I am trying to troubleshoot playback of discretely encoded 5.1 audio on Apple TV. It is apparent that Apple TV can "pass through" Dolby Digital (aka AC-3).

Are there readily available video clips (i.e. no charge, and able to be reliably found through the Apple TV user interface) that are known to be encoded in either Dolby Digital or DTS?


After about a week of use, I have not come across any free content on AppleTV that is 5.1 encoded. My search was by no means exhaustive, but even the previews for blockbuster movies seem to only be plain old stereo.

The good news is that various movies on Netflix (e.g. a Big Year) and iTunes (e.g. The Hunger Games) are Dolby Digital encoded, so if you play them on Apple TV, discrete audio channels are played back if your audio equipment is capable.

Other notable Dolby Digital encoded content:

  • iTunes festival 2012 - Usher (free, but probably not for long)
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You can use TVAndMoviesNow.com to search for titles with surround sound on Netflix, just check the box labeled More search options and then check Surround sound only.

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