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I have a specific problem with my receiver that I have hooked up to my PC. I have the receiver hooked up to my PC using SPDIF digital audio, and the receiver defaults to 2.1 surround mode when playing things from the PC.

I can force it into 5.1 mode by pressing a button, but after 5 minutes of no audio signal, it defaults back to 2.1 automatically. As long as I have something "paused" (in winamp or VLC) on the PC, the receiver stays on 5.1 surround and doesn't switch to 2.1.

Is there a way (in the Win7 OS settings or by using a background service/program) to trick the receiver into thinking there is ALWAYS an audio signal being sent by SPDIF?

NOTE: Changing settings on the receiver and the sound card are futile. I spent hours doing it this way. The "pause" trick is all that works.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I am answering my own question here. After some more googling I found this forum thread:

Apparently, it's a problem with Windows 7 and some sound cards. My sound card (Creative X-Fi) eventually cuts the audio signal if nothing is being played. My solution was to use optical out directly from my motherboard, since I luckily have optical out on there. I no longer have my receiver switch modes after doing this. I suppose the only proper suggestion for anyone else having this problem is to switch sound cards like I did.

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