Windows 10 | Surround Sound & VLC Player

Hello guys

One of the most complicated “problems” I have had with Windows 10 was, using built-in “Movies & TV” instead of my favorite VLC Player, just because the later “fails” to play 5.1 surround sound, which I love

It looks like Microsoft Windows “Movies & TV” by default enables HDMI audio passthrough, thus surround sound is channeled rightfully.

Let us see a typical scenario:

  • Your PC is connected to a SmartTV that has Android TV (on HDMI Port 2)
  • Your TV is connected to AVR on ARC using HDMI (on HDMI Port 3)
  • Your PC shows your TV as your default “Speaker”
  • You setup 5.1 surround sound (unfortunately, you cannot test the setup us Windows doesn’t do the HDMI audio passthrough, instead the applications those are equipped with HDMI audio passthrough)

You try to play your video clip that has AC-3 6 channel audio, using VLC. What you hear is stereo only & toggling through the AVR’s different Audio formats do not do anything.

Now, here is the catch. By default VLC doesn’t enable HDMI passthrough. If you are using VLC 3.x.x versions, you can easily turn on the HDMI audio passthrough from Tools ->Preferences -> Audio

Select either “Enabled (AC3/DTS only) or Enabled. Switch to the one works for you.

Try to play the video again. One of the interesting factor I recognized that, once the HDMI/SPDIF audio passthrough enabled, VLC doesn’t care whether your speaker setup is surround (5.1, 7.1, x.x) or not. It just does the audio channel routing.

Try and let me know whether it works for you.

regards,

rajesh