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no multichannel PCM via laptop HDMI: alternatives?
post Sep 22 2009, 19:01
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So, I got this shiny new 2009 Acer laptop, all excited because I finally have
-line in (now I can try Room EQ Wizard, yay)
-S/PDIF out (2ch PCM and multichannel Dolby Digital and DTS out to my AVR, yay)
-HDMI out* (HD digital video, multichannel DD, DTS, PCM out to my AVR, yay)*

2ch PCM (operating at several sample rates if using hte S/PDIF codec) works fine, as does DD and DTS, via S/PDIF or HDMI.

But it turns out, I find (like many laptop HDMI implementations of PCM out it seems, if Google is to be believed), mine only supports 2-channel PCM (and apparently only at 48 kHz, though my many 44.1 and few 88kHz and 96 kHz recordings seem to play fine via foobar -- internal resampling? Or does software override?). Which is too bad because I have started to rip some of my multichannel DVD-A MLP tracks to archival hard drive. Using the DVD-A foobar plugin, those files do play back...but in stereo only.

Anyway, there doesn't yet seem to be such thing as an HDMI expresscard/PCMCIA card, so it seems my alternative here is to convert my multichannel MLP (or WAV, I can save them as either format) files to DTS or AC3.

Is there any freeware/shareware to do this ,

and/or any other options HA gurus can think of? Is there a chance in hell that a future driver upgrade could supply the missing multichannel PCM functionality to my HDMI port? Or is that a hardware issue?

(*FWIW it's a Realtek ATI HDMI Audio codec, associated with an onboard ATI Radeon 3200 chip though I'm not clear exactly how the HDMI audio codec relates to the video hardware).

This post has been edited by krabapple: Sep 22 2009, 19:03
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