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Audio, Passthrough and Optical
I have two questions that have been bugging me for a while:

  1. Why is it impossible to control the volume whilst passthrough is in use (for example, when using Digital via Optical output)
  2. Is it possible to activate multiple audio outputs at the same time. For example, having Optical output and HDMI output working simultaeneously?

Thanks for any responses,

Passthrough is working as it's designed. It means sending the audio to the receiver without any processing what so ever. It lets the receiver do the work. Since XBMC isn't doing any sound processing in that case, the volume control can't work. Very useful to let the receiver do the work of decoding AC3 and DTS streams, especially as the receiver is generally better at it, plus a bit easier on the PC as it doesn't have to decode the audio stream.

If you want to get fancy, if you are using HDMI, you could look into the Pulse-Eight USB-CEC adapter. It would let you control a bunch of stuff directly from XBMC.

There is a dual audio patch. There is plenty of info on the forums that is uncovered with the search button.

I see. Thanks for sharing the dual audio patch. I will see if I can make a Linux addition which does the same thing from the provided source.

So is there a way to use Optical audio without passthrough?
Yes. Try turning off the AC3 & DTS capable receiver options in Settings. That will make XBMC do the decoding, but it will let you control the volume.

Audio, Passthrough and Optical00