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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    A solution to the age-old "surround sound from S/PDIF or coax" problem

    Do you have a surround sound speaker system hooked up to your PC via a digital S/PDIF? Tired of having to fiddle around with control panel windows before running a game just to get surround sound working? I have a solution!

    A bit of background: I've been using a PC with a home theater sound system for years, and one thing really bugged me about how audio is set up in Windows. Why is it that when running a game on a PC which clearly has Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, does the audio system not switch to surround sound? The PS3 and xbox360 can do it, hell, even the old xbox can pull this off. Why can't our beefy 2012 machines/beasts manage what a lowly console from 2001 can?

    Fed up with this, I decided to research a solution. Found a great console application developed by Dave Amaneta that uses undocumented windows API routines to magically switch audio outputs in the background. This was great, but it was half the solution. On my Asus Xonar and a few other sound cards with DDL/DTSc support, merely switching audio output is not enough. You have to open the soundcard's control panel (Xonar Audio Center in my case) and set the required "Dolby Digital Live" or "DTS Connect" setting. If you have previously enabled the setting, you still need to open up the control panel for the switch to properly take effect.

    With this in mind, I have created the DDDC Auto.Switch shell application for Dave Amaneta's clever utility.
    Check it out and let me know if it's worked with your X-Fi Titanium or onboard audio with Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect support.
    download here: http://www.mashakos.com/dddcswitch/D..._ver_0.001.zip

    Here are some excerpts from the readme:

    What is it?
    -----------

    The DDDC Auto.Switch application is a shell for the
    EndPointController.exe console application developed by Dave Amenta.
    The application, once configured, will allow your system to automatically
    switch to a real-time encoding audio output source while launching an app
    or game. The application will then switch back to the satndard audio
    output source once you have closed the launched app/game.
    This application provides a solution to the lack of automated detection
    of uncompressed surround sound in games and applications in the audio
    products of hardware vendors.

    What is real-time encoding audio?
    -----------

    Before HDMI came along, the most popular digital audio output standards
    were coaxial or optical S/PDIF digital output. While S/PDIF had many
    advantages over analogue audio outputs including the doing away of
    electrical interference entirely, it did have a limited bandwidth which
    necessitated that any audio with more than 2.1 channels
    (anything above stereo) was to be compressed using either the
    Dolby Digital or DTS audio codecs.
    This poses a problem for a lot of applications (mostly games) that do
    have surround sound but not compressed in either format.
    A common workaround is using RTA (real-time audio) encoding to one of
    the two abovementioned codecs. The two main RTA encoding technologies
    are Dolby Digital Live and DTS connect. Since these technologies have
    to be licensed, support for them usually comes from the audio hardware
    vendor, whether it's a motherboard manufacturer including built-in audio
    into it's products or a discrete sound card manufacturer.
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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331
    Hey man. I downloaded your audio switcher program for 5.1 over an optical cable and tried it out the other day. In the beginning where it asks you to enter the number of your devices, it seems to be unable to detect any of mine. The device list is always empty. Any thoughts? Maybe there is another way I can get the device IDs? I'm using Win7 x64 and Realtek onboard audio. I desperately want to get it working. If I can't, I'm going to have to shell out the cash for a wireless 5.1 headset. Thanks in advance!
    ok, are you running from the exe (DDDCSwitcher.exe) or a shortcut?

    Also for reference, please mention your OS, if you are an admin user, if you have UAC enabled.
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  3. #3
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    I was running it straight from the exe, for the initial setup. OS is Win 7 x64, I am an admin, and I think I have UAC enabled.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    I was running it straight from the exe, for the initial setup. OS is Win 7 x64, I am an admin, and I think I have UAC enabled.
    make sure that:
    you extracted everything in the zip file. Getting a blank window instead of a list of available outputs could mean the helper exe was not extracted
    uac must be disabled. Quickest way to do that is open control panel _> type "uac" in the search field -> click the first link and follow instructions.
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  5. #5
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    Ahh, I didn't even think about UAC. I bet that's what it is. I extracted everything in the zip file, so I'm sure that's not the issue. I'll zip home at lunch and try again, then let you know the outcome.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  6. #6
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    While you're being kind enough to help, let me run something else by you. Behold my HTS:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882676098

    And my mobo:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128358

    I currently have my PS3 hooked up to the AUX 2 ports of my HTS for audio. If I were to move the PS3 to a different TV, could I run something, like an RCA to 3.5mm cable, from the back of my PC into that AUX 2 hookup, and forgo the need for the audio switcher entirely?
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Dolby Digital, is, you know, digital. Just sayin'
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  8. #8
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    LOL. Good point. I have a lot to learn about this stuff. I've only ever used a headset before. It's so much simpler for goons like me...
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    LOL. Good point. I have a lot to learn about this stuff. I've only ever used a headset before. It's so much simpler for goons like me...
    yeah, there's a bit of a learning curve at the beginning :)
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  10. #10
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    Well, I disabled UAC and tried it again, still the same issue. I made sure to hit "Run as admin" too. You said there was a helper exe? The only files I have are the switcher exe, your readme, and a config folder with an "enduser" exe or something like that. I even downloaded it and extracted it again to be sure.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    Well, I disabled UAC and tried it again, still the same issue. I made sure to hit "Run as admin" too. You said there was a helper exe? The only files I have are the switcher exe, your readme, and a config folder with an "enduser" exe or something like that. I even downloaded it and extracted it again to be sure.
    strange! try this: open up a command prompt and run EndPointController.exe from it. Post the output here.
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  12. #12
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    OK, will do tonight.
    Last edited by db1331; 18-12-2012 at 03:24 AM.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  13. #13
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    This is what I get running it in a command prompt:

    Audio Device 0: AMD HDMI Output (AMD High Definition Audio Device)
    Audio Device 1: Realtek Digital Output (Realtek High Definition Audio)
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    This is what I get running it in a command prompt:

    Audio Device 0: AMD HDMI Output (AMD High Definition Audio Device)
    Audio Device 1: Realtek Digital Output (Realtek High Definition Audio)
    where do you have the app folder extracted to? Can you move it to another drive if it's in C:\ and try again?
    Not sure what the issue is, I'll try testing the app on my laptop.
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  15. #15
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    That readout was from when I moved it to C:\. I've tried running the program from there and from my desktop, and both times got no devices listed. I'll try it from a different drive and let you know.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  16. #16
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    Same output running it from a different drive.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  17. #17
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    I broke down and bought a pair of 7.1 wireless headphones. I found a set that will work with my PS3 as well for $100 off and couldn't pass it up. Thanks for all your help though!
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  18. #18
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    I'm interested in your program mashakos but the download links are dead, any chance you can put it up again somewhere?

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckoA51 View Post
    I'm interested in your program mashakos but the download links are dead, any chance you can put it up again somewhere?
    oh just noticed this!
    here you go:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?ahvaw17xw75pf73
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  20. #20
    Hey,

    It looks like I've the same problem as db1331. If found two alternative solutions, but one requires buying software and the other might be outdated and very complicated.
    1. http://www.reaper-x.com/2011/04/25/h...ing-for-games/
    2. http://www.hardwareheaven.com/genera...3-encoder.html

    I downloaded the 0.002 version. Extracted to C:/. Ran DDDCSwitcher.exe as admin. Audio devices were not detected by the GUI so I used EndPointController.exe. After this I tried three games like this:

    Code:
    C:\DDDCAutoSwitch_ver_0.002\DDDCSwitcher.exe "C:\Program Files  (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SniperGhostWarrior2\Bin32\SniperGhostWarrior2.exe"
    Code:
    C:\DDDCAutoSwitch_ver_0.002\DDDCSwitcher.exe "C:\Program Files  (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Deus Ex - Human Revolution\dxhr.exe"
    Code:
    C:\DDDCAutoSwitch_ver_0.002\DDDCSwitcher.exe "C:\Program Files  (x86)\2K Games\Borderlands 2\Binaries\Win32\Borderlands2.exe"
    None working. :(

    I also plugged in some analog jacks so the analog audio interface is forced to enable. I tried run as admin for the games because I don't disable UAC, but this won't work either.

    As test I'm using HDMI and Deus Ex has surround for sure, but I don't want to use HDMI. That's why it would be so nice if this works.
    Last edited by SaturnusDJ; 25-09-2013 at 04:39 PM.

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