Connecting mac mini to receiver through Plasma TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kalkawan, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. kalkawan macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2010
    #1
    I have a Sony BDVE500W Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre System with a Panasonic Plasma HDTV (TH-50PZ80U-A). I have the following equipment that want to connect to my receiver so I can get 5.1 surround sound through my TV: XBOX 360 & mac mini (latest generation). Below is a screen shot of the rear panel of the receiver and need your help to come up with the right configuration. I have my mac mini connected through an RCA cable to the TV and the xbox through component. The TV is connected through an optical TOSLink to the receiver (there's only on IN TOSLink on the receiver). The xbox gets amazing sound through the receiver but the mac gets no audio (note that mac mini is connected through HDMI.

    How can I get my mac mini connected to the receiver, along with my HD cable box, TV & XBOX? What am I missing? Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. weekendsrule32 macrumors member

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    New Jersey
    #2
    Im just trying to understand your setup better:

    Mac Mini- Connected with DVI to HDMI adapter to tv and RCA cable for sound?

    Xbox- Connected with component cable for video and red and white RCA cables for sound to tv?

    TV- Optical TOSLink to receiver for sound?

    And i assume the receiver is connected to the TV via HDMI?
     
  3. kalkawan thread starter macrumors newbie

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  4. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #4
    I don't know about this particular model of tv but most tv's do not pass 5.1 surround out the optical out except for OTA (over the air) tv broadcasts. Anything input via hdmi on most tv's (my Samsung Plasma for example) is down-sampled to stereo before being output to the receiver. I see no sense why tv manufacturers make tvs with multiple inputs, audio/video switching, and optical outputs to a receiver when all they will ever pass is stereo. I noticed that you don't have anything providing surround sound into the tv, so that is not a problem in your case, but just a warning in case you wanted to try it.
     
  5. weekendsrule32 macrumors member

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    #5
    okay. If you have the TV on the HDMI input to get the picture for the Mac Mini, then where do you have the RCA cables for sound going to? Because i have never seen a TV that has separate audio inputs for the HDMI, so i would think that since the HDMI from the mac mini contains no audio, since it is only video, there would be no way to get audio from the mac mini to the tv when using HDMI. Your TV does not have a RGB input?
     
  6. srexy macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2006
    #6
    you need one of these

    Convert the digital optical signal from the Mac Mini to Digital Coax then you can use the spare digital input on your receiver and get 5.1 sound out of it.
     
  7. kalkawan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2010
    #7
    Okay weekender, you raise a good point. I do indeed have my mac mini video through an HDMI to my TV and my mac mini audio into a separate RC (white and red) into the TV (Video input one without the yellow cable). I was under the impression that for the receiver it didn't matter but I guess the TV is not passing the audio signal from the mac mini over to the receiver this way.

    Another way I found, not sure if it will work, is to get a TOSLink splitter like this one. I would connect the xbox and mac mini (would need a mini-plug to Optical/TOSLink cable) to this splitter and then into the receiver since I only have one Optical input.

    What do you think?

    P.S., srexy I'm saving the Coaxial Digital input for the DH PVR box I'm getting next week but thanks for the advice.
     
  8. weekendsrule32 macrumors member

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  9. srexy macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    The splitter splits one optical feed into two but not vice-versa. I don't think that's what you need.

    You may need to fall back on the coax adapter I linked to - your PVR ,if it's an HD box, will almost certainly have HDMI which you can run through the receiver by the looks of things.
     
  10. kalkawan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2010
    #10
    Thanks Srexy, you are right I did some more reading on the TOSLink splitter and it seems to even fail more than succeed. I'll get the Toslink to coaxial converter and will report back on how it worked. And yes my new HD PVR Box will come with an HDMI cable; I'll connect that to the TV and the TOSLink cable that is connected from the TV to the receiver will take care of the audio.

    Later.
     
  11. srexy macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Looking at your receiver there's an hdmi on and hdmi out. I'd imagine that if you fed the pvr into the in it should split out the audio into DTS etc and pass the video through to the TV.

    Check the specs on your receiver and see if it will do this.
     
  12. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #12
    Remember, if you run HDMI into your TV, then optical out to your receiver, you will most likely not get 5.1 surround. The optical output on most TVs only provides 5.1 surround for over the air reception.

    I know you probably don't want to hear it, but you should really be thinking about getting a new receiver with HDMI inputs. Then you run all of your video/audio into the receiver and run HDMI from the receiver to the TV for video.
     
  13. tdmac macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #13
    There is not HDMI in on the diagram. Basically this ins't really a receiver. It seems to only allow audio inputs only not video. Video is in one direction out only.

    A real receiver would have had HDMI imputs as well as outputs or worst case one HDMI input and a couple of component video inputs at least. You the would have run all of the sources audio and video direct to the receiver and then one HDMI cable out to the TV, The receiver then would switch the audio and the video. The TV would only have to remain on that one input.

    In this senario, the switching needs to be done in two places. The TV for switching video (as well as any audio passes out the TV's optical out) and the Blueray home theater in a box to switch to the particular audio source you want to listen to through the stereo.

    Older TV's that had HDMI inputs, like my CRT based Toshiba 34", also have rca inputs for the HDMI connectors. This is because HDMI was new at the time and replaced DVI, which does not pass audio, so this allowed you to use a DVI to HDMI cable and use the RCA inputs for the audio. Newer TV's forgo that option since everything is HDMI.

    This is what stinks about the MIni since there isn't a HDMI connection. You can do what is suggested above and the adapter to convert the optical audio to coax. Not sure if this could cause sync issues between the audio and video. This though would just give you audio strictly through the Blueray Receiver. Actually you can just use a mini to RCA cable and go directly from the audio out jack on the Mini into the blueray receiver and no need for the digital converter.
     
  14. kalkawan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2010
    #14
    But by doing so, I loose the 5.1 sound no?

    One thing I don't understand about my TV's Optical (toslink) out to the receiver. Why is it there if it doesn't give 5.1 sound and only over the air reception (do you mean like through an antenna?)

    By the way many thanks for this, very helpful. Still waiting on the toslink-to-coax converter; will update this thread once I test it.
     
  15. srexy macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The receiver looks like it's a pretty straightforward HTIB style setup with limited receiver capability.

    Good catch on the HDMI - I didn't look closely enough at the diagram. Looks like there's only an HDMI out.

    The only issue with the 1/8" jack to RCA is that there won't be any digital feed for surround - you'll just get stereo.

    Looking at the manual for the Panny - there is a digital audio out (it doesn't specify which channels throughput any surround sound) but you're going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place at some point due to your lack of digital inputs on the receiver. If you're going to stick with your HTIB you'll have to decide which of your inputs is going to receive the digital "treatment". Should it be the Xbox, Mac Mini or your cable/satellite?
     
  16. tdmac macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #16
    Not 100% true. Dolby Prologic II I believe (5.1 surround) is sent encoded over the Stereo Analog Audio Connection. However, your HTIB has to be capable of supporting the format to get the surround sound. Not sure if the Mini sends Dobly prologic over analog audio. It may since its a shared port.

    This is how surround sound was done back in the days with receivers. Digital inputs were the hard to come by thing. Today there is all of the Digital surround formats as standard like DTS or Dolby Digital. Most regular receivers still support all the original formats but not sure about your HTIB.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Pro_Logic
     

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