Digital audio output on a Macbook Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by odedia, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. odedia macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2005

    I want to buy a Macbook Air, but I also want to use it as my Home Theater PC. Problem is - it doesn't have a digital output that I can hookup to my receiver.

    Does anyone one of a simple USB solution for this problem where I can connect a SPDIF or Optical audio to it?
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    It doesn't have enough power to play high resolution video (you will struggle with most video higher than DVD quality). It would be wiser to buy a 13" MBP.
  3. odedia thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2005
    I strongly disagree... It is a 2.13ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with NVIDIA 9400M and 2Gb of ram.

    My 2 years old Mac Mini with Intel GMA950 graphics card plays HD just fine using Plex media player, so this one should have no issues.
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    doesn't the air have the dual optical/analog 3.5mm plug like the MB's?
  5. jodelli macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2008
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    The output of the MacBook Air is analog only according to Mactracker and Apple specs online.

    My 15" PowerBook has a similar analog out but I also use a USB Griffin iMic for sound input and output.
    It can connect to 1/8" jacks or standard RCA plugs.
  6. duky macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Carolina
    I've played 720p MKV files numerous times on my Air. It really doesn't struggle on it so I'm not sure what you're talking about.
  7. odedia thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2005
    Hi Jodeli, and thanks.

    It looks like the iMic solution is analog only so that won't help... I need a way to connect a toslink optical or spdif connector from the Macbook Air to an AC3/DTS receiver.

  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
  9. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Look for a USB soundcard with optical out. There are tons to choose from.

    I've heard good things about this one.

  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    This is not true. The Rev C MBA can play 1080p Blu-ray rips perfectly fine so long as you use Plex and mux the m2ts file with AC3 or DTS audio.

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