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Old Jun 17, 2012, 06:25 AM   #1
th1nk
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5.1 optical out from MacBook Air

Hi,
I just found out that the Macbook Air does not have the combined optical out port like the MacBook Pro. I am currently looking for a cheap solution to get optical TOSLINK or coaxial signal to my receiver which has no HDMI port.

I googled quite a bit and was shocked that I could not find a solution.

Really, no one has found a solution for this yet? I mean there just has to be an external soundcard with Bitstream-Passtrough or some kind of HDMI to TOSLINK audio adapter or something? I found some USB adapters, but it seems the 5.1 only works on windows, Mac ist stereo only. WTF?

Please tell me that I will be able to get my delicious 5.1 from my new MacBook Air when it arrives, or I will have to send it back and wait for the new thin MacBook Pro 13"!
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 06:43 AM   #2
kylera
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Quote:
Originally Posted by th1nk View Post
Hi,
I just found out that the Macbook Air does not have the combined optical out port like the MacBook Pro. I am currently looking for a cheap solution to get optical TOSLINK or coaxial signal to my receiver which has no HDMI port.

I googled quite a bit and was shocked that I could not find a solution.

Really, no one has found a solution for this yet? I mean there just has to be an external soundcard with Bitstream-Passtrough or some kind of HDMI to TOSLINK audio adapter or something? I found some USB adapters, but it seems the 5.1 only works on windows, Mac ist stereo only. WTF?

Please tell me that I will be able to get my delicious 5.1 from my new MacBook Air when it arrives, or I will have to send it back and wait for the new thin MacBook Pro 13"!
I did some Googling and found this:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001OZ2K8/...ackoverfl08-20
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 07:32 AM   #3
Monkeyat
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The best solution, IMHO is to use an Airport Express from Apple and you will get a 3.5-mm audio minijack for analog or optical digital sound. And if you don't have one, you can get a mini-jack to Toslink adapter from Amazon

Take a look here
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 08:08 AM   #4
th1nk
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thanks for the replies!
will the airport express also work with VLC and other players to output true 5.1? or is it limited to itunes and other airplay-enabled applications?

also, 99 bucks for optical audio is a lot of cash... has anyone successfully used a 30 buck usb soundcard to achieve simular results? I found the M-Audio Transit that supports digital AC3 pass-through, but production is discontinued. is there a similar product available right now?
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 08:33 AM   #5
Monkeyat
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I personally use Airport Express and I love it! It's not just for audio, but it's a WiFi router and printer sharing. Alongside I use Airfoil to stream all audio to it. It's just great !

You can find a refurbished one from Apple at $69,00 here.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 09:31 AM   #6
th1nk
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I think I found another cheaper and easier solution: one could connect the macbook air via HDMI converter to this HDMI Switch:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

this switch has an SPDIF optical audio output, which is just what I need. the macbook air allows encoded AC3 audio over HDMI, right?
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 12:16 PM   #7
th1nk
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Update:

I ordered the Ligawo HDMI switch and tested the optical out with my PS3 and it works with DTS and Dolby Digital!!!

my macbook air will arive tomorrow and I will check if 5.1 digital sound also works. if yes, at 50 euro this may be the cheapest working solution to get optical audio out of a macbook air.



hope this helps anyone else, I had to do quite a bit of research to find this solution. I am wondering: does everyone else have receivers with HDMI-in or do people just not care about 5.1 sound when using the MBA as their primary computer?
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:15 AM   #8
theend22
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Did this work with your MBA thunderbolt/MiniDisplay port to HDMI

I was wondering if the Ligawo HDMI switch actually worked for you with the MBA. You never did say if it worked or not. I assumed seeing you never did post anything after this that it does work. Please let me know. I also cant believe there is nothing more out there on this topic.
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