As far as i know the optical only works when programmes are broadcast in AC3 /dolby digital. Cant get stereo out of optical either. Only Left & right from dreambox passed into amp are returned out as stereo. You really need AC3 to get surround sound. The Dreambox remote wont have any bearing on the sound when it broadcasts in AC3, you will need your Amps receiver. Havent really used my amp for surrond sound although it has toss cable connected.
7000S - 300GB Maxtor
1GB USB -
Syslink wifi bridge from DB to Syslink wifi router to Apple Extreme streaming relay to Apple G5, 2 xG4.
Elgato into G4 17 in for Apple DVB-T captures.
Panasonic 42 HD ready
The spdif ouput is a digital audio stream. To change the volume of the output needs DSP (digital signal preocessing) which adjusts the digital value representing the level by a gain factor +/-. This can be done by a software processor or an asic chip (application specific integrated circuit).
All the spdif outputs that I have encountered are fixed level -- the output coming off the pin of the asic that strips the audio off the transport stream.
You then process it outside the receiver box.
Some of us with a dBox1 (1997) soldered a wire onto that pin and fed it to a spdif socket screwed into the modem hole. That way, I caught digital audio stream from e.g. BBC rdio straight into DAT or a VXpocket on Mac to make CDs for archive. (Im on radio a bit and I do my friends also when they are on.)