Illegitimi non carborundum


Bobby Digital: In 5.1 Surround

OK, so this question crops up quite often, so I figured it's worth a post. People often ask how to enable 5.1 digital output with PulseAudio. In the past the answer is typically "you can't because S/PDIF only accepts stereo PCM or passthrough data" and while this is true, we can relatively easily hook up an AC3 encoder which is helpfully provided in the ALSA plugins package.

UPDATE: This guide now also mentions Alexander Patrakov's (G+) DTS encoder dcaenc as an alternative to the alsa-plugins AC3 encoder.