oooooh this thread is about my PC's setup, not the home theater at allI’m just trying to help you with your home theater and responding to your concerns about HDR on your PC. Gaming is a whole different can of worms. Does your television support GSync? My 75” Samsung QLED supports FreeSync with my Radeons. But I keep my PC gaming (I have two rigs - one dedicated to VR and one on a 32” FreeSync display) and my cinema separate. I could easily game with my HTPC if I wanted to, though.
Home theater is entirely separate and all finished for the rest of however long I'm in this house
When I first moved here in 2014 I configured the room with the PC desk just behind the home theater's main seating couch so that it could basically use the theater's audio with more or less the correct positioning, but some years after that rearranged the room so the PC desk is on the far back wall now which necessitated getting separate speakers.
Recently decided that I wanted the PC to have surround again for a better gaming experience (as well as clearer music listening) so I ditched a Klipsch Powergate (small stereo + LFE preout '100 wpc x2 @ 8ohms' DAC/amp) in favor of an AVR (ended up with this Marantz SR5010), replaced a pair of HSU HB-1 MK2 bookshelf speakers with SVS Ultra bookshelves, and quit sharing one of the home theater's HSU VTF-15H Mk2 subwoofers by adding an SVS SB-3000 sub just for the PC.
Ordered two more SVS Ultra bookshelves and their Ultra center speaker to finish things off since once I get an idea in my head it's pretty much impossible not to go through with it, so here we are with a very nice 5.1 surround setup dedicated for just the PC.
However... the aforementioned annoyance with regard to the best way to get sound from the PC to its' dedicated AVR remains.
To sum up the 'problem' as it were: The goal is to get the highest surround sound quality out from my PC to its' dedicated AVR ideally with no shenanigans around displays / desktop settings.
As far as I'm currently aware there are 3 ways to get a surround signal out from the PC.
- HDMI from the main graphics card - highest quality, supports up to 7.1 uncompressed PCM but seems to force Windows to see the AVR as a second monitor and no way to pass only audio. This screws up 'full screen' apps and causes me to occasionally lose my mouse on the phantom second screen
- Motherboard's 5.1 analogue outputs - not sure if this would be objectively better or worse than a DTS Connect compressed(lossy) 5.1 signal over optical but it would eliminate the video nonsense with HDMI
- Motherboard's optical out with a DTS Connect compressed lossy digital signal. I was utilizing this back when sharing the home theater's system. Works fine but is compressed and lossy so not ideal given the fairly high end audio setup, but would also eliminate the video nonsense with HDMI
So I suppose the question here is can we figure out some way to keep HDMI sound but work around the silly behavior of a 2nd phantom desktop, or if not... between DTS Connect over optical and three 3.5mm mini jack to dual RCA analogue cables which would give the best sound quality?