I recently swapped out my old home cinema audio system (a Yamaha DSP-E800 and a Denon stereo receiver) connected via USB DAC and 6 channel analog for an Onkyo TX-SR605 which has HDMI audio connections. In most ways this was an instant upgrade but one issue really frustrated me — volume…
I was used to having the amplifiers set at a fixed volume and adjusting the level via the PC (Windows 10) volume control. However with HDMI it seems this doesn’t work. The windows volume control does nothing at all. Googling produced no useful results, just lots of people who can’t get HDMI output to work at all — a classic example of how much worse google has got at finding relevant results now that every commercially backed website has found ways to game it.
It seems the issue is that windows can’t control the volume for anything bitstreamed. But my new amplifier accepts multichannel LPCM so what I want to do is decode any dolby or DTS formats on the PC, control their volume, and then send them as LPCM to the amp.
Thanks to a piece of software I used previously to remap channels I have been able to do exactly that, and get control again. That software is called “Equalizer APO”. Just install it and enable it for your HDMI output and then reboot. One other thing is needed for some programs — Go into the classic “control panel” and open the sound options. Bring up the properties for your HDMI output and then go to the advanced tab. Untick “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device”.
The final thing I had to do was to change the default power on volume on the Onkyo — which had been set to 45. I changed it to remember the previous. The setting is found in Settings -> 6. Misc -> Volume Setup -> Power on Volume
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