Audio output using multiple devices using Windows 7

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StoneT Offline
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Post: #1
Hiya,

Please have a little patience with me - this question has been asked in quite a few ways, but I am not quite able to discern a full understanding of this subject: Audio output using multiple devices using Windows 7

I have a Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11 and am running Win 7 together with the latest Dharma nightly ....
I use HDMI sound to my SONY Bravia LCD telly for video's and the optical output for music and radio (via my amp).
Now - to have sound on the telly I need to select the SONY Bravia output device (either as WASAPI or Direct Sound) and when I listen to music I have to change this to the optical device ....

As this is rather tedious I looked into whether it was possible to have multiple audio outputs available (it is for other media devices) but struck NADA here Sad
Seems that it is not possible with Win7 - however I am getting confused as it seems that a variety of Windows programs actually have this capability ??

So - could some good hearted soul tell me
  • Is it possible - with my configuration - to enable multiple audio outputs ?
  • If not - is it possible to change XBMC's Audio Device with a "single click" somehow instead of the tedious menu path ??

Thanks for not flaming this Wink

Cheers,
StoneT
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vinistois Offline
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Post: #2
Windows 7 DOES have the capability to output different audio to different outputs at the same time.

You can prove this to yourself, leave the windows default audio device on 'speakers' or something, and in XBMC switch it to HDMI. Start a video playing so you can hear it via hdmi. In the meantime, play some music in windows media player - it will play from the default device "speakers", at the same time, no problem at all.

AFAIK, you can not output the SAME sound track to 2 devices at once.

To take advantage of how windows 7 handles this, you must use programs that use directsound and have it well implemented (like XBMC). VLC also allows you to choose your sound output device. Any program that does not let you choose, will simply use your default output device.

Why don't you just output your video sound via optical as well, and use your amp to hear the sound? Don't your external speakers sound better than your tv speaker? You can use HDMI for video only, and mute the sound on your tv.

OR get an HDMI receiver/AMP.
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StoneT Offline
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Post: #3
vinistois Wrote:Windows 7 DOES have the capability to output different audio to different outputs at the same time.

You can prove this to yourself, leave the windows default audio device on 'speakers' or something, and in XBMC switch it to HDMI. Start a video playing so you can hear it via hdmi. In the meantime, play some music in windows media player - it will play from the default device "speakers", at the same time, no problem at all.

AFAIK, you can not output the SAME sound track to 2 devices at once.

To take advantage of how windows 7 handles this, you must use programs that use directsound and have it well implemented (like XBMC). VLC also allows you to choose your sound output device. Any program that does not let you choose, will simply use your default output device.

Why don't you just output your video sound via optical as well, and use your amp to hear the sound? Don't your external speakers sound better than your tv speaker? You can use HDMI for video only, and mute the sound on your tv.

OR get an HDMI receiver/AMP.

CHEERS Big Grin

Thanks a million for this fast reply - seems like that if XBMC does not allow for multiple outputs, "just" to choose which one you would like to use right here and now ....
In this case it would be rather preferable to have the possibility to set this up for video as well as music/radio separately .....

Now - I agree to a certain point with your observations around using my amp for TV as well as music etc. and I would agree to a certain point .... however due to a lot of factors this is not desirable Sad

Now - you write "Why don't you just output your video sound via optical as well, and use your amp to hear the sound? Don't your external speakers sound better than your tv speaker? You can use HDMI for video only, and mute the sound on your tv."
This is exactly what I am trying to do - sound via both devices ... please tell me how this is done Nod

Also I would hate to scrap my 10+ year old NAD amp (no HDMI then) as it is a SOLID amp Cool

So - does this leave me with wishing for XBMC to implement seperate audio device control(s) and/or a quick way to switch between them .... or are the options ??

//StoneT
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vinistois Offline
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Post: #4
I still dont understand, why you want to switch it. Just select 'optical' as your sound device and leave it at that. Why is sound for videos coming through your stereo not desireable? I don't get it. Most receivers have a 'midnight' mode if the problem is sound propagation into other rooms.

either way, its pretty easy to setup custom keyboard mappings via the keymap.xml file. I have ones set to quickly swap profiles. Then you simply map that keystroke to your harmony remote, or other programmable remote, and you could switch audio devices instantly (I think). You will have to find out if that command exists and what it is called. I don't know enough about it past that point.
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Suicide Machine Offline
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Post: #5
Hi StoneT,

you could try Virtual Audio Cable (http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm). If I understood correctly you can output from XBMC to VAC (creates a new sound device) and VAC can then output to multiple sound cards. I don't know how well this works (especially if your TV is Stereo and your amp would happen to be 5.1).

I have a similar setup/problem. Using a Zotac ION board and have my HTPC hooked via HDMI to my TV at the desk and via DVI/Coax hooked to my projector/amp. But I haven't had the time to test it yet. So repord back if you get around to it please Wink
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xhbl Offline
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Post: #6
I've develoed such feature support, see this:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86038
(This post was last modified: 2010-11-27 18:00 by xhbl.)
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