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.

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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).