How to use a Soundbar without Audio from Television

Recently I bought a new soundbar for my Samsung television. I connected it with TOSLINK/SPDIF (digital audio) to my Samsung television. I didn’t like using the second remote control of the soundbar, so I used the “Learn” functionality from Yamaha to ‘learn’ the volume and power functions of my Samsung remote control. After a quick setup I found out that – of course – when you use the television remote to control the volume, both the television and soundbar will adjust to this. My Samsung television lacks the possibility to turn the audio off while still using the volume buttons.

After brainstorming I found a nice workaround for this. Just connect a headphone jack into the headphone output of the television. You can use the headphone jack of your old in-ears if you want. Now your television should think that you’re listening through the headphones instead of the television audio which will:

  • Enable you to control the volume of the television (and the soundbar – because of the ‘Learn’ functionality)
  • Audio will go through the soundbar and through the headphone jack.

This was a great workaround for me. Hope this helps you too.

Cheers.

2016 – What a Year!

2016 has been an amazing year for me. One of the biggest highlights was Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta. With a group of 5 Avanade people we went to the conference to find out where Microsoft was working on for the last couple of months. I’m still convinced that I gain most knowledge on conferences like Ignite, because people from Microsoft present the latest innovations. Also a lot of features are planned to go Generally Available (GA) during events like this. I want to thank Avanade for this fantastic opportunity. After the conference, I went to Washington DC and New York to visit these cities which was very exciting.

This was also a year where I worked a lot with the Microsoft Azure platform. I passed the 70-533 and 70-534 exams around Q1 and worked on several projects with Azure. This will be an important skill for 2017 because of the strong adoption of Azure. As of 2016 I’ve been promoted to Consultant level within Avanade, which is a big opportunity for me to grow within the firm.

Right now I’m really close to finish the first year of a bachelor’s degree, which I worked on for the last couple of years. Pursuing a bachelor is really important to me on the long-term, because it’s something that currently lacks on my resume. It can be a limiting factor when I want to grow to a management position.

Thank you very much for reading my blog posts in 2016.

Happy New Year!

Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta – Here we come!

I’m so happy to tell you that I’m one of the 5 people from Avanade Netherlands that will attend Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta this year! We are all really excited as this is the first time that we attend a big conference like Ignite. Last year I followed a lot of online presentations from home, and the high quality of the presentations makes this the best Microsoft event of the world. Seeing Jeffrey Snover, Mark Russinovich, Satya Nadella and much more people for the first time is amazing! I’m looking forward to meet all my Twitter ‘tweeps’ as well!

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AMD drivers are not functioning properly after updating Dell Latitude E6540 BIOS to A8/A10

I updated my Dell Latitude E6540 BIOS to A10 today. After updating, the screen stays black after rebooting. If you reboot your PC, your resolution has changed and the drivers are not working anymore. Opening the AMD Catalyst Control Center gives the error “AMD drivers are not functioning properly”.

Solution: go to the Dell website. Click the Support page and type your Service Tag. Download the newest AMD and Intel graphics drivers. I installed the AMD driver after installing the Intel driver. You don’t have to delete the old driver. Reboot after installing the 2 drivers. Your notebook should work as before.

Cisco – Catalyst Express 500 PoE switch not working with Windows Vista/7/8/8.1

I was installing a Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switch, but I failed a couple of times to enter the setup menu. When you try to restart the switch to factory default, you should get an IP address from the switch. Mostly this is 10.1.1.2. It works only with my old Windows XP laptop, not with my Windows 8.1 machines.

To fix this problem, set your IP address to:

IP address: 10.1.1.2
Subnetmask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 10.1.1.1

Try again to reset your switch to factory settings and you will now have access to the website of the switch.

Good luck! If you have any questions, let me know!