The HDMI output from a personal computer can be used as an 8-channel LPCM 24bits - 192 kHz digital output. It can be connected to your existing AVR that will serve as a multi channel DAC and amplifier. This tutorial describes how to make EKIO filter the sound comming from Windows applications, and send the result to an AVR via the HDMI output.
Before you start, check that the driver of your HDMI port is installed and that it works properly. Your AVR must be connected to your laptop with a HDMI cable. Audio processing should be disabled on the receiver.
The following procedure needs to be performed only once because all the settings will be kept for future use.
In the Windows Sound Manager, set Hi-Fi Cable Input as the default Playback device.
Click on Configure. Then choose the number of inputs that you need: stereo or multichannel. We choose Stereo.
Click on Next. Define all speakers as full range. Click on Next and Terminate.
In the Windows Sound Manager, select HifiCable Input and click on Properties. Go to the Advanced tab and select the following format : 24 bit, 48000 Hz (use the samplerate that you chose at step 2).
Do the same for the HDMI output. Select HDMI Output and click on Properties. Go to the Advanced tab and select the following format : 24 bit, 48000 Hz (use the samplerate that you chose at step 2).
In the "Settings" tab, select the sampling rate that you chose at step 2. Then select the ASIO4ALL driver.
Select the VB-Audio Hi-Fi Cable inputs and the HDMI output. When you select a line, select its header too or it won't be taken into account. Uncheck all of the other lines.
For the changes to take effect, you must restart the ASIO4ALL driver. For doing this, go to the Settings tab and select the driver None.
Then select ASIO4ALL again.
The changes are now applied.
Within EKIO, go to the Inputs/Outputs tab. Create, for example, two inputs and two outputs and connect them together in the Routing tab.
In the Inputs/Outputs tab, select the input channels "VB-Hi-Fi Audio Cable 1" and "VB-Audio Hi-Fi Cable 2". Select output channels 1 and 2.
Now, you can start audio processing by clicking on the playback button. Save the config on a disk if you want to load it again later.
In our example, the input channels are forwarded directly to the output channels without modification. This is not very useful.
Configure EKIO so that it executes the processing you want. Create the inputs and outputs that you need. Connect them. Set the filters, gains and delays that you want to apply.
For an in-depth description of EKIO, refer to the user manual.