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Digital Audio Out
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Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, I just want to take the time to say thanks to SOCOMRAIDER and everyone else for the advice and answers to my digital audio / surround sound hardware questions. You guys have been tremendously helpful!

Now onto my dilemma and my plan of action.

My head is still spinning from all the reviews of the new Intel Mac Mini. Deciding on whether to buy or not has been tough, especially after waiting so long for the unveling. After weighing all the pros and cons, I have come to a decision. I will buy the new intel mini, but only to serve in the absence of what I really want... a hybrid intel mini/Imac. If Apple is smart, they will squeeze the capabilities of an Imac into the body of a Mini. I strongly suspect that Apple will release something like this, hopefully by this time next year. They have to... its just the next logical step... it is the missing link. It will be the option that should have been offered instead of what is available now.

If you look at the benchmarks of the new intel mini as compared to the imac, you will see that the imac is better in most respects. But I dont want an Imac... I already have a swell LCD monitor and keyboard and mouse.

I dont plan on gaming anyway, so hopefully the new mini CD 1.66Ghz will hold me over till Apple comes to it's senses. Its either that or a cheap PC... i just want to surf, email and enjoy home theatre. Thats all...nothing more.

Thanks for listening... I had to get all this off my chest... and no one else is around to hear me. I feel better!
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Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted this on the Mac Mini Discussion at Apple but am hoping someone here might be able to assist.

Re: How to connect Intel Mac Mini to Dolby Digital Receiver ?

I have really been struggling with this issue.

I have tried two scenerios - neither of which have resulted in successfully outputing Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS to my amp via the Mini.

First let me briefly describe the set-up:
* Denon AVR-5700 AV Amplifier
* Mac Mini (Intel) 1.66/1gb/100mb
* Monster iCable Fibre Cable (with 1/8" mini jack adapter)
* ADS Tech Instant Music USB (http://www.adstech.com/products/RDX-150/intro/RDX-150_intro1.asp?pid=RDX-150)

My initial set up did not include the ADS Tech device. It was a straight feed of the iCable to the Optical input on the Denon. The Denon recognized the toslink connection. I edited the DVD Player Preferences in the Disk Setup section to output audio via the Digital Optical output. This resulted in NO sound at all via the DVD Player. I still had sound via iTunes, system sounds, etc.

I bought the ADS Tech device - not as a means to solve this problem - but as a way to be able to output digital to the Denon as well as being able to output analog via the Multi-room capabilities of the amplifier. The Denon can only output analog via the multi-rooms audio output jack. So I have the video output for the multi-room option coming via the Denon and the analog from the ADS Tech device is going directly to my L/R RCA wall jack that feeds my second room. This works very well. Programming the Apple Remote buttons into my universal room allows me to control the mini from anywhere in the house - which is really quite nice.

The ADS Tech device has a toslink in and out and and analog in and out - both of which can be used simultaneously. I've now got the toslink (spdif) out from the Mini going into the ADS Tech box and the toslink (spdif) out from the ADS box going into one of the optical inputs on the Denon. Again, Denon recognizes the digital signal, the ADS box acknowledges the digital input (via it's SPDIF indicator light). But, I still am unable to produce a Dolby 5.1 or DTS signal from the Mini.

I have:

a) Verified that the DVD Player preferences are set correclty
b) Specifically selected either DTS or Dolby 5.1 from the title being played. (Including selecting a different audio option from the DVD Player itself)
c) Ensured that the Denon is configured properly for decoding the digital signal.
d) Played all tested titles (Matrix, The Fifth Element, Eagles **** Freezes Over, etc) in two other DVD players to ensure that the discs worked properly (and they did).

So - in the end - I'm just totaly baffled as to why I can't seem to output digital signal from the Mini to the Denon that can be decoded to produce a Dolby 5.1 or DTS signal.

What else can I try?
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 2869
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should take it and start all over again.
Do not put anything in between your Mini and receiver.

Check all the connections, make sure there is nothing wrong with any connections. There are some instances where people have left the plastic cover tip on it. Once you verified that the connections are good. Check that the red light is coming out the end that plugs into the receiver, once you configure your Mini.
Go to the System Preferences to make sure it is on the right output. Then make sure again, that the DVD Player's Disc Setup is right. After you click OK, open it again to make sure it stays on the right set up. Put in your movie and let it play.
Then go to your receiver and make sure you have selected the right input.
I know you went through all of this, but just keep trying.
Anyways back on subject.
After selecting the right input, make sure it's audio selection is correct. That the digital input is selected. I have a newer Denon receiver and you must select the corresponding optical input for the specific video/audio input (Video 1,2 CD or CDR). Mine is done thru the receiver's system menu. Then make sure you leave it on the Pro Logic/Cinema setting, as it should automatically pick up the 5.1. If not, go thru the settings again and see if you can pick the 5.1 signal. Or if your remote has the option on it.

At this point if you don't get any 5.1 but you do get sound on iTunes, either try re-installing DVD Player off of your disk that came with your Mini. Check the preferences again on both the Mini and receiver.

Or your decoder is no longer working and could possibly be a hardware issue.
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