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  #1  
Old 17th August 2012, 04:11 PM
BigBrutha Offline
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macoschrome
5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

Hello,
Thanks in advance for help. I'm kind of a noob but I'm learning. I'm trying to get 5.1 surround sound from Fedora 17 86_64. It's connected to Denon A/V receiver via Displayport --> HDMI adapter --> HDMI cable. I know the adapter is fine as the setup works in Windows partition. I can't use Win7 partition for this due to firewall. The idea is to use HP laptop as media server with VLC (I'm not married to VLC though if you have suggestions). H/W is built-in Intel video and audio. Phonon says I have Pulseaudio and the only back-end listed is GStreamer. Also, before you read all this, I would much rather just passthrough the audio stream and decode it in the receiver if that's possible.

So first, I got video working but no sound. I found my HDMI output with aplay -l testing and then edited /etc/pulse/default.pa to add
# load-module module-alsa-sink device=hw:0,7
Boom, now I can select internal audio and HDMI digital stereo profile in Phonon and I get sound from the speakers but only stereo. (Should there be an HDMI digital surround profile choice there?)
After some googling, I edited /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and changed sample channels line to
default-sample-channels=6
More progress, now receiver shows PCM input and there's sound from all speakers but not the correct ones. I ran a speaker test with this line.
speaker-test -c6 -l1 -twav
Right rear test sound comes from center channel and assorted other mis-mapping (only one was correct I think, sorry, not in front of it right now).

So I have two questions and want advice on how to proceed.

First question: I found a post on how to remap the speakers to the correct ones that I might try when I get home. Should I do that and does anyone have an explanation how? I didn't understand where in the /etc/pulse/default.pa file to add the code for re-mapping. Here is the post: http://confignewton.com/?p=211

Second question: My receiver will decode AC3, DTS, etc. Is there a way to just passthrough the audio directly and bypass all this? I would much rather do that. In fact, when I started I assumed that's what would happen automatically. Boy was I wrong.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 18th August 2012, 07:52 PM
Gareth Jones Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: 5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

Does a 5.1 profile show in the options for pavucontrol?
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  #3  
Old 22nd August 2012, 02:45 AM
BigBrutha Offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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linuxsafari
Re: 5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

I don't seem to have that. I'm on KDE. Is that part of Gnome? In Phonon I have internal audio and one of the profiles is HDMI digital stereo. No 5.1 listed but it seems to decode it. The receiver shows six channel PCM and i get sound from all speakers, just the wrong ones. Center channel comes out of right rear and such, etc. I'd much rather let my receiver decode it but that doesn't seem possible. At this point I'd even try a different distro if I thought it would help but it doesn't seem like anyone can pass through DTS and other surround formats successfully on Linux from the posts I've been reading. I have about 30 hours of work into this now and I'm dumbfounded it could be so difficult. Sorry, really frustrated.
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  #4  
Old 22nd August 2012, 03:47 AM
GoinEasy9 Online
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linuxfirefox
Re: 5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

Pavucontrol is a GUI for setting PulseAudio parameters.

yum install pavucontrol

Start it up, right click on the icon that appears in the system tray, or left click on it, and go through the diifferent menu choices. I'm on KDE also, but, I don't have surround sound, so, I can't help with the particulars. Different options pop up when different devices are plugged in. You might find your answere there.
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  #5  
Old 22nd August 2012, 05:47 AM
Chilly Willy Offline
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Posts: 1,258
linuxfirefox
Re: 5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

Not sure if you checked the obvious as you haven't stated, but since you say you have sound, just at the wrong speakers, I have to ask, did you check the wiring? It may be just a simple thing as the speakers being hooked to the wrong ports.

I DO see that you state it works under M$, though, but again, I don't know what all you checked, & I've found over the years that it is these little things that "bite people" the most.

One thing I've learned in troubleshooting HardWare issues - check out the HW FIRST!

BTW: if you have access to the FIREWALL you mention, this should be a fixable issue as well.
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Last edited by Chilly Willy; 22nd August 2012 at 05:53 AM.
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  #6  
Old 24th August 2012, 05:05 AM
BigBrutha Offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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macosfirefox
Re: 5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

Thanks for the reply Chilly. Yes, the wires are sound. This is my main TV and works fine with both DirecTV box and PS3 (sound from correct speakers). The firewall issue is out of my hands. It's a work PC and the settings are locked down (pushed from corporate). I actually could get around it but that's a major no no. I installed the pavucontrol yesterday but didn't have time to connect the PC and try to play with the speaker map. I think I understand how that works but I don't understand how the decoding will be done. I should finally have to time to work on it again tomorrow.
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  #7  
Old 24th August 2012, 05:56 AM
Chilly Willy Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: 5.1 surround sound issue, passthrough, PCM, need help.

OK - now we can rule THOSE out... (but personally, I have nothing more to offer - at this time)
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Last edited by Chilly Willy; 24th August 2012 at 05:58 AM.
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