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Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by WiiDSmoker, Jul 24, 2011.
Interested in getting one to use as a HTPC and this is very crucial.
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Apple supports 8 channel 24-bit audio at 192kHz, Dolby Surround 5.1 and stereo output.
The AMD Radeon GPU in the higher end Mini has an integrated audio controller that supports Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master audio. Whether Apple has enabled this in the Mini and allows the output through the HDMI connection I don't know.
My best educated guess is that the new Mini will support it under windows since the Intel and AMD video hardware has support for it. But OSX as of yet has no support for HD Audio codecs. The premier Media Server on the Mac, PLEX, does not support DTS-HD and the like so it is a moot point. The million dollar question is, will we get software that supports it?...sadly the answer at this time is no.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but can't you decode OS X-side and push PCM over toslink/mDP/whatever?
I can't believe this........
What a complete joke. I don't mean to come off as an extremist here, but this to me is ridiculous. Since about a month after I bought the first apple tv 4 yrs ago (and got tired of encoding DVDs/Blu Rays) I've been silently, patiently waiting for apple to release the ideal htpc. I pieced together a windows htpc with a $30 ati 5450 to buy some time. I even had what I considered to be Apple-realistic expectations (wasn't looking for Blu ray nor 3d). But bit streaming dts-hd and Dolby trueHD was my one must-have (hd audio sounds way better on a good surround sound than last gen audio codecs). It's not too much to ask, heck even my $30 ati graphics card will do it. I was a little let down when I lread the stats on last year's Mac mini refresh and realized bit streaming wasn't in the cards. This year however, I nearly screamed out loud when I saw apple had adopted a graphics card in the mini that would allow bit streaming. Finally, an elegant htpc solution with all the functionality (reasonably) expected and the apple OS. I'd been looking for confirmation of this before I purchased and in reading this thread I find out I'm foolish for actually assuming that apple would actually permit users to enjoy full functionality of the goods they sell. Worse yet, this functionality is native to the ati 6 series so they are actively shunning it. What's the reasoning, is it bc hd audio doesn't mesh with iTunes movie purchases/rentals? If I sound upset it's bc I am, I feel dumb for rooting for and embracing a company that pulls this kind of stuff.
PS I know there's PCM and other workarounds, but that's not the point.........my low budget 2009 windows (tide me over until apple makes it) card can bitstream, so I don't think its too much to ask from such a "magical" company in mid-2011.
Frustration is inevitable when you care about things the majority don't care about.
i would hardly say majority - infact there is a large (huge) community that do care about this.......anyway to fa8632 did you try this under windows, because at the moment lion doesn't support it, but i have read over at xbmc forums that bitsreaming works under windows... so not a hardware limitation
Most people don't care. Research it via random sample and you'll see. I don't use Windows for home theatre. Like most people, I'm perfectly content with the previous generation of Doblby and DTS BS. I'm more of a perfectionist when it comes to audio alone, much less so for audio for video.
No, haven't tried it because I didn't purchase the mini. I was waiting to find out if this capability was supported. Since it's not, I won't. Buying the mini just to turn around and install windows and deal with dual OS's to get functionality I already have defeats the purpose of purchasing the mini; which would've been simplicity and elegance. I appreciate the suggestion though
And to the guy saying "frustration is inevitable when you care about something that the majority doesn't" or whatever.........I see your point, but doesn't it get under your skin a little bit that apple is intentionally throttling capabilities (regardless of how popular they are) on its hardware that are easily allowable by adding lines of code to prevent the ability to watch movies some feel are measurably superior to their own itunes movies to make a few extra bucks? I see the economic advantage, but I've come to expect more from them that because I've been listening to Jobs & Co. tell me they're more than that for the better part of a decade now.
I think folks get frustrated by many things Apple does or doesn't do. However, expectations is about the individual and not Apple. I've learned not to expect anything and if it comes great, but it isn't going to rock my world one way or the other. There are many other things that I feel are more important that I honestly don't give stuff like this much room to rent space in my mind. It is what it is! The real deal is that most people can't hear the difference!
Very apt post. Pretty much my sentiments exactly.
I am in the same boat, I am interested in getting a Mac mini as a HTPC mainly to use as a front end for XBMC. I had a HTPC about 10 years ago so am familiar with them, but obviously things have changed since then.
In my usual round of research I have run across this issue a couple of times. What no one has really said is how "big" of an issue this is. Yes, I know it's all personal likes/wants/needs, but really, how much content is out there using Dolby HD / True HD Audio? If I go the Mac mini route will I not be able to watch 75% of the DVDs or Blu-ray movies? 50%? 10%?
Of course if I go with a Windows based system, this would not be an issue. But that would introduce other things that I would like to avoid. By the way, this would be my first Mac purchase.
See my thread here.
In short, you can pass them in PCM format over HDMI if you use Plex.
It's not an issue at all. You'll be able to watch and listen to all DVDs and Blu-Rays. Dolby HD, True Audio, etc. are not necessary.
Thanks for the info. If I purchase a new Mac mini I think they come with Intel processors. Has anyone tried your method on a new Mac mini? Also, I am planning on using XBMC, not Plex so this method may not work. Third, I have already ripped my entire movie collection. I have 327 Blu-ray movies and I REALLY do not want to have to re-rip all these movies into PCM format.
I understand that Dolby HD, True Audio, etc. are not necessary. But then again HD is not "necessary". How much of a difference is there between a regular audio track and one with Dolby HD, True Audio?
1) This was done on a Thunderbolt, HDMI-equipped Mini that I bought in the last couple of months
2) I can try it w/ XBMC. Frankly, it probably will work. I just haven't used XBMC on my non-Windows machines in a looonng time. If I get a chance, will download an SVN of XBMC and see if it works.
3) I feel your pain, and have no magical fix. Imagine how bad it is for those of us w/ 600 BR's and HDDVD's. That being said, just as I went a little bit at a time to archive my 3 400-DVD Sony jukeboxes full of DVD's when I first started in HTPC's, it'll just be a little-bit-at-a-time situation w/ my BR's.
Look, the fact is that, if you wanna bitstream in OS X, lossless formats will be off-limits until mac supports BR.
And I'd be willing to bet you would be looooonnng finished with re-ripping before that happens.
Just downloaded the latest Beta of XBMC Eden and played it back on the Mini.
As you can see below on playback of a lossless pcm soundtrack from the first POTC movie, multichannel pcm plays back fine. My pre-pro displayed that it was playing back the appropriate format.
Excellent! Thanks for testing and posting the results! I guess I am swinging back towards the Mac mini now. A Windows based HTPC is tempting because I could buy/build one for about half the cost of the mini. But, then I wouldn't have the nice small form factor, the ease of use with the wireless mouse, etc.
Pain, yes we both know the pain. I had mentioned earlier the 327 Blu-ray movies that I have already ripped. I didn't mention the 1,837 SD DVDs of movies, TV Shows and concerts that I have also ripped because I didn't think that I would have to re-rip those.
I also didn't mention the 46,065 songs that I ripped from CDs before I started in on the DVD collection. These have all been ripped into FLAC and then converted over to Apple Lossless.
So yes, I have been ripping for some time now and really don't want to go through that again.
Glad I could be of some help.
As someone who has both Windows and OS X HTPC's w/ liveTV integration, I'll just say the following:
1) if you want live TV to be simply implemented into an interface, with full cablecard-compatible DVR capability, it's Windows 100 times out of 100.
2) if you NEED bitstreaming capability, or can not rip your BR's/HDDVD's to PCM, it's Windows 100 times out of 100 (one caveat -- if you want to do so, pay the $20 or so and splurge on the step-by-step guides from assassinHTPC blog. He can get your Windows build up and running for HTPC's in just a couple of hours. I don't see eye-to-eye w/ the guy on some things, but, if you want some rare simplicity in the Windows realm wrt HTPC's, it's a no-brainer imo)
3) if you don't need live encrypted HDTV, you can have an HTPC in an OS X environment and be happy
4) With a little extra elbow grease and about $200 extra, you can use a Windows partition to solve the 'lossless Blu-ray/HDDVD audio problem,' and still enjoy all the stability and ease of OS X.