Volume of my HTPC was extremely low

Although the volume of Windows was still 100%, I recently had to push the volume of my surround system from 8 (as used usually) to 28 to ear the sound of movies and cartoons played on my HTPC.

The problem was Windows 8 did (mysteriously) lost the configuration of the speakers. They used to be configured as 5.1 and appeared to be now configured in stereo.

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I recently tried to upgrade Media Browser from version 2 to version 3 on my HTPC. It was not a success because Media Browser 3 comes with a client part and a server part. If the server part is not running (locally on on the LAN), the client part can't run either. And the server part might not run on my HTPC because it may only start if the windows shell starts (it's not a Windows Service but a Startup Program instead) - shell that is not running on my HTPC as it has been replaced with Windows Media Center.

After this trial, I did re-install Media Browser 2. Although I would be quite surprised if that would be true, this is maybe why the configuration of the speakers went back to "stereo" instead 5.1 ?!

To check what was wrong, I had to close Windows Media Center using F4 (as not only it replaces the Windows shell, but it is also run without any "close" feature thanks to the option /mediamode).

I did call the Task Manager (CTRL-Shift-Del) and run a new Task: Explorer, to get a Windows Shell. I was next able to check the Sound System Properties.

  1. Right-Click the "Speakers" icon in the systray.
  2. Select "Open Volume Mixer".
  3. Click the "Speakers" icon in the "Device" column of the "Volume Mixer" window. This is going to open the "Speakers Properties" window

The Speakers where configured in stereo. I did reconfigured them as 5.1.

Next, in the "Enhancement" tab of the "Speakers Properties" window, I did re-enable the "Loudness Equalization" and "Speaker Fill".

Spearkers Enhancements

Spearkers Enhancements

I did next log-off and restart a session. The issue was solved.

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