Surround sound playback from DVD on Mac
Old 24th December 2012
  #1
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Surround sound playback from DVD on Mac

I've just set up 5.1 monitoring in my studio, connected via my Apogee Symphony system (Symphony 64 PCIe card connected to a DA16x) on a Mac running Lion OS10.7.5.

I want to review/play some commercial film DVDs and was hoping to do this simply by playing the DVD from the Superdrive on my Mac via DVD player in Lion. I can configure the 5.1 monitors in the Audio/MIDI setup OK but DVD player doesn't seem to have any way of configuring the output to 5.1 and plays back stereo by default.

Just thinking this through; the multichannel audio on the commercial DVD must be in Dolby Digital format (ie AC-3) and would require decoding back into the 5.1 channels prior to being output as DISCRETE channels via my audio interface. I've looked at threads on the Internet which talk about outputting the surround sound from the digital outputs (to be decoded externally?) but haven't found the solution to what must be a common request; how do I play back 5.1 from a commercial DVD on a Mac using my audio interface.

Any solution would make my Christmas.

Cheers and best wishes for Xmas.
Old 24th December 2012
  #2
Gear addict
 
Andrew Mottl's Avatar
 

Not sure about Apple's DVD player, but with the free VLC player you can select the audio devices playback mode (mono/stereo/5.1). Works flawlessly on PC.
Old 24th December 2012
  #3
Gear interested
That should actually be relatively simple, just go in to the Audio MIDI setup page and in the audio page click on the output that you're using and click on the button that says "configure speakers", go into the multichannel page, and route your outputs.

As long as youre not trying to output an ac3 stream out of an optical cable (which is a nightmare to get working) that should do it.
Old 24th December 2012
  #4
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Andrew, thanks for the suggestion. So, presumably that means that VLC takes the AC-3 audio from the DVD, decodes it and outputs it as discrete channels, right?
Old 24th December 2012
  #5
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Ivignola, I've set up multichannel outputs OK in the Audio/MIDI setup. The trouble is that Apples DVD player doesn't seem to allow you to configure the outputs via your audio interface nor allow you to select the multichannel configuration you have set up in audio/MIDI.
Old 24th December 2012
  #6
Gear nut
 
dkerins's Avatar
 

+1 for VLC. I do it to watch DVDs in the studio all the time through my aging 003r.
Old 24th December 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
pethenis's Avatar
 

Old 25th December 2012
  #8
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by pethenis View Post
The pro way:

SoundCode for Dolby Digital

I have a copy and it's for sale. PM me if you're interested.
Pethenis,

I'm using Nuendo and it looks like SoundCode is AudioUnits only.
Thanks for the suggestion; I'll have a deep look into this.
Old 25th December 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
cebolao's Avatar
 

Okay. But can vlc player output the video to the pci video card?
Old 25th December 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
pethenis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amathie View Post
Pethenis,

I'm using Nuendo and it looks like SoundCode is AudioUnits only.
Thanks for the suggestion; I'll have a deep look into this.
Ah, sorry, missed that.
Old 29th December 2012
  #11
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Just some feedback.

I downloaded VLC media player 2.0.5 and it does exactly what I was hoping it would do; give me 5.1 surround sound playback via the channels/speakers configured in the Mac OS Audio/MIDI setup application.

Brilliant!
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