Help!! 5.1 Sound

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by manapple, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. manapple macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #1
    Is the mini optical output jack on the MBP only able to send two channel audio? My home theatre receiver is set to the exact same settings as my PS3 and my PS3 sends 5.1 surround no problem. My PS3 uses HDMI to connect from the PS3 to the amplifier, and then another hdmi cable to go from the amplifier to the tv. When I hook up HDMI and from my MBP my receiver will not detect full surround, it only uses two channels. The video is fine. (however the resolution is not that of my native tv resolution, but that is less of a problem now)

    In the Audio-MIDI utility I can change the output option from 2 channel to encoded digital but with that option I get no sound at all anymore.

    If I go into configure speakers with either the 2-channel or encoded digital audio selected I can open the drop down menu where it says stereo and see 5.1 surround etc. but cannot select them ... they are greyed out. I have verified that my receiver correctly uses as many channels as the inputting device allows. My Ps3 is setup exactly the same way and my receiver automatically detects 5.1 surround and uses it but my receiver only recognizes 2 channel from my MBP. Why can't I select 5.1 surround in the audio-midi setup?

    And the source, is a 5.1 out video file, that I am attempting to connect to my amplifier. I have the onkyo 805 amplifier.

    Please help.
    Thanks.
     
  2. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    Aug 22, 2010
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    Behind you
    #2
    Toslonk is only two channel analog, but if your amplifier supports encoded sound (which it by the sound of it doesn't) you can easily use toslink for 5.1
     
  3. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    Mar 20, 2007
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    Virginia
    #3
    Toslink supports 5.1 just fine. It can't be analog since all Toslink cables are fiber (aka digital).
     
  4. manapple thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #4
    So that means, that I would be simultaneously be connecting my laptop hdmi to the tv screen and my amplifier to the fibre optical cable (will any company do, or do I have to purchase toslink - I am not from the US)? Also, where is the fibre optical wire connected to the MBP? Through the headphone out?

    thanks.
     
  5. manapple thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #5
    Ugh...sorry...is there an optical jack out from the mbp? confused about this now.
     
  6. macmikey2 macrumors regular

    macmikey2

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    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Chester, PA
    #6
    Yes. It is combined with the Headphone jack and needs a different optical cable (read special Apple cable or equivalent) to plug in there.

    That's why the settings are greyed out. No cable connected, no settings.
     
  7. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #7
    Toslink is the type of cable, not a brand. It's also known as a fiber optical cable.

    And yes, HDMI adapters that I've seen for the Macbook Pro do not support audio out, so you will need a separate cable for that.

    Keep in mind that the Toslink cable will only output 5.1 when your source audio is 5.1. If your source is only 2 channel, it will not upmix with Dolby Live (your reciever would have to do that over Pro Logic or DTS Neo), it will only output PCM.
     
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    There are HDMI adapters out there that WILL output audio on the 2010 and later models, you have been misinformed. There is a thread about which adapters work somewhere here. Remember that you have to manually change the sound to output through the MDP in order for it to work. I don't know if it'll carry surround sound though.

    If it doesn't using an optical cable(AKA toslink) with adapter straight into the headphone jack will work.
     
  9. manapple thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #9
    I do get 2 channel sound out from my 2011 mbp 13 inch via an hdmi. so that is confirmed. let me now look around for a toslink cable for the 5.1 out. what exactly am i looking for - toslink to toslink, or a toslink to mini plug optical cable? or will both work? thanks.
     
  10. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #10
    you want toslink mini plug on the MBP end, and then whatever your other device uses on the other end. probably normal toslink.
     
  11. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    AFAIK Apple doesn't sell a product with a DDL cert (Dolby Digital Live) so the only audio the Mac will output by default is 2 channels. If you are playing a movie (or maybe a DVD-A disc) you should be able to get multichannel sound out.
     
  12. e3mac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Wouldn't You Like to Know
    #12
    I have my mac connected to a surround sound receiver through the optical output. Like diamond.g said mac os x doesn't output in surround sound normally (ex. during error noises and music playing). However if you have a video or audio file with surround sound encoded audio the mac will output it. I am not sure if it will work over HDMI but I would suggest opening a file with surround sound in VLC. Then select audio from the menu bar and go to the audio device menu and see if there is an HDMI or displayport option, if there is try it. If that doesn't work the alternative would be to buy the mini-toshlink adapter and a toshlink cable. Then connect your audio and video separately through displayport>HDMI and mini-toshlink>toshlink.
     

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