Can Vista Ultimate output to multiple audio devices?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by Tim Sagstetter, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. My computer includes an HDMI output port on an ADD2 card. The card is
    internally connected to the High Definition Audio Device header on the main
    board to provide audio output via the HDMI jack. The computer also has
    typical 7.1 audio output via ST jacks and an SPDIF jack. The only way I've
    found to switch among the audio output devices is to use Control Panel -
    Sound - Manage Audio Devices. After setting HDMI Device, Speakers, or SPDIF
    as the Default playback device, I have to close the applet and restart any
    audio applications before the output is switched to the selected device.
    This is really cumbersome and inconvenient.

    Is there a way to open the Manage Audio Devices applet directly (without
    having to go through Control Panel) to make this selection more convenient?

    Also, audio is only output to the device selected as the Default device,
    rather than all devices simultaneously. Thus, if you have a digital TV with
    an HDMI input, but a receiver with only analog inputs, you can't switch
    between the TV's speakers and the receiver's speakers without first going
    through the procedure to switch the default playback device and restart any
    applications. And you can't use both at the same time.

    Is there a way to output to all audio devices simultaneously so I can simply
    listen to the desired device by controlling its volume?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Tim Sagstetter, Jun 30, 2007
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  2. Tim Sagstetter

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    An easy way to get to the Playback Devices and Recording Devices is to right
    click on the Speaker icon in the Notification Area of the Taskbar.

    As to your other question about multiple simultaneous playback devices, I too
    would like to know how to accomplish that.
    Cal Bear '66, Jun 30, 2007
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  3. Richard G. Harper, Jun 30, 2007
  4. Tim Sagstetter

    GWL Guest

    Well it may not support it but my system works with a Realtek High Definition
    Audio Device and a Creative SB X-Fi device. Both output sound. Both report
    they are working properly in Device Manager.

    GWL, Jun 30, 2007
  5. Thank you for your reply. For some reason, I thought all you could get by
    right-clicking the icon was the mixer. Thanks for the reminder! That
    should work fine.

    Tim Sagstetter, Jul 2, 2007
  6. Richard:

    Thank you for your reply. If this is possible, I sure hope engineering
    considers this for a future release. With the number of
    computer/audio/video connection scenarios increasing, it seems multiple
    technologies should be supported for simultaneous playback if users want to
    keep their existing A/V equipment.

    Tim Sagstetter, Jul 3, 2007
  7. Tim Sagstetter

    LemonGalaxy Guest

    I too would really like Vista to support this. This is my situation:

    I have an AC850 (nforce4) connected to a set of Logitech 5450 speakers (this
    includes a dts and ac3 decoder). My PC is connected to the decoder by a
    toslink cable as well as the usual 5.1 direct outputs.

    When I use media centre to play a DVD, I want it to passthrough ac3 and dts
    streams to the toslink (spdif). For everything else I want it to be output
    in analog 5.1 surround (this is especially important for games).

    Using XP I acheived this by using digital passthrough with Cyberlink
    PowerDVD. XP would always output everything else to both analogue and
    disgital outputs simultaneously. Why can't Vista/Media centre do the same
    without me having to change default devices?
    LemonGalaxy, Jul 14, 2007
  8. That's not true. My HP DEC running windows XP had both analog and SPDIF
    output at the same time. Additionally they were seperate volumes as well.
    The SPDIF responded to my Media Center remote while the analog out was fixed.
    Since the upgrade to Vista I have lost that flexibility. I am either analog
    OR digital. This has really screwed up my distributed audio configuration.

    Evan P. Daily, Jul 19, 2007
  9. Tim Sagstetter

    Alexander VW Guest

    I also have the same problem- I live in an apartment, and I have my
    computer/computer speakers in one room and a projector/theater speakers in
    the other. I have both video and audio hooked up to the room with the
    projector (via a vga extension and SP/DIF out), for using windows media
    center and occasionally playing games on a larger screen.

    However, even though I have both sets of speakers connected the same
    computer, there is no way to output audio through both at the same time. I
    can choose between either, but each time I change the default audio output,
    any new programs use exclusively those speakers. This ruins my plans of being
    able to stream music through the entire floor.

    From what I can tell, Vista does not allow multiple outputs (as backwards
    as that may seem). Is there any other option available, preferably software
    rather than hardware change? If I cannot find a solution, I may be forced to
    go back to XP. again.
    Alexander VW, Sep 8, 2007
  10. Tim Sagstetter

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    It seems that the only option with Vista is to have two audio devices installed.

    I have my on board Realtek audio adapter and a Creative X-Fi installed for just
    such purposes with no conflicts or problems. I don't think there is any way in
    Vista to have both the analog and digital outputs of a single audio adapter
    active at the same time -- too bad.
    Cal Bear '66, Sep 8, 2007
  11. Tim Sagstetter

    Alexander VW Guest

    Funny you mention that- because that is exactly how I have the audio set up.
    I have a creative x-fi fatality, which I use to output to the computer
    speakers. I also have onboard audio that came with my commando motherboard,
    which I use for the receiver in the other room because the x-fi doesnt have
    optical out. Between those two I have 5 different output options in the sound
    menu, but no matter what I do I can't have any two working at the same time
    in the same application. I know they both work though, because I can have two
    different applications running through each at the same time, just never a
    single application.
    Alexander VW, Sep 8, 2007
  12. Tim Sagstetter

    Alexander VW Guest

    The only way so far I can figure out to do this is via a 3.5 mm jack
    splitter, but that requires me to plug and unplug whenever I have to change
    it- Is there really no other way to do it, even if I had to purchase
    Alexander VW, Sep 10, 2007
  13. Tim Sagstetter

    Kajakob Guest

    Have any of you found a program or fix that can solve this problem with
    having the same output sound on two different outputs?

    We are several people here that have the same problem with Vista, and I
    think the problem is software not hardware…..
    Kajakob, Feb 18, 2008
  14. You are right, it is software problem since it works in XP.

    Only way to "fix" this is to step on the Microsoft toes, creating
    audio drivers that represents all audio devices and all audio outputs
    as one, which take control of Vista's sucky idea. But that is easier
    said than done.

    I heard that some manufacturers have started to represent only one
    output device to Vista so that at least you can have full control of
    that device's outputs. So instead of having Headphones, SPDIF and
    Speakers as separate playback devices, you'd have only one controlled
    thru some other application.
    Jari Pennanen, Mar 11, 2008
  15. Tim Sagstetter

    Dan Guest

    I have the same problem, too. I'm just posting so that maybe microsoft takes
    note that there are lots of people that are annoyed by this.
    Dan, Mar 25, 2008
  16. Tim Sagstetter

    Kevin Guest

    notice we are on a google group requesting this? Maybe we need to
    take this up with Microsoft.
    I am using KO500 bluetooth speakers in everyroom of my house with this
    computer in the middle while wearing S9 headsets with speakers
    connected directly to this computer.. Yes.. not only would it be great
    to output to multiple devices but to select which programs map to
    which outputs would rock.
    Kevin, Apr 5, 2008
  17. Tim Sagstetter

    V Green Guest

    You guys are barking up the wrong tree.

    The functionality you are looking for has to:

    a: be supported by the hardware and its driver(s)
    b: be supported by the application(s) you are running

    It's not a Microsoft issue.

    Some audio editors allow you to change which
    device you are outputting to from within the program,
    for example, so it can be done. Yell at the application

    notice we are on a google group requesting this? Maybe we need to
    take this up with Microsoft.
    I am using KO500 bluetooth speakers in everyroom of my house with this
    computer in the middle while wearing S9 headsets with speakers
    connected directly to this computer.. Yes.. not only would it be great
    to output to multiple devices but to select which programs map to
    which outputs would rock.
    V Green, Apr 6, 2008
  18. Tim Sagstetter

    Scott Guest

    I too have this same problem. It worked in XP and does not in Vista. Why MS
    would screw up the audio on purpose is beyond me.
    Scott, Jul 7, 2008
  19. Tim Sagstetter

    Charlie Tame Guest

    It is not necessarily MS, the device manufacturer may have updated
    drivers that will do what you need. Did you look there?

    And, forgive me if I am missing the point here but right click on the
    speaker icon brings up a menu in my case. Again this may be due to the
    device driver I think.
    Charlie Tame, Jul 7, 2008
  20. Tim Sagstetter

    PD43 Guest

    I think the speaker is driver-independent and is a Windows thing.
    PD43, Jul 7, 2008
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