5.1 Surround Sound on iMac for HL2?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by FalcorTheDog, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. FalcorTheDog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    #1
    I just got my sexy new 27" iMac and I am loving it. This is the best gaming machine I have ever owned. I also have some pretty kickass Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers, however, they don't seem to get recognized as surround sound.

    The sound setting in Half-Life 2, for example, is stuck on "2 speakers." Is there any way to get true 5.1 surround sound while gaming with this iMac? Would I need an external sound card or something? Would it work if I was gaming in Windows with Boot Camp?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Sirobin macrumors 6502

    Sirobin

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I have the same speakers. Agreed, they're amazing. How are they hooked up to your Mac?
     
  3. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    I have the same speakers too. How are they connected? And I'm pretty sure that OpenAL on OS X doesn't support surround sound over an optical connection, if the game uses OpenAL. That's what UT2004 can't output surround sound in OS X over the optical connection. Perhaps through surround sound though... I may get out my USB sound card and give it a go since I've got some free time.

    OS X really sucks for surround sound gaming though, I wish Apple would make its' surround sound capability better.
     
  4. FalcorTheDog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    #4
    They're hooked up to the optical port via TOSLINK. Is there any other way to do it?
     
  5. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #5
    I have the same speakers. Have you tried changing the output to 5.1 in Audio MIDI Setup under Utilities? I'm not sure if anything greater than 2 speakers is available for optical there. There is only the option for Stereo and Digital Encoded Audio on my MacBook Pro when using TOSLINK/Optical. For this reason, I only use optical for movies that are in Dolby Digital or DTS which gets you surround sound over optical when Digitally Encode Audio is selected. Otherwise, I use a Griffin FireWave to get surround sound. I haven't tried it in 10.7 yet though. It's been discontinued for awhile.
     
  6. MacsRgr8, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

    MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    IIRC, dolby 5.1 in games rely on audio decoding by a compatible sound card and having the speakers connected via direct (analog) input.

    I can't remember one game that supports dolby 5.1 decoding done externally which is the case when using toslink optical, even in Windows.

    OTOH, it's been some time since I tried it... Boot Camp and my Soundbaster X-fi PCIe card in my Mac Pro gives me my sound in gaming. ;)
     
  7. FalcorTheDog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    #7
    Yeah, it's stuck on the "2 speaker" configuration in MIDI Setup for me unfortunately :-(
     
  8. Blake1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #8
    If I am right, does the sound card have to support ENCODING, and not decoding. Most game tracks are in LPCM which requires encoding if you are trying to get a Dolby Digital signal. I could be wrong, but that is what my understanding is...
     

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