Using a computer in a home theater system can be a pain when it comes to audio. Computers usually output audio through numerous connections, none of which are connections commonly used by home theater systems. This means a chain of wires and adapters is required.

But now HDMI allows users to bundle audio and video and send it all through a single cable. This greatly reduces the headache of connecting a PC to a home theater. So what do you need to use HDMI with your PC?


Products certified by the Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada will be distributed in the United States and Canada. Please visit the ASUS USA and ASUS Canada websites for information about locally available products. Taking your home. From Sweet to Smart. Connected Driving. C-Media CM6501 Like Sound Device. C-Media CM8338 Audio Driver (WDM) C-Media High Definition Audio Device. C-Media Oxygen HD Audio Device. C-Media PCI Audio Device. C-Media USB Sound Device. CMI8738/8768 Audio Device. CMI8738/C3DX PCI Audio Device. Every Sound Card has a precise Audio Driver which allows the Sound Card to run smoothly with the Operating System. Audio Drivers can be said to form data connections or data links between the Sound Card (hardware) and the Operating System (software). Sound Cards with correct Audio Drivers will produce sound absolutely from your computer. Right-click the listing for your sound card or audio device, such as headphones or speakers, select Update driver, then select Search automatically for updated driver software. Follow the instructions to complete the update. If Windows doesn't find a new driver, look for one on the device manufacturer's website and follow those instructions.

Video Killed the Audio Card


Surprisingly, the best way to transfer audio from a PC via HDMI is using your video card. As mentioned, HDMI is a combined standard for both audio and video. Recent video cards have taken advantage of this fact.

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The video cards which support PC audio over HDMI include ATI Radeon cards of the 3000 series or newer and Nvidia cards of the 9000 series or newer. The ATI cards are the easiest to use. Simply install the card and the drivers and the audio works. The Nvidia cards require that an internal SDPIF connection be made between your PC's sound card or motherboard and the Nvidia video card.

Making the Connection

Not all video cards which support PC audio over HDMI ship with HDMI outputs. They ship instead with DVI, which is common on computer monitors.

These video cards still support audio over HDMI, but a DVI-to-HDMI adapter must be used to enable the audio. Connecting to your home theater via DVI will not enable audio. Most video cards which have only DVI outputs ship with DVI-to-HDMI adapters.

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Solving Driver Issues

Although it would be great if computers just worked, they often don't. The audio drivers for the video card outputting audio over HDMI can sometimes conflict with your existing audio drivers.

To solve this problem you need to disable your old audio drivers and enable the new ones. Go to your Windows Control Panel and then open sound properties. You will find a list of audio outputs available. Select the HDMI output and right-click to open a menu. Click disable. Then right-click the HDMI output and make sure it is enabled. You may also need to reboot your computer.

Enjoy HDMI

Once you have HDMI operating on your PC you'll never want to go back to using separate audio and video connections. The quality is superb and having only a single wire connecting your PC and your home theater reduces confusion. Enjoy your new, less cluttered home theater!

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