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I'm using audio output over HDMI from my video card (Radeon HD-4650 RV730) to an AVR.

When there is no audio output it seems that the system turns off the audio and my receiver shows no audio input. Then, when audio starts, it takes a second or two for the signal to be recognized by my receiver, so I loose the start of the audio, or don't hear short sounds at all. I'd like to keep this connection "on" or "alive" even when no audio is playing so I don't have to wait for my receiver to switch over.

I believe this is an "idle" setting somewhere, but I'm not sure at what level it is happening. I'm a little fuzzy on how driver/pulseaudio/alsamixer all work together and at what level this can be solved. Rather than poking around and messing something up, I'd appreciate some guidance. Any explanations of commands would be greatly appreciated as I am new to Linux and trying to learn as much as I can.

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Same thing happened to me, thanks to Nvidia's driver changes. To stop PulseAudio from suspending a sink when idle we may comment out (by adding #) the following line in our default.pa (located in /etc/pulse/, or in ~/.pulse) to look like follows:

# load-module module-suspend-on-idle

Restart the PulseAudio server to take effect (by running pulseaudio -k in a terminal)

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I've been struggling with the same problem & found no solution on the web (in hindsight I was using incorrect / too vague search terms). But I finally figured it out so here it is, hoping this helps others.

Edit /etc/pulse/default.pa and comment the following line:

load-module module-suspend-on-idle

which becomes:

# load-module module-suspend-on-idle

Then restart the sound server.

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