Chances for 5.1 surround sound?!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by zai-huei, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. zai-huei macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #1
    Hey everyone, another newbie tread :p

    howcome, that no iMac have true 5.1 surround sound?
    - You no, direct 6 channels?!!

    Well, can the new one get it, or is it something with motherboards lacation in the "case"?

    (sorry about my english)
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
  3. Seamaster macrumors 6502a

    Seamaster

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    Feb 24, 2003
    #3
    You've got two hopes: no hope and Bob Hope.

    And Bob Hope's dead.
     
  4. russofris macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #4
    If you are looking to 5.1 or 7.1 audio output, you will likely need to procure a USB audio adapter. There are many popular and compatible ones on the market ranging from $20 to $100, depending on requirements and budget.. Example: http://www.siig.com/it-products/multimedia/sound/usb.html

    F
     
  5. zai-huei thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #5
    Yes, but that is not true 5.1 surround sound :)
    ________________________________________________________


    How so, that the chances is that small?
    Apples pc is all about music, photos and movies?
     
  6. russofris macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #6
    I do not understand. You asked for "5.1 surround", I told you that there are a wide variety or USB products available. Are you looking for something with a DTS encoder/decoder?

    Let us know what you are really looking for, and you will receive an answer.

    F
     
  7. zai-huei thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #7

    Yes, you did give me a good solution on 5.1 surround :)
    What I aske for, is a motherboard in a iMac, that will give true 5.1 dolby surround sound, as them in mac pro :)
     
  8. jmhart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #8
    Macs can "pass-through" 5.1 audio sources from DVDs or video files that include a 5.1 audio track using the optical TOSLink output built into their headphone jack, but they do not have the 6 separate analog output jacks or a real-time Dolby Digital or DTS encoder needed to output 5.1 (6 channel) audio "on-the-fly".
     
  9. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

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    Apr 26, 2012
    #9
    Don't forget about "Obama Hope"... lol, that's not much help either though
     
  10. russofris macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #10
    This implies that you can simply plug in a DTS decoder via TOSLink, and be good to go:

    Something like:
    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speakers-audio/home-pc-speakers/speaker-system-Z906

    If all the OP desires is 6 analog channels, almost any USB break-out card can do that.

    I'm still confused as to what the OP really wants. Does he want DTS output, or 6 channel analog output with DTS decoding done in software?

    F
     
  11. zai-huei thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #11
    I have logitech Z-5500, can that do it?
    Would like a all-in-one iMac, wich have 6 direct channels to true 5.1 surround sound (Dolby - THX "licens")

    _____________________________________________

    jmhart: How about in games?
     
  12. russofris macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #12
  13. russofris macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #13
    I also recommend that you search for others with the same equipment. A quick web search shows that DTS audio works, but some newer formats (TRUE-HD and Dolby Pro) are not supported by the Logitech decoder. This is not usually a problem, since the DVD and BD specs demand that disks contain a DTS-fallback track.

    F
     
  14. zai-huei thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #14
    Nice, thanks for the help! :)
     
  15. jmhart macrumors regular

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #15

    The only way to get 5.1 in games on a Mac would be if the game does the Dolby Digital encoding that you can then pass-through. I'm not aware of many that do however.

    On a PC you can get a sound card which will do real-time Dolby Digital encoding which basically allows any game to play in 5.1.
     
  16. Big-TDI-Guy, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #16
    Yes, I have an iMac and a Mac mini, both provide true DTS 5.1 with my Logitech Z-5500, been using the iMac this way since 2006.

    You will need an adapter or cable to convert the mini TOSLINK (uses the same jack s the headphone output) into a standard one (Logitech side). Sound is great, only downside is the system audio output is "locked" and you will need to use the Z-5500 to adjust volume.

    Bear in mind, iTunes content defaults to stereo usually, and you will have to set to 5.1 yourself.

    P.S. that TOSLINK cable from Cables To Go is only $8.00 with free shipping from Amazon. It's the exact cable I have, built pretty well at that.

    http://www.amazon.com/C2G-27016-Vel...8&qid=1342640076&sr=8-1&keywords=mini+toslink

    It's a shame Logitech has nothing comparable to the Z-5500, had mine since they launched 7 years ago, going to be sad the day it dies. I still hold out hope that Logitech will get themselves together one day and start making high-end computer devices. (MX Revolution, Z-5500)
     
  17. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 24, 2012
    #17
    I can confirm that even the ancient Late 2006 White Intel iMac can output DTS and DD5.1 through the optical port - I have mine hooked up to a Yamaha surround sound amp this way for movies and TV.
     
  18. russofris macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #18
    The z906 is comparable, but certainly not better. It looks as if it's a Z5500 that's been whittled back a bit to save money. At least it's still THX certified and fills the functionality gap. It also does not appear that Logitech added any of the new HD codecs to the updated model.

    F
     
  19. zai-huei thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #19
    Thanks for that! Needed to hear that! :)
     
  20. dmax35 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #20
    I used the same toslink cable hooked into an Onkyo TX-NR414 reciever with a Bose Acoustimass 10 speaker system. Thou it's not the best solution if your wanting a speaker on your desk, the Bose cubes need to be set infront at a distance to get the full effect, simular to a tv surround sound system. It a great system to drown out your wife screaming at u to get off the computer.:mad:
     
  21. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    California
    #21
    I have the Logitech z906 connected to my iMac via a TOSLINK cable and a 3.5mm adapter and it delivers DTS and Dolby 5.1 surround sound so long as the content is encoded for it. These play through iTunes and DVD Player. This should also work with the z5500.
     
  22. Rlnplehshalo macrumors regular

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  23. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #23
    I don't see the problem then. You have speaker system with DTS/DD decoder. Then all you need is mini Toslink to TOSLINK cable. Just google it. Plug between the speaker and your iMac.

    And then set your Sound in System Preferences to SPDIF output and all is done. OSX has native support with Dolby Digital. If you want to play movies with DTS signal, you can go with VLC or MplayerX.
    For games, you need to tweak a bit in settings to have a Dolby Digital output.

    In BootCamp things are simple too, as long as you install BootCamp drivers, do a simple sound settings in Cpanel and everything will be automated. Just like PS3 or Xbox.
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #24
    Correct. I misunderstood the original post and thought the OP wanted an iMac with 5 speakers and a subwoofer. Current iMacs support 5.1 output via the headphone jack, as described above.
     
  25. russofris macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #25
    It's OK. It took me a while to figure out what the OP was asking for as well. I originally thought he wanted 5.1 analog channels out (USB Sound Card).

    I'm reviewing a number of forum posts, including one here, that suggest that the TOSLink solution doesn't work for most games (WoW for example), and that the culprit has something to do with the lack of an AC3 encoder. I would have thought that OpenAL based games would fall back on 5.1 channel linear PCM.

    Can one of you Z-5500/z906 owners speak about your experience with 5.1 sound in games? I'm aware that Linear PCM takes 7.1 sound out of the equation, but 5.1 'should' work.

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