Mac Mini - no optical audio

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by twynne, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    I've recently tried to switch my Mini from analog output to digital using a mini-optical to toslink cable, but I'm not getting any sound through the amplifier. When I plug the cable I can see the output changing from Internal/Headphones to Digital Output, so I know the cable is connected/seated properly. I've also checked Audio MIDI setup and it's set to 48k for Digital Output. This is on a 1.83ghz Core Duo, which I've checked is capable of outputting digital.

    I also know the optical works fine on my receiver (Pioneer VSX-D912) as I have one other optical component and two coaxial digital components working fine.

    I'm a bit concerned as I would have expected light to shine from the output jack on the Mini when the mini-optical adapter is inserted (without the toslink plugged into the adapter), but no light is visible. Can anyone confirm if you're able to see light from the jack on your Mini? Or is there anything else you can suggest short of taking it in to Apple? (Incidentally I don't believe it's under warrany - obtained from eBay about a year ago).

    Thanks,

    Tom

    Forgot to mention, it's running Leopard 10.5.2.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #2
    I got a Mac Mini Core Duo 2 for ALL I'm using is Monster Cable mini to Standard Optical out to Logitech Z-5500 THX 5.1 Speakers. Go to System Preferences now got to Audio. Do you see Digital Out or Analog out because you should see Digital Out. :apple:

    Actually I see your Signature since you got a MacBook Pro try using that cable on the optical out of the MacBook Pro to see if that works if it don't then it may be a bad cable.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I see Digital Out when the cable is connected. Sadly I can't check with the Macbook Pro as it's in for Applecare at the moment. I also have a Macbook Air but I don't believe the Air does optical. :confused:
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #4

    OK go to iTunes and play music. Then go to to your receiver change input to make sure you got the right one selected. I'm jamming Korn right now. :D
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    That's the point - I see it's selected Digital Out but there is no sound reaching the amp.
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    Probably a bum cable then.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #7
    Are you playing music now? Then go to input select on the receiver. If nothing still then restart your Mac Mini. I know it got to be something simple.

    Yeah no crap I would suggest a Monster Cable. :D
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    It's on the correct input, and the cable is fine, so we can eliminate those two as issues. IMO spending a fortune on an optical cable is pointless - optical is optical and you can't improve the quality of an optical signal with an expensive cable.

    Can either of you confirm whether or not you see light coming out of the output jack on your mini?
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #9
    Well you need to buy another cable to see if it's not the cable. I'm trying to help you with best I know how. My Mac Mini is working fine with optical cable and it has been since day 1. I don't know what else to tell you but go to www.apple.com got to Support then type the issue then go through their troubleshoots.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #10
    Light comes out of the Toslink cable plugged into an iMac and it must also do that on a Mini (otherwise how will the data reach the receiver..?)

    Are you 100% sure the cable isn't dead? That's the most likely place for a problem and the easiest to fix.

    Your receiver can do 48khz can't it? Are you outputting 16 bit or 24 bit data? Though you should still have light coming through the Toslink cable anyway.

    Edit: I see you're talking about it shining out of the adaptor; I don't know about that (it's got kinda jammed...) but it definitely glows red at the other end of the optical cable.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    London, UK
    #11
    I've tried all of that - searched apple.com, searched Apple discussions, searched most of the forums I know and tried every suggestion. Before I go tearing everything apart again, can you just tell me please if you can see light from the output port on your Mini? If you can, then there's a problem with the port on mine and I know then that there's no point in messing around with it.

    Problem is I don't know if the light is always on on the Mini. It was on my MBP, but I'm not sure if it should be or not with the Mini. I think the only way you'd be able to tell for certain would be for someone with a mini-optical adapter to insert and check. My thinking is that the mini-optical adapter being inserted switches the Mini into digital mode rather than analog. When it's in 'digital' mode there should definitely be light emitting (and on mine there isn't).
     
  12. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    It has been my experience with toslink optical outputs that they are always on (shining) if the unit has power. This applies to computers, cd players, receivers, portable digital audio players (DAT/MiniDisc), etc.

    So if your Mac Mini's optical output is not putting out a light, then it is likely inoperative - either because it's not set to be active or it has suffered a failure.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    Thanks for posting. I had a feeling that might be the case. I'm going to try opening the Mini (again) to double-check that the cables are seated properly (though I doubt analog optical would be working if not). If that doesn't improve the situation it looks like a visit to Apple will be the last resort. :(
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #14
    Dude buy a new cable if doesn't work first. Optical out is either on or off since you say on. Then IT REALLY sounds like the cable. I think 4 people posted and said it's the cable! BUY A NEW CABLE! If you can't get this working my next advice put it on eBay for $100 I buy it! :D
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Appreciate your advice, but if there's no light from the optical port then spending hundreds on cables won't make any difference! I'm not wasting even more money on cables if I know the port isn't working in the first place.
     
  16. macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #16
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
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    #17
    The cable has been tested on another optical device and works perfectly.

    Surely it wouldn't be that difficult for someone else with an Intel Mini to simply unplug theirs and confirm if light is visible from the port on the back of the Mini. From mine there is no light, which I believe suggests that the port itself is faulty.

    Incidentally I've also now opened and checked the ribbon cable. It's firmly in place so I don't think that's the issue either.

    Anyone?
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #18
    You opened your Mac Mini? :eek:

    I guess Warranties are overrated anyway.

    I unplugged mine I didn't see a light. I plugged it backed up and playing music from iTunes it works fine for me.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    It's already out of warranty anyway as it's a 2006 model. Even then, most info I can find on the web suggests that upgrades to the Mini won't void the warranty.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #20

    Not to make you look dumb but you don't have the Mac Mini on mute do you? Volume Controls shouldn't be working also.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
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    London, UK
    #21
    No - it's not muted. As I've said I can start a track playing in iTunes with a normal stereo cable plugged in, then swap in the optical cable (switching the amplifier to digital of course) and there is no sound.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #22
    Changing your computer’s sound output device
    You can choose to hear sound played through your computer’s built-in speakers, or through external speakers, headphones, or stereo equipment that you connect to your computer.

    To hear sounds from your computer played through an external device:


    Make sure the device is properly connected to your computer.


    Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Sound.


    Click Output, and then select the device you want to hear sound through.


    To listen through your computer’s built-in speakers, select “Internal speakers.”


    To listen to external speakers or headphones that are connected to the headphone jack, select Headphones.


    To listen through external USB speakers, select your speakers in the list.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
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    London, UK
    #23
    The output automatically changes when the cable is switched from the stereo to the optical. I've checked and double-checked the Sound preferences to ensure that Digital Output is enabled/selected.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #24
    Jeepers. It's like the OP's posts just aren't being read at all.

    a) the cable is fine
    b) analogue works fine
    c) please can someone with an Intel Mac Mini see if 1) there is light coming out of the port when no cable is present (there isn't on my MBP so I doubt there would be on the Mini) and 2) when a cable IS present, you can see a glow at the other end of it - and surely there must be.

    Enough of the new cable business. Sounds to me like the port's dead. :(
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Thanks. ;)

    Interesting that you say you don't see any light on your MBP. Another poster above says he can see light from his, and I'm certain on my MBP (in service at the moment) also *always* has visible light coming from it.

    In any case, even if the optical is only enabled when an optical plug is inserted, inserting the mini adapter on it's own should cause light to be visible (it clearly activates digital output as I can see it in the Sound pane). I'm still leaning toward a bad port, but I'd love to hear otherwise.

    There was mention on the Apple discussion forum about a 'Leopard bug' related to digital out on a Mini, but I've been unable to find any other mention or further details on it. Sadly I never used the optical when the Mini was running Tiger, so don't know if it worked previously either.
     

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