mac mini audio connection questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mrklaw, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008

    I have a mac mini coming this week which will replace my appleTV in the lounge.

    I have some questions about how to hook it all up to give me as much flexibility as possible.

    I'll be connecting to my HDTV (Sony 40W4000) via HDMI (using a DVI-HDMI adapter). I realise this won't give me audio.

    I run my satellite box, DVD player and appleTV through a HDMI switcher to the TV, so firstly, will the mac mini play nice with a switcher box?

    Secondly, is there any way of getting audio both to my TV in stereo, and to my amp via optical? Thinking not as there is only one audio output socket which is either 3.5mm line out *or* optical toslink.

    If not, then my TV would take precedence as i'll mostly be using it to watch TV. I haven't checked my TV manual yet, but how have people found using separate audio feeds (L/R RCA) into a TV that has HDMI? I'm concerned that the mini audio might bleed through when I'm watching satellite TV or a DVD - how does the TV know when to use that audio vs using HDMI? Not even sure my TV can take a separate signal.

    How are people getting audio to their TVs? Might I need to look at using VGA (although that'll have issues with exact scan etc at least it should let me input separate audio, with the bonus of PiP)

    Lastly, if I am forced to pipe optical to my amp as the only way to get audio from the mini, does it pipe everything down optical or only 5.1 soundtracks etc? eg are system sounds sent down optical as stereo, and will normal stereo soundtrack movies (mp4/.avi etc) play ok?
  2. coopermac macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2007
    You really need to find out what your TV is capable of. In the TV's setup menu you should find a way to be able to link audio input via RCA input to the HDMI input you will useif that is what you intend to do.

    I operate all 4 of my HDMI capable bits of kit via a 4 input Xtrememac Switcher (Sky HD, Apple TV, DVD player and MacMini) At the moment the Mini's audio is connected via minijack/RCA to RCA in on the TV. I have had no problems with any audio/video crossover even with all items powered up and running.

    If you want anything other than just stereo your TV will need a surround sound processor otherwise the audio will have to go via an A/V amp.
  3. mrklaw thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    Had a look at the manual online. If I use a specific HDMI input, it has dedicated audio inputs (its actually mentioned that you'd use that for DVI equipment).

    wonder if I put the HDMI output of the switch into that socket, whether the HDMI audio (from sky box or DVD player) will take precedence over RCA input? Sounds like that happens with your TV (isn't mentioned in mine)

    Will have a play.

    Don't suppose there is any easy solution to get optical out as well for surround sound through my amp? How about a USB sound card which might drive my TV, leaving the optical out for my amp? Will they both work simultaneously?

Share This Page