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Round and round with surround sound

Discussion in 'NEO Z83-4' started by klapa, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. klapa

    klapa New Member

    As the title suggests I have been battling sound issues in my Minix Z83 driven entertainment system since I first put it together.

    The basic system consists of the Minix Z83-4, Samsung 5.1 surround receiver/system (built in apps and blue ray player), and (new) 4K Hisense TV. I have other components such as HDMI switch, HDMI splitter, and standard DVD player.

    My problem is that I cannot control whether the Minix outputs surround 5.1 or just plain stereo. This seems to be driven only by what the Minix "sees" on the HDMI bus and cannot be fixed to a specific value in control panel.

    If I connect MINIX -> HDMI switch -> Samsung HDMI IN then going to control panel I have 5.1 config option and can test and hear rear speakers. Almost ANY other setup there is NO surround option in control panel.

    As an example, if I insert an HDMI splitter (1 IN 2 OUT) anywhere - between HDMI switch and MINIX, between HDMI switch and Samsung receiver, or at Samsung output the MINX reverts to 2-channel only.

    Even connecting MINX directly to TV HDMI I can only see stereo option in control panel.

    Is there any way to FORCE the sound to 5.1 like I could do with a standard computer sound card?

    Is this possibly an HDCP problem/phenomenon?

    What version of HDMI and HDCP does the MINIX Z83 support? I have FW 1.5.
  2. klapa

    klapa New Member

    I have actually managed to solve part of this problem.

    As I now have a 4K capable TV I needed to replace my existing splitter anyway, as that was only rated to 1080P. I did also have the same problem with that splitter - the computer would only support stereo 2-channel if that splitter was in the loop - else with it out the computer would configure to 5.1 surround as long as the HDMI was ported through my Samsung home theater.

    So when I bought my new 4K capable splitter, I got this unit that supports HDCP 2.2 as well as has a dip switch whereby one may select the signal type. There are many selections from 480 stereo sound up to 4K 60 frames 7.1 sound with many between. I STILL could not get my 5.1 working regardless of which switch setting I used!

    I was about to return that splitter when I decided to try ONE MORE TIME - and......(drum roll)...... VIOLA! EUREKA!

    This splitter has a setting called "copy once" whereby it sets whatever it sees on the bus when it powers up, and then keeps the setting. If I power up everything and THEN power up the splitter I have surround regardless of what I later plug in the other splitter port.

    I still really don't understand what is going on though I suspect it has to do with HDCP.

    I also stand by my belief that this computer sound driver should be able to be TOLD what to do (stereo, mono, 5.1, etc) instead of deciding such based on downstream devices.

    I would also like to know what are the HDMI and HDCP versions supported in the BIOS.