Solved: Unsupported audio format set the audio output to pulse code modulation PCM

Date Published: 02 August 2022

Solved: Unsupported audio format set the audio output to pulse code modulation PCM

Solved! My dell monitor had started showing an annoying error every 30 seconds or so saying 'Unsupported audio format. Set the audio output to pulse code modulation PCM'. I solved it with a quick change to my video card settings.

I'm sharing this here for future me when this happens again (probably with a new video card or a driver update), but hopefully it helps some of you as well.

My monitor is a Dell U3011 but my understanding is that this issue can affect just about any HDMI-supporting monitor.

Problem

After updating my NVIDIA display driver, I started getting a periodic message on my Dell U3011 monitor saying:

Unsupported audio format. Set the audio output to pulse code modulation PCM.

The message would appear every few seconds and stay for a few seconds. It was incredibly annoying, which is why I resolved to find a solution.

Solution

After searching for a bit, this Reddit thread led me to the correct solution.

I opened my NVIDIA Control Panel and navigated to Display - Set up digital audio. There I found things were set up as follows:

NVIDIA Control Panel initially

The solution is to simply turn off audio on the HDMI connection:

NVIDIA Control Panel turn off audio

With that change, the message disappeared immediately (no need to save, reboot, etc.).

Summary

If you're having an annoying message appear on your monitor, especially if you recently installed a new graphics card or updated your drivers, this may help you. If it helped you, please leave a comment and/or share this post on social media so that it's more easily discovered by others. Thanks!

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.


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