5.1 Surround Sound thru HDMI

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by aj350z, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. aj350z macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    I have been searching for about an hour to try and figure out why my 2012 mac mini will not send 5.1 over HDMI. I have attached 2 screen shots of the Ausio MIDI setup but most boxes are grey out. My Mac Mini is connect to the TV and then TOS cable to the AVR. I have tested and I know my Roku sends 5.1 no problem the same connected way. Anyone got any ideas?

    Thanks for the info.

    Attached Files:

  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    I also have the same problem wherein the multi-channel is greyed out. I am thinking maybe the sound card in Macs only have stereo capability natively. I then added a Marantz 7.2 multi-channel receiver to my Mac and used Pro-Logic from the Marantz to give that 5.1 effect.
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Connect the Mini directly to the receiver via HDMI and connect the receiver to the TV via HDMI. That should work.
  4. aj350z thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    I have tried going straight to the receiver than to the TV with no luck either. I have also tried different HDMI cords to rule out that possibility. Would going for optical out be any easier?
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    The midi setup panel is so weird. I had the same problem with my 2011 model the other day, although over optical instead.

    I now have Plex and VLC running 6 channels to the receiver, but all Apple apps only run stereo. It is so weird. But you are not alone, if you try to Google. MANY have the same problem.
  6. ekendra, Sep 23, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013

    ekendra macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2013
    any news?

    any progress with this?

    I'm in the exact same boat.


    actually. it's not exactly the same, but very similar.

    I'm running my 2012 mac mini HDMI out to my 2013 LG TV. The audio on the TV is set via ARC to the 5.1 receiver.

    I can get stereo to run into the 5.1 but that sounds kinda lame.

    I have a 5.1 speaker test video I run and it confirms that only stereo is coming down the pipeline. Audio/MIDI settings show the same greyed out options in the original post in this thread for anything but stereo.

    This is my setup ....

    TV: LG 60LA8600 http://www.lg.com/au/tvs/lg-60LA8600

    HTPC: Mac Mini i5 (late 2012) w/ HDMI out http://store.apple.com/au/mac/family/mac-mini

    Receiver: LG BH9530TW http://www.lg.com/au/home-theatre-systems/lg-BH9530TW
  7. TinHead88 macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2008
    You have to plug the Mac's HDMI output into a surround sound capable device (like your AV receiver with HDMI input).

    Most (if not all) TVs are stereo and so will accept only 2ch from HDMI. ARC only transmits stereo audio because of copyright issues. Check your TV's manual, it will mention this in the description of ARC.
  8. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    My 2010 LG PK950 fortunately allow passthrough of surround. Weird thing it has to be set to automatic in order to do it.. Set it to passthrough, and it decodes it to stereo.....
  9. ekendra macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2013

    Yeah I plugged it into my receiver and Audio/MIDI Settings recognized the device as having 6 channels.

    It's a little less convenient than passthru but at least I'm getting 5.1 now.
  10. iLukeJoseph macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    More and more TV's are allowing 5.1 via ARC and the Optical out. But still you need to check your TV's specs.

    The problem can be looked at as a copyright issue. But in reality it is just licensing. If Samsung/Sony/Panasonic etc.... wants to allow 5.1 output they have to pay Dolby.

    It is exactly the same as a lot of PC's optical outputs do not support 5.1 out.
  11. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I don't mean to thread hijack, but if you have an AVR, what is the benefit to having everything go to the TV, and then just audio to the AVR? Traditionally it's been hooked up the other way, with all the inputs going to the AVR and then just video going to the TV.

    For those with a wall-mount, it'd be terrible to have so many wires going to the TV. Even on a stand, a lot of TVs have very limited number of inputs. Also, many AVRs have video processing too so they can upscale SD content into HD before sending it on to the TV.

    I always thought this was simply people setting up things wrong, but the addition of ARC tells me it's a common enough setup scenario. I'm not looking for an argument, I just don't understand why that setup and out of curiosity I hope someone can explain it to me.
  12. Kramerica1 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2013
    What happens when you go HDMI from your Mac mini to the AVR first and then from the AVR to the TV? And what is your Sound set at in System Preferences? I've never done this, but just trying to figure it out.


    I think you're right that things should go to the AV processor/reciever since some of them have lip-sync abilities to correct for any problems syncing the audio to the video.
  13. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
  14. spawnreaper macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2016
    I turned of ARC and it seems to resolve the problem. Receiver is now receiving multichannel from my mac mini instead of 2.0. The down side, turning of the TV and AV receiver separately.
    anyone have a work around for that?

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