Audio passthrough on Mac

There was a question raised last year about audio pass through for the macOS version of Infuse whilst still in beta.

I could see that James had responded “TBD” in November, but no updates since and that topic was closed.

So the question is: has anyone tried doing an audio pass through from the mac?
Ideally, the mac should hand the audio bitstream to the AV receiver which would do the decoding into all the available formats, inc. DTS flavours, DD+ and Atmos correctly.

If it works, then I am looking at hooking up an Intel Mac Mini running latest macOS to a Denon receiver,using HDMI, and the receiver then decoding the audio correctly and feeding an LG Oled for the video.

I recall that this was possible in the early days with HD video and DTS or DD, but unsure about the current state of affairs.

My source material is mostly .mkv files with Atmos audio, some mp4’s with DV and Atmos or BluRay BDMV folders with DV and Atmos.

Would DV even work in this situation with the mp4 files?

I am just waiting to get hold of a Mac Mini and put these various permutations to test.


The M1 mac mini HDMI output is limited to only 48/24.

The older intel mac mini could be set to other sampling rates.

Just FYI… I have the M1 Mac Mini still so I could test things if you want but I don’t think I have anything that supports DV.

Thanks for the offer of testing. I have an M1 based Macbook Pro as well which I could use, but was rather hoping that an Intel Mac Mini would make an interesting alternative for playback.

I use a Cambridge Audio CXUHD BluRay player (Oppo 203 clone) for playing back the .mkv files with Atmos or the BDMV files with DV and Atmos, and Infuse / AppleTV for everything else

Do you know if the Infuse Pro app on Mac OS will stream all formats from ISO Rips to get Dolby Atmos? for most of the TVs we don’t care too much since as long can watch them with stereo audio (built in speakers on TVs in bedrooms and such) are fine with the Apple TV and Infuse. For the home theater I’m looking to replace my Zappiti for various reasons, mostly security since they only support SMBv1 shares an because Infuse Pro just has the a better design language.

Also is there an Remote control API for the Mac OS Version? It would be nice to be able to have a Control4 Driver for Infuse on MacOS. very much interested in going the Mac min and infuse pro route.

I picked up a 2014 core i5 Mac mini to do some testing. Got a Flirc usb dongle as well to use with remote buddy.

I am going to get same model Mac Mini as well soon for my testing. In response to your earlier questions, on the AppleTV, Infuse cannot passthrough the Atmos data from the ISO, and just sends a PCM bitstream of the main channels without the height channels to the receiver.

However, if the macOS / Infuse combination sends the raw bitstream to the receiver, then the receiver could decode it correctly

Just a note, the 2014 Mac mini only has hdmi 1.4. Isn’t a problem for 4K unless over 30fps (which movies usually aren’t going to be).

I may upgrade eventually if the test works for HDR though. 2018 has hdmi 2.0. I wish the m1 hdmi would work, if you are going that new the price difference is negligible.

Another thing I’m hoping infuse pro will handle on a Mac mini is 3D blu ray ISO’s. I know it will play one, but I don’t know if it will play both frames. Hopefully this is something they can add if not. I do use this on Zappiti a good bit as we imported serval 3D movies like Captain America and Avatar.

Got my Mac mini in today, a couple things I can confirm. No Dolby Atmos, only 7.1 PCM. From 4K blu ray rips.

Also the 2014 Mac mini does not have enough CPU for playing 4K blu ray rips. HD mostly works fine.

Another issue is going to be display scaling of Infuse, the app interface just doesn’t work on a TV.

I got the mini for $100 not sure what I’m going to do with it. Might see if there’s a windows app that will be comparable and do what I need and run on it.

Maybe, we will get an Infuse Pro box running on a custom SOC someday, an preferably without the Android problems Zappiti has. Zidoo might be our best option for now. Sad it would be nice to have the same interface everywhere

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. Looks like i will not bother with the Intel MacMini, and try out the AppleSilicon version and hopefully the native application later on.

I am using iMac, installed the Infuse Pro on MacOS and output video and audio to AV receiver via HDMI cable. I found that my AV receiver cannot recognize DTS or Dolby audio format during playback, does the DTS or Dolby audio output only support on tvOS? If yes, will you add this to the Infuse Pro MacOS version?

This is not available in the current version, but is something we’ll be looking into for an upcoming release.

I’ve moved your post to the active thread for this feature.

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@attarloo I just tried playing a DTS movie on my Mac through HDMI and the output is 7.1 PCM - so no need for the receiver to be able to decode DTS to work!
The DTS (or Dolby) stream is decoded on the Mac, which explains why your receiver does not display DTS or Dolby.
That is not an issue except for object-based audio (Dolby Atmos or DTS-X).
You have the full surround experience!!

Here is an example of what my receiver receives when playing a DTS-HD 7.1 video in Infuse on my Mac through HDMI :

@james I believe that you meant that audio passthrough is not available on macOS - Dolby and DTS audio play as Dolby and DTS from Infuse on a Mac through HDMI, although the receiver does not display DTS or Dolby (because it receives multichannel PCM).

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+1 Definitely need this to play AC3, DTS, etc. audio tracks via optical audio cable (a non-HDMI system). VLC allows “encoded audio output,” so we have to use two players for now. Would much prefer to use one across all devices in the house.

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IMac 2015 can use Kodi source code to output to pioneer lx90, but dts-hs and Dolby truehd will be reduced to DTS and Dolby Digital. There are no dts-hs and Dolby truehd in Kodi settings. If Kodi turns off the pass through amplifier, PCM is displayed. I hope infouse can solve the problem of HDMI source code output as soon as possible, including new encoding formats such as atmos. thank you

I have a Logitech Z-5500 5.1 system connected to my Mac via S/PDIF output. I have tried every pre-release version of Infuse for Mac, and none, including the latest RC2, had 6-channel encoded optical output working. Rather, the sound is being transmitted as regular stereo.

I have no issues in either IINA or VLC, where I am able to get both encoded Dolby Digital and DTS on my Z-5500 receiver, depending on the source. This is the only obstacle preventing me from jumping over to Infuse on my Mac. I would be grateful if this issue could be addressed.


Simple encoded passthrough output is still not working with infuse for MacOS which is pretty disappointing considering the time since the software is released. VLC is able to do this for far more than a decade now, which proves that digital passthrough sound output on a Mac is possible!

The whole point of the encoded sound format (beside saving filesize) is to play the soundtrack as it’s supposed to sound like by letting a dedicated AV Receiver decode it. No clunky interpretation to PCM output by a software solution to send it to an AV Receiver which tries to do its own interpretation of that clunky mix again. The result is pretty disappointing.
Whoever wants to tell you a software decoding would be an equal solution to the original encoded soundtrack passed-through to a AV Receiver compatible with the original encoded file format has obviously no idea of what he’s talking. (That’s like reading a book, then writing your own version of it by memorising it and handing it over to another person who needs to read it out loud to an audience. You just don’t get the same story as it suppose to be)

The “full surround experience” you ONLY get with the original passthrough output. If there are any doubts about that do the test by playing a movie with DD or DTS using passthrough via VLC and check against the software decoded version. A little child can hear the difference. There is a reason for standard sound encoding formats like DTS, Dolby Digital etc. and there is also a reason why certain AV systems get certificates like THX.

So please Firecore - please do something about audio passthrough.


So please Firecore - please do something about audio passthrough.

For MacOS

Don’t forget that you need to click the like button on the first post in this thread to show your support for this suggestion! :wink:

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Infuse is by far the best player experience on appleTV or on any stream box (Kodi on android is typical of OSS experience : it somewhat works).
The only disappointment of Infuse on AppleTV is the lack of Passthrough for audio, apparently because of Apple usual limitations :disappointed:.
Infuse for Mac could be the perfect player if it could support Passthrough, since it’s apparently possible on macOS (VLC does support it).
Please, please guys at Firecore, focus on Passthrough audio support on macOS !

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