Mac mini as Mediacenter.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by eldaria, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. eldaria macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Hello All.

    I have some questions that I got from a friend who is thinking about making a mediacenter.
    I suggested him the new Mac mini, but before we go and buy it I would like to get some facts.

    I want to set him up with Plex, as I have good experience with it myself, but in the beginning it will mostly be Audio and not so much Video, when later he want to add either a HD TV, or a Projector.

    His Audio system is very high end, and I know that the Mac mini has optical out via an adapter, however what format is the audio transfered in, for example if you are using iTunes or another audio player.
    And with movies, what format is passed to the audio system?

    Are there any other issues that I should take into account when building the system?

    Best Regards
    Brian Levinsen
     
  2. clickgr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    My opinion is that if your friend needs just a media center to mainly listen to music, it’s better not to buy the mini for this. There are other much cheaper solutions.

    Anyway, Mac mini has optical output without any adapter. You get the audio signal straight from the speaker output by connecting an optical fiber cable. The audio format that comes out from the mini is PCM and it is acceptable from all AV receivers with optical input. The same audio format is when playing video files too.
     
  3. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #3
    No adapter is needed, just the right optical audio cable.
     
  4. eldaria thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #4
    Well he has more demands than just listening to audio, the diea is to later grow to a full blown mediacenter, with projector and surround sound.

    You say it is also PCM when playing Video, so it is not possible to get surround sound (DTS, Dolby, etc)?
    For my own system (Not mediacenter just standard home pc) I have a Griffin Firewave that gives me surround also in movies, is the optical out not able to do the same?
     
  5. clickgr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    PCM format is able to carry digital surround sound. It is not DTS, Dolby etc. it is uncompressed. You only need to have a 5.1 receiver to decode those 5.1 audio channels from the PCM signal.
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    Just to elaborate on what clickgr said, if (1) the receiver can decode DTS and/or Dolby Digital (both up to 7.1) and (2) the media files have such audio tracks, then you will get digital surround sound with Plex.
     

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