Cant get 5.1 sound out of games from Steam?

Here is my original post over at AVSforum.  This relates more to my overall HTPC instead of just for gaming, but since XBMC appears to send 5.1 and DTS to my yamaha receiver just fine, yet windows 7 and steam do not .. i'm hoping to get help here.


Here is what i've posted so far.

Anyone who can help,
I'm hurting here. Here is a quick summary.

I have an ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 with an AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz strapped to it. This is inside of a HTPC case. I just built this recently and it has been working great.

I loaded XBMC onto it and it plays encoded content just as I would expect it to. Movies with DTS or 5.1 sound as they should and my receiver lights up the correct encoding when the movie starts.

My setup goes

HTPC (hdmi out on the mobo) -> HDMI Switcher from monoprice -> Yamaha receiver -> Samsung 50in plasma (1080i)

again .. XBMC outputs encoded sound as it should.

so I started to get into playing games on steam via this setup, but now I need steam to output correct sound as well. Metro 2033 and Company of Hero's both support 5.1 but neither cause the receiver to display anything relevant .. just the Pro Logic 2 channel that shows all the time if its not receiving other content. there is no global option for sound output in Steam .. I assume it just leaves it up to the individual games ...

so having said all this .. it would seem as though a game would be able to simply output sound the way that XBMC does .. i'm not sure what XBMC is doing differently, but it appears that its doing actual bitstreaming using the audio device as it should ...

So i've been trying to setup Windows to output sound to my receiver in hopes that it would allow the games to also output in such a format .. but so far its been a complete failure.

When i first installed all the software when i installed windows 7 I had several differnt listings under my audio devices. I had the AMD HDMI audio out, as well as the realtek offerings such as the digital out which is the SPDIF, the speaker out which would be the individual channels on the back of the mobo, etc ...

After trying to fix the audio issue i downloaded the official realtek drivers from their site along with their version of the amd hdmi out drivers as well. I installed both and after rebooting the Realtek manager now had an HDMI option where it didnt before ... so when you click on the little picture of the HDMI port you could fiddle with those settings as well.

I assumed that all of this was too much and would cause conflicts with drivers and devices so I uninstalled everything, rebooted, and then just installed the official Realtek AMD HDMI drivers. Rebooted again and all is well as far as default sound goes. I checked with XBMC and the sound is still sent to the receiver as expected, but testing the speakers and trying the games still doesnt bitstream or output correctly to the receiver.

i read somewhere that going through the speaker setup in windows as 5.1 but unchecking all the additional speakers would cause it to down mix and output correctly.

I tried that i now i do get a center speaker sound when i didnt before but it plays the rear channels out of the front channels, and I get no LFE signal from what I can tell ... its odd that i get the center channel all of sudden by doing that .. it feels like i'm on the right track .. but just not quite there yet ...

i'm not sure what else to try at this point. I've installed the catalyst software but didnt see an option to NOT install any HDMI audio or anything audio releated ... i've gotten a pop up recently from catalyst saying my samsung doesnt support audio out so i'm curious as to why my HTPC is seeing the TV, but not the receiver ...

do i need to research more into the EDID override? I'm skeptical to mess with too much as XBMC is working great .. i dont want to lose good sound in it.


Someone responded that I should only be using the AMD drivers and nothing else .. so here is my followup.


I have uninstalled everything, downloaded the latest catalyst suite, installed everything rebooted a few times for good measure in between each step ... same results.

the 5.1 speaker test under the audio playback device configuration only plays left and right channel. No visible change in decoded state on the receiver.

XBMC still sends DTS to receiver as it should ... but windows itself is not doing it ...

I did notice that before the catalyst software had a listing for default audio device and when I clicked on it, it stated that the default display didnt have audio options ... or something like that ... now there is NO listing for audio devices in the catalyst software.

the default device is currently AMD HDMI Output when you hover over the speaker icon in the task bar

under device manager I have two listings in sound/video/etc ...
AMD high definition audio device
high definition audio device

the second has M$ drivers associated with it ..dated 11/19/2010

drivers on the AMD HD audio device are AMD's dated 6/11/12


And thats where I stand ... perhaps someone here has had similar issues and solved them?  I sent an email to inbox here but it wasnt as detailed as all of this is ...