Apple tv with Onkyo AV amp sound issue

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Nickb, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Nickb macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2007
    Hi everyone.

    Ive been tearing my hair out trying to figure out this one, wonder if anyone has any thoughts.

    I have my apple tv plugged into my Onkyo 606 via HDMI. Now, when the apple tv starts up, it shows Dolby Digital on the amp, however when i then go to play a movie, it switches to PCM stereo.

    Anyone know whats going on here, i cant get it back for love nor money!

  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Nick, are you sure the source file you are trying to play is encoded for 5.1? If you've run something through Handbrake, did you make sure that 5.1 pass through options were selected? If you are not sure, I suggest getting a DVD that you know is definitely DD5.1, then using Handbrake to render 1 chapter (so it doesn't take very long for this test). On the audio pane, be sure that the 2nd row is set to 5.1 passthrough.

    If you know for sure that your file is encoded for Dolby Digital, do this simple experiment: Try plugging the :apple:TV end of the cable into your DVD player or satt box and see if a DD source other than :apple:TV will play DD on the Onkyo. If not, go through your Onkyo menu settings looking for those that might need changing. This test is telling you the problem is outside of :apple:TV, either in the cable, connection or Onkyo settings.

    If you get another known source of DD working properly this way, hook the HDMI cable back to :apple:TV and any :apple:TV encoded for DD5.1 source should also play DD. If it does not, it will strongly imply a problem with :apple:TV or :apple:TV audio setting (the latter of which is an easy menu change).

    Since :apple:TV is apparently showing you 5.1 before you start the movie, I'll assume you've got your :apple:TV audio out setting set to Dolby Digital. If the test did not yield 5.1 audio through your Onkyo, your problem is very likely to be Onkyo menu settings.
  3. Nimiety macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2006
    I have a 605 working perfectly with mine. My flow is my apple tv connects to my tv (panasonic 42" plasma) and it passes audio to the receiver over optical. Previously, though, I also had the apple tv connected directly to the receiver by hdmi and then an hdmi out to the tv, which also worked perfectly.

    I'd agree it's probably the source. Open the file up in quicktime, go to window -> movie inspector and make sure you have 5.1 AC3.

    Good luck!
  4. Nickb thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2007
    Thanks for your comments guys, ill do some testing tonight and come back to you.

    I have a feeling though it may be the amp, as even when i navigate within the atv, and the 'click' sounds as you change from one menu item to the next, the amp then switches.

    DD is turned on from atv, im pretty sure the source was 5.1 but i will check.

    thanks again, ill be back with some results i hope!
  5. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    That doesn't sound good. It does sound like the Onkyo has an tech issue. Keep in mind that a Receiver shares many of the issues of any electronics device, meaning if you get some corruption in the chips, it may need a "reboot" to reset things to normal.

    I had a (different) problem with my Onkyo in that the XM satt radio would "bleed" over to other modes. More simply, I could faintly hear the XM channel playing when I was in Vid 1, Vid 2, etc- especially through the Sub. Very weird. Ultimately it appeared to come down to static charge which was resolved by unhooking the XM receiver then hooking it up again.

    You might try unplugging the Onkyo, waiting a few minutes, then plugging it back in. If that doesn't work, I believe there is a factory restore option too.

    If neither work, I hope you are still within your warranty.

    One last option would be to see if it is an HDMI jack problem, by hooking :apple:TV to your receiver via component plus an optical cable. Does that also yield the click-change effect?

    Lastly, it is important that you have a quality line conditioner between the outlet and your valuable AV equipment. A surge suppression strip is not enough- you need a pretty high capacity battery ($100-200) backed option. Since putting one of these in, my Onkyo 803 has performed very well with no further problems.
  6. roadfun macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009

    I'm facing this or a similar issue. Still trying to understand all the ramifications. But I used the Universal preset in Handbrake. From what I understand this ends up include both a AAC and a AC3 stream. If I do a get info in iTunes on the ripped file it lists both Stereo and 5.1. However if I open the file in QuickTime Player and do a get info it only lists AAC 2 channel.

    When I play one of the ripped files through my Onkyo it seems to only receive the 2 channel input. Anyway to force it to use the AAC3 stream?

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