HDMI video+audio output on a mac pro ...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gjarold, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. gjarold macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007

    I have a 2009 octo mac pro. Currently installed two gt120 cards and driving four displays in my office. All is well.

    However, I have a large plasma display, with built-in speakers, in the room next to my office, and I would love to drive this display from the mac pro.

    The trick is, I'd like to have a simple, one-cable connection, so I am looking at an HDMI connection from the mac pro to this display. Two questions immediately come to mind:

    1) Is there a standard way to tell a mac "when you play this content, send the video and the audio here" ... because connecting the display and creating a 5th screen is easy, but how do I tell it to send the audio over HDMI ? Basically, if my cursor is in the first four displays, just deal with audio normally, but if my cursor is in the 5th display, send audio out the HDMI port.

    Or ... I guess I could just send all audio out the HDMI port all the time, and just have it go to nothing, since the display would be turned off (or tuned to another input ...) But does that work ? Can I get audio out my computer speakers AND out of HDMI at the same time ?

    2) If any of this is workable, are there any "approved" video cards with HDMI on them ?

    I am not interested in a second computer just to enable video content on this screen...

  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Sound preferences. And I believe you can do both in the Audio/MIDI Setup app in Utilities. Not aware of any way to do it per app... But I believe there are third party utilities out there. Some apps let you choose.

    Just use your digital/optical audio out port and send that to your TV.
  3. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007

    That would be two cables.

    Ok, so anyway, I can perhaps just output ALL audio out all outputs, all the time, and I just won't notice it coming out of the HDMI-connected display when it is turned off. That's fine.

    So ... are there "official" HDMI cards for the mac ?
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Well, the best you could do is an adaptor that put it all into one connection, not cheap.

    No cards, so it's that or nothing.
  5. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    There currently are no apple video cards with HDMI.
    They have mini-display ports and there may be adapters to HDMI.

    I don't think there is a way to select more than 1 audio source, so if you send your audio to the TV then you won't have any audio on anything else.

    I could be wrong...
  6. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Not entirely true. The Mac Mini has HDMI built in, and the 2010 cards have supported MDP->HDMI adaptors, but audio out on those cards only works on the 2010 Mac Pros.

    Edit: Here is the adaptor you would need:
  7. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007

    I'm confused ... if a display adaptor can do audio over MDP, it can do it regardless of what system it is plugged into ... if these work on 2010 mac pros and do not work on 2009 mac pros, that is purely a software issue, and an administrative decision by apple ... there's no hardware aspect of the machine that determines it ....

    Can you give me an example of one of the "2010 cards" that does audio over MDP ?
  8. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Your 2009 MP with the GT120 cant do audio via mdp. Earlier MPs - that is 2009 and earlier - cant send audio over the graphics card. The GT120 doesn’t have audio at all, and the newer cards, the 5770 and 5870, do manage audio, but according to reports, this feature is only possible on 2010 MPs.
  9. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010

    Last time I checked the Mac Mini is not an apple video card.
  10. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    The Radeon 5870, but this only functions on a 2010 Mac Pro. Likely a firmware handshake issue.

    No, but it has an Apple video card.
  11. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    I didnt expect the gt120s to do this - I planned on adding a card.

    If the 5770/5870 do not do audio on 2009 mac pros, that is PURELY a human, administrative issue - it is not a technical issue at all.

    Is there any aspect of owning apple hardware that doesn't quickly devolve into lame apple ******** ? Christ.
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    There are some technical reasons that could be causing this. Although I guess you could blame Apple for not patching the 2009 Mac Pro firmware?
  13. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Ok, setting aside the rage for a moment...

    So the answer here is to buy an adaptor that combines a plain old MDP video output _and_ a toslink audio output into a single HDMI output, and then run that cable to the display.

    And that way I could just do it with another gt120 card and be done with it, yes ?

    On the preferences side of things, I set audio output to analog when I am seated at the system itself (plain old computer speakers) and then switch it to the toslink output when I go into the other room with the display.

    Does that sound workable ? I suppose I could even work up a quick command line to do that prefs switch ...
  14. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Yep, that should work.
  15. cptjacksparrow macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    HDMI audio + Optical audio weirdness

    So I am running an HDMI cable from my Mac Pro to my blurry and then HDMI to my television and I can get video and stereo audio. My blurRay when playing a dvd or from my ipod or from a bluRAY disc allows me to use the different soundfeild modes. No such luck from my Mac pro through the HDMI. BUT when i connected the optical out i WAS able to use all the fancy soundfield modes. The problem with this is that I now am forced to run the video straight to the tv through the HDMI port on the tv. The weird thing is that now the hdmi drops out every few sections.
    HDMI from Mac pro to blu ray, great graphics mediocre sound.
    optical form Mac pro to blue great audio (no video)
    HDMI straight from MAc pro to tv because of optical to blue ray. Terrible video
  16. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm not entirely sure why you are connecting your HDMI to a Bluray player. That sounds like a bad plan.

    If you mean that your Bluray player has a built in receiver, I have had plenty of issues with that setup just using video components in general. Those devices aren't really meant to work with other devices.

    Plug into your TV, see if your Bluray player has just audio input. Video goes right to the TV, audio goes to Bluray player. Don't route the video through the Bluray player.
  17. cptjacksparrow macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    See thats exactly my problem. it ONLY works when it goes through the blu ray receiver. It DOES NOT work when it goes straight to the tv. have been doing some more research and am thinking that HDCP protocols are causing a problem with the "handshake" not sure tho
  18. Squishy Tia macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Nov 17, 2010
    And here's the fun part: The HDMI audio output works on the same Mac Pro (1,1) that I have, using the same card (HD5770 and HD5870, currently using the 5870), but in Windows using AMD's HDMI Audio Driver.

    So it can work just fine and dandy in Windows with simple drivers but is cockblocked by a firmware check in OS X. GG Apple.
  19. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Enable MDP Audio on 4,1 2009 Mac Pros

    Run the 5,1 firmware update at Netkas forums and the MDP audio works on 5770 and 5870 with 4,1 2009 machine. I have first hand knowledge of this, not reposting but have done it myself.
  20. PJALM macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Did anyone get this working? I have a Mac Pro 1,1 and recently bought the ATI HD5770 video card for it from Apple (Authentic Apple Card). In Windows, the audio over the MDP to HDMI works perfectly but nothing at all in OSX. You can't tell me that The Mac Pro 1,1 don't support it because it definetly works in Windows so its a software issue from Apple. There must be a way to override some setting to make it work.
  21. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The setting appears to be in the firmware because the 2009 cannot pass audio over HDMI/MDP, but it will if you flash it with the 2010 firmware.

    However, that's not helpful to you with a MP 1.1. Your best bet is to get the adapter mentioned earlier in the thread. It combines the digital audio and video outs from the MP and combines them into a single HDMI.
  22. drac macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2004
    Flash to 5.1 works.

    I put a 5870 in my 4.1 mac pro and did the netkas flash.

    Worked a treat. I can now do audio via analogue out if just playing music or via HDMI if gaming on the big LCD.

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