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My HDMI audio drivers appear to crash when switching between SD and HD TV channels on Windows Media Centre.

I'm running Windows 8 Media Centre on a PC with an Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics system. I output HDMI to a Yamaha RX-V673 AV receiver, which in turn outputs to an Epson HD projector via HDMI. I use the PC mostly for watching live TV.

If I switch from live standard-def TV to and HD channel, the panel on the front of the V673 flickers about once a second and sound ceases to be produced. Seconds later Windows Media Centre crashes saying "Video error: Files needed to display video are not installed", which I gather from Googling is it's way of saying that there's an audio driver error. Restarting WMC solves the problem, and it's fine playing an HD channel first (ie without switching).

This does not happen if I output audio via S/PDIF (optical cable) and tell the V673 to receive it that way.

My investigations lead me to hypothesise that there's some sort of HDMI handshake issue that is causing a driver crash. The audio output format changes, WMC asks the amp if it can support it, the amp says "yep, let me just disappear whilst I change modes", and WMC says "oops, where have you gone?". This iterates for a bit until the driver gives up.

Would creating an EDID-override driver help this situation?

Additional info:

  • I've tried various combinations of enabling/disabling HDMI-pass-through and ARC.
  • In Device Manager, the HDMI audio device is reported as the Epson projector, and not the V673.
  • If I disable "Exclusive mode" for the HDMI audio device, I don't get the crash but I only ever get 2-channel sound.
  • My Intel graphics drivers are up-to-date. Is it possible to acquire better drivers for the HDMI Audio Device? I'm guessing this is a virtual device that's part of the Windows architecture, hence a MIcrosoft driver.
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