Inspiron 1525 HDMI Audio -- Not working - Audio - Laptop - Dell Community

Inspiron 1525 HDMI Audio -- Not working


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Inspiron 1525 HDMI Audio -- Not working

  • Hello,


    I am running a new Dell Inspiron 1525 with Windows Vista Home Basic.

    As this laptop has an HDMI-out, I have attempted to connect it to my LCD TV.  I am able to receive video.


    HOWEVER, no audio comes across the HDMI wire to my TV.  (At least not as configured by Dell.)


    What do I mean by the "as configured by Dell" comment?


    Under Control Panel->Sound, I only see Speakers/Headphones and Digital Output Device (SPDIF Out).  No HDMI.


    *IF* I go to the Device Manager->Sound, video and game controllers and uninstall both the SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC (including checking "remove drivers"), as well as the Intel High Definition Audio, then reboot the system:


    I see (x2) High Definition Audio Device, both with Microsoft as the vendor.

    More importantly, when I go to Control Panel->Sound, I see:

    Digital Output Device (HDMI)


    Speakers (yes, I see two of them) 

    Digital Output Device (SPDIF)


    AND, not only that, but I can actually get audio over HDMI... HOWEVER...


    a) It only outputs stereo sound -- not 5.1 surround sound (Dolby Digital or DTS).

    b) When I go to the Control Panel->Sound->HDMI->Supported Formats, select either DTS or Dolby Digital and chose "Test", a warning message stating: "Windows was unable to play the test tone.  Support for this format will be disabled" comes up (yet I do receive a beep).



    I have tried using VLC, PowerDVD (trial), Media Player Classic Home Cinema, all a no-go.


    Because I can get *some* audio to work (albeit by not using the drivers supplied by the Dell website, but rather generic Vista drivers), I'm suspecting that the hardware in the laptop itself is OK.  At the same time, if I'm out of ideas on what else to try, and as this laptop *can* be configured with a BluRay drive, I would surely *hope* that surround sound can be output from the machine via the HDMI port.


    BTW - I am have upgraded to all the latest Dell drivers/BIOS, all to no avail.



    Does this sound like a defective hardware issue with the laptop (I know it's not the rest of my system and I'm using an HDMI cable that works just fine if I connect it to *any* other device [PS3, Toshiba HD-A2, NAD SD DVD player, etc.), but cannot get this thing to work with the Dell.


    PS - I am open to trying other programs to play a DVD on -- I realize it may be user error on my part / me not configuring *something* right to transmit the proper audio stream over the HDMI cable.


    PPS - The path is as follows:

    Dell Inspiron -> HDMI - > LG LCD TV -> Digital Coax -> NAD T 763 Receiver.


    In short, the TV acts as a pass-thru for any digital audio to then be sent along to the receiver.


    Thanks in advance for any/all help.

  • Did you ever resolve this problem. I have an audio problem that is similar.


    Rex Frazier

  • This worked for my studio 540 desktop to get 5.1 surround from my ATI Radeon card (not sure if you have one).  If you do, try this, or one of the other Realtek HD Audio codecs may help.

    This link is to the Realtek website where they have their HD audio codecs.

    Click I accept, then next. Download ATI HDMI Audio Device driver. After running the install, find it in the control panel under sounds and set it up by clicking Dolby Digital and DTS as supported formats, and setting it to default device. It only shows stereo output in the control panel, but it outputs 5.1 channel Dolby Digital through my Denon 2809 AV receiver and sounds great. I know it is outputting 5.1 to my stereo because the receiver shows on the faceplate the 6 speakers being input to (5 mains plus the subwoofer), not to mention the stereo says "Dolby Digital", which confirms a true 5.1 Dolby Digital signal is being sent to it. When a stereo selection like music is being output to the stereo it only shows the 2 front speakers on the faceplate, which confirms a 2 channel stereo input. This is a real easy fix for those running their computers in their home theater with only one HDMI cable being output from their ATI Radeon HD video card to get the full surround sound capabilities of this card to work. Hopefully soon Dell can add this driver to their website and to computers shipped with ATI Radeon cards. Another good idea is to update the ATI catalyst software on the computer to the latest version, and the control center for catalyst already has a direct link to do this. Hopefully this helps those trying to run one HDMI cable from the ATI video cards for both sound and video to their home theater or HDTV.


  • I have the same problem - my new Dell Studio with the ATI card will not send audio through the HDMI port. This is disappointing as I made a point to call Dell sales and confirm verbally that this worked out of the box. After going through a few "dumb user" tests with Dell's support, they eventually pointed me to this forum and suggested I try the Realtek drivers mentioned above.

    The drivers I got were dated Jan 2009 so they were relatively new. When I got them installed and cycled the PC, I still wasn't able to get the sound to work through HDMI. Unfortunately, about 4-5 minutes after the PC came up again, it blue screened on me with a simple, depressing error message, "Your machine has malfunctioned / Please contact your hardware manufacturer". I turned it off and on and it struggled for a while and finally came up and said something like, "Windows can no longer run on this machine". It asked if I wanted to go back to a previous restore point. I said OK. About 5 minutes later it was working OK again but, of course, still no audio.

    I did email Dell back again but it's been a few days and I've not heard anything from them. I guess they've given up and it won't play audio through HDMI after all. I got the PC specifically to play Bluray discs in my home theater. It was a disappointment on several levels, especially this audio issue.

    The bottom line here is that the Realtek drivers caused more harm than they helped, at least in my case. Be careful and make sure to create a restore point before installing them.

  • Sorry to read about your troubles with the drivers.  Just to double check, did you download the "ATI HDMI Audio Device" driver (it is red in color), R2.13, dated 12/31/08?  They worked great for me.  The driver above that on the page looked a little odd to me, maybe you downloaded it (the "Vista Driver (32/64 bits) Driver only (Executable file)"  R2.14 dated 1/9/08 and blue in color).  Even if you downloaded the wrong drivers (or the right drivers), it is pretty bad that a Realtek driver would cause the blue screen of death.  If you are past 21 days and can't return your computer another option is to go to ATI's website, register your product as best you can, and get a service tag started to see if one of their techs can help you.  The Realtek for ATI HDMI Audio devices driver worked perfectly on my Studio Desktop, but it appears you may need some help beyond that to get your machine working right.  Good luck with it.


  • Gunmike1,

    Thanks a bunch for the follow up. I had indeed used the other driver so I downloaded the one you referenced to see how it would work.

    Good news: the machine didn't hang or become unable to boot windows

    Bad news: video no longer came out of the HDMI port

    Even though the screen output no longer worked, I was able to log in remotely via Remote Desktop and set up a system restore. When it was done, I was able to get the video via HDMI again. I never confirmed whether the audio actually worked - it was somewhat moot at that point.

    Disappointing bottom line: despite the promises of the Dell salesperson, I can say, at least for me, the Studio PC is poorly suited as an HTPC (Home Theater PC).

    Very disappointing bottom line: I finally heard back from Dell support via email. They didn't apologize for the hours I'd invested and the lack of results, no apologies for the fact that the salesperson misled me, they didn't offer any other suggestions to fix it, they didn't offer to talk to me on the phone to explore options, they simply gave me a telephone number I could call if I wanted to inquire about returning the PC.

  • I would return the computer if you can and get your money back still.  My computer that got replaced under warranty (too late for refund) wouldn't work no matter what I did, even set up perfectly.  I will suggest that at this point you download the latest version of ATI Catalyst software, which takes care of the video settings, and make sure you are choosing a resolution and refresh rate that match up with your screen.  It was pretty easy for me to get it to work pretty quickly when I updated the software.  The best way to update the software is to go to the ATI Catalyst control center program and  click the check for updates button.  Otherwise you can  go to ATI's website and get the software.  If you can't get it to work quickly get your computer on the first Brown truck back to Dell to get your refund while you can.  At this point it sounds like you may have a lemon like my first computer was. 

    Good luck, Mike


    My Inspiron 1525 running Vista home Premium had the same problem. I finally got audio from my digital TV by selecting "Mute Laptop Speakers" from within the Sound Control Panel. P.S. make sure you're getting video on the TV when you open the Control Panel.

  • hi there i have a dell inspiron 1525 with the same problem of not being able to setup a digital output

    please can you help.

    many thanx

  • Maybe some of the tips in the HDMI Audio FAQ will help. There is a general info section as well as sections for specific models including the 1525.

    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • Just FY everyone's I, my roomate has a 1525 and she just tried to hook an HDMI cable to her HDTV and got no sound.  This 1525 at some point has had Windows 7 installed after a format (not an upgrade) so things are a little different.  I had to go into the sound properties from the control panel and on the first tab you'll see HDMI Audio, Speakers/Headphones, and one or two other options.  You'll have to select HDMI Audio by clicking on it, then click "Set Default" at the bottom.  TV speakers came to life instantly, and when the HDMI cable is unplugged it goes back to the laptop speakers as it should.  Just my two cents worth.  =)

  • corbryant
    Just my two cents worth.  =)

    Thanks. I added your tip to the HDMI Audio FAQ -- to the section on  Inspiron 1525 with 7.

    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • Just found out the solution by pure chance (Fooling around in the Sound Configuration Settings).

    Go to: Start>Control Panel>Sound

    -In the sound menu, right click in the area under the "Playback" tab.

    -Select (Turn on, if off) "Show Disabled Devices."

    On my Dell Inspiron 17r, a new option appeared titled "MStar Demo."

    -Click on "MStar Demo" to select it, and then proceed to click "Set Default" in the drop-down tab next to the "Properties" select box.

    This should set your computer to feed audio through the connected HDMI cable and into your Television or Projector (and in my case, into a Projector, which then feeds it through an auxiliary cable to my home Sound System.

    -NOTICE the steps (as in what the tabs are named etc.) may be different if you are using a laptop other than one from DELL.


    This worked for me and also works through the HDMI Switch Box I also have (It, as most can carry audio). Hopefully it works for you to!

  • Abdul_Yakisoba
    On my Dell Inspiron 17r,

    Thanks for sharing that. I have added you to the HDMI Audio FAQ under "Inspiron 17R". "17 R" is a generic name that Dell uses for these Inspiron models: N7110, 5720, & 5721.

    If you know which one you have I can list it more accurately in the FAQ. Thanks.

    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • This also worked for my Inspiron 15R (N5110) . Dead simple, thanks heaps.