Monday, June 09, 2014

Total Waste Of A Day

Today was supposed to be the day that things got back to normal after being injured with a cracked rib for a couple of weeks.  Right over the best time of the year on the island as well!  The plan was for an early easing myself back in gym session then to catch up on some of the admin work I've ignored.  That was until the postman arrived just as I was leaving the house with my new HDMI switch box.  Queue many hours of messing about.

Problem was that I've got a PC hooked up to the main TV, I'm using it as a console replacement because I don't want to splash the money on a PS4 or Xbox One but would still like to play any new games I like the look off.  Honestly the price of console games is getting beyond a joke as well.  Part of the expectation of that living room gaming multi media experience thing is having surround sound?  On a console that is just a case of connecting an optical cable to your surround sound system or setting it up to pass surround sound down the HDMI, but such is life that the PC is not quite so simple.

There is a really long shitty story here but the short version is that there are only 2 ways of getting surround sound in your games on a PC.  1. Buy a sound card that supports on the fly Dolby Digital encoding.  You can then use optical to connect this to your sound system (in essence this is what the consoles do)  2.  Have a sound system that has a HDMI input/output so you can connect directly from your graphics card.*

What I discovered today after fuckknows how many hours of messing about and the expense of buying all sorts of extra wires and crap is that people lie and shit don't work.  You can watch movies etc from your PC with full surround sound because the sound is already encoded when it is chucked down the HDMI, for me this meant getting a splitter (what the postman delivered today) to seperate the sound out and pass it on to the sound system (which only has optical  inputs, no HDMI).  BUT no matter what you're not going to get a game to work with surround sound this way.  You either buy a sound card to encode it and send it via an optical cable or you buy a sound system that can handle the raw information via HDMI.  No about of buggering about or smart asses on internet forums is going to alter that reality.

As for the Realtek powered optical output that most PC's have these days, it's not worth a wank for anything other than stereo sound  Why do they even bother?

And that has been my whole day, trying to get something to work which people say should work which in reality can never work.  I hate computers.

* This is what really pisses me off.  Just about all modern TV's have muliple HDMI inputs and a way of connecting to a surround sound system but yet hardly any pass on the surround sound, just about all downscale the sound to stereo.  What is the point in this passthrough if it doesn't work?  If TV's behaved like people thought then your TV could be the hub for all this and the world would be a much nicer place with far fewer wires, remotes and people throwing things around their living room when stuff don't work.

No comments: