For a few years know I’ve not been able to get stereo sound (or any sound) out of my Raspberry Pi boards. From the Pi 2 to the newer Pi 3. About a year? ago got a clue it might be that the combo of an HDMI cable and DVI adapter might be the problem. More recently found that HDMI protocol has a secret handshake thing it must do or it just doesn’t work. I have no idea if my adapter does that right, but I do get video through it, so I guess so.
OK, I’d basically given up on using the Pi 3 as a media station and moved the Chromebox over to do that (it works great BTW). Then added a Roku to the TV so getting Kodi going is kind of way back burner for me, now.
Still, it nagged at me. Other folks seemed to get sound out of the Pi OK, why not me?
Well, today that “round toit” landed in my lap. I took down my computer set up, moved the Pi Dogbone Stack to the bedroom. Connected the HDMI cable to it instead of the Chromebox. Added a dropcord for power. Fought with networking for a while (move from wired to wireless, had to comment out eth0 to force the gateway wireless). Fired it up. Got the TV happy on aspect ratio. Posted some comments.
Then launched Youtube.
At first, didn’t hear anything and thought “Crap”… then noticed some soft sounds of Lady Gaga Edge Of Glory at the limit of my hearing. Grabbed the remote… Oh, so the signal out is ‘way soft’, got it. I presently have the Toshiba set to “62” on the volume and it is “OK” not loud. Normally I run it at 9 with occasional use of 12 to 14 on very soft TV. The occasional 20 ish on things that are abominably soft. But I have sound!
It isn’t about me configuring sound wrong. I didn’t need to do anything to make the sound part go other than plug in a real HDMI cable to a real HDMI TV.
The Pi 3 has a very low signal level on the output. I have no idea if that is configurable or just “live with it”. Don’t really care much, though.
While I could use the Pi 3 to drive the TV, I’m happier using the Chromebox. It’s already sunk cost so that it runs about the same as 6 Pi boards doesn’t matter. The sound out levels are fine already, and I can easily use my bluetooth headset with it. It’s small enough and has fewer connections needed (using an integrated bluetooth compact sized keyboard and trackpad…) and looks nice with the TV. Were I going to run a video system like Kodi to get loads of stuff without legal niceties, I’d look to the Pi, but I’m not doing that.
I need a new HDMI based monitor. The one I have is OK, but it’s about 15? 20? years old already. Originally the old PC video in, and the DVI was there but I never used it. That’s how old it is. For about $100 I can get a nice similar sized HDTV (720p or 720i) and be done with it; while getting TV at my desk too ;-) Solves the sound problem. Solves the TV in the office problem. Lets me move the old monitor onto an old computer instead of swapping cables. I’ll likely do that in a 1/2 a year or so, if it ever really reaches top of the issues pile.
And, the biggie, IF any one is having “sound problems” with a Pi, make sure you plug it into a real HDMI TV first to sort out that “it isn’t you” and it’s the monitor / cable / adapter…