How do I connect HDTV Audio?

This article provides a guide to help get the HDTV audio operating effectively by troubleshooting various issues that can prevent the signal from working when using a direct connection to the computer’s graphics card through an HDMI cable

1. New direct connection between an HDTV and computer’s graphics card using a HDMI cable

In order for the audio to work properly on the HDTV, the desired device must be configured as the default device within device manager of the computer. To do so:

In Windows® XP:

Note: Before configuring the default audio device, the following Microsoft driver should first be installed: Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) High Definition Audio class driver

After installation of the UAA driver, go to Start
Select Control Pane
Select Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices
Select Sounds and Audio Devices
Click on the Audio tab
In the first section labeled Sound playback, select the device that you want the audio to output from
Click on OK to save your settings

In Windows Vista®:

Right-click the speaker icon
Select Playback Devices from the options
Right-click on the device that you want the audio to output from
Set it as the default audio device
Click on OK to save your settings

In Windows® 7:

Go to Start button
Select Control Panel
Select Hardware and Sound
Select Sound
Click the Playback tab
Select the device that you want the audio to output from
Click Set Default
Click OK to save your settings

2. Unable to set the HDMI audio output as the default audio device for the computer. The audio device is not listed or disabled

If unable to set the device’s HDMI audio as the default device, the HDMI input or quality of the HDMI connection may be the cause of the issue

A.) The quality of an HDMI cable can reduce or prevent the audio signal from transmitting properly

1. Connect the HDTV and computer through a direct connection

The use of a HDMI adapter/dongle to connect an AGP based graphics card is not supported by the audio bus

2. Use the shortest HDMI cable length possible to allow for the highest signal tranmission quality. The maximum recommended length is 50ft

3. Use the latest HDMI cable version available to ensure compatibility for the highest output quality supported by the HDTV and graphics card. The latest version available for HDMI cables is currently 1.3c

4. Try using another HDMI cable to determine if the cable is bad

B.) Some HDTV devices require that the computer be connected specifically to a PC HDMI input on the TV in order to allow the highest quality audio between the two devices

1. If available, connect the HDMI cable to the PC HDMI input on the HDTV

2. Check the HDTV’s manual for any settings that may need to be configured for the PC HDMI input to work properly

3. If no specific PC HDMI port is available on the HDTV:

Try connecting the computer to another HDMI input on the HDTV to determine if the input on the TV is bad
Try connecting the HDTV to another HDMI input on the computer to determine if the input on the computer is bad
If there are other audio devices connected to the PC, a hardware/driver conflict can prevent the desired HDMI audio device from working correctly. Check the device manager to determine if there are any issues / conflicts highlighted for any listed devices

Right click on My Computer
Select Manage
In the left navigation pane, select Device Manager
Look for any notifications listed, usually marked by a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark
Right click on any item that is marked, select Properties
In the General tab, select the option to Troubleshoot
Follow the troubleshooting steps to determine how to resolve the issue / conflict

The motherboard’s BIOS settings may need to be configured to allow for the desired audio device work correctly

Refer to the motherboards manual or contact the manufacturer to determine the proper configuration for audio BIOS settings

A defective graphics card can prevent the desired HDMI audio device from working correctly

Try to connect another HDMI capable device to the HDTV using the same cable and input to determine if the audio works
If the audio works with an alternate HDMI device, the graphics card in the computer may be at fault. Contact the place of purchase to obtain warranty on the graphics card