Enabling Optical Audio w/ 5.1 in OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by palebluedot, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. palebluedot macrumors 6502a

    palebluedot

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #1
    I was wondering if it is possible to enable 5.1 surround sound in OS X. I just bought the Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speaker System and I have a mini-toss link optical audio cable plugged in. The optical connection is working fine but whenever i play ANY audio (iTunes, system sounds, youtube, or games) its always in Stero.. never 5.1. I understand most of that stuff isn't setup for 5.1 but the thing I am really wanting 5.1 for, World of Warcraft and the few other games I play in OS X... isn't working either. I can't seem to find a setting to set my system to auto-create 5.1... but I read it is possible using this method.

    Am I a fool who is hoping for nothing? :( help please!
     
  2. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    palebluedot

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
  3. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #3
    I don't know about gaming in 5.1 - but I do watch movies in 5.1 (with my iMac and Z5500s)

    I had the best luck with mPlayer OSX. Under Preferences / Miscellaneous - click advanced settings and dump in this (sans quotes) "-channels 6 -af lavcac3enc=1" That looks for ac3 5.1 and outputs it (encoded) via optical channel - giving you digital 5.1.

    As for in your games - Applications - Utilities - Audio MIDI Setup
    There should be a few settings you can play with in there in the Built-in Output section. Under format, try forcing encoded digital output - see if that helps your games.
     
  4. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #4
    My optical out on my Macbook Pro is 5.1 enabled by default. Movies are where its most noticeable for me, but my speakers are really not in an optimal arrangement right now because I've been packing and such. Moving at Christmas stinks... but anyway. Your receiver should be set to 5.1 theatre sound to enjoy the full experience. See what the Logitech guide says about it.
     
  5. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #5
    I know it works great in Windows with the Realtek drivers, if you turn on DTS-live and have Nero Showtime as your media player. Nero regenerates a surround output (plus sub-woofer!) from the stereo to great effect.

    On OS X, I have the same issue as poster. I think you are only going to hear surround output if you have a program or content that has a surround track.
     
  6. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    palebluedot

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #6
    What speakers do you use? My Windows only shows 2.0 speakers as well under Realtek and I cant change.

    Also under the mac MIDI program it says "Output is not supported" under Audio Output. Is this normal? I'm wondering if perhaps something is wrong... I would assume the system would let me mess with the output :/
     
  7. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #7
    I am using a DTS-receiver over Toslink cable. The Sound control panel in Windows has options to specify that you have 5.1 speakers. The Realtek tooltray icon that comes up has some icons at the bottom of the window that let you turn on DTS-live, etc.

    I'll have to check on the Mac side later.
     
  8. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #8
    Mine are all on Built-in Digital Output. When I try to configure speakers to multichannel, it doesn't let me select 5.1. Stereo is set, and is the only option.
     
  9. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    palebluedot

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #9
    This is in OS X or Windows? If it is OS X I take it that means you can't do 5.1 in OS X for anything but DVDs? :/

    I looked at what you said in Windows.. when I change my system speakers to 5.1 the Realtek HD audio driver panel still only has Headphones and 2CH/2Speakers as the only options.

    I'm starting to think tosslink is most certainly not 5.1 like it is claimed to be (except for pre-encoded dvds.. but I don't see how that can justify a system being called 5.1... who uses just DVDs for 5.1 on a computer) :/
     
  10. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #10
    Ya, I was talking OS X in that 2nd post.

    If the Realtek supports it, Toslink does carry 5.1. But the content (or game) either has to be 5.1, or the media player has to synthesize it.(Or, your surround receiver can synthesize it...mine does a poor job.) I have Nero 8 bundled with my BD drive, and the included Showtime Essentials program does 5.1 synthesis.

    Maybe your Realtek doesn't support it, or your drivers don't?
     

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