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How to fix 5.1 analog surround sound in Media Center 2005 Update Rollup 2

How to fix 5.1 analog surround sound in Media Center 2005 Update Rollup 2

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There is a known issue in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005 that causes 5.1 analog surround sound to revert to 2 channel mode.  The underlying issue is that a registry setting is being overwritten by Media Center.  You can use the following steps to add the registry value needed to fix this issue:

  1. Close Media Center
  2. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd
  3. Run the command reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Video" /v AudioOutputFormat /d {696E1D31-548F-4036-825F-7026C60011BD} /f

Note that if you re-run the Speaker Setup portion of Media Center Setup, this registry value will be reset again and you will need to re-run the above command to fix the underlying issue once more.

This issue was previously described on this NVidia support page, but I wanted to list it here as well in case anyone reading my blog runs into it as well.


  • Hi AsNo - Are you able to get sound while playing DVDs outside of Media Center?  This could be an issue with your DVD drive, your sound card or your decoder.  You might want to check the settings for those and also search for updated drivers for those devices.
  • I am having (what I think) is the exact same problem here.

    I am using the front, rear, and center/sub mini jacks on my on-board sound card on my motherboard, and running the sound through 3 mini-jack-to-RCA cables into my receiver.  

    Then, I go into my Realtek audio software (in my control panel) and this nifty program gives me the ability to test all of my speakers.  When I use this software, I am able to succesfully send and hear a sound on all 6 of my speakers.  

    However, once I leave this software I can only hear sound on the front 2 speakers.  When I go into my Volume Control, "advanced controls" is greyed out for me (which is only an available option with some soundcards, from what I've read on blogs).  

    If I go into Media Center, Settings, DVD, Audio (then click View Now when I get the compatibility message), I don't have an option for Speaker Setup (which is what I was told I should be looking for at this site....  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mce/expert/connect_av.mspx#EZC).  However, in that same audio settings window, if I go to the Properties tab, I do see options to choose different speaker setups (like 2 speaker, 4 speaker, 6 speaker, SPDIF, etc) but if I make a change to this (in particular choosing 6 speaker) and then hit OK, those settings don't stick.  I know this because if I go right back into those settings I see that they've defaulted back to "2 speakers".  

    Also, if I go into Media Center, Settings, General, Media Center Setup, Set Up Speakers, then choose 5.1, then on the next screen hit the "test" button, I get no sound on any of the speakers.  I would expect this, though, since this is really the last step in the whole audio setup process.

    I tried running the mentioned registry add, but this did not help.

    How do I set up 5.1 in the control panel?  This is what I'm really confused about.  The only audio options in Control Panel are Volume Control (which doesn't help cuz advanced control is greyed out) and my Realtek audio software (which is all set up correctly, and this seems to be the only place that sound is working right).  I used a Windows decoder checker (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=DE1491AC-0AB6-4990-943D-627E6ADE9FCB&displaylang=en) and it found 2 decoders (Nero Video Decoder and Nero DVD Decoder) and changing preferences here doesn't seem to help (though the utility does tell me that neither are compatible and may cause undesired results).  Am I having a decoder issue?  Did I miss a step somewhere?  

    I have literally told you everything I know so far so if I left a step out that may be what my problem is.  

    Any advice you could give would be great.  Thanks!!!!
  • oh yeah... and I have reinstalling the drivers from the cd and from the most up-to-date drivers on my motherboards site.  My motherboard is a Foxconn 6150K8MA-8EKRS Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.
  • Here's an update.  I now have sound through all speakers when I listen to music through Media Center, but have no sound at all when I listen to a DVD.  The problem is that my DVD Audio properties isn't keeping the settings I selected, as mentioned above.  Therefore, my Media Center Speaker Setup won't let me complete it.  I have to either fix the current decoder or find a new decoder.  Any suggestions on a decoder I could download that would work well????
  • Hi Joe - I have heard from a couple of other folks with similar issues and they were able to resolve their issue by changing some settings in the audio control panel application installed with their sound card.  Can you check out the control panel settings and see if there are any specific settings for DVD playback?
  • Hi there,
          I have the following hardware

    AMD Athlon 64bit 4000+
    2GB PC3200 DDR
    LanParty nF4 SLI-DR
    Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty
    Creative GigaWorks S750 7.1 THX Analogue Speakers
    Creative DDTS-100 Digital Decoder

    When I play a DVD using CyberLink PowerDVD 7 Deluxe with the Advanced Audio pack the sound quality is perfect I can either output analogue straight to the speakers or digital via coaxial or optical cable to the decoder which is connected to the speakers.

    The problem occurs when I try to play a DVD using Media Center either a DVD copied to my hard disk or a DVD in the DVD-ROM drive. Basically I can only hear effects from the Front Left and Front Right speakers and the speech is so quite its just annoying having to switch back to windows to use PowerDVD to play a DVD.

    Any ideas??

    Please e-mail me on SparksS@Beeb.Net if you have found a solution.
  • I can't get my rear speakers or center speaker working on my 5.1 surround sound. I have windows xp home edition.
  • I'm using XP Media Center and have a 5.1 Logitech / Soundblaster X-Fi setup.  When testing through the receiver or my SoundBlaster, the surround sound worked fine.  DVDs/Live TV would only play through the front two speakers though.

    The following solution was borrowed from Joe's URL:

    One thing I noticed is while doing the DVD audio setup is that in "Settings > General > Media Center Setup > Set Up Your Speakers" it had 5.1 selected, but in "Settings > DVD > Audio" (the Cineplayer decoder screen) it had only a two-speaker stereo setup showing even though the "Use System Settings" box was checked.  I unchecked the box, selected 5.1 speaker setup, and reselected the box (it stayed 5.1).

    Voila.. My surround works for both DVD and LiveTV.  Screwy solution though.

  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx
  • This article serves as a central location for all links to troubleshooting documentation that has been

  • please help as my head is about to explode ! after finally getting media center to work, i have now lost all sound on my pc, sound was fine untill i updated media centre with oct 2006 rollup 2. i have update sound driver (Realtek Semiconductor Corp. driver version but still no sound at all any where? thanks for your time ian.

  • Hi Gasman - Does removing the October 2006 Rollup restore the sound on your system?  I can try to take a look at the setup log files and see if I can figure anything out if you'd like.  You can find instructions at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/10/16/481689.aspx regarding what logs to gather and where to send them.

  • I ran the CMD several times.

    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Video" /v AudioOutputFormat /d {696E1D31-548F-4036-825F-7026C60011BD} /f

    But all I got was "Too Many paramerters" & it would n't work.

    Any Ideas?.

  • Hi Cas - The command line works fine when I try it on my machine.  That error usually means that the command line is typed incorrectly.  Can you please double-check that you're running the command exactly as it appears in the blog post?  If that still doesn't work, please post a screenshot of the error so I can take a look and see if I can figure out what is causing the error.

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