Dual Audio Outputs - With Internal SPDIF

Posted on 2009-04-26
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I need to get a video card for a customers media center pc that has an internal SPDIF connection so i can connect his video card to the sound card and have the audio go out the HDMI to the receiver, as well as at the same time having another audio output going to the zone 2 connection on the receiver.

I would also like to stay under $100.00 for the card.
Question by:ReD-DaWg-OnE
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    One sound card will not support two simultaneous outputs.  

    If you're going to use the SPDIF output, you'll need to use two cards, assuming both outputs need to be active simultaneously.   However, you don't need to connect the SPDIF output to your video card  =>  just set the preferred audio output to Digital Audio Output (HDMI) and the sound will be sent directly through the video card.   If you set it for Digital Audio Output (SPDIF) it will go through the audio card instead.

    Regardless of whether you're using HDMI audio output through the video card, or two separate audio cards, Windows can only have one default audio device, so you'll need an application that supports setting the output independently of the default Windows sound device to have two active audio outputs.

    Author Comment

    I don't think you understand the question.

    The video card has no HDMI audio drivers built in, the sound card sends it threw the HDMI cable via a connection on the video card and the sound card that is all internal.

    It is possible, it was possible with Windows XP, and from my understanding it is a limitation of the sound card.

    I have read of people getting it to work with HT Omega cards, but i want a cheaper solution.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    I understand the question perfectly.   Perhaps your video card has some method of converting from S/PDIF to HDMI audio, but that would be relatively unusual, since S/PDIF is much slower and would lose quality over the full range bitstreaming HDMI supports.

    I have two systems with ATI cards that support HDMI outputs -- both have this caveat in the manual "... audio output from the onboard audio controller or the external sound card will be disabled when HDMI output is activated." -- and both work perfectly with HDMI outputs.  [Since HDMI simply sends a high quality bitstream there's no need for an audio card to do any conversion to analog audio signaling or any Dolby/DTS encoding for S/PDIF outputs.]     I can then run a dedicated CD player that allows selection of a different audio output and play CD's through the computer speakers while the TV is playing videos.     I've attached the page that describes the settings for the audio.

    In any event, whether your video card supports this or not, my comment r.e. not being able to support two different sound outputs through the same audio card is still accurate.   If you DO need an audio card to prepare the audio you are sending out via HDMI, then you'll need another audio card to support a 2nd output.


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