CuriousTommy Aug 9, 2013 @ 9:10pm
5.1 surround via spdif (need help)
I tried some guides online but can't get 5.1 surround via spdif (connected to the motherboard). I connect it to an AV Reciever. Has anyone else been able to get 5.1 surround using spdif?

Processor Information:
Vendor: GenuineIntel
Speed: 3401 Mhz
4 logical processors
4 physical processors
HyperThreading: Unsupported
FCMOV: Supported
SSE2: Supported
SSE3: Supported
SSSE3: Supported
SSE4a: Unsupported
SSE41: Supported
SSE42: Supported

Network Information:
Network Speed:

Operating System Version:
Ubuntu 13.04 (64 bit)
Kernel Name: Linux
Kernel Version: 3.8.0-27-generic
X Server Vendor: The X.Org Foundation
X Server Release: 11303000
X Window Manager: Compiz
Steam Runtime Version: steam-runtime-release-i386_2013-06-28

Video Card:
Driver: ATI Technologies Inc. AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series

Driver Version: 4.2.12002 Compatibility Profile Context 9.01
Desktop Color Depth: 24 bits per pixel
Monitor Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
VendorID: 0x1002
DeviceID: 0x679a
Number of Monitors: 1
Number of Logical Video Cards: 1
Primary Display Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Desktop Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Primary Display Size: 13.31" x 10.63" (17.01" diag)
33.8cm x 27.0cm (43.2cm diag)
Primary VRAM Not Detected

Sound card:
Audio device: Realtek ALC1150

Memory:
RAM: 15988 Mb

Miscellaneous:
UI Language: English
LANG: en_US.UTF-8
Microphone: Not set
Total Hard Disk Space Available: 96045 Mb
Largest Free Hard Disk Block: 77109 Mb

Installed software:

Recent Failure Reports:
Sat Aug 10 02:28:24 2013 GMT: file ''/tmp/dumps/crash_20130809192823_5.dmp'', upload yes: ''CrashID=bp-2eaa8e88-6016-4e3c-b9f1-fb4052130809''
Sat Aug 10 02:28:24 2013 GMT: file ''/tmp/dumps/crash_20130809192823_2.dmp'', upload yes: ''CrashID=bp-93fb6f3b-a093-43c5-9084-8b0e52130809''
Sat Aug 10 02:28:28 2013 GMT: file ''/tmp/dumps/assert_20130809192823_7.dmp'', upload yes: ''CrashID=bp-7b52efaf-0818-4c95-a991-b5ecd2130809''
My Motherboard is an Asus Z87-Pro
Showing 1-6 of 6 comments
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tomaszg Feb 20 @ 10:05am 
Too bad nobody answered... I have similar problem with my setup. I have .asoundrc file with
pcm.!default iec958
The result is that Steam games (both native and in-home streamed) are unable to open ALSA device. Without .asoundrc file I get correct output from analog jack, but that's not what I want.
Last edited by tomaszg; Feb 20 @ 10:15am
Kranky K. Krackpot Sr. Feb 20 @ 10:35am 
Originally posted by tomaszg:
Too bad nobody answered... I have similar problem with my setup. I have .asoundrc file with
pcm.!default iec958
The result is that Steam games (both native and in-home streamed) are unable to open ALSA device. Without .asoundrc file I get correct output from analog jack, but that's not what I want.
Your asoundrc doesn't look correct.
Maybe this can help: http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/ALSA#S.2FPDIF_or_HDMI_.asoundrc
Shortly, you have to look up device number for iec958 (e.g. "hw:0,3") and put this number into asoundrc. And I'm not sure that S/PDIF can handle 5.1, but I never tried all that optical stuff myself.
Last edited by Kranky K. Krackpot Sr.; Feb 20 @ 10:41am
tomaszg Feb 20 @ 10:51am 
Thanks, but I tried more elaborate configs also... With this one I am able to get sound from all other programs (MOC, ffplay, firefox, mplayer). Of course i have unmuted all possible things in alsamixer.

I tried also:
pcm.!default {
type hw
card 0
device 1
}

but no sound for any reasonable value of device (at least no digital sound, for some values I got analog output). The same happens with code from gentoo wiki. Funny thing is, that this version of asoundrc works fine with HDMI output (dev=3) but not with SPDIF (dev=1).

Here's aplay output:
aplay -l

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
xcb_connection_has_error() returned true
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 0: ALC887 Analog [ALC887 Analog]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 1: ALC887 Digital [ALC887 Digital]
Subdevices: 0/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
aplay -L

null
Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
pulse
PulseAudio Sound Server
sysdefault:CARD=NVidia
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
Default Audio Device
front:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
Front speakers
surround40:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Analog
7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, ALC887 Digital
IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=NVidia,DEV=0
HDA NVidia, HDMI 0
HDMI Audio Output
Letalis Sonus Feb 20 @ 12:40pm 
S/PDIF - no matter whether it's optical or coax - only supports passing 2 channels (professional hardware may support passing 4 channels, though). More channels can only be transmitted in an encoded (not lossless) form, e.g. AC3 or DTS, which has to be supported by the receiving device.

This possibility is mostly used by video players as a direct passthrough of already encoded data, I'm not sure if you can actually configure AC3/DTS encoding on-the-fly directly within ALSA (or PulseAudio) at all - probably not.
tomaszg Feb 20 @ 12:50pm 
Ok, it might have been a OP problem, but I can't even get stereo sound out. I know that 5.1 PCM doesn't work with SPDIF but that doesn't pose a problem (unable to open ALSA device) unless steam explicitely requires multichannel soundcard (but why should it? even in-home streaming is stereo only). Alsa check on my default device shows that max allowed channels is 2 so any well coded app should take it into account...

You can use ALSA plugins to encode on-the-fly, it's fairly easy, I'll try that and see what happens.
Kranky K. Krackpot Sr. Feb 20 @ 1:50pm 
Originally posted by tomaszg:
Ok, it might have been a OP problem, but I can't even get stereo sound out.
It seems you have a Nvidia GPU with a small cable to MB pins for sound transfer via HDMI. Alsa sees 3 Nvidia "devices" (aplay -l) and all PCMs (aplay -L) default to Nvidia's analog hw:0,0. Probably, Nvidia just sends everything to HDMI hw:0,3 then... Honestly, without trying the same setup myself, I can't figure out more...
Last edited by Kranky K. Krackpot Sr.; Feb 20 @ 1:51pm
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Date Posted: Aug 9, 2013 @ 9:10pm
Posts: 6