5.1 surround sound on iMac?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by bfindlay, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. bfindlay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #1
    Hello, after watching my latest pc (less than a year old) die a slow, painfull death, I decided to not buy anymore disposable computers and spring for a new iMac. One concern is using my existing windows games etc on the new mac - specifically in 5.1 surround sound.

    I understand that the imac has built in optical audio out, that WILL do surround sound when watchnig dvd's under OSX. My question is - if I buy optical ready 5.1 speakers, can I use them for 5.1 gaming on the OSX platform, and especially on WinXP? (Zero interest in watching DVD's on my mac) I would prefer to stick with the built in audio, but will buy a usb sound card if I must. Seems a shame to have to buy another dongle to clutter up the desk with, when there is built in audio that SEEMS to work.

    I have been unable, after a weekend of google and forum searching to find anyone that has actually DONE this with an imac. If that person is you, please let me know.

    bfindlay@solutions-consulting.net

    ADVthanksANCE
     
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #2
    Did you figure anything out? I can't get 5.1 to work in xp from bootcamp on my MBP. Thinking of buying the Turtle Beach SRM USB soundcard.
     
  3. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #3
  4. l33r0y macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #4
    Apple web site seems to indicate it is working:

    The hardware is SigmaTel Audio [5.1.0.5082.0]
     
  5. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #5
    That says nothing about 5.1 actually working within bootcamp.
     
  6. jonesmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #6
    no luck

    I have been wondering the same thing. Sound works in xp, but no 5.1

    Since it works in os x, I assume it is a driver issue yet to be worked out. If anyone gets 5.1 through bootcamp please post!
     
  7. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #7
    The port on an Imac isn't spdif, it's toslink.
     
  8. jonesmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
  9. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #9
    I think you may have some wires crossed here.
    To clarify-

    To get surround sound you need to output out of your computer digitally, also the programs you use have to be able to output in it. I know you're not using mac osx much but if you do Apple's dvd player doesn't unless you buy quictime pro, so use VNC (it's free).

    The headphone output on the imac is also a TOSLINK digital output, which is one of two types of output commonly used for surround sound, the other is SPDIF

    Therefore theres no need for that silly firewire box thing which looks like it's made of rubbish components

    You can plug a digital Toslink cable (can expensive but if you look hard you can get one cheap, mine was an xbox optical acessorie that cost me £2/$4) into the headphone out and into a 5.1 receiver

    The 5.1 receiver can do one or two things, it can either read this information in digital and output it as analogue for another amp to then drive your speakers, or do both these things together, like mine
    I use a http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=1

    If this is all bit daunting feel free to PM me, I'm happy to help. I only got into this malarky recently but should be able to set you straight. If I just patronised you horridly, I apologise.
     
  10. Avatar74 macrumors 65816

    Avatar74

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #10
    I'm not sure about WinXP on a Mac... depends on the drivers for that OS.

    Otherwise, it also depends on the game and your 5.1 speaker system... by this I mean that the 5.1 speaker system needs to have a Dolby Digital decoder built-in, and the game needs to actually bermatencoded in a Dolby surround format that the 5.1 system can decode.
     

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