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How to get 5.1 AC-3 surround sound for videos in iTunes
Authored by: jeffbyrnes on Dec 03, '09 09:53:50AM

I've never had any difficulty getting 5.1 sound out of my videos/movies that I've converted using Handbrake. As for the digital output, it passes along whatever it's given; if you play a 5.1 track, it sends that out to whatever is at the other end; you'll get static if you try to play digital sound through an analog device, or a receiver that's incapable of understanding AC-3 or DTS signals.

Interesting to note as well, that the Audio MIDI Setup application has a "Configure Speakers…" button. If you click it, you can set up the speakers individually AND it has settings for multi-channel setups, where you could assign the channels correctly if they're coming out wrong, and attenuate volume levels for distance factors (always handy when your rear speakers are closer than your front speakers, or other situations that are similar.)

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-Jeff



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How to get 5.1 AC-3 surround sound for videos in iTunes
Authored by: jeffbyrnes on Dec 03, '09 09:56:11AM

One other thing: if you're encoding with Handbrake, you need to make sure it's set to passthrough the 5.1 AC-3 track your movie has, otherwise you end up with "Surround", which isn't true multi-channel 5.1, but rather faux-surround. You can always tell what a movie has by opening it with QuickTime Player 7 & checking the "Get Info" panel; you'll see the video & audio tracks listed in that window.

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-Jeff



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