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I use PowerDVD with my laptop a lot using the onboard stereo out jack. I don't recall settings to make it play 5.1 or anything different since I am only getting a stereo output. I'll try the demo tonight to see if I can change settings in PowerDVD. Also, what about Netflix or Amazon streaming?
Power DVD will output 5.1 or 7.1. I am not in the office now to check the settings, but I have it and it works to play DVD s and Blu-Rays. There is probably an audio preference for enabling multi channel audio.
For streaming, none of the streaming services will stream 5.1 audio to a computer. (actually I think the Windows 8 metro app does.) But Netflix does work, you just get stereo audio. Also there is a secret menu in Netflix to adjust the audio sync. I can look it up when I get back. Unfortunately Amazon does not have audio sync adjustments.
The audio sync issue will be resolved with the low latency version when it's released.