How does 5.1 surround sound work with downloads?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Doju, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    Firstly, rest assured, I promise, I am not talking about illegal torrents. Got it? Okay, I don't want to say more.

    If I download a .MKV file/movie in 720p or 1080p, do they come in the 5.1 surround sound (not stereo), or does it depend on the file? Can I know by doing a CMD+I to the file?

    And what's the difference between 5.1 surround sound and stereo? I've looked around but it's very technical. Easy definition?
  2. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2009
    it depends on the file, most files will usually be stereo, which is 2.0

    the difference between stereo and 5.1 is 5.1 is more directional sound, an explosion behind will come from behind, and the like with the side speakers and such ;)

    i'm not sure about finding out if a file is 5.1 from the cmd + I, you might be able to ;)
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Have a read here:

    It's a bit antiquated but should give you the info you need. Basically, "stereo" can give you 5 channel surround, while 5.1 has discrete channels that includes the LFE channel (bass) and has better dynamic range and separation. MPEG4 can only have AC3 5.1; MKV containers can also have DTS 5.1, a better audio codec.

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