Audio and video over HDMI with EVGA nVidia GTX 260 and EVGA 780i motherboard

I have audio and video working over the HDMI cable using my EVGA nVidia GTX 260 video card, mounted on my EVGA 780i motherboard, running Vista x64. I am able to hook my computer up to my digital television with a single HDMI cable instead of separate audio and video cables, and the connection is completely digital.

You do have to install the SPDIF cable on your video card and motherboard, and configure your audio settings to get it to work, but you only have to do this once.

Here are the steps to get audio and video over a single HDMI cable working with your  EVGA nVidia GTX 260 video card and EVGA 780i motherboard on Windows Vista x64:

  1. Install the SPDIF cable that came with your EVGA nVidia GTX 260 video card. It connects from the EVGA 780i motherboard to the video card. Follow EVGA’s instructions for installing the SPDIF cable. The instructions are the same for your hardware, regardless of the fact that the instructions state they are for older versions of the hardware.
  2. Download the latest nVidia reference drivers for your video card and install them.
  3. Install the audio drivers for the Realtek chip set that came with your motherboard. After you install the drivers, you will see a new option in the Windows Control Panel called Realtek HD Audio Manager. You will find it in the category “Additional Options”, or you will see it in the alphabetical listing if you select Classic View in the Windows Control Panel. Realtek does not provide updated drivers, so unless you download updated drivers from EVGA, don’t install any other drivers. I reiterate: Do not install any drivers off of Realtek’s website.
  4. Open the Realtek HD Audio Manager from the Windows Control Panel. You will find it in the category “Additional Options”, or you will see it in the alphabetical listing if you select Classic View in the Windows Control Panel.
  5. Stay away from the “Digital Output” tab of the Realtek HD Audio Manager. This is not the setting you want. It does not affect the HDMI output.
  6. Using the “DVI to HDMI adapter” that came with your EVGA nVidia GTX 260 video card, hookup an HDMI cable from one of the DVI connectors on your EVGA nVidia GTX 260 video card to the HDMI port on your digital television and ensure that your digital television is powered on.
  7. On your digital television or other device, select the input that corresponds to the HDMI port that you have plugged your computer into.  The “HDMI Output” tab will now appear in the Realtek HD Audio Manager.
  8. In the Realtek HD Audio Manager, select the “HDMI Output” tab.
  9. On the “HDMI Output” tab of the Realtek HD Audio Manager, select the button “Set Default Device”.
  10. Reboot your computer to be sure all the setting are properly configured and your drivers are installed.
  11. Set your screen resolution to the maximum resolution that your digital television supports.
  12. If you have another display device hooked up to the EVGA nVidia GTX 260 video card, you may need to configure the Mutliple Display Settings from the nVidia Control Panel to mirror or span your desktop across both displays.

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