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Blu Ray / 5.1 Sound mittels HDMI - Probleme + Lösungen

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Blu Ray / 5.1 Sound mittels HDMI - Probleme + Lösungen

Beitragvon Amilo_Lux » 31.12.2008 02:19

Anbei ein Artikel bezüglich meiner Erfahrungen zur Benutzung des Amilo Xi 2550 mit Blu Ray Laufwerk als Blu Ray Player und Verbindungsprobleme mit einem digitalen Surround-Receiver zur Erreichung der Ausgabe von 5.1 Sound mittels HDMI. Ich habe diesen gerade auf dem englisch-sprachigen FS-Forum gepostet; da es etwas spät ist, bin ich nicht sonderlich motiviert diesen noch zu übersetzen und hoffe, er wird auch so einigen von Euch hilfreich sein. Fragen beantworte ich natürlich hierzu gerne.



I just spent part of this evening getting my Amilo Xi 2550 which is equipped with a Blu Ray ROM to link up with my home cinema and my LCD TV, by the way of an HDMI cable. Theoretically a piece of cake - my surround receiver is equipped with several HDMI-in, the notebook has a HDMI out, the LCD TV has a HDMI in...but sure, where there's Windows (or Vista in my case, which is not a better point of view if you ask me) there's always problems.

Getting the Blu Ray to work was the first problem - I have an OEM version of Cyberlink's Power DVD 7 Ultra that comes with Blu Ray support, but even though some weeks ago it played Blu Rays perfectly (the BBC documentary Blue Planet for instance, no pun intended), now it flipped me the virtual finger and said something like "can't read the disc because the version of your software is incompatible with it, maybe an update will fix it". Well, assuming that my Blu Ray discs have not magically been transformed into another format overnight, I rightly concluded it was some screw-up of the software. Indeed, after some time spent with my friend Google, it seemed that the copy protection system was to blame. Apparently software Blu Ray players are not equipped with permanent keys to the copy protection (I assume they wanted to avoid the easy cracking of the DVD's RCSS system...), and so they age just as we humans do, becoming "incompatible" (software geriatrics) over time. Nothing an update cannot fix, of course - so I downloaded dutifully the most recent version of said Power DVD, while being thankful for a fast internet connection because, of course, you don't just download some new keys but a complete new version of the program (lazy programmers, as usual), meaning more than 100 MB. Well, said and done - and lo and behold, it worked again. First obstacle taken!

Now the second one - getting the image on the screen. That part was easy, my (digital and thankfully quite recent) receiver recognized the data streaming in from the notebook right away, and the Blu Ray player worked - the image was quite nice, good resolution and all, just as was to be expected.

Last thing: the sound. Now, we all know HDMI is support to transport images AND sounds, not like its predecessor DVI which could only convey the former (on a sidenote: if you want to connect your Blu Ray to a DVI display, that creates all sorts of other problems - I just say HDCP - but nothing which cannot be solved either...get the red fox!). So in theory, as my receiver can digest all sorts of surround formats (Dolby digital, DTS etc.) everything should work automatically. Well, of course not! Along comes another bug, and this particular insect is buried deep deep down in the intestines of the notebook itself. Because: there was sound, just not the right one - I could only listen to everything in PCM stereo (which is somewhat dated, having been created for the Compact Disc way back in the 1980s), although the Blu Ray clearly stated on its jacket that there was to be a 5.1 surround track.

First thought: Power DVD screwed up again - you need to tell it in the "configuration" menu that it should spit out the sound via HDMI (which I had done, of course) and that it should not put out PCM stereo but "pass through" the surround sound (so that my receiver can decode it). I had done that too, but Power DVD kept on changing the option back to PCM stereo, ignoring my frantic jabbing at the mouse and obstinately going back again! I concluded - after admittedly more than 10 repeats - that the solution should lie elsewhere.

So I looked up the various configurations of the sound devices in my Amilo, which are nicely hidden by Vista - that particular software is even better at such stuff than Windows XP, which is quite an achievement. Anyway, after some time I figured out that there is a menu somewhere (settings - hardware and sound) in which you can choose which surround standards may be passed through (DD, DTS) and you can even test there whether it works or not. Of course, it did NOT work, in spite of my previous thoughts on compatibility with digital link-ups. Well, next consulting of good ol' Google, and after quite some time a nebulous presumption was taking shape - it may have to do with the drivers of the notebook's sound card. Ok, quick checking of the date of said drivers (there are two - one Realtek driver for Vista, one specific for the HDMI output that contains the so-called High Definition audio codecs), and surprise surprise, these were of course long out of date. Branded notebook bought in September 2008, more than two years old drivers...well, no comment. In any case, another download ensued (don't bother going to Realtek's website for any downloads, their FTP servers only work when they're in the mood and they usually aren't; rather look for some alternative download sites, there are plenty, just ask Google), this time of the new version of the HDMI driver/codecs (2.09 as of December 2008; the Vista drivers' newest version is 2.12 at the moment), and quickly installed on the Amilo. Restart, click on Power DVD - and YES it worked! Finally some decent 5.1 surround sound.

So, I hope this write-up is of assistance to some people here, as I spent quite some time figuring out what was wrong and think it's better when only my time is wasted, maybe others can save theirs by reading what preceded. The essence of all: If something don't work, first update everything only remotely connected to the whole mess, and then it will usually work. And don't presume only because your notebook is new that its drivers or it software is not outdated!


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