How to connect my iMac to Sony Blu Ray surround sound!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by loribv, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. loribv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #1
    I don't know how to get audio from my imac to my surround sound! I can see the image perfectly on my Sony HDT but no sound...
    HELP!
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    You're going to need to tell us either what audio input options your sound system has (are you trying to play sound through the TV, or do you have a separate home theater sound system?), or tell us the specific model of the device and hope someone else has the time to look it up and see what it can handle.

    In very general terms, if it has a toslink (fiber optic digital sound) in, you'll need a toslink cable plus a toslink to mini-toslink adapter, for the iMac's end. If it's analog only, you'll need either a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to go from the headphone output of the iMac to the sound input, or more likely a 3.5mm to RCA (red and white stereo connectors) cable if your sound system only has the red-white sound input connectors.

    If it's HDMI only, there is, I believe, a product that bundles digital audio into an HDMI cable from a Mac, but it's expensive.
     
  3. loribv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #3
    I'm trying to listen to my itunes music and movies on my Sony BLu Ray Surround Sound System since I already figured to how to connect the video. I got the toslink to mini toslink, the optical extension coupler, and a digital optical cable since I saw in several blogs that it worked with Sony TV's and surround sound systems. My Surround sound does have hdmi and the red/white audio outlets, but not sure if it gives good quality audio....
    My Sony Blue Ray Surround System is BDV-E500W. It has an optical digital output so I'm going to try it with the toslink, and report back to see if it worked!
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    Ok, sounds like you're doing the right thing, but in case not, what you want to do is attach the mini-toslink adapter to one end of your toslink cable, plug the fat end into the input on the back of your sound system marked "TV Digital In", then plug the mini end all the way into the headphone jack on your Mac. At that point the Mac should recognize it and cut the internal speakers.

    If you then put on the correct audio signal on the sound system (based on the labels, I'm assuming "TV" by default, but you can probably select what input the optical audio jack is mapped to in the menus), and you should hear your Mac's sound.

    Note that you can't adjust volume from the Mac when you're using the optical jack--it just sends a raw digital stream of sound data to the sound system, assuming that it will do the volume adjustment. (That's actually one way to test if the Mac is recognizing the cable--trying to adjust the volume should show an icon with a circle with a line through it.)

    If it doesn't seem to be working make sure you've got the cable all the way in, and that you're listening to the right output. Note that there is sometimes a gap of about a half second between when the Mac starts outputting a sound and the optical line kicks in--this is, I assume, because the Mac (or the audio system) goes to "sleep" when there's no sound at all.
     
  5. rversteegh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #5
    Sorry to hijack this thread but I've found it hard finding a definitive answer to my question. Does the iMac support surround sound through toslink? As at the moment I can use an iPod video cable to run surround from my 27" iMac to my surround system but it's not long enough and I want to replace it.

    And it also needs to be 5.1 with quicktime and VLC as well as other programs not just DVD Player.

    Thanks :)
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    Yes.

    You may need to specify outputting a "raw" 5.1 audio stream over toslink via the preferences in VLC or DVD Player, but with the correct settings it will work. I know for a fact VLC has that option (though I confess to never having used it).
     
  7. rversteegh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #7
    Even if it doesn't do true 5.1 but at least uses all speakers then I won't mind too much. Will it work for iTunes too? because right now iTunes goes to al 5 speakers and the subwoofer and I may just be imagining things but the back speakers seem to produce slightly different detail in some songs which makes for quite a cool (although horrifically un pure for all the audiophiles out there ;) ) listening experience.
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    I won't go into the technical details (mostly because I don't understand them well myself), but multichannel sound can be (and frequently is) encoded in a stereo signal. When a properly-equpped sound system gets ahold of such a signal it can re-separate the channels and output it that way. Dolby Pro Logic is (I think) the most common system for this (at least, that's what all three of the sound systems I've owned used).

    That's what you're hearing, and you'll get the same off of a lot of music (and video) sources. It's optional on your sound system--if you select 2-channel output, it won't do the separation and will play as a "true" stereo source.

    The exact same thing will happen with a toslink output from your Mac. Assuming the source is stereo, but more than a simple stereo source, you can tell your receiver to output it as stereo or Dolby Pro Logic, which will give you some rear-channel separation.

    So again, bottom line, yes it will work. If you're not hearing any separation from stereo sources, change the setting on your sound rig. And you can still get true, completely-separated 5.1 channel output so long as your video player is configured properly.
     
  9. rversteegh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #9
    Ah that makes a lot of sense! Thanks for all the help :) I've ordered a cheap toslink to mini toslink cable so hopefully it'll work and then maybe move to something better later on! :D
     
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #10
    Well, if it works and is long enough, there's no need to replace it with anything better--a fiber optic audio connection is pure digital, so pretty much it either works or it doesn't. The most expensive and cheapest cable in the world are, otherwise, exactly the same.
     

Share This Page