My friend has recently upgraded his HTPC from Windows Vista (unknown SKU) to Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. My friend's HTPC has the following relevant hardware:

  • Video: PCI-E nVidia GeForce 8800GT with dual DVI output
  • Audio: PCI-E Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium.

The 8800GT has one DVI output connected to a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. This is connected to an HDMI input of a Panasonic PT-AE2000U projector. The other DVI output is connected to a DVI-input of some LCD display.

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium has some analog connection to some speakers, presumably some Creative Labs MegaWorks or GigaWorks surround speakers. It also has an optical cable (presumably SPDIF) connecting it to the optical input of a JVC RX-D206 receiver (JVC support site down, will provide link later).

  1. Video displays fine on the projector.
  2. Audio plays fine through the PC speakers via an analog connection.
  3. Audio does not play at all to the speakers connected through the receiver. Other devices connected to the receiver (not through optical) play fine. Audio was being sent to the receiver just fine before the OS was nuked and paved for Windows 7 - the working configuration from Vista is unknown and lost to the ages.

After "some futzing around and a miracle", audio was playing from the PC to the receiver just fine through Windows Vista. Having upgraded to Windows 7, things are no longer working. Granted, I have gone through several troubleshooting sessions to get other things working (primary display, disabling Hybrid Sleep) on Windows 7 after installation. This is probably the last "configuration" item outstanding.

The goal is to determine a list of troubleshooting steps to figure out what is necessary to get sound working through devices connected to the JVC receiver via optical/SPDIF. Ideally we could edit this so others can find this troubleshooting guide useful in the future.

All device drivers on the Windows 7 PC are assumed to be installed correctly, and are the latest version provided by the manufacturer (i.e. nVidia, Creative Labs). Codecs? No idea. Decoders? No idea. Additionally, I'm in Boston, MA and my friend is in Austin, TX. He's also running Windows 7 Home Premium, so a Remote Desktop Connection is also out of the cards.

No recommendation is too basic at this point. Edits to improve clarity are encouraged. Many thanks in advance.


I'm the friend Lazy DBA is referring to and I managed to solve this dilemma of mine finally. I'm going to post the steps I took to eventually get the results I was looking for. Please feel free to edit them for improvement or to address issued with other hardware specs.

First I started from scratch and reconnected the optical cable on both ends and ensured they were in the correct ports.

Next I selected my SPDIF controller from my available playback devices and made it my default device. alt text alt text alt text

When I turned on an audio source (a movie in Windows Media Player) the computer detected output, but no sound was coming from the speakers.

At this point I started fiddling with the receiver. Under the "Setting" menu button I selected digital output 1, which was the location of the plug, and cycled through the options until I got a signal. alt text alt text alt text

In this case DVD/VCR was what the device was set to, but it turned out that that was the only selection that wasn't getting a feed. No idea why. alt text alt text

I tested the signal from my computer and I was successfully getting 2 channel audio through the speakers. Not the ideal, but a step in the right direction, so I opened the Creative Control Panel and under the Encoder tab I selected Dolby which split the 2 channel into a 5.1 channel signal. alt text

Once that was finished, I ensured that my receiver was configured for the correct encoder (Dolby in this case) by cycling through the sound menu until I found what I was looking for. alt text alt text

Finally, I opened the Creative Console and ran a test cycle. alt text alt text

Success! A working 5.1 audio solution for my PC to home theater. Hopefully this little bit of information helps anyone else out there currently tearing their hair out over similar situation.

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