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01-03-2009 03:08 AM - edited 01-03-2009 03:13 AM
The OEM version or PowerDVD (the one that comes "free" with drives) doesn't have multichannel capability. I do think I read that the latest update for OEM does, but I'm not sure. Besides the HDMI and 2-speaker option in the Audio tab of PowerDVD, do you have 4, 6 and 8-speaker options? If you do, try the 8-channel option instead of HDMI, it should be mostly the same. If you don't have the multichannel options, you can go to Cyberlink.com and see if there's an update for your version. For multichannel they (used to?) want you to buy the full product.
PowerDVD also has kind of a bug where TrueHD audio gets changed to TrueHD 2.0 if you set PowerDVD to "headphone" or 2-speaker mode. This may seem OK, but when you choose Dolby Headphone or Dolby Virtual Speaker, you do need to set those options in PowerDVD. The way those Dolby technologies work (DH is fantastic by the way, DVS is... meh) is that they decode the 5.1 track first, then they emulate surround to be output to headphones or 2 speakers. If PowerDVD is changing the track to 2.0, then they don't have the 5.1 channels to work with, and they won't work. This doesn't happen with any other audio format. It may be that when you choose HDMI on PowerDVD, it has only the capability to do 2-channel HDMI regardless of your equipment. If that's the case, it could be "telling" the TrueHD track to convert to 2.0 only
S/PDIF should work as an audio out, if you can't get your multichannel HDMI working, or if you don't want to buy the full player. You can select S/PDIF on PowerDVD, and its respective counterpart in Vista sound options/playback devices, and it should bitstream either regular multichannel Dolby Digital or DTS audio through it.
Anyway, right now there is no flawless (not even close) bluray PC player. Cyberlink's PowerDVD has worked more or less well in the past, especially version 7.3, but they're going in the wrong direction, adding bloat and "features" that nobody wants or needs, and also disabling certain functions that many of us use (especially regarding playing discs from hard drive, or anything having to do with AnyDVD). The very latest updates of PowerDVD 7.3 and 8 have also introduced several bugs for many people. PowerDVD started as a promising, capable player, but has de-evolved into something of a mess.
The other player worth mentioning, Arcsoft Total Media Theatre, is the opposite, actually. It started off as a huge mess, but it's been steadily improving. It still doesn't work with Intel graphics, but in my 2 systems (Vista 32 and 64), with ATI HD3450, Nvidia 8600GTS and 9200m GTS (laptop) and latest drivers, it's all good. Arcsoft's also plays HD-DVD, which Cyberlink took away in version 8. It does have meager features ("still", I hope), but right now it's rapidly getting to be my favorite player of the two, especially seeing where Cyberlink is going. They've chosen to antagonize a large chunk of their customer base.
By the way, regardless of what you read or hear, AnyDVD is NOT for pirating, it just makes users actually able to use their existing equipment, which is fully capable hardware-wise, to their full extent. For instance, I can use a TV as a second monitor with my computers. As far as I know, you can't use a second monitor to watch AACS-protected movies (HDCP requirement). You'll need to use your primary monitor. I have never had that problem because of AnyDVD HD. You'll find a LOT of info about this and software and hardware at http://forum.slysoft.com. I invite you to join and ask away (do read the stickies first, or you'll get gutted) I don't work for them, I'm just a very happy customer and post in the forums there regularly. They're very helpful, and youll be in direct contact with the programmers and other very knowledgeable people.They're only having unlimited updates until January 11th, so if you wanna buy, now is the time. Later on they'll be using yearly subscriptions. (www.slysoft.com) By all means, ask whatever you need to know first in the forums.
01-16-2009 12:39 PM
I too purchased the Blu-Ray drive in this laptop for BD playback on a future HDTV. I purchased my laptop last year around august and just purchased
my HDTV two weeks ago. I'm also having the problem of only being able to playback Stereo over HDMI. I have my Laptop connected to my TV via HDMI and my TV to my DD Receiver via TOSLINK since my reciever doesn't have HDMI inputs. With it connected this way, I only have Stereo option in the NVIDIA HDMI Audio properties in Vista x64 sound properties....however I can test Dolby Digital on the formats tab and it works properly! Is there a way to output to SPDIF but loop that audio stream back over to HDMI without having the HP dock (maybe a software package).
To pay $100 for the dock to get SPDIF...$200 for BD drive upgrade, $100 for dock, that's $300 extra I should have saved to put towards a PS3 or a stand-alone BD player. HP needs to resolve this issue cause I sure as heck didn't get what I paid for....
I did find a USB -> TOSLINK adapter for $30, however I would prefer getting DD over HDMI so I only have to connect one cable...
08-08-2010 11:21 AM
I wish I would have known this (stero only out of HMDI on HP labtop) before I bought my Pavilion "Entertainment" laptop in December 2009 (Christmas); I have the same probelm also. Does HP think 2 channel sound was entertainment?
My answer is not to purchase an HP again.