Question PC Surround Sound to Pioneer SC-63 Receiver?

Apr 4, 2019
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Not sure if this is the right forum or not, so if this should go somewhere else please let me know.

I'm trying to connect my PC to my Pioneer SC-63 receiver to be able to play games in 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound, but am currently at a complete loss as to how to get this to work after several days of trying different approaches. My current equipment setup is as follows:

Gaming PC with RTX 2080 Ti graphics card with 3 display ports and 1 HDMI
Pioneer SC-63 receiver
TCL 65R617 4k HDR TV

The way I have my TV currently setup is to run all my major components directly to the TV, with an ARC HDMI cable connected to the receiver to send all audio to my surround speakers. While historically I would run everything through my receiver first, and have it just send video to my TV, a somewhat recent upgrade to a 4k HDR TV had me change to this current setup due to the older receiver not being able to pass through 4k HDR video. This setup is working flawlessly for me with my Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, enabling me to get 4k HDR video content through the direct HDMI connection to the TV, and up to 7.1 surround sound through the ARC HDMI connection from the TV to the receiver.

I assumed I could do the same with my computer, however when I connect my graphics card HDMI to my TV I am getting 4k HDR video to it, but it seems my computer is recognizing that my TV is a stereo device and thus just sending 2 channel audio to it. So while I am getting audio to the receiver through the ARC connection, I'm only able to get stereo audio.

So my first alternative was to try and connect my PC to the receiver via HDMI. The thought being I could use one of my display ports with a DP to HDMI adapter for video to the TV, and HDMI to the receiver for audio. However when I connect my PC to my receiver directly, in Windows it recognizes the receiver as capable of 8 channel audio and appears as though it's sending an audio signal when I do a test in the Playback tab in the Sound control panel, but I get no actual sound out of my speakers, and my receiver display is showing only stereo with no actual speakers lit up as if it's not getting any audio channel signals. Additionally, the receiver seems to not be passing any video to my TV through the ARC HDMI connection with this setup either as when I select my receiver input on my TV it says it can't find a signal on that input, no matter what resolution I use.

Since I was having issues with the HDMI setup, I figured I'd give up the HDMI audio quality and just use an optical cable as long as I was getting surround sound. My motherboard is an ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero which has an optical audio out, so I connected that to the receiver to find that I'm only getting stereo over the optical connection. Apparently the motherboard does not support surround sound over optical, so I purchased a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Rx as it supports up to 7.1 and has an optical connection. However, after installing the card and connecting it's optical out to my receiver I'm still only getting stereo and I've found some conflicting information online as to whether or not I can even get surround through an optical connection.

I'm not sure what to do at this point, and am thoroughly confused as to why this is so difficult. My consoles have no problems transmitting surround sound via a direct HDMI connection, HDMI through ARC, or from an optical cable, why is my PC unable to deliver surround sound to my receiver? Is there some way to able to force Windows to output a 5.1 or 7.1 signal that my TV can pass through the ARC HDMI that I'm not seeing (currently in my sound settings it only gives me the option to select a stereo speaker setup over the HDMI to the TV)? Why is my receiver not recognizing the direct HDMI audio signal from my PC? Why does my PC seem to only output stereo audio over an optical cable either from my motherboard or sound card when so many other devices are capable of surround sound over optical?

Any suggestions at this point are more than welcome, please help.
 

boju

Champion
Sound cards advertising 5.1/7.1 via optical is misleading, optical is only 2.1 uncompressed digital audio which Windows and games use. They are able to send/passthrough already encoded 5.1/7.1 dolby digital content like a dvd movie for example but aren't able to encode/compress audio in realtime. Consoles however do have encoders and they pay the licesning to Dolby to do so.

Regarding the TV that is tricky.

My guess is somehow ARC is confusing things from AVR to TV. The Hdmi cable connected to the AVR for audio could be getting confused by the TV's speakers. Try turn off TV speakers.

Have you tried bypassing TV's ARC for testing? Connect PC to a different Hdmi port and disconnect Hdmi out from the AVR.

I'll keep thinking about this issue, often can be quite the brain thumper.

See if naming the TV's hdmi port the PC is using to PC.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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I'm assuming that Windows is recognizing my TV speakers and thus selecting stereo over the HDMI that's connected to my TV. Doesn't seem to matter if I have the TV speakers turned on or off, Windows doesn't detect my AVR, which makes sense since it's not directly connected to it using the ARC setup. I'm not sure what you mean about trying different ports though, my PC isn't the one connected to the ARC HDMI port, it's connected to a standard TV HDMI, and my receiver is connected to my TVs ARC HDMI port so that my TV can pass the audio to my receiver.

I don't know that I'll be able to get it to work using the ARC connection unless there's some way for me to force Windows to send a 5.1/7.1 signal despite only reading stereo receivers through the HDMI connection. What I don't understand though is why I can't just connect my PC to my receiver directly via HDMI?
 

boju

Champion
I'm not sure what you mean about trying different ports though, my PC isn't the one connected to the ARC HDMI port, it's connected to a standard TV HDMI, and my receiver is connected to my TVs ARC HDMI port so that my TV can pass the audio to my receiver.
Oh sorry, when you tried Displayport to Hdmi to the TV and you ran another Hdmi cable to the AVR? I mean try move the ARC cable to another TV Hdmi port instead of using ARC or turn off ARC if possible both in TV and AVR, for testing.

I don't know that I'll be able to get it to work using the ARC connection unless there's some way for me to force Windows to send a 5.1/7.1 signal despite only reading stereo receivers through the HDMI connection. What I don't understand though is why I can't just connect my PC to my receiver directly via HDMI?
Modern AVRs are detected as a phantom display. My guess is when your PC is connected to the AVR driectly Windows is detecting two displays, your AVR and TV. Can you post a screen shot of Windows playback devices? Is it possible you're trying to configure the wrong playback device?
 
Apr 4, 2019
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No, Windows is identifying the receiver as SC-63 when I plug my PC into it with HDMI directly so it's pretty easy to tell which device it is. Also, for testing purposes I've disconnected the TV when plugging into the receiver just to see if I can even get sound to it, so the TV isn't there at all and still have the same issue, no actual sound coming through the receiver. I can post some pictures of what I'm seeing tomorrow.
 

boju

Champion
No, Windows is identifying the receiver as SC-63 when I plug my PC into it with HDMI directly so it's pretty easy to tell which device it is.
Yes im aware Windows would detect your receiver. What about the TV? You should have your receiver and also Nvidia high definition listed in audio playback devices. Have you tried configuring / making default audio for either of the two?


Also, for testing purposes I've disconnected the TV when plugging into the receiver just to see if I can even get sound to it, so the TV isn't there at all and still have the same issue, no actual sound coming through the receiver. I can post some pictures of what I'm seeing tomorrow.
That's not what i meant, i meant not use HDMI ARC to the TV, use another HDMI port like HDMI 2 or something that isn't ARC compatible. Not sure if an AVR would still reciever sound without a display.

Yes please share pictures of the complete list in audio playback devices with your original setup.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Ok, so if I connect my PC to my receiver, and then receiver to TV via a non-ARC HDMI or disconnect it, I appear to be getting PCM surround. It seems as if the ARC back to the receiver is interfering with it getting audio from my PC? I've ordered an additional DP to HDMI adapter that can handle 4k 60 Hz HDR as my current adapter can't, so I'm going to have to play around with some different HDMI/DP set ups this weekend and see if I can sort this out.
 

boju

Champion
Arc is useful but it can also cause problems. Could try set TV speakers to external, may help stubborn Arc thinking TV's speakers isn't all that is offered.

Previously when there was no sound coming from the amp was there sound from TV speakers?
 
Apr 4, 2019
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So my work around is to simply unplug my receiver from my TV when I'm using my computer, and plug it back in when I want to use any other components. I get full 7.1 PCM from my PC as long as my receiver is not connected to the TV through the ARC HDMI, and I just run 2 cabnles from my PC to make this work. One for the TV for video and one to the receiver for audio. Not ideal, but it's not that big of a hassle and it gives me 4k 60 fps HDR with 7.1 surround sound, so I'll take it. Thanks for the help boju.
 

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