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Enthusiast
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-11-2017
Message 1 of 6 (2,841 Views)
Accepted Solution

X900E 5.1 passthrough

I just picked up an XBR55X900E a couple days ago and haven't had much time to play around with it yet but I'm having a hard time getting the audio passthrough working correctly. I've verified all my HDMI cables are 2.0b compatible and everything but the sound is great so far.

 

My previous setup went like this

PC (GTX 1060) -> HDMI cable -> Receiver (Onkyo TX-SR343) -> HDMI cable -> TV

 

The new arrangement

PC (GTX 1060) -> HDMI cable -> X900E input 2 -> HDMI cable (HDMI 3 ARC) -> Receiver

 

When using built in apps like Netflix through the TV I get full and proper 5.1 Dolby/PCM/whatever it may be. However when I try to route the PC through the TV and passthrough via ARC I get downsampled to 2.0.

 

Things I've checked:

- Playback device configuration lists 5.1 surround as an option. When "testing" it cycles through all speakers but all left/right audio comes through the front towers and the subwoofer does not function.

- Supported formats on the GTX 1060 are Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS

- Audio works correctly when routed directly to the receiver (same as previous setup) but I lose 4k/60 and 1080p/120 which were major selling points for the TV for me

- I have a Titanium HD Xfi sound card but no optical cable that can fit the RCA port so I cannot test it

- Realtek onboard optical works, but I wasn't able to easily verify proper channel support as the "configuration" tab is greyed out in Playback devices screen. I have heard of some sort of unlocked driver for these?

- HDMI-CEC works well, ARC works well for onboard apps

 

I could likely make it work and live with the optical cable setup with a bit more work, but the downside to that is the introduction of needing to switch receiver inputs manually. Dealbreaker? No. But I'd much rather have everything go through the TV to use only the ARC channel for sound and simplify my very simple setup!

Expert
Posts: 288
Registered: ‎04-14-2017
Message 2 of 6 (2,810 Views)

Re: X900E 5.1 passthrough

[ Edited ]

On a transmitting HDMI you can send 5.1 audio as compressed dolby digital or DTS, or you can send the individual channels as PCM.   On the ARC return channel or optical SPDIF you can only do two channels of PCM.   Multi-channel must be sent as dolby digital or DTS.    I'm guessing your PC output is sending multi-channel PCM which would work going into the receiver but not back the ARC connection - there may be settings to control this.   Also you need the TV settings/sound/digital audio out set to auto 1 or auto 2 to pass through 5.1 to allow pass through, but you must have that already if netflix is working.

 

However, in the long run I think you would be happier finding android TV apps to natively play whatever you are doing from the PC.  Plex or Kodi will likely handle it, or perhaps you can just 'cast' from the Chrome browser, depending on the content and source.

 

And just to save some possible additional confusion, youtube doesn't have surround sound at all.

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Enthusiast
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-11-2017
Message 3 of 6 (2,797 Views)

Re: X900E 5.1 passthrough

Really appreciate the info! That is something I was not aware of before. I was always thinking PCM was the one to aim for. I will look into that and see if I can force the gfx card to output in DTS or DD+ (preferable). Not perfect but good enough.

I'm sure I can find Android apps for the video aspect but my main concern with the PC is maintaining 60hz on 4k games and 120hz 1080p. This is the main reason why I am not looking to run the HDMI to the receiver first and then to the tv, as I am limited to 2.0a where I require 2.0b for the full video bitrate.
Specialist
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Message 4 of 6 (2,505 Views)

Re: X900E 5.1 passthrough

I had a similar issue when using ARC for get audio from my Sony Bluray Player back through the TV to the Receiver.

Turns out the ARC can do it without problems; in my case it was a setting on the BD Player that was mixing 5.1 media down to 2.0 before it ever got to the TV.

Make sure your computer is set to 5.1 on the device that heads to the TV. Your computer -
if like mine - will have a device for the video card, a device for the SPDIF output, and probably others; not just speakers. Each can usually be set to 2, 5.1, or 7.1 channels.

Right click the speaker icon on the taskbar; select playback devices. Configure the playback device feeding the TV to 5.1.
Enthusiast
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-17-2017
Message 5 of 6 (1,898 Views)

Re: X900E 5.1 passthrough

Unfortunatly, Plex or Kodi will not solve this problem as Sony has not correctly implemented the audio API to allow Kodi or Plex to passthrough multi-channel audio.  Currently all audio is from these applications output as 2chan PCM regardless of setting on the passthrough.  Very disappointing.

Expert
Posts: 288
Registered: ‎04-14-2017
Message 6 of 6 (1,884 Views)

Re: X900E 5.1 passthrough

You must have something wrong in your settings  in the apps or TV - or your source material is not dolby digital or dolby digital plus.   Kodi and plex should work fine with those, and plex will transcode (server-side) from DTS to DD so you still get 5.1

By the way, if you enable DLNA on your plex server you can use the Sony Video app to play DTS content from it.

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