5.1 Surround Sound

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Hakker-80, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Hakker-80 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #1
    Just got my mac pro today but am wondering how the hell i connect my Surround System up to it. Can anyone tell me how??
    I am guessing i have to buy an accessory which goes into the optical digiatal in and out ports but what do i need??
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    you can just purchase a chord that converts from standard headphone jack to the optical l/r audio, i assume you are talking about going into an amp for a home audio system, not a computer 5.1 such...apple sells chords, so does monster, but generic ones are avialable w/ a risk to quality
     
  3. Hakker-80 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  4. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2004
    #4
    What kind of connectors does it have. That link tells me nothing. Usually high-end 5.1 surround sound speakers have optical audio in. Mid-end 5.1 surround sound speakers have 3 color coded mini-jacks. These look like mid-end speakers. Do they have the 3 color coded mini-jacks? If so you need a sound card. I haven't seen any PCI-Express sound cards so you're left with USB. There were a couple of USB sound cards, one was the Sonica Theatre, the other was the Transit. There also seems to be something called the Griffin FireWave.
     
  5. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

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    Brooklyn NY
    #5
    All 5.1 surround systems have some form of digital in to provide all 6 channels. Standard yellow/white/red composite cables will only provide 2 channels of audio. You need to find out whether that speaker system has optical in or coaxial in or both. If it has optical in, you're in the gravy because all you need is an optical cable to hook it up. If it's coaxial only, don't know what to tell you. I've never heard of an adapter. They're two different technologies.

    Good luck
     
  6. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #6
    Sorry that doesn't make much sense.


    Surround sound requires a decoder. The MacPro doesn't have a decoder built in, it has an optical output which feeds a decoder the 'raw' information it requires to make a surround sound signal. Most cheap systems don't have a decoder built in.

    Optical <> Coaxial converters are quite common. They're very cheap and are very reliable.

    It doesn't look like those speakers have a decoder, you'll need a sound card with 5.1 output. I can't link you to any, as I can't think of any off the top of my head. You'll find them pretty easily though... =]
     
  7. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

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    #7
    Wow. You're absolutely right. My head is on backwards today.

    I was thinking about 5.1 RECIEVERS, which always have some form of digital input. From there, you go to the speakers via good old speaker cord.

    For the above poster, basically you need a receiver to act as a bridge between your Mac Pro and your speakers. You'd need a receiver for any other input, such as your TV or DVD player etc. Even if you had a 5.1 sound card for your mac pro, you won't be able to plug it into your speakers without a receiver. It doesn't look like those speakers have any kind of a built in receiver so you need to get one separately.
     
  8. Hakker-80 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  9. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    Jun 3, 2002
    #10
  10. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #11
    The Creative product linked above will work fine. Run an optical cable from the output of your Mac Pro to the Creative box, then attach the speakers to the Creative box. Cheaper than the M-Audio product.
     
  11. pengu macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    maybe try getting a clue before posting?

    itunes, quicktime, vlc and NUMEROUS other apps will output 5.1 encoded content over optical. not to mention, most decent 5.1 decoders will also upmix a stereo signal using ProLogic 2, which "simulates" 5.1.

    a single digital connection that just works beats an EXTRA purchase and 3/6 cables to an analogue receiver any day in my book.
     
  12. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #13
    Okay moron, lets see who has the clue, shall we?!

    Quicktime's limitation is that it CANNOT stream anything other than downmixed 2ch PCM audio over it's optical port. THE ONLY FREAKING WAY to get 5.1 from quciktime is to have a SOUNDCARD i.e. the M-Audio one i posted with Discrete channels.

    Not to mention why should you settle for inferior PL1 - PL2 / DTS when a good card will go proper digital ? By the way, they don't SIMULATE 5.1, they pre-dated 5.1.

    Try doing some reading up on what Quicktime can / can't do with the optical hardware made by Texas Instruments in Mac's first before trying to shoot other people down. I thinkn i know a lot more about this stuff than you do.

    Just one of many thousands of articles backing up what i said: http://www.thismuchiknow.co.uk/?p=24
     
  13. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #14
    DTS/DD wrapped into a WAV/AIFF file sent out over optical will decode just fine, so technically you CAN get 5.1 out of iTunes/QuickTime, it's just a little, uh... hack-y.

    And VLC will stream 5.1 out over optical just fine.
     
  14. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

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    #15
  15. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #16
    On a related note, I too bought a set of Z-5500s when I purchased my Mac Pro, and am quite happy with them. They're great speakers.
     
  16. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #17
    How do you connect the regular speakers using the optical out?
     
  17. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #18
    That's already been covered—you need something like the Creative (or M-Audio) box, which will decode any incoming 5.1 signal over digital and then output it via 3-minijack analog.
     
  18. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #19
    I don't see why any DD capable receiver wouldn't do.

    [EDIT]Crap, already covered in post 5. This is why I always read from post 1 down ... oh well, you can't win every time.[/EDIT]
     
  19. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2004
    #20
    Using a audio/stereo reciever with an optical audio in.
     
  20. pengu macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    you are incorrect. as mentioned, quicktime will pass the 5.1 encoded content over optical. i have DONE THIS. other people have DONE THIS using both their macs and AppleTVs.

    i said. if you have a STEREO SOURCE, like say.. iTunes, playing STEREO a 5.1 decoder will generally upmix it using ProLogic2.

    and i dont care if it came before or after. ProLogic2 SIMULATES 5.1, because it takes a stereo source, and pumps it out all 5 speakers and sub.
    Funnily enough, i know this, because im LISTENING TO IT RIGHT NOW.

    apparently you've read too much and not DONE enough. everything i said is possible I have done myself. so either a) you don't know what you're talking about or b) i must be GOD, and above the laws of Texas Instruments.. and god doesn't exist, so i guess we're back to option a.
     
  21. Hakker-80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #22
    Ok, thanks for everyones reply.

    I have sat down this weekend and had a look at the options but my decision has been decided for me as my current 5.1 Surround Speaker set broke this weekend.

    So what i plan to do is buy the Logitech Z-5500 sound system. So all i need to connect this up to my Mac Pro is the following Tosh-Link Cable??

    http://store.apple.com/Apple/WebObjects/ukstore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=6C04E0B8&nplm=TL955
     
  22. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #23
    Correct.
     
  23. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #24
    A little bit left of centre, but I'll ask anyway.

    If you have an AppleTV, can it be used to stream all of the audio from one's Mac to a entertainment centre/surround sound system? (i.e. not just individual audio/video files, but all audio including beeps, game audio etc.)? If so, it might be one option.

    I can't think of any technical reason why it wouldn't be possible, but it might be unlikely that Apple would enable this.
     
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #25
    Whooleytoo, Airport Express can do that with Airfoil, but the problem is that the sound is laggy -- it is difficult / a waste of time / Rogue Amoeba recommends against trying to do anything like watching video with streaming audio like this. With the Apple TV, when it's playing the audio AND the video, it becomes a non-issue again (just like when I stream video via 802.11g from my DVR to my iBook). However, I guess, with 802.11n, it might actually be fast enough to do this. I don't think it currently has any such feature, though, and I don't think it's supported by Airfoil, as what it does is substantially different than what the AirEx does.
     

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