How to fix 5.1 analog surround sound in Media Center 2005 Update Rollup 2

There is a known issue in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005 that causes 5.1 analog surround sound to revert to 2 channel mode.  The underlying issue is that a registry setting is being overwritten by Media Center.  You can use the following steps to add the registry value needed to fix this issue:

  1. Close Media Center

  2. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd

  3. Run the command reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Video" /v AudioOutputFormat /d {696E1D31-548F-4036-825F-7026C60011BD} /f

Note that if you re-run the Speaker Setup portion of Media Center Setup, this registry value will be reset again and you will need to re-run the above command to fix the underlying issue once more.

This issue was previously described on this NVidia support page, but I wanted to list it here as well in case anyone reading my blog runs into it as well.


Comments (29)
  1. Mike says:

    Good grief. I just spent all weekend trying to figure out what was wrong with my sound card. I’ll have to retract that email I sent to Creative. Maybe X-Fi isnt the turkey I said it was.

  2. Gary says:

    Tried everything that was stated and still have the same problem. I add the necessary info in the regestry and it stated "successful"; however, I still have the same issue. I have not messed with the MC settings as stated also.

    Anything else I can try?



  3. Hi Gary – you may want to also try to update the drivers for your sound card and video card and see if that helps. This registry key will not solve all possible instances of surround sound issues in Media Center, but rather is provided as a potential solution in some cases. I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you.

  4. BG says:

    I’ve noticed that while this helps for the surround sound speaker setup in the general area (and affects tv most directly)… it doesn’t help DVD audio and SPDIF pass through.

    Unless this manual registry fix does more than the file from NVidia.

  5. Hi BG – the manual registry fix that I listed above does the exact same thing as the file from nVidia. I just listed out the contents so you wouldn’t have to download and run a file to add this entry to your registry.

  6. jeffreyf says:

    I just bought a Dell 9300, Nvidia 6800, with MCE and the digital output is not passing AC3 when I play DVDs with Dolby Digital. Seems to only pass 2 channel 48K PCM.

    Are there some settings I need to change in MCE to get this work? Or control panel?

    I am a victim the MCE rollup 2 issue described above? Is so, would the reg fix work for me?

    Thanks for the advice!

  7. Hi Jeffreyf – I am not positive if this is the same issue as described above. Can you please try the registry fix and see if it helps in your scenario?

  8. Nogevi says:

    Well, I have the same problem. I have a Realtek soundcard and a Fujitsu Scaleo E. When I play a DVD with WinDVD the sound is great, but when I use MCE (without change any settings) the soound is poor.

    I have an analog 5.1 speaker system.

    Change the registry doesn’t work in my case.

    What can I do?… change to MythTV???

  9. Hi Nogevi – I am not sure you are running into the exact same issue if the registry fix did not work for you.  Do you have the latest audio drivers installed for your audio hardware?  Also, have you tried to re-run the speaker setup portion of Media Center setup and try to configure it for 5.1 sound again?  Also, can you define what you mean by poor sound – is it 2 channel only?  Or too quiet?  Do you hear sound from all of your speakers?

  10. willo says:

    okay. so hardware :

    P4 – 2 GIGS MEM

    7800 GS ( AGP )

    X-FI Plat.

    I have the exact same issues you guys mention… Here are some more details that might help us figure this out…

    1. I bought WIN DVD 7 Plat. Playing a DVD within WINDVD sounds great ( 5.1 Analog Out )

    With digital out, I was never able to get more than two channels… If I run MCE, I get lower fidelity, it frequently only outputs 2 channels… And with DVDs and DVD images, if I use the stereo expand function (X-FI) control panel, there is a noticable lag in the audio.

    -Okay, so I tried the registery fix and I appeared to get proper surround, thought I would say, it still does not sound as good as WinDVD

    2. Uninstall WINDVD and use NVidia’s Decoder and I don’t have the same "stuck in stereo problem" but the audio still doesn’t sounds as full as straight out of WinDVD

    I notice that on the intervideo website, they do not list WINDVD as compatible with either MCE or X-fi…

    So my theory is that there is a problem with using WinDVD in addition to this registery fix…

    I have not had time to call intervideo, but I intend to soon. When I do, I will post what they have to say…

    Thanks for posting your info… I’ll see how well this registery fix holds up…

    thanks, William

  11. sly says:

    I have my 5 surround sound speakers going to my htpc via a receiver. the pc and receiver are connected analog ((3.5mm jack to RCA Red/White), but in the nvidia settings when i choose these options and click test, i cannot hear anything from any of the speakers bar the 2 front ones.

    also all 5 speakers are fine when testing via the receiver, but when testing with nvidia only the front 2 work. I also tried soundmax and in the test only the front 2 and the centre worked. so my computer isnt using the full speakers is it? the thing is i can hear faint sound from the rear speakers, but they arnt recognised in any of the tests.

    i did the nvidia patch for 5 .1 too but nothing.

    if anybody can help please let me know, at my wits end here! took forever to set the speakers up perfectly and now im not gettin the surround effect.


  12. KLaas-Jan says:

    Or one can try and install ffdshow and let this filter take care of the audio/spdif throughput. Worked for me…..

  13. Demon says:

    When using Media Centre I can hear all the surround sound speakers working when watching DVD and listening to music but when watching Live TV only the front left and right speakers appear to work, I have made sure that all the control panel settings are on 5.1 setting but still can’t get surround sound on Live TV….

    Can anyone give me any ideas??


  14. Joe says:

    I have sound blaster pro live sound card and logitech x 530 5.1 speakers.  I can’t seem to get all of my speakers working, only 2 front speakers are working . I have done the steps above but nothing seems to be helping. if anyone has any ideas plz help me here. Thank you.

  15. AsNo says:


    Got XP Media Center and has a slightly different problem that I maybee can get some tips on how to fix?

    I have a Soundblaster Audigy 2ZS soundcard, ATI Radeon 9600 videocard, AMD 3200+, 1GB RAM etc.

    Analog 5.1 surround.

    Problem is:

    I have perfect sound in mediaplayer, Winamp and such, playing music or AVI.

    Trying to play DVD with Mediacenter is whitout sound. Music, TV and video is not affected at all!?

    Need some hints.



  16. Hi AsNo – Are you able to get sound while playing DVDs outside of Media Center?  This could be an issue with your DVD drive, your sound card or your decoder.  You might want to check the settings for those and also search for updated drivers for those devices.

  17. Joe says:

    I am having (what I think) is the exact same problem here.

    I am using the front, rear, and center/sub mini jacks on my on-board sound card on my motherboard, and running the sound through 3 mini-jack-to-RCA cables into my receiver.  

    Then, I go into my Realtek audio software (in my control panel) and this nifty program gives me the ability to test all of my speakers.  When I use this software, I am able to succesfully send and hear a sound on all 6 of my speakers.  

    However, once I leave this software I can only hear sound on the front 2 speakers.  When I go into my Volume Control, "advanced controls" is greyed out for me (which is only an available option with some soundcards, from what I’ve read on blogs).  

    If I go into Media Center, Settings, DVD, Audio (then click View Now when I get the compatibility message), I don’t have an option for Speaker Setup (which is what I was told I should be looking for at this site….  However, in that same audio settings window, if I go to the Properties tab, I do see options to choose different speaker setups (like 2 speaker, 4 speaker, 6 speaker, SPDIF, etc) but if I make a change to this (in particular choosing 6 speaker) and then hit OK, those settings don’t stick.  I know this because if I go right back into those settings I see that they’ve defaulted back to "2 speakers".  

    Also, if I go into Media Center, Settings, General, Media Center Setup, Set Up Speakers, then choose 5.1, then on the next screen hit the "test" button, I get no sound on any of the speakers.  I would expect this, though, since this is really the last step in the whole audio setup process.

    I tried running the mentioned registry add, but this did not help.

    How do I set up 5.1 in the control panel?  This is what I’m really confused about.  The only audio options in Control Panel are Volume Control (which doesn’t help cuz advanced control is greyed out) and my Realtek audio software (which is all set up correctly, and this seems to be the only place that sound is working right).  I used a Windows decoder checker ( and it found 2 decoders (Nero Video Decoder and Nero DVD Decoder) and changing preferences here doesn’t seem to help (though the utility does tell me that neither are compatible and may cause undesired results).  Am I having a decoder issue?  Did I miss a step somewhere?  

    I have literally told you everything I know so far so if I left a step out that may be what my problem is.  

    Any advice you could give would be great.  Thanks!!!!

  18. Joe says:

    oh yeah… and I have reinstalling the drivers from the cd and from the most up-to-date drivers on my motherboards site.  My motherboard is a Foxconn 6150K8MA-8EKRS Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.

  19. Joe says:

    Here’s an update.  I now have sound through all speakers when I listen to music through Media Center, but have no sound at all when I listen to a DVD.  The problem is that my DVD Audio properties isn’t keeping the settings I selected, as mentioned above.  Therefore, my Media Center Speaker Setup won’t let me complete it.  I have to either fix the current decoder or find a new decoder.  Any suggestions on a decoder I could download that would work well????

  20. Hi Joe – I have heard from a couple of other folks with similar issues and they were able to resolve their issue by changing some settings in the audio control panel application installed with their sound card.  Can you check out the control panel settings and see if there are any specific settings for DVD playback?

  21. Simon Sparks says:

    Hi there,

          I have the following hardware

    AMD Athlon 64bit 4000+

    2GB PC3200 DDR

    LanParty nF4 SLI-DR

    Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty

    Creative GigaWorks S750 7.1 THX Analogue Speakers

    Creative DDTS-100 Digital Decoder

    When I play a DVD using CyberLink PowerDVD 7 Deluxe with the Advanced Audio pack the sound quality is perfect I can either output analogue straight to the speakers or digital via coaxial or optical cable to the decoder which is connected to the speakers.

    The problem occurs when I try to play a DVD using Media Center either a DVD copied to my hard disk or a DVD in the DVD-ROM drive. Basically I can only hear effects from the Front Left and Front Right speakers and the speech is so quite its just annoying having to switch back to windows to use PowerDVD to play a DVD.

    Any ideas??

    Please e-mail me on SparksS@Beeb.Net if you have found a solution.

  22. John says:

    I can’t get my rear speakers or center speaker working on my 5.1 surround sound. I have windows xp home edition.

  23. ilija says:

    I’m using XP Media Center and have a 5.1 Logitech / Soundblaster X-Fi setup.  When testing through the receiver or my SoundBlaster, the surround sound worked fine.  DVDs/Live TV would only play through the front two speakers though.

    The following solution was borrowed from Joe’s URL:

    One thing I noticed is while doing the DVD audio setup is that in "Settings > General > Media Center Setup > Set Up Your Speakers" it had 5.1 selected, but in "Settings > DVD > Audio" (the Cineplayer decoder screen) it had only a two-speaker stereo setup showing even though the "Use System Settings" box was checked.  I unchecked the box, selected 5.1 speaker setup, and reselected the box (it stayed 5.1).

    Voila.. My surround works for both DVD and LiveTV.  Screwy solution though.

  24. This article serves as a central location for all links to troubleshooting documentation that has been

  25. gasman says:

    please help as my head is about to explode ! after finally getting media center to work, i have now lost all sound on my pc, sound was fine untill i updated media centre with oct 2006 rollup 2. i have update sound driver (Realtek Semiconductor Corp. driver version but still no sound at all any where? thanks for your time ian.

  26. Hi Gasman – Does removing the October 2006 Rollup restore the sound on your system?  I can try to take a look at the setup log files and see if I can figure anything out if you’d like.  You can find instructions at regarding what logs to gather and where to send them.

  27. Cas says:

    I ran the CMD several times.

    reg add "HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionMedia CenterServiceVideo" /v AudioOutputFormat /d {696E1D31-548F-4036-825F-7026C60011BD} /f

    But all I got was "Too Many paramerters" & it would n't work.

    Any Ideas?.

  28. Hi Cas – The command line works fine when I try it on my machine.  That error usually means that the command line is typed incorrectly.  Can you please double-check that you're running the command exactly as it appears in the blog post?  If that still doesn't work, please post a screenshot of the error so I can take a look and see if I can figure out what is causing the error.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content