Macbook Pro: Connecting to a 5.1 audio system

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by whitefang, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. whitefang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #1
    I have a Macbook Pro unibody and want to get it to my Z-5500 audio system. The Z-5500 has ports for regular mini-plug (6-channel), toslink, and coaxial.

    My toslink is already occupied. The mini-plug (6-channel) is occupied by windows PC. So that leaves coaxial.

    How would I go about connecting the Mac's audio port (which actually support toslink connections using a mini-plug to toslink adapter) to the Z-5500 coax port?

    I'm guessing I have to get a mini to coax adapter and a coaxial cable?
    Like this http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0257725

    And a coaxial cable. With the coaxial cable however, I'm confused. Most coaxial cables have a "pin" that sticks out and I've seen others that just PLUGS in directly. The Z-5500 has a coaxial port where it just "plugs in". These are the coaxial cables at Microcenter, which one would work?
    http://microcenter.com/search/searc...coaxial+cable&category=&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

    EDIT: Ah, the analog and digital coax cables have different connectors.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    I think you're getting two interfaces confused. The adapter you linked is called RCA or composite. When connecting video devices, it usually comes with three colour-coded connectors: one for left audio channel, one for right, and one for video. Unless I am mistaken, the adapter would only provide you with mono.

    The cable is coaxial. The connector looks similar, but the pin in the middle is smaller and the cable usually screws in place to prevent the pin from getting bent. Coaxial cable carries both video and audio, and is used in cable TV. The two interfaces are not interchangeable. Both are analog interfaces.

    RCA/composite is what you're after.
     
  3. whitefang thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #3
    Well I went to Microcenter and picked up the following:
    1x Mono RCA Plug to 3.5mm adapter
    1x Digital Coax Cable

    I think you have your coax cables confused. Apparently, there is two kinds of coax cables. Digital and Analog. Analog ones are the ones that you screw in and digital ones are the ones that directly plugs in.

    I plugged in the mono RCA adapter into the headphones port in the Macbook, then plugged one end of the coax cable to the adapter and the other end to my Z-5500. I told the Z-5500 to play audio from COAX input but it kept saying no audio signal detected.

    Regarding Coax cable, there was a little confusion when I posted the original topic. I always thought there was only one kind of coax cables (like those old VCR coax cables). I bought a digital Belkin Audio Coax Cable (this is the correct cable). I also bought a mono RCA adapter which the coax cable fits in.

    But there is no audio?? I read on another Mac forum that macbooks can only put out a toslink signal and not a coax signal. A coax signal would have to be converted using a toslink to coax convertor. Is this true?
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    Digital coax audio cable is just an RCA plug. Its color code is orange, to discriminate it from analog audio (red, right; white, left) and video (yellow). You are confusing this with coax used for cable and satellite TV connections.
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    OK, gotcha. I thought you were implying that digital audio coax cable was the same as TV/sat cable.
     
  7. whitefang thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #7
    Yeah, the coax cables I linked to were VIDEO ANALOG cables.

    I made sure to look on the box and it specifically said "Digital Audio Coaxial Cable" and it had "orange" color coding on the cable itself.

    I also got a RCA to 3.5" adapter. The cable ends seem it fit into the adapter. So why am I getting no audio? Is it because the Macbook only support 3.5" to Toslink?
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    You cannot connect an analog plug (metal) to a Mac and get digital. If you want digital audio, you either need a mini-Toslink cable, or you need a converter box that converts digital optical (toslink) to digital electrical (coax).
     

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