Can't get surround sound

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Mac Questions, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. Mac Questions macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Setup: Macbook Pro with Logitech Z-5500 5.1 surround sound speakers on Leopard. Connected with a digital optical TOSLINK cable (plus mini-TOSLINK adapter.)

    What I want to do: Play games with 5.1 channel surround sound. Games in question: Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2004 (both support 5.1 surround.)

    Problem: I can't do that. Using the Logitech control unit, I can specify 4 settings:
    -Stereo (subwoofer + 2 front speakers)
    -Stereo x2 (sub + 2 fronts + same sound through 2 back speakers)
    -Dolby PL2 Music (sub + centre only)
    -Dolby PL2 Movie (sub + centre only)

    This is the problem: I cannot find a way to output proper surround sound. It's enabled in the games, I just can't find a way to get it to work with my speakers.

    Anybody got experience here?
  2. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2008
    North Shore, MA
    You won't be able to with most games on the Mac (not sure if most games in general support encoded output). IIRC, UT 2004 on the Mac uses OpenAL; for surround sound, OpenAL depends on having 2 or more discrete channels available (ie: for 5.1 you would need 6 channels). The optical out only supports 2 discrete PCM channels unless the app in question is capable of bitstreaming a supported multichannel format (Dolby DTS/Digital, etc) which, as far as I know, the OpenAL library that UT2004 uses is not capable of.
  3. Mac Questions thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Thanks for an informative answer. What would my options for getting surround sound be?

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