Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

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pete_auto
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Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:19 pm

I am struggling with sending audio from PC to two monitors. Hoping someone can help here. I want to be able to play different videos / movies on these two monitors simultaneously (kind of like two zone setup).

Here is my setup:

1. Windows 7 Professional on a new PC (not the MLServer PC), with two sound cards.
2. Radeon HD6850 video card (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI).
3. Two audio cards – SPDIF and 5.1 channel analog.
4. PowerDVD 13 and Arcsoft TMT 6.0 media players.
5. A/V Agent setup on the PC.
6. Two monitor setup in extended mode.
7. Via Ultramon setup, when PowerDVD is started, AV Agent sends video to the 2nd monitor. Arcsoft TMT plays on first monitor.

The two monitors are:
- High Definition Panasonic TV (via HDMI for video and digital SPDIF for audio)
- Asus PC monitor (via DisplayPort for video and analog 5.1 for audio)

Problem:

The setup is working very nicely, except the audio. I can’t seem to be able to send audio simultaneously via spdif and analog outputs (or I should say two audio outputs simultaneously – digital and/or analog). Upon researching on internet, I found that this may be an issue with Windows 7, where it only limits audio out via a single output at a time (defined as default). In order to send audio to a different output, I have to go to my sound devices, and make ht other card as “default”.

So for example, let’s say I am playing a movie to the first monitor via HDMI and spdif. If (say next day) I want to play a movie in the 2nd monitor, I have to first change the setting to make 5.1 analog audio my “default” audio device, before I can get sound. No issues with video.

Does anyone know a way to resolve this issue? AM I stuck due to this being Windows 7 issue, or am I missing something else. I will appreciate any insight.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby CinemarDave » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:49 pm

The Media Player Classic HC player allows you to specify the video display and sound card to use for playback. I've never experimented with two at once but in theory it would be possible. There's going to be a problem with the AV Agent only knowing how to control one instance of the MPC player but the initial experiment would be to see if you can configure MPC to play two distinct videos with distinct audio at the same time.

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:27 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the response. I actually did experiment with MPC as well. MPC is certainly one of the options I have. The system does not let me choose a separate sound card from any player - including MPC.

To take it further, I even experimented by creating a virtual machine (VMWare Player) and running these players from there. I installed a demo version of Windows 8 in the VM. It worked nicely in the VM environment from audio perspective, and A/V agent also played nicely. However all the players (PowerDVD, MPC, ArcSoft TMT) refused to mount or play the blue ray players. So still stumped.

Any other thoughts?

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby CinemarDave » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 pm

Can you elaborate on
"However all the players (PowerDVD, MPC, ArcSoft TMT) refused to mount or play the blue ray players. So still stumped."

What format are the blu-rays in?

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:00 pm

The blu-rays are in .iso format (ripped from AnyDVD). They play fine in a normal scenario. But in VM scenario, I get the message that "this player doesn't support play blu-rays in a virtual machine". It sometime mounts and sometime doesn't. Bur never plays. I tried PowerDVD, ArcSoft and MPC.

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby CinemarDave » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:14 pm

Ok, On MPC there is an option for Audio Renderer in Playback/Output. Do both your cards show up here?

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:47 pm

Dave,

I think you may be getting me in the right direction. All the sound cards show up under the "Audio Renderer" drop down menu. So I picked the last option called "MPC Audio Renderer", and played a blu-ray. Both sound and video were fine. Then I opened another instance of MPC, and in this one, I selected my other sound card (Realtek Digital SPDIF). Played a different blu-day, and sound played fine on the receiver. So that part worked good this time. This leads me to think that MPC might have the capability of using multiple cards at the same time. After experimenting for last two weeks, this is first time I see some light.

Is this how I should set it up in two monitor setup? I see tow issues now:

1. Since two instances of MPC are open and running (with different sound cards selected), when MPC is closed, it keeps the "later" card selection. So the sound card selection has to be made again. How best to make this setting?
2. Can two instances be somehow programmed to run (using Ultramon for example), and how will A/V agent handle it (since it is all on same PC).

Thanks again

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:28 am

I did more experimenting between last night and this morning. It seems that MPC works really nice in the scenario I described. To get "two instances" working with DVDLobby, I tried the Virtual Machine setup agai, and MPC loads and plays blu-rays fine. So this may be a good solution.

One question I have is - does MPC play 3D movies? I didn't see anywhere in the settings to set it up for 3D (like PowerDVD does). How do I setup MPC to play 3D blu-rays?

Thanks

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby CinemarDave » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:13 pm

MPC does not have 3D playback capabilities. You could dedicate a Dune player for that.

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:08 am

Dave,

So I believe you are referring to Dune HD Base 3D - right? Do you have this in stock?

Thanks

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby CinemarDave » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:02 pm

Yes and yes we do.

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Re: Two Sound Cards, Multi-Monitor and DVDLobby Issue

Postby pete_auto » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:37 am

Finally...just placed the order for this unit. Waiting eagerly !


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