HDMI Audio from Dell Studio 1558 Laptop to Pioneer VSX-9140TXH Receiver

Jan 30, 2011

This note demonstrates a working HDMI audio link between a Dell laptop computer running Win7 home premium and a Pioneer receiver:

Computer: Dell Studio 1558 Intel i5 M450; Chipset: Intel PCH HM55
Video Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470
Sound Card: ATI High Definition Audio Device (Driver 5.0.7000.9)

Receiver: Pioneer VSX-9140TXH 7.1 Receiver: D/A: Wolfson WM8728 192kHz/24-bit A/D: Burr Brown 192kHz/24bit

The laptop and receiver were both shut down and the HDMI cable was connected to both. Then the laptop was started and finally the HDMI receiver was turned on.

The HDMI audio device is an ATI High Definition Audio Device which is standard with this laptop. This HDMI device is first selected as the Default Device in the Control Panel | Sounds | Playback pane:

Next the Configure dialog is launched which, in this case, is used to configure the Audio Channels to to 5.1 Surround:

Next, the Properties pane is viewed. The Supported Formats page detects and displays all the formats supported by this ATI HDMI device. A good range of high definition LPCM digital audio over HDMI (up to 24bit bit resolution and 192 kHz sampling rate) as well as several common encoded formats is shown:

The Advanced page is next selected to specify the sampling rate and size, in this case at 24bit and 96kHz. Windows 7 Windows Media Player 12 does not provide an (WASAPI) "Exclusive" mode capability for "bit perfect" playback to HDMI but runs in the default "Shared" mode with the resampling of the Windows 7 audio engine determined by the audio format settings selection:

Next, stereo and 5.1 test LPCM wav files at 24bit/48kHz and 24bit/96kHz were played back on the Win7 laptop computer using Windows Media Player. The Pioneer VSX-9140TXH receiver with the appropriate HDMI input selected, correctly displays the status of the 5.1 LPCM uncompressed data transmitted over HDMI at the fixed sampling rate of 96 kHz (in this case):

Bit Perfect Playback over HDMI with Foobar2000 and WASAPI Output Plugin

Foobar2000 (v1.1.2) and the WASAPI output plugin (v2.1) were next used to check bit perfect playback using Foobar WASAPI Exclusive playback mode. The Output buffer length was set at 190 ms and the sample size to 24bit. The following test files were played back with Foobar2000: stereo 16bit/44.1kHz, 5.1 24bit/48kHz, 5.1 24bit/96kHz, stereo 24bit/192kHz. For all tests, the Pioneer receiver indicated the corresponding sampling rate and the test files played back properly.