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Connection and sound from PC onto a Yamaha HTR-2067
Arehandoro commented on 14 September 2017 at 2:28 pm UTC

Hi there,

First of all I'm a newbie regarding AV receivers and all its terminology so apologies if I'm wrong.

Recently I got the Yamaha HTR-2067 AV receiver, plus some speakers, to connect the blu-ray, PC, BT box and Switch onto it and get good quality sound. After reading many forums and trying different configurations I think, pretty much, am starting to understand how things function and slowly tuning each component to my liking but still have few doubts/issues I would like to share for the more technically savvy.

All the connections are made via HDMI, the receiver isn't capable of DolbyTrueHD or Dolby Digital HD if I recall correctly either. I think the Nvidia 970 it's capable of decoding this formats though so it shouldn't be a problem as it's connected via its HDMI output.

My OS is Debian 9 in case that matters. So first sceneario would be like this. Turn on my PC, 5.1 surround speakers selected in the audio settings, and start playing a game, for example. If given game has surround sound, i.e The Witcher 3, the signal would be sent to the receiver normally and I would get the dialogue from the front speaker and music and ambient on the other ones. With films including a 5.1 audio track the results are pretty similar -at elast with the film I#ve tried, the despecialised version of Star Wars- In this case the AV receiver shows the signal as PCM.

So here comes my first question; Does that PCM mean the signal audio is being decoded on the PC and then sent to the AV hence the PCM shown?

If, however, I use this configuration for playing older games, music or an episode from Netflix or Crunchyroll -all things I've tried so far- the results are a bit less satisfactory. Yesterday tried with the remastered version of Grim Fandango and all the sound comes from all the speakers. Like if it was a single audio track. Same with music, etc. Also, playing with presets here sometimes gives a funny metalic sound, specifically in dialogue.

Does this happen because the original audio signal it's only stereo? Shouldn't the audio card/video card decode this onto surround sound via Dolby Pro Logic or any other format?

When I change this config in the settings and select that only 2 speakers are available on the system, things change again. With this setup, older games, crunchyroll and so on send a stereo signal to the AV receiver -that now would show Dolby Prologic II if selected as decoder- and it would be transformed into a surround sound. Dialogue would come from the front speaker, presets would work normally and overall "location" of the different sounds seems better. On the down side of this, I believe the signal could be slightly poorer and overall volume lower too.

Why can this be? Shouldn't the audio/video card decode as well and send the signal to the AV? Am I not losing sound quality by downmixing to stereo and the decoding back to 5.1 on the AV?

About the other devices, I couldn't check so much as with the PC, so not so sure about the outcome but I have this questions in case someone isn't bored of me yet xD

With the Blu-Ray things seem a bit simpler I believe. If I select bitstream the sound it's sent to the AV and this one decodes it. The player does have DTS-HD and Dolby True HD though so if playing a Blu-Ray disk and I select PCM and send the signal to the AV this options is preferable due to a better overall quality instead of bitstream it and let the AV decode onto a lower quality format, right?

And with the Nintendo Switch, will it be better to select stereo and let the AV do the job or select surround (which is a PCM signal as well) and send the signal directly?

Sorry for the huge post, and in case it's the wrong forum too, and thanks a lot for reading and replying!

pete910 commented on 18 September 2017 at 4:25 pm UTC

Well, where to start. The down side is very few games on our platform actually have surround sound.

Personally have a denon x4200, When I use it I have set 5.1 output via pulse audio. If there is only stereo sound the amp will auto switch to stereo, I will hazard a guess as yours will do the same. So just put into 5.1 or whatever you have.

Keep in mind it's the receiver that does the decoding, the G-card and sound cards for the most part just do a pass-though. It's up to the amp to do it's thing.

Odd that the amp don't do Dolby true but depends on where that particular amp is aimed at regards price ect.

If you have films/music whatever that's been converted it will more than likely have the DTS stripped to keep the size down.

PCM is the pretty much the base standered for sound via digital. Think of DTDs ect as different ways to encode a sound stream without getting to in depth.

Don't down mix then expect to upmix, it wont work as you may think.

Have a look in the amp settings if there is an option to set the audio input to auto so that it can decide for it's self what it needs. With all components attached, Just set to surround output(If it has the option) and let the amp do it's bit.

Just to note, Blue-ray players will auto switch to what the DVD/Blu-ray has been encoded with and will just send that stream to the amp.

Think that makes sense

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