Secrets Q & A

Graphics Cards with HDMI output and 5.1 Audio?

Question:
I currently have a Windows 7 PC connected to my TV via VGA and stereo audio. I use this setup to watch Netflix and Hulu. I would like to be able to get 5.1 sound, which Netflix (and maybe Hulu) says they support if the hardware in the PC supports it. Are there graphic cards that have HDMI output that also include 5.1 audio over the HDMI cable? I should then be able to connect it to say a Yamaha RX-V375 receiver and have 5.1 audio.

- Ken L
Boston, Mass

Answer:
While the earliest graphics cards with HDMI lacked any audio support, virtually all contemporary discrete (and even most integrated) GPU solutions which feature HDMI output do incorporate multichannel audio. Once you install such a card and its related drivers you will find you have a new audio device which can be used by your playback software of choice, or can be set as the default audio device for the the PC as a whole. Refer to figure above.