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, know to support HBR (high bit-rate). ION first generation, nVidia 9400M do not support it.

Chips known to support HBR:

  • ION2
  • Though not officially supported, it works to some extent with nVidia GT2xx ; your mileage may vary
  • nVidia GT4xx
  • nVidia GT5xx

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:// alsa-driver 
git clone git:// alsa-kmirror 
cd alsa-driver
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:// alsa-lib
cd alsa-lib
sudo make install