video card for hdmi audio

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video card for hdmi audio

Postby nobodynoze on Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:25 pm

I'm not sure whether this goes here or the 'Sound/audio' section but I noticed a thread was moved to the Hardware Support section and the poster was asking about sound.

I would just like recommendations whether to go with either Nvidia or ATI for building a htpc. However, it's just to use for basic audio/video thru hdmi connections. A LED TV will be used for PC/TV (dual purpose) use and I read of a lot of problems when trying to use hdmi.

I read that you might need a more recent kernel to get hdmi audio with radeon drivers. I also read of editing the grub file. I don't know why, though. As for kernels, the radeon feature page suggests one might need 3.5 if using NI cards (Radeon HD 6xxx series). I was going to look at a cheap card, like the HD 6450 or something like that. Any suggestions?

That way, I could use the catalyst drivers until Mint goes to kernel 3.5 or I guess one could install a custom kernel from Debian experimental repo, liquorix or a kernel from one of the Debian 'sid' distros?

What do you think?

The other option is Nvidia but one is stuck with binary drivers. The noveau drivers are ok but I read that the Noveau developers don't have hdmi working yet.

Nvidia drivers are probably more effective and better supported but one has to do more manual work configuring and kernel upgrades require a bit of extra configuring, I think. But, at least hdmi audio is likely to work without anything other than the nvidia driver install steps?

Help?!? :) 'Need some recommendations. Most video cards now have hdmi ports so these problems ought to be pretty common by now? I've googled and researched but still don't have an opinion one way or the other. :) Sounds like using hdmi connections are a bit of a pain in Linux, still. :-(
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby bigj231 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:29 pm

In my experience, when FGLRX works, it works great. When it doesn't its a major pain. I was without Linux on my laptop for 2 months because of driver issues. Once you get your binary drivers working, there is no reason to update them unless there is a fix that affects you. There are a few members here using HDMI from ATI cards.
That being said, I like my ATI cards. They hold up better than nVidia to the games I play and usually have a better minimum framerate. For a HTPC, I would recommend passive heatsinks instead of a heatsink/fan combo. A 6450 would be fine, as would a 5450 if it's cheaper and has HDMI. I'm not too sure about nVidia's lower end offerings. Probably an Gt#10 or GT#20 and just replace the # with whatever generation you want. They will all be pretty much the same. The real question is do you prefer red or green case stickers? :lol: If you want to play modern 3D games on this pc, look into higher end card.
If you don't mind not having a warranty, check Ebay for used cards. People will be looking for cash to buy new cards in a few weeks, so they will be moving their old ones. Most of the ones you'll see will be higher end ones though (think 5770+ range). XFX does (did?) offer a double lifetime warranty, so that is something to check into as well.
You might also consider finding a motherboard with HDMI out and using either one of Intel's core i series processors or one of AMD's APU's. They will be able to handle most anything that you throw at a HTPC. You also don't have the extra power requirement or space requirements of a separate graphics card. Not to mention near silent CPU cooling is a cinch in most cases. I would go this route if I was building a HTPC.
Good luck with your search.
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby nobodynoze on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:29 pm

I read mixed reviews about how well FOSS drivers handle thermal power for passive cards. Anyway, we went with an AMD/ATI HD 6450 but there are a few issues.

Allow me to provide hardware info and the situation at hand:

mobo: Foxconn M61PMV
videocard: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6450
monitor/display: Toshiba 24" LED TV 1080p - trying to use HDMI port (e.g. HDMI 1)

I was suprised to discover that there is sound but, unfortunately, it was very scratchy. Most of the time, it seems sound problems are no audio at all. I predicted I'd have to add radeon.audio=1 to the grub file but maybe I don't have to do that now? I found many sound issues being no audio so that is what many posts/blogs/articles are about. So, I am hoping someone can help with the scratchy audio. Maybe there is a setting configuration change needed? Or sometimes, it is recommended to edit sound config files?

The other problem is that the monitor/TV is detected as a 72" monitor! It detects the 1080p native resolution but because it perceives a 72" monitor, the picture is not very sharp and the icons are overlapping off the screen. Any titlebars also. So, this needs to be fixed.

Any ideas? Unfortunately, I have no clue what to search for or what to put in the search box. When the monitor is not properly detected, what is this called when this happens? :-(

I'm not a HTPC expert so I have no idea what is going on or why the monitor is detected as such.

I'm not sure what other info should be provided. This isn't my setup but I am guessing that it's just configured with ALSA. I don't think pulseaudio is installed unless it's installed by default?

In the meantime, we're using a VGA connection so only 1366 x 760 resolution is available. The output for sound is going through standard 2.1 PC speakers. The sound works normally in this current configuration.

Oh, we were doing this with the onboard Nvidia, too. I haven't tried to use the video card via the VGA port yet. I'm wondering what will happen when that is tried! :)

Does anyone want me to run any commands or add more info? Thanks in advance for any replies/assistance!
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby bigj231 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:53 pm

First, what's the output of 'xrandr'? Does it show the correct resolutions and size for your screen (in mm)?

Have you tried installing the FGLRX drivers from ATI? To be honest, I haven't had good luck with anything but the most basic of features (2D rendering and non-HD video) with the FOSS drivers. When the FGLRX drivers work, they are perfectly fine. You will need to make absolutely sure that there is no trace of the noveau (FOSS nVidia) drivers on the system.
EDIT: Removed Ubuntu instructions from Debian post. :oops:

As far as detecting the screen size, I would think it shouldn't make any difference what size it displays, only the resolution. Try using the auto-detect setting or something similar on your TV. There is a solution on tom's hardware here. Maybe that can help you out some. It appears that they are using FGLRX though. Here is a write-up on ATI cards that you might find useful. Just be aware that some of the commands for ARCH will not work with Mint.

On another note, this thread shows up as the second result for "TV detected as 72 screen linux radeon hdmi"
Last edited by bigj231 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby nomko on Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:31 am

I came across this article: http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2012/1 ... sound.html. Maybe this could provide a solution?
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby nobodynoze on Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:49 pm

I will try the suggestions posted when I'm able to access the computer. Thanks! As for the wrong size of screen detected, I was told it might be a DPI issue. Does that sound plausible?

I'm not sure the sound issue will relate to a volume control setting because there was sound but it was scratchy. I had more luck finding posts and articles about that compared to the screen size problem. :-/

Edit: Can anyone confirm whether pulseaudio is installed by default in LMDE? If so, I might have a solution to the scratchy audio when playing sound via HDMI. I won't know until I get to the computer but it will be interesting to try. If it's not pre-installed, then I suspect ALSA is still being used. But, I didn't install pulseaudio on the particular system so I thought maybe it's already installed.
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby bigj231 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:33 pm

I would like to apologize, for I am an idiot. I forgot what section this tread was in when i posted my last reply.
You probably won't have access to the additional hardware applet in LMDE. If you do, try to use it. I ended up installing the FGLRX drivers directly from AMD when I was running Debian Testing. Use the instructions here instead of the ones I posted earlier. Don't do it the Ubuntu way, as I've broken my system doing other things that way. It may work for you though.
I believe that Debian uses Pulse by default, but I am not sure. I used Pulse when I was running Wheezy.
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby nobodynoze on Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:12 am

Code: Select all
$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 16384 x 16384
HDMI-0 connected 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 1600mm x 900mm
   1920x1080      60.0*+
   1920x1080i     30.0
   1280x1024      60.0
   1360x768       59.8     60.0
   1024x768       60.0
   800x600        60.3
   640x480        60.0
DVI-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
VGA-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

 $ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 0: VT1708BCE Analog [VT1708BCE Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 1: VT1708BCE Digital [VT1708BCE Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 2: VT1708BCE HP [VT1708BCE HP]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: Generic [HD-Audio Generic], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 $

This it the output of the relevant commands requested. I also read that this info is pertinent to getting things to work. Except, I'm not sure what to do with it. I did read about editing a file but I'm not sure where.... for e.g., editing one of the .wav files supposedly gives normal audio output without the scratchy sound:

aplay -D plughw:1,3 /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

That syntax would apply to my hardware number, too. However, I'd like a more permanent 'across-the-board' solution if I can discover it.

The screenshot provided shows the TV monitor settings. What it's not showing is that the icons are actually cut off on what you actually see.
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Re: video card for hdmi audio

Postby bigj231 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:00 pm

Is there a setting on your TV to adjust the scaling? I think I have the same TV, so I'll give you the instructions for that.
1 Press the PIC SIZE button on the remote
2 With the Picture Size menu displayed, do one of the following:
* Repeatedly press the PIC SIZE button
* Press the corresponding number button (0-5) while the Picture Size menu is displayed.
* Press the (^/v arrow) buttons while the Picture Size menu is displayed.
To select tile picture size using tile menus:
1 Select Picture Size in tile Theater Settings menu.
2 Press tile (</> arrow) buttons to select the desired picture size setting.
3 Highlight Done, and then press tile ENTER button.

Try using "Dot by Dot". The "Full" setting might also work.

If you have a digital camera, could you take a picture of your monitor so that we can see exactly what you see on your monitor.

To fix the sound, there are Pulse configuration files you might look into. Search the internet for "how to adjust pulse sound quality linux" or something similar.
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