Cheep USB or FW400 interface for digital audio output?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by JT3Jon, May 16, 2009.

  1. JT3Jon macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Hello everyone,

    I have an old Powerbook G4 and want to use this for playing DVD's. Unfortunately this model was before apple started including digital audio outputs!

    Anyone know of a cheep interface that would allow me to output digital audio? I'm looking for digital output for 5.1, so no analog suggestions please.

    Thank you in advance for your help and reply!
  2. JT3Jon thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2008
    I looked at the specs, but it looks like it just has RCA analog line out? Not going to work, but thanks for trying.

    I found this unit with Spdif in/out for $79

    This would work, but it has many features I do not want/need that I'm sure are driving up the price (mic input, RCA in/out, etc). I would hope some computer parts company could simply add a digital output capable of surround sound via USB or Firewire for around $30. Does such a thing exist?
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    One Entry Found
    Function: intransitive verb

    1 : to utter faint shrill sounds : peep
    2 : to utter a single word or sound

    You are going to have a very difficult time finding a cheep interface I'm afraid.

    (I think 70 or 80 is about as low as you'll get. 30 is too low for any digital interface. Try searching behringer if you want something cheap.)
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Tascam Model 144 has S/PDIFF I/O. It sells for $150 on-line. $150 is about the lowest price for something that works well and it's "cheap" as audio interfaces go. Right now there is a promo special where you can buy the 144 with two mics for $200. I'd go with that for the extra $50. You could run the optical output to an AV receiver and then to a 5.1 speaker system. The 144 is USB bus powered. And you can use the 144 for making quality recording too.
  5. JT3Jon thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Thanks for the advice on searching behringer. I did find one for $30: The UCA202.

    The problem with justifying spending more then that on an interface is the fact that once you get above $100, you had might as well take the plunge and get an Apple TV, which already had build in digital audio, HDMI, and with Boxee the ability to stream all sorts of internet content as well as movies, etc. I'm currently just looking to get by using my old G4 powerbook as an entertainment center before eventually upgrading to ATV, that is once it can play netflix instant plays.

    Also thanks for the grammar correction. I cant believe I wrote cheep. LOL!! :rolleyes:

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