Author Topic: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide  (Read 10212 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2018, 06:37:32 PM »

Ari,

After a couple of months of use and integrating the HTPC into my new home theater setup, I'll update where I am with it and where I'd like to go with everything.
I've transferred all media content to the HTPC and subscribed to Plex but haven't yet spent much time streaming due to too many other things which have taken priority.  However, the overall HTPC system has integrated wonderfully into the new home theater setup in all aspects and the movies have been wonderfully displayed from the HTPC.  With the exception of the Logitech keyboard and the Happauge remote.  It's not the amount of time that each glacially responds, it's the fact that they both randomly don't respond at all and require a reboot of the HTPC.  Completely unexpected and I've taken both out of the system and connected a USB mouse and keyboard which work wonderfully without the need to reboot.  I just have the wires to deal with as I cannot get the HTPC to recognize a wireless MAC bluetooth mouse or keyboard. Does this system (GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3 AMD RYZEN AM4 B350) have an independent bluetooth capability or do I need to add that?
Which is a segue into my next question.  Is there any system you'd recommend which will integrate a screen (Ipad, Samsung, anything) into a smart home control system which will control the HTPC, WinTV Quad HD Tuner, home theater and smart home features?  The closest thing I've found is the high end logitech harmony but I'm not sure it will handle Windows 10 and the tuner.  Is the Echo Show capable of doing Windows 10 and everything on the HTPC?  I have the FLIRC USB module but haven't had time to integrate that yet.
Did I mention smart home?  Another jumping off point.  Your site is my go to place for everything I've done since the purchase and building of the HTPC. My basement has undergone dramatic changes fitting my house around the HTPC and not the other way around.  Now I'm going to replace the lighting in the home theater and with the drop ceiling already in place, I want to replace the overpowering and non-dimmable fluorescent lighting with smart bulb technology which will be able to integrate with future movies that incorporate such lighting into the movie as well as day to day lighting for the home theater.  I will use the home theater as a jumping off point and experimental testbed for making the rest of the house smart.  Your recommendations of the Wink Hub 2 are where I plan to go but I need some guidance on the actual lighting.  It seems recessed cans would be preferable over the commercial electric LED downlights because I'd be able to use the SYLVANIA SMART+ ZigBee Full Color RT 5/6 Recessed Lighting Kit along with a light or two for task lighting at certain seats in the home theater. Please educate me whether I've misinterpreted your presentations and recommendations.
Thanks again, Ari, as this site is unbeatable,
Gene

Hey there, Gene - glad to hear you're happy with your HTPC overall.

There are a lot of questions here, so let me start with the first: the keyboard and remote. Can you specify which models you're using? Your system does not have built-in bluetooth (very few motherboards include that feature), so if you wanted to use Bluetooth peripherals, you'd need to add a receiver. But honestly, proprietary wireless is usually better, especially Logitech's, so we should be able to get it working.

The closest thing I can think of for control of your PC via smartphone is an app that comes bundled with Cyberlink Power DVD. If you're watching any disc-based material, that's a package you'd want anyway. But it doesn't have Smart Home, and actually if you already have a Logitech Harmony Ultimate, that's actually what you'd want to use. And when used in combination with the FLIRC USB receiver, it will indeed control your PC.

So, in short, I think you just need to tinker a bit more with what you already have before you go buying more gear!

Now, as for your Smart Home lighting, the Commercial Electric Downlights are a much more cost-effective solution that the Sylvania Smart+ Color kit. Note that the links above are to Amazon, but Commercial Electric products are much easier to find in stock at Home Depot. The Sylvania products offer RGB colors, but unless you really need that, the Commercial Electric's tunable color temperature should probably be enough in terms of customization. You can absolutely mix and match brands when using the Wink Hub 2, so there's no reason to stick to Sylvania recessed lights just to use its bulbs for task lighting.

htpc123

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #76 on: March 16, 2018, 02:08:16 PM »
Hey - I built a minor variation of this PC (upped the graphics to give it a bit more oomph), and it's been working great except that I regularly see the BSOD when I start up the PC.  It then restarts and works normally.  I'll also get the BSOD sometimes during operation (though less frequently), and again it will restart and work normally afterward.  I'm running Windows 10 and the error is usually "What failed - MEMORY MANAGEMENT" but sometimes I'll see something else similar but not identical, i.e. "What failed - NTFS.sys".  I've tried updating all drivers, following instructions from a few "So you've got BSOD" type articles online, but with no luck.  Wondering if there's some insight on here?

The build:

GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3 AMD RYZEN AM4 B350 RGB Fusion Smart Fan 5 HDMI1.4 M.2 SATA 6Gbps USB 3.1 Type-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor (YD160XBCAEWOF)

Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4 premium-grade low-profile CPU cooler for AMD AM4

Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 (2280) SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Solid State Drive (CT525MX300SSD4)

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2666 (PC4-21300) C16 1.2V for AMD Ryzen and Intel 200 - Black - CMK16GX4M2Z2666C16

ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Dual-fan OC Edition VR Ready Dual HDMI DP 1.4 Gaming Graphics Card (DUAL-GTX1060-O6G)

EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3, 80 Plus Gold 550W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 7 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-G3-0550-Y1

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 08:43:56 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #77 on: March 16, 2018, 08:48:39 PM »
Hey - I built a minor variation of this PC (upped the graphics to give it a bit more oomph), and it's been working great except that I regularly see the BSOD when I start up the PC.  It then restarts and works normally.  I'll also get the BSOD sometimes during operation (though less frequently), and again it will restart and work normally afterward.  I'm running Windows 10 and the error is usually "What failed - MEMORY MANAGEMENT" but sometimes I'll see something else similar but not identical, i.e. "What failed - NTFS.sys".  I've tried updating all drivers, following instructions from a few "So you've got BSOD" type articles online, but with no luck.  Wondering if there's some insight on here?

The build:

GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3 AMD RYZEN AM4 B350 RGB Fusion Smart Fan 5 HDMI1.4 M.2 SATA 6Gbps USB 3.1 Type-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor (YD160XBCAEWOF)

Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4 premium-grade low-profile CPU cooler for AMD AM4

Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 (2280) SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Solid State Drive (CT525MX300SSD4)

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2666 (PC4-21300) C16 1.2V for AMD Ryzen and Intel 200 - Black - CMK16GX4M2Z2666C16

ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Dual-fan OC Edition VR Ready Dual HDMI DP 1.4 Gaming Graphics Card (DUAL-GTX1060-O6G)

EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3, 80 Plus Gold 550W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 7 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-G3-0550-Y1

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the TBG Forum, htpc123!

All of those parts are definitely compatible, so it's a matter of doing some trouble-shooting to figure out why you're getting bluescreens. You say you're getting BSOD at startup. Can you be more specific? Does it bluescreen sometime between when you see the Windows logo appear and when you'd arrive at the start screen? If so, that's almost certainly a driver issue. Bluescreens before Windows even begins to load would indicate a hardware instability, and bluescreens during operation can be a number of things, including application instability.

Just to confirm, are you running everything at stock settings? You might try updating the firmware on the motherboard, which will not only ensure that you have all the latest bug fixes, but will also clear any manual settings that could be causing an issue.

You might also try running just one stick of RAM. It's possible you have a bad stick of memory, but the NTFS.sys error points to a disk error, so it seems something else might be causing both.

htpc123

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2018, 11:11:07 AM »
Thanks for the response! I tried updating the motherboard's firmware/BIOS, but I seem to still be getting blue screens.  I am running everything at stock settings.

As more context, the BSODs most commonly they occur after bootup and before Windows starts.  The reason given on screen does also seem to vary.  The most recent BSOD I saw read "Kernel Security Check Failure". 

Hey - I built a minor variation of this PC (upped the graphics to give it a bit more oomph), and it's been working great except that I regularly see the BSOD when I start up the PC.  It then restarts and works normally.  I'll also get the BSOD sometimes during operation (though less frequently), and again it will restart and work normally afterward.  I'm running Windows 10 and the error is usually "What failed - MEMORY MANAGEMENT" but sometimes I'll see something else similar but not identical, i.e. "What failed - NTFS.sys".  I've tried updating all drivers, following instructions from a few "So you've got BSOD" type articles online, but with no luck.  Wondering if there's some insight on here?

The build:

GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3 AMD RYZEN AM4 B350 RGB Fusion Smart Fan 5 HDMI1.4 M.2 SATA 6Gbps USB 3.1 Type-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor (YD160XBCAEWOF)

Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4 premium-grade low-profile CPU cooler for AMD AM4

Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 (2280) SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Solid State Drive (CT525MX300SSD4)

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2666 (PC4-21300) C16 1.2V for AMD Ryzen and Intel 200 - Black - CMK16GX4M2Z2666C16

ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Dual-fan OC Edition VR Ready Dual HDMI DP 1.4 Gaming Graphics Card (DUAL-GTX1060-O6G)

EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3, 80 Plus Gold 550W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 7 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-G3-0550-Y1

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the TBG Forum, htpc123!

All of those parts are definitely compatible, so it's a matter of doing some trouble-shooting to figure out why you're getting bluescreens. You say you're getting BSOD at startup. Can you be more specific? Does it bluescreen sometime between when you see the Windows logo appear and when you'd arrive at the start screen? If so, that's almost certainly a driver issue. Bluescreens before Windows even begins to load would indicate a hardware instability, and bluescreens during operation can be a number of things, including application instability.

Just to confirm, are you running everything at stock settings? You might try updating the firmware on the motherboard, which will not only ensure that you have all the latest bug fixes, but will also clear any manual settings that could be causing an issue.

You might also try running just one stick of RAM. It's possible you have a bad stick of memory, but the NTFS.sys error points to a disk error, so it seems something else might be causing both.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #79 on: March 20, 2018, 11:42:25 AM »
OK, this is starting to sound like a driver issue. Bluescreens during boot occur when a driver fails to load properly. If you had a true hardware failure, you wouldn't get into the Windows loading screen.

Have you installed the AMD chipset driver? It's a huge (>1GB) download). Also, just in case, pull out one stick of memory to eliminate RAM issues to the extent possible.

htpc123

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #80 on: March 20, 2018, 12:53:32 PM »
OK, this is starting to sound like a driver issue. Bluescreens during boot occur when a driver fails to load properly. If you had a true hardware failure, you wouldn't get into the Windows loading screen.

Have you installed the AMD chipset driver? It's a huge (>1GB) download). Also, just in case, pull out one stick of memory to eliminate RAM issues to the extent possible.

I'll try that. Not sure I've downloaded the AMD chipset driver you're referring to... I haven't found any chipset driver downloads that big.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2018, 01:15:26 PM »
OK, this is starting to sound like a driver issue. Bluescreens during boot occur when a driver fails to load properly. If you had a true hardware failure, you wouldn't get into the Windows loading screen.

Have you installed the AMD chipset driver? It's a huge (>1GB) download). Also, just in case, pull out one stick of memory to eliminate RAM issues to the extent possible.

I'll try that. Not sure I've downloaded the AMD chipset driver you're referring to... I haven't found any chipset driver downloads that big.

Check this Gigabyte website page for chipset driver options on the Gigabyte B350 Gaming 3. The newest version is actually smaller than the previous 1.26GB version. You can probably use either - the larger version is what is installed on TBG's test system.

htpc123

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2018, 01:26:03 PM »
OK, this is starting to sound like a driver issue. Bluescreens during boot occur when a driver fails to load properly. If you had a true hardware failure, you wouldn't get into the Windows loading screen.

Have you installed the AMD chipset driver? It's a huge (>1GB) download). Also, just in case, pull out one stick of memory to eliminate RAM issues to the extent possible.

I'll try that. Not sure I've downloaded the AMD chipset driver you're referring to... I haven't found any chipset driver downloads that big.

Check this Gigabyte website page for chipset driver options on the Gigabyte B350 Gaming 3. The newest version is actually smaller than the previous 1.26GB version. You can probably use either - the larger version is what is installed on TBG's test system.

Thanks - I'll give this a try when I get a chance and let you know how it goes.

geneatwell

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #83 on: April 23, 2018, 03:46:18 PM »

Hey there, Gene - glad to hear you're happy with your HTPC overall.

There are a lot of questions here, so let me start with the first: the keyboard and remote. Can you specify which models you're using? Your system does not have built-in bluetooth (very few motherboards include that feature), so if you wanted to use Bluetooth peripherals, you'd need to add a receiver. But honestly, proprietary wireless is usually better, especially Logitech's, so we should be able to get it working.

The closest thing I can think of for control of your PC via smartphone is an app that comes bundled with Cyberlink Power DVD. If you're watching any disc-based material, that's a package you'd want anyway. But it doesn't have Smart Home, and actually if you already have a Logitech Harmony Ultimate, that's actually what you'd want to use. And when used in combination with the FLIRC USB receiver, it will indeed control your PC.

So, in short, I think you just need to tinker a bit more with what you already have before you go buying more gear!

Now, as for your Smart Home lighting, the Commercial Electric Downlights are a much more cost-effective solution that the Sylvania Smart+ Color kit. Note that the links above are to Amazon, but Commercial Electric products are much easier to find in stock at Home Depot. The Sylvania products offer RGB colors, but unless you really need that, the Commercial Electric's tunable color temperature should probably be enough in terms of customization. You can absolutely mix and match brands when using the Wink Hub 2, so there's no reason to stick to Sylvania recessed lights just to use its bulbs for task lighting.

Ari,
I've been tinkering again with my HTPC and this is now where I am.  I'll ignore the lighting questions in the quote above because that's not where I'm concentrating and the keyboard and mouse are almost completely unnecessary with what I've learned so far.  However, below will show you where I now need assistance.

My system is Windows 10 using a GeForce GTX 1050 display adapter with output via HDMI to an A/V receiver.

The windows 10 system is as unreliable as any I've used.  By that I mean that when I try to use the Power DVD 17 or Plex to play movies contained on the Western Digital WDC60, I don't ever know whether there will be sound or not.  When there is no sound, I need to reboot the computer 3 to 8 times while doing nothing else to eventually regain the sound. Very irritating.  Any ideas about that?  I thought it had to do with Windows wanting to update itself, but that's not the case exclusively although that is the cause at times.

The system (A/V box, computer and projector) will display HDR and Cyberlink's Power DVD 17 offers to utilize that at times and then it switches the display to HDR and it's a noticeable improvement.  However, when I go back to just the Windows Desktop after I close the DVD software, I have to access the settings->Display->"HDR and advanced color" page and turn off the HDR because the screen is unreadable in the HDR mode.  Additionally, Power DVD 17 does not always offer to use the HDR option so my questions are these: 1. Why does HDR not turn off or on automatically with Power DVD 17? 2. Why is the Desktop text unreadable (resolution at the Windows' recommended 3840X2160) in the HDR mode and not with HDR turned off?

I'm using a Harmony 650 and Flirc and both are working together just fine.  Response time is no problem and teaching Flirc using newly created buttons on the 650 is easy and functional especially with Ctrl-Alt combinations to launch programs and websites on the Windows' desktop using keyboard shortcuts.  However, I'm having problems controlling the Power DVD software using the Harmony 650 Cyberlink DVD default keypad.  Is there another Cyberlink option I'm missing for the 650 which is compatible instead of the Cyberlink DVD keypad I'm using?  Also, I taught the 650 software to use the two large arrow keys between the Menu/Exit and Info/Guide keys to utilize the Page Up and Page Down keys on the Flirc Keyboard and those keys do multiple pages at a time instead of just a single page.  I've taken a look at the Cyberlink Keyboard shortcuts and it's not helping.

Additionally, I have the Happauge 1609 WinTV Quad HD tuner and I'm attempting to use the Hauppauge DVR keypad with the Harmony 650 and there isn't a single key which is defined and I'm curious whether that is the correct keypad for that tuner?  The Happauge website for keyboard shortcuts is also not very complete as there's no way to select anything but a single tuner and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to go to the Menu->Four Tuner PIP using a keyboard shortcut nor does the Hauppauge remote control allow that to happen either.

So, is there anyplace to find answers to these questions?

Thanks again Ari,

Gene

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #84 on: April 24, 2018, 10:51:58 PM »
Gene,

I really don't have answers to these questions, other than the one on HDR - what PowerDVD is doing to replicate HDR from non-HDR material, which what I assume you're watching, causes artifacts in fonts, etc., meaning it's hard to read your screen. Do you have an HDR-capable TV? Unless you have that plus either HDR streaming content or HDR 4K discs, you're not seeing true HDR.

In terms of the audio issues, this is probably due to having multiple audio devices connected to your system. I would suggest double-checking whether the PC is attempting to send audio via HDMI, for example. THis is one of the challenges of using a PC as a home theater device - you sometimes need to manually manage the audio devices.

geneatwell

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #85 on: April 25, 2018, 07:45:20 AM »
Ari,
Again, thanks for taking the time to respond.  I'll keep hacking away.
Gene

bigkid

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #86 on: May 28, 2018, 04:42:21 AM »
Hi Ari.

Thanks very much for the timely article on this HTPC Build. Just what I was looking for :-) This will be the second PC I have put together, so I am a bit of a novice and I have a couple of queries.

I will be using this unit for HTPC duties only, no gaming. But I will want it to handle whatever video and audio that I might to throw at it, including 4K video files and video from ultra HD Blu-rays. Iíll be upgrading the optical disc player in the build to the Pioneer BDR-211EBK 16x Internal Blu-Ray Writer for the Ultra Blu-Rays (and any other media on optical disc). But I was wondering about the on-board graphics with the Ryzen 5 2400G, which you the suggest as an alternative for the build and therefore perhaps eliminating the need for a separate video card. You make some positive comments about this processor. But, assuming I have the necessary software, do you think it is sufficient to provide glitch free 4K and ultra HD Blu-ray without a discrete video card? Or, will I need the card?

Also, in regard to the memory, a subject which is totally beyond me 😊, I can get the Corsair 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 3000MHz Vengeance for the same price here in Australia as the 3200MHz version. Is there any advantage in going with the faster memory?

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Allan
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 04:44:07 AM by bigkid »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #87 on: May 28, 2018, 05:01:48 AM »
Hi Ari.

Thanks very much for the timely article on this HTPC Build. Just what I was looking for :-) This will be the second PC I have put together, so I am a bit of a novice and I have a couple of queries.

I will be using this unit for HTPC duties only, no gaming. But I will want it to handle whatever video and audio that I might to throw at it, including 4K video files and video from ultra HD Blu-rays. Iíll be upgrading the optical disc player in the build to the Pioneer BDR-211EBK 16x Internal Blu-Ray Writer for the Ultra Blu-Rays (and any other media on optical disc). But I was wondering about the on-board graphics with the Ryzen 5 2400G, which you the suggest as an alternative for the build and therefore perhaps eliminating the need for a separate video card. You make some positive comments about this processor. But, assuming I have the necessary software, do you think it is sufficient to provide glitch free 4K and ultra HD Blu-ray without a discrete video card? Or, will I need the card?

Also, in regard to the memory, a subject which is totally beyond me 😊, I can get the Corsair 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 3000MHz Vengeance for the same price here in Australia as the 3200MHz version. Is there any advantage in going with the faster memory?

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Allan

Welcome to the forum Allan!

Good questions you have. The easy one is the memory - the memory choice is pretty simple, get whichever is cheaper or in stock. They perform nearly identically.

In terms of the UHD player, things are more complicated. There are serious content restrictions that make playing UHD discs very difficult on a PC. As far as I know, you cannot use a Ryzen processor, but honestly, I'm no longer closely following the latest updates on UHD access on PC, as it was just too restrictive to recommend. I'd suggest you stick to an Intel processor, but I believe you'll need to use something higher than a Pentium, as again there are content restrictions. I'd suggest you look at the FAQ for use of the Pioneer drive. I wouldn't worry about built-in video not being handle video playback. That's not going to be an issue.

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #88 on: May 28, 2018, 06:51:05 PM »
Thanks Ari. Appreciate the advice. I'll have a bit of a think on it and look into the Intel options. It may be that UHD is too hard at the moment and waiting might be a better option. Cheers, Allan

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #89 on: July 16, 2018, 01:22:01 PM »
Ari,
At the bottom is a list of what I've installed as a result of your hard work and this amazing website to build my HTPC which is connected via HDMI to a Dolby Atmos capable Marantz 8802A Network A/V Pre amp (http://us.marantz.com/us/products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=avseparates&ProductId=AV8802A).  All software /firmware is up to date and there are no hardware conflicts of any sort on the computer.
The Harmony remote has been trained to perform the following activites:
1. turn my Win-TV Tuner and all associated devices on and off to view OTA broadcasts,
2. turn my plex app in windows and all associated devices on and off to watch downloaded movies,
3. turn the PowerDVD software for viewing downloaded movies and all associated devices on and off,
4. turn the radio tuner and all associated devices to listen to radio stations on and off,
5. turn the Windows screen to view Youtube and all associated devices on and off,
6. turn the Windows Screen to view Amazon Prime movies and all associated devices on and off
These are all accomplished through the USB FLIRC using shortcuts and other magic associated with FLIRC which allows key mapping to control all devices while they are on from the Harmony Remote. I mention this because I'm not a neophyte when it comes to software or computers and I'm very comfortable with the command line on a MAC, Windows or Linux computer.

Way cool, except I cannot convince the Windows 10 software to communicate to the Marantz in any multi-channel conversation other than stereo.  The two choices I have for Windows Playback devices are the Digital Audio (S/PDIF) (High Definition Audio Device) which doesn't use HDMI and the Marantz-AVR (High Definition Audio Device) which only sends a stereo two channel signal or a stereo surround signal through HDMI. It used to send a 5.1 signal and other signals besides stereo, but no longer.
 
I've installed Dolby Atmos for Windows 10 in an attempt to fix the problem and after extensive discussions with Dolby Techs and multiple install/uninstall iterations of the Dolby Access app for Windows 10, the best we could manage was to configure the PC Spatial Sound Format of Windows for Dolby Atmos using either "Windows Sonic for Headphones" or "Dolby Atmos for Headphones", but no option for "Dolby Atmos for Home Theater" is displayed.  (I use the computer for movies and not games so the headphone options are not of any use.) Dolby suggested the problem was with Windows 10 (like they didn't know?) and today I phoned Microsoft.
 
Gary, the phone tech I reached at Microsoft, said the problem was caused by a recent windows 10 upgrade which can only be fixed by rolling back to a previous version of Windows 10. However, since my update is more than 21 days old, that's not now possible. His admission was only after he very thoroughly searched the computer remotely to find any other reason to not own up to why it wasn't working properly looking at memory, software, storage, legal copy of Windows, configurations, hardware, etc..  Again, Gary, the microsoft help desk rep, acknowledged it was the current version of Windows 10 which is causing the problem and he had the gall to ask whether I'd want to pay Microsoft to fix their sound issue created by their most recent update which is exacerbated by artificially stopping all abilities to return to an earlier windows version to a randomly chosen 21 days.  Being a responsible upgrade citizen in the Microsoft world is not a good place to hedge your bets.

Separately, each time I turn on the Marantz to watch movies or TV, I have to reboot the computer because Windows often doesn't recognize the Marantz until it's been rebooted (I keep the HTPC on 24/7 for access from multiple sources) and sometimes it takes multiple reboots.  On the occasions where it does recognize the Marantz as a sound option, it won't send any signal to the speakers which also requires a reboot or two.  So, I've got this wonderfully capable HTPC, again, thanks to your hard work, and another perfectly capable Dolby Atmos Pre Amp, but no way for the two of them to talk via HDMI except in Stereo as a direct result of Microsofts' latest update to Windows 10.

Sorry for the rant, but would you have any workarounds to send multi-channel HDMI sound signals from Windows 10 before I install Linux on this HTPC?

Thanks,
Gene


1. Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra upgraded to 17
2. LG Electronics 14x SATA Blu-ray Internal Rewriter without Software
3. WD 6TB Blue Desktop Hard Disk Drive 5400RPM SATA 6Gb s 64MB Cache Model WD60EZRZ
4. AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Processor with Wraith Spire Cooler
5. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card
6. Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz C15 Desktop Memory Kit
7. SilverStone Technology Grandia Series Aluminum HTPC Computer Case for ATX / SSI-CEB
8. GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3 AMD RYZEN AM4 B350 M.2 SATA 6Gbps USB 9. 3.1 Type-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard
10. HAUPPAUGE WinTV-quadHD PCI Express TV Tuner Card 1609
11. FLIRC USB (2nd Generation) Universal Remote Control Receiver for Media Centers and Set Top Boxes
12. 2 of ARCTIC F12 PWM Rev.2 - Standard Low Noise PWM Controlled Case Fan
13. Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 (2280) Internal Solid State Drive
14. EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3, 80 Plus Gold 550W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan
15. Creative Sound Blaster Zx PCIe Gaming Sound Card
16. Microsoft Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive
17. Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All in One Remote Control