5.1 surround sound on iMac?

bfindlay

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2007
3
0
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
 

aaronw1986

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2006
2,608
0
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.
 

l33r0y

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2007
288
0
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
Apple web site seems to indicate it is working:

The Digital Audio (S/PDIF) output LED is always on when running Windows XP. How do I turn it off?

This issue is addressed in Boot Camp Beta 1.1.

With earlier versions of Boot Camp Beta, the Digital Audio output can be manually disabled by opening the SigmaTel control panel and deselecting the Enable Digital Output checkbox in the Advanced tab.
The hardware is SigmaTel Audio [5.1.0.5082.0]
 

jonesmac

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2007
4
0
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!
 

Tarkovsky

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2007
314
0
London/Norwich
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.
 

Avatar74

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2007
1,389
67
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.
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.