Surround Sound Issue

Sony receiver displaying Dolby Digital signal, however all sound is being routed through front left and center speaker. The same is replicated when testing the surround sound in the Settings/Support.

This happened just recently, the Channels app has been working properly for over a year now. Nothing physical has changed with my setup. All other apps (AppleTV+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+) are producing correct surround sound from the correct speakers.

A little about my setup. Apple TV -> HDMI -> Samsung TV (audio settings are correct, other apps produce surround sound) -> HDMI -> Sony receiver. I wish I could connect my Apple TV directly to my Sony Receiver, however it doesn't support HDR passthrough.

Did something happen in either a Channels or iOS update that broke my surround sound?

Thank you so much for the help!

If this with ATSC3? Or what is the source?

ATSC 1, using HDHomeRun Connect Duo HDHR5-2US. Updated to latest firmware this week.

Does the Settings > Support > Test Surround option in the app work correctly?

Using the test surround sound, the sound is coming from left front and center channel only.

Huh. What is Settings > Playback > Advanced > Audio Driver set to? Does changing that help?

I’ve tried both the regular and the experimental. Nothing helps.

Thinking this may be due to a tvOS update. The same problem exists using the HDHomeRun app and the Surround Sound Speaker app.

What’s frustrating is that there are many apps where the surround sound is working fine (listed in my first post).

What version of tvOS?

Can you try setting the Apple TV audio settings to Auto or Dolby?

Also tried this, changing the setting from “change format off” to 5.1. Problem persists.
I’m running tvOS14.4

I have a couple other Apple TV’s with the same OS version that I’ve tried with this tv/receiver and the same problem exists.

What is the behavior when the Channels app advanced setting for Surround Sound is set to off?

Stereo sound, left and right front, as appropriate.

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Can you turn surround back on, play a channel, then click settings > support > submit diagnostics


This is something I noticed yesterday so I’ve had a play to make sure all is consistent with what has been described above.

UK TvOS 14.4 on Apple TV 4K (A1842 64Fb) using Channels 4.4.1 DVR 2021.02.04.1931

Sony receiver via optical link and displays the sound source correctly as Dolby 5.1 during a test or playback of 5.1 source.

Unfortunately I cannot say at what point anything changed as most UK broadcasts are not surround (5.1) so wouldn’t notice!!

Using the Test Surround Sound, with/without surround on, with/without experimental audio driver consistent only works for front left/centre/right speakers and the rear comes through on the front left/right.

I’ve also pulled in a couple of imported shows with verified ‘surround’ and 5.1 and the same results.

All other AppleTV sources (PrimeTV & InFuse) work fine.


Having the same problem with a Sonos Beam and two Play:1s for the rear speakers. Surround sound is set to on, I've tried changing the audio driver too but the test surround sound option only plays audio out of the front speakers.

Amazon Prime app on the Apple TV plays through all speakers as expected.

Just submitted some diagnostics.

Same problem here all is good with apple tv apps but channels no surround sound I tried all your suggestions also. Sending diagnostics. It.s the same for beta and stable

Please make sure your app is set to Settings > Playback > Streaming Quality > Home Streaming: Original. Then play something from beta app again for a few seconds and submit diagnostics.

It is

Just sent the Beta diagnostics now

You're playing a TVE channel and TVE is only stereo.