OK, after a lengthy chat session with a local custom PC builder, I'm still not able to get it working, but found some interesting info. 1. I don't know why, but his Device Manager under sound, video and game controllers shows a UAA Bus driver, and mine does not. W7 Ultimate in both cases. Asrock MB on his vs my ASUS P6X58D-E. 2. Tried a 1.4 version HDMI cable straight into the AVR and still black screen. 3. Tried setting the BIOS S/PDIF setting to HDMI, still black screen and no multi channel HDMI Device option. I tried locating and installing the UAA Bus driver (TechSpot), but all it ended up being is a Realtek Azalia R2.51 driver, which obviously didn't solve the problem, nor did I see a UAA Bus driver in DV after installing it. I (and the tech), thought it was weird that my BIOS shows an HDMI setting under a S/PIDF header. Also the Realtek HD Audio Manager when hovering over the HDMI icon on it's GUI shows an interactive hand, but no tooltip like the optical and coaxial icons do, even when the Realtek HDMI Audio Device is set as default device. The more I look at this the more it looks like there's something strange about my MB and/or Realtek not supporting HDMI unless maybe on an ASUS MB that actually has an HDMI port. It could also be a compat problem between the two regarding HDMI via AMD, or HDMI via ANY video card, but I'm def thinking this has to be a compat issue. We ended the call by agreeing that the best test for now might be to try and locate someone with a laptop that has HDMI out to see if it's possible to get a connection between it, the AVR, and the TV without black screen, and better yet, with a usable multi channel AMD HD Audio Device. This guy really leans toward Asrock MBs and said over several years he's not had any such strange problems with them. I've been kinda leaning toward Asrock or Gigabyte for my next MB, and maybe a 3570k, but I don't know if I want to do another DDR3 upgrade. His opinion was RAM is a very secondary type part as far as formats go. The main things I want to solve with my next upgrade are 1) the HDMI audio issues from the GPU, 2) a better (Intel) SATA 3 controller, and of course 3) more modern CPU support. Thus since I've been wanting to upgrade the MB anyway for better SATA 3 and CPU support, it would seem the logical step. I'd just like to find out ahead of time this go round if the one I choose is commonly successful as well with HDMI Audio thru the GPU, and preferably with both AMD and Nvidia, because come Maxwell, I really don't know which GPU camp I'll be with.