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Macbook is not outputting 5.1 surround through hdmi...

786 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2013 10:49 PM by themikado2005 RSS
zb223 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 22, 2012 6:59 AM

I have a 2011 macbook pro with a thunderbolt/hdmi adapter connected to a receiver, so I can watch movies on my tv. Video files with 5.1 dolby have always played fine through this exact setup, however, recently, only 2 channel audio goes through.


I know that the adapter is good, and it isn't the receiver because I have tried other devices on the same ports. So it must be something on the macbook end.

8 channel, 192 kz is selected under hdmi in midi options, and hdmi is always selected as output in the movie player I use. There is no reason it should still only be 2 channel on my receiver.


I am dying to find an answer to this...please help if you have any ideas!

Thank you



PS. I am on 10.7.4 using a monoprice thunderbolt/hdmi adapter and an Onkyo HT-R590 receiver.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2012 7:54 AM (in response to zb223)

    Check the HDMI settings on the Onkyo.  I recently discovered that RIHD had to be enabled in order for my Mac mini to recognize it as a multi-channel audio device.  If RIHD is disabled on the Onkyo, the mini sees it as a stereo device, thus no surround sound.

  • themikado2005 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 9:16 PM (in response to zb223)

    I have the same problem with my Late 2011 MacBook Pro.  I have a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI connector and I connect HDMI to an Altona HDMI Audio De-Embedder (AT-HD570).  Then I connect the Altona to my Denon amp via digital optical cable.


    The Audio MIDI setup app allows me to select "5.1 Surround" mode for the device, but after I do, if I click the various speaker test buttons, only the front left and right speakers respond.  The Denon amp front panel indicates that it is only receiving Stereo signals from the optical cable.


    I use this same setup successfully with an HP Laptop in 5.1 Surround mode, and using Dolby DTS.  It's very frustrating to not be able to hear full 5.1 surround sound from my Mac!


    I believe I have the Denon amp set up correctly; it has an input mode which automagically sets the digital decoding based on the incoming signal.  So I suspect that the Mac is only outputting Stereo.


    Perhaps there is some way to *force* it to output 5.1?

  • themikado2005 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow, just a few minutes after posting that, I somehow managed to get 5.1 Surround Sound working.  I rebooted to MacBook Pro (it seems sadly necessary to re-boot Mountain Lion after switching to a different audio output), played an MKV video file which contains a 5.1 audio stream, and in Audio MIDI Setup selected a Format of 48000 Hz (which matched the audio stream in the MKV file).  Suddenly my Denon amp showed it was receiving 5.1 channel audio, and it played it too.


    A little experimentation showed that I can set the audio Format to anything 96000 Hz or lower and still retain 5.1 Surround Sound.  One caveat though: the buttons which send test sound to the speakers still don't work for any but the front left and right channels.


    Fingers crossed that this will still work after the next reboot. ;-)


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