[alsa-devel] Missing 4-channel support on older NVIDIA MCP HW

Stephen Warren swarren at nvidia.com
Mon Aug 30 19:11:09 CEST 2010

It looks like even though some NVIDIA MCPs have min/max channel of 2/8, not
all HW supports the intermediate # channels (4 and 6) over HDMI. Various
combinations are supported on various HW: 2, 2/8, 2/6/8, 2/4/6/8.

At present, when an application uses an unsupported number of channels,
playback appears to operate correctly, but the HW doesn't actually send the
audio data over HDMI.

Is it possible for patch_nvhdmi.c to simply program codec the HW in 8-channel
mode even though the controller is only sending 4-/6-channel data? I'm not
sure if this would cause the codec to get out of sync with the controller's
data stream. Would the controller end up grabbing 8 channels worth of data
from the stream at a time, have no way to synchronize to the start of each
sample, and hence end up packing e.g. 2 complete 4 channel samples into a
single 8 channel sample?

If not, it seems that patch_nvhdmi.c should be modified so that each codec's
_open() function returns an error for unsupported rates. I can code that up
if we need.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's possible for applications to query
this information from ALSA, since a hw_params_t exposes just a min/max
channel count rather than a mask.


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