Mac Mini and Dual Zone Receiver

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by RBZ, May 11, 2009.

  1. RBZ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #1
    Hi, I've recently purchased a dual zone Onkyo 606 receiver to enhance my media center. The problem I'm having is that if you input digital audio, no sound will come out of the 2nd zone. This is a limitation of the receiver and if I use analog cables I won't be able to enjoy 5.1 sound and I don't want to have to swap cables every time I watch a movie. I generally want the same thing playing in both zones and I also want to be able to increase the volume in the 2nd zone and as my mini is the media center and I don't want to hook up an ipod or something similar, this is a problem for me. I'm wondering if anybody has come across this and has a fix. I've researched this and have found alot of complaints but no solutions. I know this isn't really a Mac Mini problem but as its involved, I thought I might as well try here.

    Thanks Alot
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    You need an optical splitter and a cheap DAC.
     
  3. gavinlc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #3
    I had the same problem with my Denon AVR-1909.

    The set-up I ended with was:

    Mini connected via optical connection
    Instead of connecting the 2nd set of speakers to Zone 2 I connected them to the 2nd set of front speaker (which are meant for bi-wireable set-ups)
    Then in the amp set-up made multi-channel use front 1 only and stereo to front 1+2.

    This set-up means music will come through the main speakers and 2nd, and movies play just through the main (& surround) speakers. It does mean I lose the option of having Zone 2 playing something different to Zone 1, but that was OK for me.

    The options on your Onkyo may vary, but that's the solution I came up with.
     
  4. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #4
    No problem on my Denon AVR-4306. I use optical audio from my mac mini and the tivo and have never had a problem with getting sound in zones 2/3 from a digital input and no need for any tricky wiring. It sounds like a capability limitation of your receivers. My guess is that your receivers have dedicated analog zone 2/3 circuitry and no down convert from digital audio when other zones use the main zone as the source. Maybe time to upgrade?
     

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