Ubuntu On Sony Vaio FW Series

Tips & Tricks related to Sony Vaio FW series laptops

Make it Surround

with 7 comments

If you have movies with 5.1 or 4 channels, e.g. DVD, Blue-Ray etc. You can listen all this channels in you headphones! Without any expensive sound system.

Our Realtek chip which is installed in FW series have Virtual Surround technology based on HRTF.

Windows drivers have a switch to enable it in settings. But for Ubuntu it’s a little bit different. Ubuntu have ALSA audio system/drivers and have special plugin for HRTF which is not installed by default. You need to install alsa plugins package libasound2-plugins. Then open/create a file in your home directory named .asoundrc and type this text inside:

pcm.!surround51 {
        type vdownmix
        slave.pcm default

pcm.!surround40 {
        type vdownmix
        slave.pcm default

Now if player using all channels, vdownmix plugin downmix all channels into 2.

Here is how to enable all channels in SMPlayer (based on MPlayer). Goto Option->Preferences, on the left select General, select Audio tab and change there Channels by default to 6.

P.S. You can test surround with this command in terminal:

speaker-test -Dsurround51 -c6 -l1 -twav

This will make sound for each channel.

UPD: If you have some problems about can not open device etc, try this:

sudo alsa force-reload

Written by egaistek

September 15, 2008 at 05:49

Posted in Vaio

Tagged with , , , ,

7 Responses

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  1. Awesome!


    September 17, 2008 at 14:59

  2. Thanks for the tips. I just bought a FW139e/h and am keeping an eye on your sight for useful info. However, when I tried to implement this configuration, it kept throwing back errors at me until I removed the quotation marks from around the word default. I am running Intrepid Alpha 6. Here is a copy of my .asound file.

    pcm.!surround51 {
    type vdownmix
    slave.pcm default
    pcm.!surround40 {
    type vdownmix
    slave.pcm default

    Hope this helps yourself or others.


    September 27, 2008 at 22:18

  3. Hello Tamagotono, yea that quotes is modified by wordpress, so it’s wrong quotes. Right one is "default".


    September 28, 2008 at 00:32

  4. Hey so I just installed the Intrepid release and am trying to figure out problems with alsa sound. I cannot play mp3s probably be cause I cant set my sound to alsa. it says:

    “audiotestsrc wave=sine freq=512 ! audioconvert ! audioresample ! gconfaudiosink: Could not open audio device for playback.”

    when I try to select HDA Intel ALC262 Analog (ALSA)

    my sound options are:
    HDA Intel ALC262 Analog (ALSA)
    HDA Intel ALC262 Analog (OSS)
    HDA Intel ALC262 Analog (OSS)
    ALSA – Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
    OSS – Open Sound System
    Pulse Audio Sound Server

    and my devices are:
    Capture: ALSA PCM on front:0 (ALC262 ANalog) via ..
    Capture: Monitor Source of ALSA PCM on front:0 (AL…
    HDA ATI HDMI (ALSA mixer)
    HDA Intel (Alsa Mixer)
    Playback: ALSA PCM on front:0 (ALC262 Analog) via …
    Realtek ALC262 (OSS Mixer)

    I can get sound on flash, but no combination will let me play music, it always says “I need to install suitable codecs” even for mp3s

    Have any Ideas?


    November 3, 2008 at 10:21

  5. Hmmmm, when I try the speakere test I get this:

    speaker-test 1.0.17

    Playback device is surround51
    Stream parameters are 48000Hz, S16_LE, 6 channels
    WAV file(s)
    Broken configuration for playback: no configurations available: Invalid argument
    Setting of hwparams failed: Invalid argument

    What does that mean??



    December 14, 2008 at 22:44

  6. I have this problem about “Setting of hwparams failed: Invalid argument” too.
    Any suggestions?


    December 16, 2008 at 20:38

  7. Guys, if you have problems try command from UPD line in post.


    December 21, 2008 at 15:54

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