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No 5:1 from Mac Mini media centre

johjames

Novice Member
Hi All,

We have a late 2012 Mac Mini based media centre connected to our media library which is stored on a NAS drive, we also stream video files from the Mac Mini.
The Mac Mini is connected via HDMI to a Sony STRDN-1080 receiver, which is then connected via HDMI ARC to our LG OLED-TV.
Unfortunately when we use the Mac Mini, we've only managed to get 5:1 sound once, with it almost always being stereo. There is no issue with the receiver or TV as when we use the TV it always plays in 5:1.
As the screen shots show, our Mac Mini doesn't detect the receiver in the Sound Output settings and in Audio Midi Setup even when I configure the 5:1 speakers and they work when tested via Audio Midi Setup, when we play a video file it is almost always in stereo.
I've scoured the internet and tried amending the settings without success. Do any of you please have any solutions as to how we can resolve this and get video files played via our Mac Mini to have 5:1 sound? If not is there another method we could use which allows to use the NAS drive and maintain internet access? Thank you.

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next010

Distinguished Member
Download Kodi (if not using it already) and go to cog icon->settings->system->audio
* set audio output device = HDMI output
* set number of channels = 7.1
* Audio pass-through = disabled/off (default)

Now try playing a video in Kodi and see what happens, if OSX allows it Kodi should decode everything to lossless multi-channel PCM and you should be getting PCM 5.1 or PCM 7.1 on your Sony receiver.

If it doesn't then yeah you got a problem of some sort, cant say I'm too familiar with OSX HTPC usage though.

You can also try bitstreaming which sends the 5.1 audio to the receiver directly but this can be dependent on the host OS detecting Dolby/DTS support on the HDMI receiver which in your case it does not seem to be doing, to try it enable the pass-through setting and set the output device.

Are you using the HDMI output on the Mac Mini, if so try a Displayport Mini to HDMI cable instead on the Mac Mini, DP at least on Windows seems to fair better in detecting HDMI audio support than using the actual HDMI interface for some odd reason, perhaps the same is true on OSX.
 

johjames

Novice Member
Download Kodi (if not using it already) and go to cog icon->settings->system->audio
* set audio output device = HDMI output
* set number of channels = 7.1
* Audio pass-through = disabled/off (default)

Now try playing a video in Kodi and see what happens, if OSX allows it Kodi should decode everything to lossless multi-channel PCM and you should be getting PCM 5.1 or PCM 7.1 on your Sony receiver.

If it doesn't then yeah you got a problem of some sort, cant say I'm too familiar with OSX HTPC usage though.

You can also try bitstreaming which sends the 5.1 audio to the receiver directly but this can be dependent on the host OS detecting Dolby/DTS support on the HDMI receiver which in your case it does not seem to be doing, to try it enable the pass-through setting and set the output device.

Are you using the HDMI output on the Mac Mini, if so try a Displayport Mini to HDMI cable instead on the Mac Mini, DP at least on Windows seems to fair better in detecting HDMI audio support than using the actual HDMI interface for some odd reason, perhaps the same is true on OSX.
Thanks Next010 that’s really helpful of you. We use Plex, not Kodi and Plex doesn’t seem to allow us access to modify the sound output despite my best efforts. Even so we also use the Mac Mini to stream video content and so even if we used Kodi, this wouldn’t impact on the audio from the streams, although I might be wrong. Nevertheless I’ll give Kodi a try. The DisplayPort mini cable may we’ll be worth a try too.
 

johjames

Novice Member
I've tried the DisplayPort mini cable, which unfortunately hasn't allowed the Mac Mini to recognise the Sony receiver. The surround sound also remains hit and miss from the Mac Mini with this cable. I'm at a loss as to what to do now. Any suggestions would be gratefully received please!
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Thanks Next010 that’s really helpful of you. We use Plex, not Kodi and Plex doesn’t seem to allow us access to modify the sound output despite my best efforts. Even so we also use the Mac Mini to stream video content and so even if we used Kodi, this wouldn’t impact on the audio from the streams, although I might be wrong. Nevertheless I’ll give Kodi a try. The DisplayPort mini cable may we’ll be worth a try too.
I've tried the DisplayPort mini cable, which unfortunately hasn't allowed the Mac Mini to recognise the Sony receiver. The surround sound also remains hit and miss from the Mac Mini with this cable. I'm at a loss as to what to do now. Any suggestions would be gratefully received please!
Use the Plex plugin with Kodi, that will make it so Kodi can use Plex media server and Kodi handles all audio/video tasks.
* In Kodi go to add-ons and search for Plex and install it.
* Run the addon and once you have connected to your Plex server and signed in click your username then select settings.
* Under main enable automatically sign in if only using one account.
* Under advanced enable start Plex on Kodi startup - this will make Kodi auto load Plex on start.

As for streaming media from other sources like Amazon or Netflix yeah those can be messy from a computer, not sure about limits of OSX in this area. Youtube is stereo only always no matter what a video says otherwise.
 
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