Ok, so I got the video part of the HDMI output working with a couple of deft mouseclicks and the help of my previous workings with nvidia control panel, but when it came to audio…
First off, I go internetting, ask the mighty Google how the heck it is to be done. I happened upon a ubuntuforums.org post detailing steps to get a GT240 to work, whereupon I hit snag after snag, eventually crippling my entire audio setup.
Eventually, I found that my saving grace was “alsa-utils reset”, but the internet did not tell me this – rather, my brother pointed it out (him being an audiophile and a closet ubuntu geek). I managed to get my speakers back, and seeing as I wanted to watch a film and had spent a good few hours troubleshooting audio things I decided HDMI audio can wait until it works ‘out of the box’. Especially considering, as I said earlier, it’s actually a downgrade in speaker quality.
That said, it appears my tweeters have blown (muddy, muffled sounds coming from the hifi at the moment; my brother diagnosed it as blown tweeters, but he didn’t properly examine the patient so I don’t think he’d want to be quoted on that).
Those poised to criticize Ubuntu for not supporting HDMI ought remember that it is an immature technology (HDMI, that is, not Ubuntu) and is steeped in DRM. Aside from the ethical problems I have with DRM, it also creates lots of technical hassle for projects wishing to use technologies that rely on it. Especially if the company responsible for the DRM is uncooperative or demands financial recompense for their support in making technology work with it. The mind boggles at why consumers put up with this kind of treatment, but I guess conglomerates preclude us from having much choice.
Have fun hacking!