Output Audio Through Video Card

When building a Home Theater PC you probably want to keep the cabling required at minimum. Chances are you want a wireless network adapter that’s neatly hidden in the HTPC box, as well as a Bluetooth or a Radio dongle for a wireless mouse/keyboard combo, or even a Media Remote. In either case, that leaves you with just the power cable, video cable and some sort of audio cable. In this guide, we will show you how to send audio through HDMI cable and simplify your setup.
What to do

Depending on your home setup, the television and the speaker system, you could really simplify the connections by using an HDMI cable and enabling sound to pass through the HDMI and into the TV or your speakers of choice. If you’re using the outdated VGA connection or even the more recent DVI cable, then you will need a dedicated audio cable. But, if you have an HDMI out port on your video card, then you can utilize this to transfer both audio and video across a single cable and therefore simplify the cabling even more so of your HTPC.

Both major card manufacturers, AMD and NVIDIA have a module in place that allows playback to be redirected over the HDMI out. First thing you have to do is make sure your HDMI cable is functioning and that you have picture on your TV. Next, you want to make sure that if you’re using Windows, all the drivers are fully installed and up to date.

Then, you should right click on the Volume Icon next to the clock in the bottom right corner and choose Playback Devices

The item you’re looking for is either going to be labeled AMD HDMI Out, or High Definition Audio Output.  If you don’t see this item, right click on the empty white space area and make sure that both items, Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices are checked, and then you should be able to select your item. Right click on either AMD HDMI or High Definition Audio and choose set as default. This will make sure that the system always sends the processed audio to the HDMI port when you start the system.

The results should be immediate, if you begin playing any audio, you should hear it from your TV speakers (or third party speakers if you use any kind of Line_OUT cable). If the result is not immediately apparent, you want to restart the computer and see if the audio shows up.

If the audio doesn’t seem to work, then it would be a good idea to try a different HDMI cable or a different HDMI Out port to make sure there are no issues with the port. Also, if your system has multiple audio chips, for example onboard audio as well as a dedicated sound card, you might want to disable one or the other to prevent any kind of conflicts. After you disable the card, restart the computer and try the steps above one more time.

In some instances, there have been issues with Realtek Audio Drivers and High Definition drivers. It can usually be resolved by re-install both drivers, starting with the Realtek first, then finishing with the High Definition Audio driver should resolve that compatibility issue.

If at any point you want to switch back to your original audio output, simply follow the same steps to get into the Playback section, right click on Speakers item and choose set to default. This will revert the change and the audio will once again be transferred in the usual way. You can always use the Playback menu to change between the devices that handle the audio output. If you run into any issues with this guide, it would advisable to also test your video card and make sure it’s functioning correctly using our Video Card testing guide.

 *Disclaimer: AVADirect and its Staff are not responsible for any damage to software/hardware, loss of data or personal injury by following our How-To guides. These guides are provided only as an aid to help you troubleshoot system problems. If you do not feel comfortable performing these steps its always best to send in your system to a local repair shop or contact an appropriate technical support line for additional assistance.