2 yrs later. Appletv center audio channel drops when leaving app

starting with tvos14.
I have a 5.1 setup.
When watching a show and leaving the show mid play to go to another app, then returning to Channels show is still active but when i resume it the center audio channel with voice dialogue is not working.
If i stop the play back and return to guide or dvr list and resume again the audio comes back.

I have this issue recorded on video and emailed it to support.

Same exact problem on an AppleTV 4K, also with a 5.1 setup....

Try Channels app > Settings > Playback > Advanced > Audio Driver: Experimental

Appreciate the tip, but no change in behavior unfortunately.

  1. I forced closed Channels on my AppleTV

  2. I launched Channels, verified audio worked fine (it always does after a forced close)

  3. I changed to experimental audio and verified that audio still worked properly (it did)

  4. I switched out of the channels app to another app (Youtube) then immediately switched back to channels - Center Channel was not working (commentary in the sporting event was gone)

For good measure, I've also tested this in the NBC Sports App + Youtube TV. Neither exhibit the same problem (watching the same events, all Olympics)

For me I find that you have to stop the video exit to the guide and restart the video or restart the video recording and the center channel pick up

Either way you end up having to stop and exit the video

When I reported this issue wayback when I emailed the video detailing this to the support email.

I’m glad you bringing it up has started some traction again

I too have had this happen on my 5.1 setup, but didn’t realize it was a Channels issue. It’s not often, but I notice it when watching hockey - I’ll switch back to the game and only hear the crowd noise and on-ice sounds, no commentary ( which isn’t always a bad thing :grinning: ).

I’ll try to reproduce this and send the logs next time it happens.

Does this happen only if you switch apps while the Channels video player is active?

What if you leave the player first and go back into the Channels app menus, then switch apps from there?

Does this happen only if you switch apps while the Channels video player is active?
yes, if watching something then leaving channels apps while video is playing, run another app like youtube then returning to the channels app and the show auto-resumes the center audio is dropped. please see the video of me demoing this when first opened the issue.

What if you leave the player first and go back into the Channels app menus, then switch apps from there?
yes that works, as long as the show is stopped before leaving the channels app and opening another app, the center audio will resume later.

This also happens to me, “once in a blue moon”. In my years of using Channels I think it’s happened 2-3 times. For me it’s so rare I’ve never been able to detect a pattern of when it appears. If it happens again I’ll try to make a note of the circumstances and submit diagnostics.

for me it happens all the time, i have trained myself to stop the video before leaving the app

I almost always stop playback before exiting too, maybe that’s why I don’t see it much.

I made another video of this
What is the support email

Update to the issue
I found this out when I was making the video

You don’t have to play another app

If you’re watching a show and exit the channels app while the video is playing then resume the channels app and subsequently resume the video the center audio will be lost and you have to stop the video and then resume it to gain back the center audio

This is easy to replicate with nbc nightly news as first few minutes dialogue is done in 5.1

I have a video demoing this issue too

[email protected]


Similar to what @ damcclu reported:

  1. When I stop playing a video, return to the channels app menu, switch apps, return to channels and then resume the video the center channel audio plays fine
  2. When I switch apps while playing a video, return to channels and then resume the video, the center channel does not work

I've created another video showing the issue and submitted my logs. I'll respond on my existing support ticket with that video link


We have a possible fix for this in the latest TestFlight build. Please try it out.

See BETA: Audio improvements for Apple TV and iPhone/iPad

yes appears to be fixed


when is this fix going to be released?


This week for sure