User Manual:HDAudioPassthrough

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Those are preliminary information on how to enable HD audio passthrough over HDMI (currenly E-AC3, TrueHD and DTS-HD MA).

Not all video cards are equal. You need a video card with built-in audio chipset, and hdmi port and known to support HBR (high bit-rate).

Chips known *not* to support it:

  • ION first generation
  • nVidia 9400M IGP
  • nVidia 8xxx, 9xxx

Chips known to support HBR:

  • ION2
  • nVidia GT4xx
  • nVidia GT5xx

Though not officially supported, it works to some extent with nVidia GT2xx ; your mileage may vary. It is highly dependent of the combination between audio processor/amplifier and video card.

You'll need a recent linux kernel (>= 2.6.36) that contains the required ALSA drivers.

Alternatively get the latest ALSA driver from the git repository

git clone git://git.alsa-project.org/alsa-driver.git alsa-driver 
git clone git://git.alsa-project.org/alsa-kmirror.git alsa-kmirror 
cd alsa-driver
./gitcompile
sudo make install

Alsa library 1.0.23 is the required minimum. However if you had to mess with the device name to get basic audio working, it is strongly recommended you get a new version as otherwise you will likely have to mess with alsa configuration file.

git clone git://git.alsa-project.org/alsa-lib.git alsa-lib
cd alsa-lib
./git-compile
sudo make install