Current Mac Mini, HDMI 7.1 Output, will only send stereo

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by awegew, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. awegew macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2013
    I've been trying to fix a nagging issue with my Mac Mini. I'm hooking it up to a fairly high end receiver which most definitely does 7.1. I'm passing the sound via HDMI. There seems to be some handshake problem.

    The mini refuses to output 7.1. Annoyingly, Apple doesn't seem to want to let a user force the output. The mini thinks the receiver is only able to play stereo, so it just sends a stereo output. When I go into the midi setup, the options for multi-channel are greyed out.

    Anyone have any advice on dealing with this issue. I've read through a ton of forums and it seems to be a very common problem with no real fix. I can't exactly drag my receiver and 8 speakers into the Apple Store. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. bwapod macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    What program are you using for media playback? I use VLC media player, and to get multi-channel audio working through my receiver (which I have connected via HDMI), I have to go to

    Audio --> Audio Device --> HDMI (Encoded Output)

    to get DD5.1 or DTS to work.

    No experience personally with 7.1 but maybe this'll get you in the right direction...
  3. awegew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2013
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm using the standard programs like iTunes, VLC, etc. What you set in VLC won't matter if the Midi Output isn't setup to send multi-channel.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Unless something's changed, Macs can only passthrough Dolby Digital or DTS, and those top out at 5.1.
  5. awegew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2013
    Let me rephrase, it will ONLY pass stereo right now, so no need to get stuck on semantics. I can see options for 7.1, 5.1, etc, but they're all greyed out.
  6. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    What type of file are you trying to play, has it been transcoded? Are you sure that it has a X.1 sound format? If all programs, VLC in particular, are playing stereo I'm curious.

    I don't go through HDMI, rather toslink, do you have access to give that a shot? As mentioned though, 7.1 isn't supported, hopefully you have the core audio file in your media so that the programs can play that. I haven't had to make changes to Audio Midi Setup in years, and double checking I didn't enable any multichanel settings and all is playing normally.
  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    As OSX Audio device, HDMI does only stereo. With any surround-passing-through program like XBMC or VLC, it outputs the raw encoded stream, and OSX is doing nothing with that. It can be 7.1 or 6.1 as well. Hard to find a file with more than 5.1 embedded though!

    There is no handshaking taking place! The optical out is one-way only. The receiver will just recognize the data-format and adjust to the source.

    If you want multi-channel output from OSX and make a 5.1 setup in Audio-Midi setup, you need a 6 channel USB or FW audio interface like a Phonic Helixboard or something like that.

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