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Hi, I think I might have an answer. The problem is the data rate of the AC3 file (not data size). The old Apple TV seemed to passthrough a higher data rate 480.00kbits/s the new Apple TV (2) will only allow for 380.00kbits/s. I ran some basic tests and converted my AC3 files to the lower bit rate and they are now working. I have a heap of movies with the higher bit rate so I'll wait for an Apple update before a re do all my AC3 files. Hope this helps and I don't think it is your hardware just software.
Ever since I started using my AppleTV I have never had DD working through a Denon Receiver. I am getting so fed up trying to sort this problem. I have changed settings and restored the AppleTv and all I get is stereo sound!! I am really disappointed. And on top of that I also get the wavy picture issue sometimes as well. I can only hope Apple sort these issues out ASAP
Just adding in my 2 cents that I too can not get 5.1 sound out of the new apple TV. I have downloaded HD content as mentioned in this post to try and test, but nothing. My receiver does not recognize the input as being 5.1. My Apple TV is connected to my TV by HDMI (obviously), but I am using the optical port to connect the audio to my receiver. I have also tried the suggestions here about changing the optical setting to ON.
guys, i just hooked up my 2nd gen apple tv today, very cool device so far but i like most of you, cant get Dolby D to show up on my Onkyo SR707 reciever, i have an hdmi coming from the apple tv to my Onkyo and that is it, hdmi all the way.
So its good to know netflix is only stereo, now , during the APPLE TV MENUS and While playing Youtube or while playing the Apple TV's built in RADIO APP stations, are any of these features supposed to play in DOLBY D? because all i get is Stereo in the apple tv menus, in netflix, in youtube and in the apple tv's radio application, i also tried a couple of movie trailers, some said they were HD and some did not but all trailers played in stereo aswell, not a single trailer was in DOLBY D, is any of the trailers supposed to be with DOLBY D?
i started playing around with subler to enable/disable audio tracks instead of quicktime pro.
i found that by disabling the stereo track and enabling the AC3 track, the ATV2 would pick up the AC3 track. however on at least one movie, this lead to corrupted audio, as though the ATV2 were trying to decode the AC3 as stereo instead of just sending it to the receiver. so there are some weird behaviors still.
but i also noticed that if i added all the mp4 metadata to the file, including a description (by using the built-in search in subler) that when i play the file on the ATV2, i now have the option to select audio tracks when playing the file. if i remember right, you press "up" on the remote while the description is being shown, and you get more options. in this case the option is to switch audio tracks. that definitely worked - a file i just made was playing as stereo, and after switching to the surround track, i got surround sound. and the ATV2 remembered it; the next time i played that video the surround track was still selected and playing.
I discussed this issue in the Elgato-Forum, because I use the Turbo.264HD stick to encode video-files in H.264 (great product!!!).
I had the same issue, that files encoded by the turbo.264hd with the AppleTV-profile should include the DolbyDigital-stream, but this stream was not offered or played by the AppleTV2.
It seems, that AppleTV2 only plays Dolby-Digital, if this stream has the enabled-bit in its meta-data. In the files generated by the turbo.264hd, both streams (AC3 (=DolbyDigital) and AAC (=stereo)) are included, but only the AAC has the enabled-bit set.
I think, if encoding using Handbrake and you include both streams, then it works, if the AC3 is the first stream and the AAC is the second stream, because the ATV2 seems to use the first stream in the file, which has the enabled-bit set.
In the elgato-forum I got the hint to use a small program called "Subler". This program can demux a M4V-file. It also allows to change the meta-information in the file: you can disable the AAC-stream and enable the AC3-stream. this only changes the meta-information, but does not delete the AAC-stream, it will still be included. Subler does not need to reencode or remux the file, it just changes the meta-information and saves the changed video-file in less than one second! So it is ultra-fast. From now on, the ATV2 plays this files with DolbyDigital enabled
Okay, I just got off the phone with AppleCare, and here is my two cents worth:
(Please keep in mind that I am using all Apple products...I am not talking about anything Windows in my comments):
Apple tells me that with the new Apple TV (which people are referring to as "ATV2"), Apple **DOES NOT** support 5.1 surround-sound if you run an HDMI cable from your Apple TV into your surround-sound amplifier. Apple will *ONLY* support 5.1 surround-sound if you do one of two things:
*Option #1*: Run an HDMI cable out the back of your Apple TV, and run it DIRECTLY to your TV set. From there, run ANOTHER HDMI cable from your TV set to your surround-sound amplifier. You will have to make the appropriate adjustments in your surround-sound setup menu, which of course will vary by manufacturer.
*Option #2*: Run a TOSlink (Optical Audio cable) from the back of your Apple TV into the back of your surround-sound amplifier. Of course, this assumes that you already have your amplifier connected to your TV for other purposes (Satellite TV, DVD player, VCR, Cable TV, etc). Once you have connected your Apple TV to the back of your surround-sound amplifier (via TOSlink, also called "Optical Audio"), then you need to go to the setup menu of your amplifier in order to activate it. This will vary by brand and model, so the answer will be different for everyone.
So to summarize, the bottom line is this: For those of you who have achieved 5.1 surround-sound by doing some other method, that's great--but it is not supported by Apple and it is not suggested by Apple. The only two methods that Apple supports are to do either Option #1 or Option #2 (above).
Additionally, the highest picture quality you can achieve with Apple TV is 720p. 1080p is NOT available.
I know that the purpose of an HDMI cable is to carry an HD video signal (1080p) as well as Dolby Digital surround sound. So for those of you who are scratching your head (as I am) and saying, "Why can't I just use the HDMI cable and plug it into the back of my surround-sound receiver like every other device I own?", my only response to that is: "Ask Apple". I did not design it this way----they did.
I hope this information has helped a lot of people. I have been going insane for the last several days trying to figure this out. I have spent hours on the phone with Marantz (the maker of my surround-sound amp) as well as the Geek Squad (they are USELESS!), and I was getting absolutely nowhere. I should have just called AppleCare in the first place.
So now, I will go out and purchase an optical audio cable and set it up the way Apple wants it set up. I should then have my 5.1 surround sound. Good luck everybody!
This is good information, thanks, but unfortunately, that isn't correct either. Prior to the 4.1 update, my ATV would output sound from the digital optical link into my Sony surround sound and it worked fantastic. After the version 4.1 upgrade, the sound will only go through HDMI when it is stereo (meaning my TV's speakers", but with a movie or tv show with 5.1, it comes through both the Sony surround sound and the TV. Terrible upgrade, change it back please.
I'm not sure I understand that....but that's okay. I only know about one version of Apple TV, and that's the one that I purchased on Saturday at The Apple Store.
And even with the knowledge that AppleCare gave me over the phone this afternoon, I'm still stuck. Since they told me that I can only have 5.1 surround-sound by using the TOSlink (Optical Cable), I went to Radio Shack about an hour ago and purchased a 4 foot cable for $20. I now have this new TOSlink cable plugged into the back of my AppleTV, and the other end is plugged into the back of my Marantz surround-sound receiver. No change!!! I am still getting stereo only---no surround sound. I've made certain that I'm playing movies with 5.1 sound (such as the new Star Trek movie), and I'm still only getting stereo. I'm going to assume that this issue is not Apple's, but has to do with how I have my Marantz receiver set up.
If anyone out there understands a Marantz SR4002 surround-sound receiver and would like to help me, I'd sure appreciate it! I have done my own surround-sound and technical stuff for many years now, but this particular receiver seems to be made for rocket scientists. The manual is written in the most complex manner I've ever seen, and the on-screen setup display is equally confusing. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to change the sound from stereo to surround. It's driving me bonkers.