Multi-Channel DAC

I have an elementary question. In a multi-channel setup, if an external DAC is added, does that DAC have to divide the signal into 5 seperate cables or can 1 cable handle 5 analog signals?

I know this is a question i could answer myself, but what are your opinions of this setup? And, what DAC will distribute 5 sperate channels if it is necessary?
I can't believe no one has an answer to this question!
Please help!
There is no such thing as an external multi-channel DAC to play DVD-A and SACD formats. Right now multichannel DVD-A and SACD are decoded by the players themselves... no interface has been defined for these formats.

In terms of any music encoded on a DVD using AC-3 or DTS, this is how a HT processor works... it receives a single digital connection from the DVD player and outputs 5.1 channels to the amplifiers from its DACS...