Typical problems introduced by incorrectly configured audio
- No Audio
- Video stutter
- Video choppy
- Video jerky
- Slow playback
- No HD audio either DTM-MA audio or TruedHD audio
- Slow frames per second ( FPS) when playing video
- WASAPI crackling or distortion (see Section 7)
- Low volume on PCM track or when transcoding (see Section 7)
- Dolby Digital Plus (EAC3) can't currently be bitstreamed for decoding on a AVR, however it can be decoded within XBMC to Multichannel LPCM by unselecting the option "Dolby Digital (AC3) capable receiver"
If you have problems bitstreaming or decoding audio via XBMC from Version 12 Frodo then please try and use the below fault finding steps to try and establish the problem and then fix.
XBMC Frodo (version 12) introduces a new audio subsystem called AudioEngine. While this introduces a better quality audio subsystem for stuff like HD Audio it does mean that previously working system might no longer work upon upgrade.
For nightly & alpha builds of Gotham Version 13
Missing audio settings - Settings are now configured into different levels, by default most settings are now hidden to hopefully make the GUI less confusing to new comers or the not so techincal.
To change settings level go to where the audio settings are then open the hidden left hand menu (with left remote click or left keybaord arrow) and you should see "Level: Standard" change this to "Advanced" and all settings will reappear.
More about this at http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=163867
PART 2 - GETTING SET UP
For highest quality audio use WASAPI and follow these wiki pages Windows Settings for AudioEngine and HOW To: configure audio
If using HDMI for audio the this should ideally be connected direct to AVR, so signal path is
XBMC PC -> AVR -> TV
Try to avoid
XBMC PC -> TV -> AVR
If you're struggling to get any sound at all then try the following XBMC audio settings:
Audio Output: Analog
Speaker configuration: 2.0
Audio Output: Directsound
This should enable just about all setups to get sound out, and once you've got sound you can then look into getting 5.1 and passthrough of AC3, DTS etc working using the below.
PART 3 - TROUBLE SHOOTING
Section 1. Graphics Vendor Specifics (Analog/SPDIF/HDMI)
Nvidia - Only known issues are HDMI EDID problems which may need an EDID override
Intel - To support HD Audio (TrueHD & DTS-HD MA) on Windows the Intel Management Engine Interface driver must be installed, it's this driver that provides the HDCP DRM necessary for the HD Audio formats to works. If this driver is not installed then the HD formats will be missing from the Supported Formats tab. In order to verify you have the Intel Management Engine Interface driver installed, follow the relevant step at Blu-Ray* Disc Playback with Intel HD Graphics FAQ
ATI/AMD - If using WASAPI do not use the Realtek HD Audio drivers as they do not work with the event driven mode XBMC uses for WASAPI so you MUST remove the Realtek drivers completely. The Realtek HD Audio drivers will however work with the Directsound mode.
Removing Realtek High Definition Audio drivers
Try to avoid using these if possible, if you must use these drivers for SPDIF then you may experience problems in getting WASAPI to work so you may have to use Directsound. If Realtek is being used for HDMI in the case of a AMD/ATI HDMI output then completely remove the Realtek drivers.
If at anytime you've used Realtek drivers on your system then please follow the the steps below even if you think you've removed the Realtek drivers:
i. Remove Realtek High Definition Audio Driver using Programs and Features
ii. Check they have indeed been fully removed in Device Manager under Sound, video and game controllers and see if there's any entry for Realtek High Definition Audio and if so Uninstall the Realtek driver, refer to below link and make sure the Delete the driver software for this device box is ticked as shown in Option 2 - Step 9 - To Uninstall Both the Device and Device Driver
iii. Ensure all files have been deleted from hard drive by checking if there's a c:\program files\realtek\audio directory, if there is delete the realtek directory.
Note - for more detail on removing device drivers in Windows Vista/7 refer to http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/171469...river.html when carrying out the above.
Section 2. Check exclusive mode settings (SPDIF/HDMI)
Sounds -> Playback -> Audio Device -> Properties -> Advanced
WASAPI on XBMC runs in Exclusive mode so make sure the two Exclusive mode options are ticked in Advanced within Windows.
Refer also to wiki page Windows Settings for AudioEngine
Section 3. Supported Formats (SPDIF/HDMI)
Sounds -> Playback -> Audio Device -> Properties -> Supported Formats
Check also what is reported in the Supported Formats tab, this will tell you the audio formats that Windows thinks your audio driver and hardware supports. If formats are missing from this Supported Formats tab then they will not playback in XBMC, this must be fixed at the OS level first.
Refer also to wiki page Windows Settings for AudioEngine
IMPORTANT - For HD audio to work then Max Number of Channels must be reported as 8 if anything other than 8 is reported then HD audio will not work even if DTS-HD and TrueHD are listed in the Encoded Formats box.
In the case of missing formats where HDMI is being used it could be either:
i. AVR issue (HDMI only)
Modern AVR with HDMI will usually support CEC (different manufactures have their own names for this) and the option to pass audio onto the HDMI out of the AVR, both of these can cause issues if enabled. If the of Sound - Playback devices in Windows reports the AVR then this should generally be ok, if however it reports the name of the TV then this is indication that something is not right.
Make sure all configuration is done with the AVR on and connected to the PC in order for Windows to properly detect the AVR, if you're not sure on the order things were powered up then reboot Windows while leaving Windows.
In Hardware Setup -> HDMI
Audio TV Out - Off
HDMI Control (RIHD) - Off
Power Control - Off
TV Control - Off
HDMI Control - Off
Audio Output - AMP
ii. EDID issue (HDMI only)
If you're using HDMI then the properties of the AVR is reported to Windows via communication over HDMI known as HDMI Handshaking, this is a two way communication process via EDID. Sometimes this Handshaking is not carried out correctly so even though your hardware supports the necessary formats, the EDID information does not correctly report this. When this happens what is known as EDID override is needed, for more on this refer to the threads over on AVSForum, see
iii. Driver issue (SPDIF/HDMI)
Make sure you're using drivers supplied by the vendor and not the drivers supplied by Microsoft either with the OS or via Windows Update, always download the correct drivers from AMD/Intel/Nvidia website and manually install. If using HDMI then only install the necessary drivers for HDMI audio, installing Realtek drivers for on board SPDIF has been know to cause conflicts, if any Realtek device is reported in Sound - Playback then try uninstalling the Realtek driver.
Refer to Wiki - Windows Settings for AudioEngine