First, a description of my configuration:
I have a C-Media Electronics Inc CM8738 sound card. This sound card is connected to my television via the front channels output. In addition, the SPDIF/out is connected to my GeForce 8500GT. My GeForce 8500GT is then connected to my television via an HDMI cable.
Now for the problem:
Prior to a recent upgrade, sound was being delivered to my television via the analog out on my sound card. I am sure I was using a 169.xx version of the nVidia drivers before the upgrade. So there was no way for audio to be delivered via the HDMI cable. I was unaware at the time I upgraded that this feature had been implemented in the 173.xx drivers. Upon discovering this, I un-muted the IEC958 device on my sound card via alsamixer. This, however, did not give me sound.
As it stands, I am able to play sound on the console before starting X. E.G.:
mplayer -ao alsa:device=default /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav
When I start X and try to execute the same command I get no sound. My default sound device is routed as so:
I have tried driver version 173.14 (as packaged by Arch Linux), 177.67, and 177.70 (the latter two being downloaded directly from nVidia). I cannot revert to the 169.xx drivers because the proc_root_driver interface has been removed from the 2.6.26 kernel, and the 169.xx drivers rely on it.
I do not want to use a VGA connection to "solve" this problem. The picture is blurry, and the picture shifts to the left or right when X is initializing. That is, if I connect via VGA I cannot see the whole picture because the display is not detecting properly.
I need a solution to this audio of HDMI problem. Please, I have run out of ideas on what to try.
 -- http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...4&postcount=39
Note: please ignore the errors about "mythlogin" in the bug report log. They are completely irrelevant to the problem, and are a result of a programming error I made earlier today.