A few questions: Surround sound, Tv on iMac, XBOX etc!!!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Misterfridge, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Misterfridge macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    Hi guys,

    Please bear with me on this, it's a bit long winded!...

    I'm a fairly new Mac user, mainly through work (I'm a designer) and though I own a Macbook which I use for light web-browsing / djing with Traktor I haven't really thought of my Mac as my main computer (I'm writing this now on my PC) so I've not investigated it's full range of applications thoroughly.

    That's going to change soon when I fork out the cash to buy a top of the range iMac and ditch the PC so I have a few questions which hopefully you lot can help me with. I've had a search through the forums and found partial answers to my queries but with any luck I'll get more specific answers here:

    1) I wanted to use the new iMac as a TV set as well as a computer, I've looked on the Elgato website (I'm assuming this is the best manufacturer to go with?) but I'm a little confused by all the hardware options they have available. Could someone very briefly outline which is the best to go for to simply receive digital tv signals (I'm based in the Uk if that makes a difference)? The next questions may influence your answer!

    2) I wanted to connect my XBOX360 to the iMac if possible, what's the best solution to do this?

    3) I'm also about to purchase a surround sound home theatre system (probably the Yamaha AV63). What's the best way to hook up the iMac to this? The Yamaha has a digital coaxial input as far as I can tell but the mac has an optical output so is this going to be problematic (and is this output going to be a surround sound signal anyway?)

    4) Bit of a lesser one this but does anyone know if the £95 education store ipod rebate is applicable if you buy a refurb iMac? (my girlfriend's a full time student so hopefully we can get the offer to work!)

    5) Finally, I play games on my PC a little, mainly FPS titles. Will the top end iMac keep up with most of the latest PC games played through bootcamp/XP. I spose Crysis is the standard title mentioned in these sort of queries so would that play ok??

    Right that's it! Apologies again for the length of the post but I've been searching for definitive answers on these points and knew some of you guys would be able to help me!


  2. Misterfridge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    I just found the FAQ on connecting OSX up to a surround amp using an external soundcard which sort of answers my original question above but... Does the digital output from the mac give a 5.1 signal or just stereo? I.e. Can I bypass the need for an external soundcard if I get the digital signal to run direct from the mac to the amp?
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Don't screw around with coaxial or adapters. Just get an amp that has optical input. That way you can get what ever audio is encoded by the file. At a minimum, get a receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital and DTS. If the file has 5.1, then you'll get 5.1. If it has 2.0, then you'll get 2.0. If it has 7.1, then you'll get 7.1.
  4. mcgowan7 macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2008
    I'm also interested in how to hook an xbox360 to an iMac.
    I didn't think this was possile.
  5. Misterfridge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    I think this is possible using the Elgato Tv receiver but i'm not sure if the lag makes it pretty much unplayable. It's what i was hoping someone on here could clarify.

    Thanks for that, would using an adapter effect the sound quality/signal? Do you have any suggestions for a reasonably priced amp/speaker package with optical input? The Yamaha AV61/63 that i was looking at is around £200 ($350) but as i said, only has the coaxial in.

    Thanks again...

  6. Misterfridge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    Turns out the AV63 does have optical inputs so ignore question 3. I'm still keen to find answers for my first 2 queries though.

  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I have two onkyos - one for my Mac Mini home theater (1080p) and the other for the Apple TV (720p). They were around US$200 each.
  8. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    The lag would be unacceptable unless you find a TV-to-USB converter that has a "game mode" -- this is an accelerated mode with some of the other features turned off. Less compression, no recording, etc.

    Unless you find an adapter with a game mode, you should assume that it wouldn't work for Xbox. You can always call the manufacturer directly to confirm.
  9. Misterfridge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    Found the solution to the XBOX issue on Elgato's site:

    >>>Check Elgato's Site Here! <<<

    Sorry, I seem to be finding the answers to my own questions making this thread a bit pointless :eek:

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