[SOLVED] Sticky problem with HDMI soundbar and Windows 10

TreesOnTheBeach

Honorable
Dec 6, 2014
19
1
10,525
1
Hello. I have a sticky problem and am hoping someone can help.

I have an old soundbar connected via an HDMI input. It's the Samsung HW-MS650 . I connected it to my PC and it worked for a few hours, then my PC went nuts and I had to reboot. The problem I'm having now is that my PC seems to see the soundbar as a second monitor. When the soundbar is off or switched to anything other than HDMI, my PC works normally (but without sound, of course).

When I turn the soundbar on to the HDMI input, the sound plays through it normally, but Windows seems to think I have a second monitor, and any app I open is not displayed on my actual (single) monitor. If I turn the soundbar off or switch it from HDMI, I see all the apps I opened. It is consistent with this behavior. I don't have an optical port on my PC, so this is really my only option. I've tried all the options under WINDOWS KEY + P (PC screen, duplicate, extend, second screen only). None of them seem to help. WINDOWS KEY + left or right don't seem to move the windows onto my "primary" screen, either.

Does anyone know how to fix this? Any suggestions will be followed-up on and appreciated.

EDIT:

A little more detail: When the soundbar starts up, I am now seeing a black screen. Not sure what I did to change the behavior, but as soon as I turn the soundbar off, I am back to my normal screen. When I'm on my normal "primary" screen, WINDOWS KEY + TAB doesn't show another screen, but then again, the soundbar is off when I try this. Otherwise, I get a black screen and can't see anything. I'm not even sure how to further test this.
 
Last edited:

TreesOnTheBeach

Honorable
Dec 6, 2014
19
1
10,525
1
What port are you using if not the ARC? Does it have HDMI input?

Aux - https://thehometheaterdiy.com/how-to-connect-a-soundbar-to-a-computer/

looks like its common - https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/geforce-graphics-cards/5/336152/soundbar-seen-as-monitor/

what are details of the PC? I might find more if I know what you have.
Hey Colif, I figured it out!

For anyone else that might encounter the problem, here's the solution:

First, use RegEdit to delete all the registry keys inside these 3 folders (not the folders themselves, just the keys inside):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration >> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Connectivity >> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\ScaleFactors >>

This forced Windows to use my only monitor. Then I turned on my soundbar and saw Windows again instead of a black screen. Windows still thought I had an extra monitor, so then I identified my screen and saw that I was working on Screen 2.

EDITED:
Then in Windows Settings for Multiple displays, I selected "Extend these displays."

This fixed it (sort of). I now have HDMI audio and can see my screen. Windows does think I have a second monitor, and if I move my cursor off the right of the screen, it goes to that phantom monitor and can get lost. This is good enough for now, though.

I hated mucking around in the registry, because even as an IT guy, I know how dangerous that is, but I took the chance and it worked.

Thanks again, Colif, for trying to help. I really appreciate it. :)
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
55,397
4,324
160,590
10,078
What are some details of your PC?

some PC have more than 1 HDMI, they may have one attached direct to motherboard and one on Graphics card, do you have more than one? Is it attached to Graphics card or motherboard?

https://www.samsung.com/au/audio-video/hw-ms650/ - have you used it with a PC before? I don't see any indication it works just from a PC

does it have something called HDMI Arc as I read it may not work right with just a PC -

No, you cannot attach the HDMI port on your laptop to the HDMI-ARC port on your soundbar, but if your soundbar has an hdmi input connector, you can use that port with your laptop’s HDMI output connector.

An HDMI port is either a Transmitter or a Receiver port. Your PC has an HDMI Transmitter and your soundbar’s HDMI-ARC port is also an HDMI Transmitter, so those ports should not be connected to each other. However, if your soundbar has an HDMI Input (Receiver) port, you can attach your PC to that port and you should be able to play music.

The ARC feature of HDMI lets a TV send audio backwards through an HDMI cable, but it still requires a connection of an HDMI Transmitter (soundbar) to an HDMI Receiver (tv set).
https://www.quora.com/Can-I-connect-my-PC-to-the-HDMI-arc-port-on-my-sound-bar#:~:text=No, you cannot attach the,Transmitter or a Receiver port.
 
Reactions: TreesOnTheBeach

TreesOnTheBeach

Honorable
Dec 6, 2014
19
1
10,525
1
What are some details of your PC?
does it have something called HDMI Arc as I read it may not work right with just a PC -
Hi, Colif. Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately, I only have HDMI on my graphics card. I also have an HDMI ARC on my soundbar, but am not using that port. I have only used this soundbar with my TV until now.

I have an AUX port on the soundbar. I guess if I cannot get HDMI to work correctly, I can use it, but hate to lose the sound quality/surround for such a nice soundbar.
 

TreesOnTheBeach

Honorable
Dec 6, 2014
19
1
10,525
1
What port are you using if not the ARC? Does it have HDMI input?

Aux - https://thehometheaterdiy.com/how-to-connect-a-soundbar-to-a-computer/

looks like its common - https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/geforce-graphics-cards/5/336152/soundbar-seen-as-monitor/

what are details of the PC? I might find more if I know what you have.
Hey Colif, I figured it out!

For anyone else that might encounter the problem, here's the solution:

First, use RegEdit to delete all the registry keys inside these 3 folders (not the folders themselves, just the keys inside):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration >> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Connectivity >> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\ScaleFactors >>

This forced Windows to use my only monitor. Then I turned on my soundbar and saw Windows again instead of a black screen. Windows still thought I had an extra monitor, so then I identified my screen and saw that I was working on Screen 2.

EDITED:
Then in Windows Settings for Multiple displays, I selected "Extend these displays."

This fixed it (sort of). I now have HDMI audio and can see my screen. Windows does think I have a second monitor, and if I move my cursor off the right of the screen, it goes to that phantom monitor and can get lost. This is good enough for now, though.

I hated mucking around in the registry, because even as an IT guy, I know how dangerous that is, but I took the chance and it worked.

Thanks again, Colif, for trying to help. I really appreciate it. :)
 
Last edited:

TreesOnTheBeach

Honorable
Dec 6, 2014
19
1
10,525
1
I do have one correction to make, unfortunately. I just discovered when I took the second step and said "Show only on 2", that I lost my soundbar audio again. My PC has to believe there are two monitors in order to continue receiving soundbar audio, so under Multiple displays, I ended up selecting "Extend these displays." The only negative is that when I move off the right side of my monitor, the mouse just keeps going, because it thinks I'm moving to my "second monitor." I tried "Duplicate these displays", and that almost worked, except it changed my monitor resolution to an extremely low setting (looked like VGA) and it wasn't really usable at that resolution. (It's probably detecting that the phantom second monitor is a low resolution.)

If anyone has a solution for completely removing that second monitor, I'm all ears. I'm a little afraid to monkey with it now that I've got it 99% working, so I'll probably leave it as is.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
55,397
4,324
160,590
10,078
always handy when the person asking answers their questions :)

you shouldn't have been able to choose self as solution, thats a bug of forum software, but as you did get it mostly right (Not total solution but it works) I will let it stay :)
 
Reactions: TreesOnTheBeach

TreesOnTheBeach

Honorable
Dec 6, 2014
19
1
10,525
1
always handy when the person asking answers their questions :)

you shouldn't have been able to choose self as solution, thats a bug of forum software, but as you did get it mostly right (Not total solution but it works) I will let it stay :)
Ha! Thanks. It took hours of research and trial and error. I just thought it would be handy to know for anyone else that encounters this problem. Surely I can't be the only guy out there with a soundbar problem like this, but it would seem so from the research I did online!
 
Reactions: Colif

ASK THE COMMUNITY