The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Discuss encoding for devices and presets.
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yitbos4
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:08 pm

The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Post by yitbos4 »

Hello everyone, I had a posting on the Apple discussion forum and a poster was kind enough to point me this direction and help me with an answer to an earlier question though this forum. I really appreciate everyone's input before. I hope you can help us understand the best audio setting for surround sound on our movies which will be played on our Apple TV.

We have a Sony STR-DG710 receiver. There are so many settings on there, we don't even know what all they do. We keep it set on the AFD Auto setting which illuminates the lights for all five channels and the sub woofer. But the book has so much detail and it's way over our head. We just want good sound and to have surround sound so we feel like we are at the movies. Especially since we have young kids and can't get to the theater very often.

We have ripped some movies with HandBrake but it doesn't seem like we are getting surround sound out of them. I'm not sure which audio setting we should be picking. We either rip with h264, the Apple TV default, and we never have changed any of the audio settings. Or we rip with MPEG-4 (the first setting in the codecs listing). Again, we have not changed any settings in the audio.

I know there is Dolby Prologic and Prologic II and some other choices, but I'm not sure which one we should choose in either the h264 or MPEG-4 Codec. Could someone point me to a good information page if one has been set up, or give us some direction here? We try and keep the size smaller on the videos so we can get as many as possible on our NAS drive, but we don't mind using more space, especially if it gives us the movie theater environment and feel. I did look at the documentation (work in progress) and read the audio information. But I'm not sure if there is a best practices choice for surround sound or maybe someone knows our receiver brand and model and can suggest the right setting on the receiver to get the great sound we are looking for.

Thanks everyone for your help. We really appreciate it.

Lucy

nightstrm
Veteran User
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:43 am

Re: The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Post by nightstrm »

Download .9.2 if you haven't already, update the built-in presets, and use the AppleTV preset to get an unmodified copy of the Dolby Digital soundtrack from the original DVD.

That's the best you'll get; however, the files will be larger.

yitbos4
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:08 pm

Re: The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Post by yitbos4 »

nightstrm wrote:Download .9.2 if you haven't already, update the built-in presets, and use the AppleTV preset to get an unmodified copy of the Dolby Digital soundtrack from the original DVD.

That's the best you'll get; however, the files will be larger.
Thank you for the reply. I do have 9.2, the latest version. Can you explain what you mean by update the built-in presets? I'm not sure i follow your suggestion there. And how will I know it's an unmodified version of dolby digital? When I choose a DVD, will that be one of the audio choices "unmodified dolby digital?"

Thanks again for the help. I'll get much more proficient over time with this software.

Lucy

nightstrm
Veteran User
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:43 am

Re: The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Post by nightstrm »

yitbos4 wrote:
nightstrm wrote:Download .9.2 if you haven't already, update the built-in presets, and use the AppleTV preset to get an unmodified copy of the Dolby Digital soundtrack from the original DVD.

That's the best you'll get; however, the files will be larger.
Thank you for the reply. I do have 9.2, the latest version. Can you explain what you mean by update the built-in presets? I'm not sure i follow your suggestion there. And how will I know it's an unmodified version of dolby digital? When I choose a DVD, will that be one of the audio choices "unmodified dolby digital?"

Thanks again for the help. I'll get much more proficient over time with this software.

Lucy
In the mac client, there is an option to update presets in the menubar at the top of the screen. The only real way to know that its "unmodified" is to trust the developers when they say that AC3 passthru does nothing but "pass through" the AC3 signal. I trust them. :D

Of course, if you look in iTunes, it will only report a 2-channel soundtrack, but fear not, that is the backward compatibilty AAC file that will allow the file to be played on devices that do not support AC3 passthru.

appletvfan
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:24 am

Re: The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Post by appletvfan »

Thanks so much for that info about updating the presets. It has solved a major mystery to me about why 2 of my 3 apple computers were not coping the surround sountrack. All the computers were running the latest version of Handbrake and yet only one was giving me the surround sound on the movie when I tried playing the movie on my apple TV. Sure enough the 2 did not have the latest preset versions and once I got them installed I did a short test with coping 2 chapters of a movie then installing them on the apple TV immediately caused the blue digital light on my Sony AV receiver to light up. Now I am back to ripping my DVD's on all 3 machines

iphotostuff
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: The best surround sound setting for Apple TV

Post by iphotostuff »

So, which setting did you end up using? I have run into the same issue where the audio I play from a hard disk is significantly better than the same disc ripped even though that file indicates it has 5.1 surround. For mixdown did you use "dolby pro logic II" or something else? Or, should I just be using AC3 passthrough for the audio codec? Unfortunately, but home theater is pretty bad, so it's very hard to tell what setting to set it to their to get true 5.1 surround, but I have found that ALL settings I currently try are far inferior to the real thing.

Please let us know what your final settings were. Thanks.

discless
Regular User
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:47 am

AppleTV as 5.1 DTS music player

Post by discless »

The current AppleTV default setting (version 0.9.5) will give you the best result:

First audio track: Codec - AAC (Core Audio); Mixdown - Dolby Pro Logic II

Second audio track: Codec - AC3 passthru; Mixdown - AC3 passthru

My DVD rips play full 5.1 surround sound from the digital output of my AppleTV 1st Generation to my Samsung HT-BD1250; while the 2 channel AAC is played through to my HDTV if I do not want to use my Home Theater for audio.

Also lately, I have been enjoying the workproduct of the "hobbyists" who take high quality classic rock vinyl LPs and using various software tools, remix these albums to full 5.1 DTS surround sound.

I then use iTunes to convert these DTS files to Apple Lossless, sync them to my AppleTV and my AppleTV is now a 5.1 music player as well.

The work of this hobby is documented on the following forum:

http://www.surroundbyus.com/

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