Getting only 2 channel audio from Apple TV 4K with 5.1 content


Novice Member
Hi, I need some pointers or help understanding what to try next to get 5.1 from an Apple TV. It's a minor gripe and more for my own curiosity.

I have a 65" GZ1000, connected via ARC to a Yamaha RX-AS710 with a standard 5.1 set up. I can't find a method for the amp to passthrough Dolby Vision - only HDR - so I connect an Apple TV 4K directly to the TV. I've accepted this is just a result of the older AV not supporting it, no problem.

Using the internal Panny apps, audio works as expected. 5.1 audio as expected on 5.1 content.

Using the Apple TV, and content in Dolby Atmos - Apple TV content - everything works as expected. The TV displays the 'Dolby Vision' 'Dolby Atmos' logos up the top right, the amp displays 'Dolby Digital+' and 5.1 kicks in. This makes me assume HDMI cables aren't the bottle neck and everything is hooked up correctly.

However, any 5.1 content played on Apple TV from Netflix or Disney Plus, the amp displays 'PCM' and I only receive 2 channel sound.

A workaround is going into Settings -> Sound -> Change format on Apple TV, and specifically select '5.1', but this comes with dire warnings of degraded sound quality (??!!). This is how I have settled for the moment. I would still like to understand why Atmos content, not supported by the AV, is correctly being passed through and decoded, but standard 5.1 content is being passed through as 2 channel. This workaround obviously is removing the 'Dolby Atmos' passthrough to the TV. I assume this is a moot point anyway if the AV doesn't support Atmos?

As it stands, I am unsure which device is the culprit, the Apple TV, the GZ or the AV. I assume for my set up manually changing to 5.1 has no consequence, I am more curious to know what is wrong somewhere for the problem in the first place.

Things I've tried
1. Apple TV directly to AV. Result - as expected. 5.1 sound, but only standard HDR passthrough
2. Swapped all the cables around multiple times. Result - no changes.
3. Replaced the ARC to AV connection with an optical cable. Result - no changes.
4. Reset Apple TV. Result - no changes.
5. Reset AV. Result - no changes
6. Reset TV. Result - no changes (but a good deal of user TV channel curation frustration :p)
7. Toggled any HDMI related option I can find on the GZ. Result - no improvement
8. Toggled any HDMI related option (including the 'advanced' mode switches) I can find on the AV. Result - no improvement



Well-known Member
It seems that the TV is not passing 5.1 audio via HDMI inputs to ARC. It’s quite a common problem. Your only option is probably an HDMI splitter of some sort which will allow to connect the ATV4K to both the TV and amp.

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