No Surround Sound with WD TV Live Plus

I just bought a WD TV Live Plus and am unable to get anything but stereo sound out of the system.  I have used HDMI only, HDMI with optical cable and component with optical cable.  I set the audio to digital and digital without HDMI.  I have tried streaming HD from Netflix and also the HD video content from the WD TV disk.  I finally called WD and was told that I need a firmware update that they are working on.  I have seen people post about surround sound problems and report that they had it working.  I suppose it’s possible that they were talking about the WD TV Live, not the WD TV Live Plus.  I guess I should get around to some questions here.  First, can anyone confirm for me that the WD TV Live Plus is bugged and cannot provide surround sound?  Second, should I expect an HD stream from Netflix to contain surround sound?  If not, were can I access that kind of content without jumping into ripping DVD’s or BD’s?  I guess I’m just pretty stunned that a 1080p capable, Netflix streaming system is unable to handle at least 5.1.  I’m posting on the firmware board since WD suggests that’s the problem.  Just let me know if I should also post on the general board.  Thanks in advance.

Well, sortof.  

For SOME PEOPLE, surround is not functioning correctly.  For others, it is…  Not clear WHY it’s differing to me…  

There’s all kinds of sample content out there that has HD and surround stuff; just search the Google.   I do NOT recommend illegally downloading copyrighted content, though…

Hello, I have the WD TV Live + as well. I noticed that while wathcing a movie as well my sound would go silent for .5 of a second then resume. I have my WDTVLive+ hooked up to my TV via HDMI and to my reciver via Optical.

When I have the audio set to DIGITAL I got this stutter problem.

Can WD clarify that when the unit is set to DIGTIAL does it send the sound/audio out over both the HDMI and the optical out.

What you can do is dl a few of these 5.1 test files and play them. My receiver when it detects differnt digital signals its displays which format it’s receiving: Denon AVR3801

When playing other HD movies I do see it detect it as either DTS, or Digital Dolby and works fine so I know the signal out is working right, just this stutter is bothering me.

5.1 Audio test files:

Good luck…



Is the surround sound working on your WDTV Live+?  If so, are you using HDMI only or do you have to use an optical cable?


Thanks for the info and the link.  I will give the files a try.  It turns out Netflix is not providing surround sound with their instant watch HD content.  Here’s a link:

I have the WD TV Live with the latest firmware (not the current pre-release).  I can confirm that I can play 5.1 surround with my unit.  I have an optical connection from the Live to my surround sound unit.  My system recognizes the stream as digital and decodes it to the appropriate channels.

I tried the files at and was able to get surround sound throught the WD Live+.  Thank’s for the help.

One other note, I was able to get 5.1 surround using only an HDMI cable.  I did not have to use an optical cable as the manual states.

I DO get Netfix 5.1 optical from my Roku box, but not from my new WD TV live that I picked up yesterday. I’ll keep poking around for a solution for the WD. From FAQ, Roku: What type of audio outputs does the Netflix Player by Roku have? The Netflix Player by Roku outputs standard stereo audio on the red and white composite audio cables or 5.1 channel surround sound using the HDMI or optical audio cables. Keep in the mind that the movie or show must also contain 5.1 channel audio for surround sound to work. – Another interesting tidbit from this faq. - You can use 4 players per Netflix account –