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  • parker612 Level 4 (1,195 points)

    (see my last comment on page 2 of this discussion)




    All 6 speakers worked and it seemed that surround sound was being output from my iMac (even though it says there were only two channels in the Audio/MIDI setup window).


    Now, I'm not sure if it is outputting true surround sound or the Receiver is just trying to percieve what it thinks the stereo audio should sound like in surround.


    I confirm that I did get true surround sound using this setup and settings.


    One other thing to check is your DVD Player Audio Preferences.


    Make sure your Surround Sound System is selected under the Audio Output settings:

    Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 12.00.53 AM.png


    Follow my exact setup and settings and you should be able to get surround sound.

    Let me know if this helps you.

  • AndreJQ Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear, parker612.

    Thanks for all attentiveness and all your help.



    Doing exactly what you said, the Mac could output perfectly both Image and 5.1 Surround Sound.

    The Native OS X DVD Player could output the surround sound through HDMI (with the surround system selected on the audio output settings) with an DVD on the optical drive.

    At VLC, initially I didn't have success and it took me quite some time to discover the correct settings to do it so. After some minutes I found it and everything worked amazingly with an DVD in the Optical Drive.

    The next step was the attempt to have the same result with an MKV file and everything occured well at first.



    At this moment, I just have to thank you a lot for all the time you spent trying to configure your system in a way to reproduce what I was trying to do, and than teach me how to do the same.



    I was about to give up doing this with my mac, and you solved the problem.



    Thank you.





    I almost forgot:

    My home-theater receiver lets me deactivate the option that try to reproduce how an stereo sound would look like if it was surround.

    I reproduced the original sound, exactly the one that the receiver was getting from the MacBook.

    I can say, it is the true surround sound.





    Again, I almost forgot:

    Thank you too, Lance Mcvickar!

    You both really helped!

  • parker612 Level 4 (1,195 points)

    Great! I'm glad your problem was solved!


    - Parker

  • arunce Level 1 (0 points)

    Any idea why I don't get to choose audio output under the disc setup. All I get there is greyed out "System Sound Output". I've done all the previous steps, and all the speakers work when tested. Mac is connected to my reciever through thunderbolt to hdmi.


    Thanks for help

  • parker612 Level 4 (1,195 points)

    Audio output under disc setup? Which application? What exactly is the problem?

  • arunce Level 1 (0 points)

    So I follow all the steps in your instructions and then the last one is to go to dvd player >> preferences>> disc setup. Under audio output I should be able to choose my reciever (by looking at your screen shot few posts back). But my reciever not there, just "system sound output" even tho I followed all previous steps and speakers seem set up.

  • parker612 Level 4 (1,195 points)

    Ah okay, gotchya. What happens if you choose "System Sound Output?" Will DVD Player play your movie in surround sound? Can you send a screen shot of your Audio/MIDI Setup screen as well as the Disc Setup screen in DVD Player?


    (You can take a screen shot by pressing Command+Shift+4 and then clicking and dragging the cross hairs to make a box around the area you want to take a screen shot of.)

  • arunce Level 1 (0 points)

    well i have to apologize, somehow today when i turned my reciever on, the option to select sound from reciever was there. And i didnt change anything. So i'm good to go. Anyway, I appreciate you trying to help and for posting these instructions. 

  • parker612 Level 4 (1,195 points)

    Great! I'm glad it works for you now.

  • Unmesh_va Level 1 (0 points)

    Can you help me here, as I was checking a solutuion for my problem for longtime, which is as below.

    I have a MBP 2011 model with OSX 10.7 installed in it. I use the toshilink optical cable to connect to my 5.1 but I am not getting the surround sound. The 5.1 option in MidiSetup is not enabled, its grayed out. Can anyone help me out plz. Thanks.

  • parker612 Level 4 (1,195 points)

    You will not be able to select the 5.1 option in Audio/MIDI Setup when connected via an optical cable. Even though you can not select it, you should still be able to get surround sound to work. When I connect my surround sound system using a Toshlink cable I too am unable to select any surround sound options however when I am in iTunes I can play music from all of my speakers as well as watch DVD that have 5.1 surround sound.


    In order to select the 5.1 option in Audio/MIDI Setup, you have to be connected via your MiniDisplay Port (Thunderbolt). You can use an adapter (MiniDisplay/Thunderbolt to HDMI) and just a MiniDisplay/Thunderbolt to HDMI cable (which is what I use). By using this type of connection, you are able to select the 5.1 option and test each speaker when clicking on  "Configure Speakers."


    Hope this helps,



  • SpIice Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm currently unable to output anything other than stereo. From what I've gathered from this thread it's because I'm using HDMI to output video and audio, and not just one or the other. I have my Mac hooked up to my 60" by way of HDMI. The HDMI cable goes from my mac mini to my reciever, then the reciever outputs to the TV. It works fine vide-wise, but I don't know why it won't allow 5.1 surround like it should.


    Is it because it thinks it's a monitor and will only output stereo? If so that's something that needs to be fixed. Why SHOULDN'T I be able to output video and audio from the same cable just like I do with my Xbox and PS3?


    I have no idea what a thunderbolt cable is, and I have no other video outputs on the mac mini other than HDMI, so I'm a little confused as to how someone is supposed to even be able to output surround sound from this device. When I go through the motions detailed in this thread I can ONLY select stereo.

  • waldo3125 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the exact same issue with the same setup.  I know my unit can output at 5.1 because it works with my PS3, which is connected to the same receiver in the same manner as my iMac is connected...  I'm thinking it must be something on Apple's end, maybe the computer does think the device is an external monitor or TV, as my receiver is always displayed as "LCD".


    I should probably just call Apple support one of these days and see if they have any other suggestions.  If anyone does have a solution, please share!

  • waldo3125 Level 1 (0 points)



    You mentioned that it takes an app to tell the difference between PCM and Dolby, and devices like the PS3/cable box can decode between the formats... Do you know of a way to do this (an app) so programs like FCPX are able to output in surround?



  • Lance Mcvickar Level 1 (100 points)

    Hey Waldo,

    as far as I know there is no interim app that will automatically detect whether it's PCM or Dolby  audio coming out of your Mac.  To get PCM surround sound working with fcp x or logic you have to set it up in the audio midi set up for surround sound like others of said in the posts here then start a surroundsound project with Final Cut Pro X and you should get the discreet audio outputs. When you set up your audio midi setup to the proper surround settings your a/v amp should automatically switch to PCM audio surround before you even launch any apps you should be able to see  5.1 channel selection on your amp. I Understand what you're saying about the PS3  automatically switching between PCM and Dolby  like a Blu-ray disc with PCM or a DVD with Dolby. If you leave your Mac set to PCM surround and then run VLC with a movie with Dolby surround and select the proper output within VLC  your amp should do the auto switch to Dolby and then back to PCM once the movie stops. I have not really tried this but my guess is that is what will happen.

    So that really is the same as what the PS3 does, it's the amp that does the switching depending on what digital signal it sees.