Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Finally Fixed My HDMI Audio

In case you haven't heard, I'm a geek. I love gadgets. I bought myself a blu-ray player for Christmas.

Back at the end of November I put together a computer to watch streaming video on. Basically, it's a computer that sits in the living room next to my TV and streams movies from Netflix, Bones & House episodes from Fox, etc. If you can stream it, I watch it there. I even use it to listen to Pandora while showing slide shows. It's been quite handy.

I purposefully bought a motherboard that had HDMI output for video and audio. This makes it easier to select which device I want to watch using my new Onkyo SR606 receiver. It has 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output (for the TV).

I could not get the digital audio to work. I've been reading stuff on the Internet and trying different things for a month now and yesterday I finally got it working and I give 90% of the credit to the avs forum site. It's got an incredible amount of good information. Just search for your problem in detail and you'll find help. I actually found it by googling for "Onkyo 606 hdmi audio vista". I had to do a lot of reading, but I finally found the silver bullet.

The Solution

I read on the site where the display driver should be detecting your display device as HDMI. I opened my ATI Control Panel, went to advanced settings and sure enough. Mine was being detected as DVI.

Then I read how there is some communications going on between devices. The Onkyo Receiver should be telling the computer what it is. Onkyo is blaming ATI and ATI is blaming Onkyo. There are some interesting fixes involving messing with EDID settings in the registry. I chose to ignore these. Some other folks talked about changing which HDMI Input port the computer is plugged into. For my particular receiver, I should be using port 1. I was currently in port 4. This seems to be a problem with Onkyo. Why would 2 HDMI ports behave differently?

So, I plugged the computer into port 1 and rebooted. Miraculously, the ATI Con
trol Panel now showed my monitor as an HDMI device. I switched the audio settings over to HDMI and now I have sound and audio going over HDMI. Incredible! Just for a sanity check, I moved the HDMI back over the port 4. It continued to work until I rebooted the computer. Then, it quit again. There must be something mis-communicated during initialization on port 4.

I reprogrammed my receiver so that port 4 is now DVD and port 1 is now computer. All works well and I can stream audio/video from my computer digitally using one hdmi plug. I'm quite happy.

First image is my TV in the fireplace. I don't understand why all homes in Texas have fireplaces. It never gets cold enough long enough to enjoy them. I turned mine into an entertainment center. This might be future blog fodder.
2nd Image (on the left) is the back of my TV Computer. It's hard to see, but the big black cable directly above the green one is my HDMI cable. It runs to the TV. The green plug is actually analog audio that I was using up until now!
3rd Image (on the right) is back of my receiver. It was dark back there and I was lazy and the picture is blurry. I was trying to show the 4 HDMI Input ports. The white one is port 2. The one all the way to the left is port 4. I basically switched port 4 with the hdmi plug directly to the right of the white one.


  1. Just wanted to let you know that I had this same exact problem, and your solution worked for me too. What a relief! Thank you very much.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I often wonder if perhaps I'm wasting my time doing this kind of thing. It's good to get a little positive reinforcement now and again.