No 5.1 output from HDMI

Hi, sorry if this has been covered but I couldnt find anything in search.

Like the Topic says I cant get 5.1 from hdmi. I actually cant get any digital audio output from hdmi. Everything is set correctly and I am absolutely positive the source has 5.1 audio. Now if I use an optical cable I have 5.1 with no problems. I have read about 5.1 not being output over hdmi but didnt know if there was truth to it. If it does output discrete 5.1 then is it possible that I have a defective unit?? I tried calling tech support and didnt get anywhere. This unit is supposed to output hdmi 1.4 so that shouldnt be a problem. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!


I know you’ve said “Everything is set correctly” but just confirm that you have the AUDIO setting set to “Digital Passthrough via HDMI Only”

Also, what is the HDMI cable plugged into?  A TV?  An AVR or sound processor / etc?

When you set the Audio mode and select “Auto,” what formats are shown on the WDTV screen as supported?

 I have read about 5.1 not being output over hdmi

Totally false.  ;)  HDMI supports more surround formats than Optical does.

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply.  The audio is confirmed for hdmi pass-thru and its being plugged into an Onkyo TX-NR905 reciever. When setting the hdmi to pass-thru and using the automatic setting it will only detect pcm 2 channel and nothing else. Every other device I have going thru this reciever works perfectly and the formats are detected correctly. I guess I should add I am a certified ISF calibrationist so I am familiar with setting  things up.:wink: In the past I have had a few clients tell me they are passing 5.1 discrete when they are actually only passing ProLogic, {due to misconfiguring their processor}, so I’m sure you can understand my frustration. It makes no sense that when I change to optical pass-thru I get full 5.1 audio.

I came across this situation once before years ago when setting up a Dell laptop for a client. His hdmi would only pass 2 channel audio and after going round and round with tech support he was never able to get a definitive answer as to why.


Optical passthrough doesn’t use EDID, so the WD has to assume that the device downstream will handle the bit stream.

HDMI, on the other hand, uses EDID to determine the capabilities of the downstream device.   If the WDTV in auto detect isn’t showing any other format than PCM, then there’s a bug on one end of the link or the other.

The best way to figure out what the WDTV is seeing with EDID is to do the little easter egg to get the WDTV to put the EDID data stream on a memory stick

Check this thread:

on how to do a little “easter egg” to save the EDID data to a file.   You can use the freeware tool called MONINFO to decode the data to text.

Please post what you find.

Ok, this is interesting but doesnt make sense. Here is what it reported back:

 CE audio data as LCPM 2 channel 16/20/24 bit depths at 32/44/48 khz.

Under speaker config it is just showing left/right and none for the others.

I do have the all the onscreen bypassed, which shouldnt matter because it is detecting the correct  native resolution,

and it also shouldnt affect the audio. Now when using the same hdmi port with a PS3 or 2 other blu ray players I own it will pass with no issues. Not sure how to rectify this…

 CE audio data as LCPM 2 channel 16/20/24 bit depths at 32/44/48 khz.

Yep, then the WD will only send that.   It is being told by the Onkyo that it can’t support the other formats.

Most BD players don’t care what the EDID data says – it’s manually configured on the device.

You can try NOT using the AUTO selection for audio and manually setting the desired formats on the WD and see if that helps…

What I *think* might be happening is that your Onkyo is actually reporting your TV’s capabilities instead of its own.

Sometimes a “Direct Passthrough” type mode will do that on some receivers.

Here’s someone else:;topic=6579.0

… with that same receiver, but the data indicates:

CE audio formats supported
  LPCM    2-channel, 16/20/24 bit depths at 32/44/48/88/96/176/192 kHz
  LPCM    8-channel, 16/20/24 bit depths at 32/44/48/88/96/176/192 kHz
  AC-3    8-channel,  640k max. bit rate at 32/44/48 kHz
  DTS     8-channel, 1536k max. bit rate at 44/48 kHz
  SACD    6-channel                      at 44 kHz
  DD+     8-channel                      at 44/48 kHz
  DTS-HD  8-channel, 16-bit              at 44/48/88/96/176/192 kHz
  DVD-A   8-channel                      at 44/48/88/96/192 kHz

which is a LOT better than yours.  ;)

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Your last post got me thinking  since I bypass everything on the Onkyo it made sense if it was reporting my display.

I went ahead and changed the resolution in the Onkyo to 1080p instead of passthru and went back into the WD audio setup, hit auto, and Bam! …Theres all the audio formats. :smiley:  Thanks for the replies and insights. Being ISF my first rule is to bypass and turnoff any and all enhancement and go as direct as possible. I doubt I will see any difference with the setting I changed and if so I can always go back optical. At least this is one other thing to keep under wraps when troubleshooting. Thanks again!