How to get one audio source for 2 separate screens connected to 1 comp?
January 17, 2017 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I have my computer connected to two separate screens in different parts of one room. Strangely, if I want to play sound from the computer, I have to change source on my AV receiver depending on which screen I'm using: If using the monitor, then I need to use 'Line In 1', if the TV, then 'Optical'. Why is it not just using Line In 1 - which is what connects my computer to the Yamaha receiver? What do I need to do to only use 1 source with both screens? Thanks :)


Computer is connected to the TV with an Optical cable; it is connected to the Monitor with Displayport. The computer is connected to the AV receiver with L+R Line In cables.
AV Receiver is a Yamaha RN500.
posted by McFizzle to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
In your computer's audio settings, is output set to Line out?
posted by randomkeystrike at 12:52 PM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Computer is connected to the TV with an Optical cable" are you sure? I'd expect it to be likely a HDMI cable.

What's likely happening is that when you're on your Monitor, your computer is happily sending the audio down the L+R cables, when you flip to the TV the computer starts sending video AND audio down the HDMI cable. Your TV is then hooked up to your AV controller, so you need to tell the AV controller 'Hey, flip to Optical to get the sound that's been passed to the TV from the computer'.

You should be able to tell your computer (under sound properties) to not use the HDMI for audio and instead continue using the L+R cables.
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:53 PM on January 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Displayport carries audio signal as well as video. What OS is your computer? Someone might be able to tell you how to set it to prefer the line in when using that video.
posted by advicepig at 12:53 PM on January 17, 2017

On a recent Mac it's:
- System Preferences (usually in the toolbar; grey gear icon)
- Sound (2nd row, speaker icon)
- Select Output in the bar near the top if it's not selected/blue

You should see all your available options, one of which should be "headphone port"
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:47 PM on January 17, 2017

If the computer is only connected to the receiver by RCA cables, I wouldn't expect you to hear any sound (from the speakers connected to the receiver at least) when the receiver is set to "Optical."

I suspect what you posted isn't a complete accounting of what's connected to what.
posted by lozierj at 2:13 PM on January 17, 2017

I think I'm missing something here. If you have an optical connection from the PC to TV, what is the video connection? I assume you mean the optical connection is from the PC to the receiver.

Regardless, it seems like your PC is doing some auto-switching. Are you plugging in the monitor with HDMI or something?

On Windows 10, at least, when you plug in a display via a connector that has audio support, Windows will automatically make it the default audio device. You should be able to change it (right-click volume icon, "Playback Devices").

If your PC is connected to the receiver via optical, you should be able to just keep the output on the optical. You may have to switch output devices in Windows when you plug stuff in, but you should be able to leave the receiver alone.

(qualifications: I use the optical output on my PC all the time. Fuck analog.)
posted by neckro23 at 9:20 AM on January 18, 2017

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