[SOLVED] How to preven HTPC Audio device from powering down

Feb 12, 2020
Hey All,

Is it possible to trick a PC audio device to remain powered ON and paired/connected at all times? (note: audio device has a non-configurable ECO setting that powers down after inactivity)

I have a PC with a VIZIO soundbar that powers off after inactivity while the PC is awake. I've tried countless troubleshooting tips (details below for reference), but the only way the soundbar stays on/connected is if I keep some type of audio playing in the background, which got me thinking...

Might it be possible to trick the soundbar into staying powered on/connected with a program that perhaps sends a persistent, inaudible audio signal in the background? In theory, the signal (or transmitter) would run in background (startup), be silent (can't be heard) and not impact other audio volume control (when real sound is being played, device is on and can be easily controlled).

Would this work? Does such a program exist?

SETUP {A/V connections in brackets}
  • Soundbar: VIZIO SB-2821 {bluetooth, optical, RCA)}
  • Laptop: HP Omen 15-dc0051 {bluetooth, HDMI 2.0, DP 1.4, USB 3.0, USB-C Thunderbolt, 3.5mm}
  • Monitor: Acer EB490QK UHD {HDMI 2.0, DP 1.2, 3.5mm IN, 3.5mm OUT}
  • OS/GPU: Windows 10 Pro & NVIDIA GTX 1060
  • VIZIO Support (level 2) - called/tried all of the below (prefer not to replace device if defective)
  • VIZIO drivers: N/A (not possible to update firmware)
  • VIZIO Eco Feature: tested toggling on/off ECO feature (hold pwr + vol down), but soundbar still powers down
  • VIZIO Factory reset: reset soundbar to factory settings and retried above
  • PC/MONITOR audio: tried bluetooth, 3.5mm, USB-to-3.5, HDMI-to-optical w/ (& w/out) ARC
  • PC audio drivers: updated/tried NVIDIA HD Audio (current) MS HD Audio (generic)
  • PC power settings: Ultimate Power, sleep/hibernate disabled, USB port power savings disabled
Really appreciate everyone's expert guidance and support!!