, 2012 at 05:03:38
Man i feel your pain, i had a similar if not identical problem with my Gigabyte P35C-DS3R motherboard. Almost after every retsart or after turning off a media player like Windows Media Player, my default output sould change to 'speakers' i had to continuously go ahead and change it back to digital.

Wellafter about 3 months of putting up with this i did find a solution my my problem thought im not sure if it will help you.

I had Realtek audio installed on my PC.

First thing i did was in control panel Devices Manager i delete everything related to audio and restarted.

Then in control panel under Realtek i unchecked the option that said show icon in tray

then lastly under MSCONFIG i disabled realtek (i think it was that)

and go a good few months the problem vanished, i have since built a new machine so cannot exactly confirm what i did or what settings i now have.

I really wish you get this sorted, it drove me mad, absoltely so frustrating.

other than deleting the audio entries in device manager i would also suggest trying to reinstall or update your audio drivers.

Just thinking about something as i type, can you possiblly, under device manager disable the output of sound that you dont need? such as stero?

picture one? i havent ever tried this, but seeing as i cannot replicatet his problem i cant test it, but if you right click on one of the options under Audio you should be able to disable it, my theory is, that if the device does not exist, then windows cannot revert to it, thus leaving your output as whatever you have set it to.

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September 5, 2012 at 09:41:44
HDMI does not just pass through digital audio and video, it has copy protection built in. When two devices connect through an HDMI cable, they do a handshake so to speak to make sure the device is legit. It is probably this handshake that is causing problems with your new motherboard.

If AlwaysWillingToLearn's suggestions don't work, I would see if the motherboard is still under warranty and try to get it swapped out.

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September 5, 2012 at 20:03:04
AlwaysWillingToLearn and THX 1138 --

Thanks for the responses. I did have at least 6-8 different playback devices showing up for sound. In addition to my Denon receiver, there were several different Realtek devices (mostly from the motherboard drivers) and some Creative drivers (from a Xi-Fi sound card that is also installed) and probably a few others. I had the same issues before installing the Creative card. The sound output bar by the Denon icon always produces sound whether or not I could actually hear anything. Several of the other devices would also play if selected. I have totally disabled all of the devices except the Denon which does not help.

Unlike your issue, my sound output never changes. If it's set for the Denon, it always stays there. It just stops producing any sound. I am confused and concerned about the message I get when I "configure" the Denon and select a different output set (like changing from "5.1" to "stereo") and a message pops up telling me that another device is using it even though there are no other devices available that I'm aware of. When I click "OK" to that message to "grab" the Denon, then the sound starts work -- until it happens again. I wish I knew how to tell what is triggering that message.

On another note, all of my audio drivers are up-to-date and I have previous reinstalled many, if not all, of them. The other thing is that this problem did not occur at all with my previous ASUS motherboard with the "sandy bridge" processor.

I also don't think the HDMI handshaking is an issue. Everything works so well once I get the sound for music or movies or whatever... until, of course, I change sources or sometimes try again in another day or two. I don't really suspect the motherboard being the problem but, of course, that always is a possibility. It is under warranty but I'm not ready to go that route. I still keep hoping I can find a solution. I may have to try an optical sound connection and separate video instead of the hdmi to see how well that works -- but I really want to use the hdmi.

I'll keep trying to get this working...

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September 5, 2012 at 20:29:27
✔ Best Answer
If it worked fine with the old motherboard but has issues with this one.... I'm just sayin'

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September 6, 2012 at 00:59:01
I tend to agree with THX 1138, the issue seems to be with the motherboard. Seeing as it is under warrenty you really dont have much to lose, apart from a week or so without a pc/music. it better you RMA it now and rule out the motherboard, than wait for the warrenty to expire and having to buy a new board.

i know it can be a pain but at the end of the day, if you can fix this issue then that will be the end of it. It seems you have tried everything might as well try the motherboard too.

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September 7, 2012 at 20:56:51
I hear you...

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November 5, 2012 at 07:38:41
Just curious, did you ever resolve this issue?

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