Question about optical audio port in new MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Archinago, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Archinago macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2008

    I've been a Mac Rumors junkie for awhile now; haven't ever posted in the forums, but here I am...

    My question pertains to the optical audio port in the new MacBook Pro (just got it today!).

    Is this a "real" optical audio port, or will the sound card convert it to something else? Audiophiles forgive me if I lack understanding in how audio cards work.

    Basically, I am looking at purchasing a 5.1 sound system, and I want to know if I plug that system in via the optical port on my mac, will I get 5.1 surround sound, or will I get something else? If the latter, I guess I need to start researching external sound cards.

    Thanks for the help,

  2. chilipie macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2006
    Just found this page, which might be some help;

  3. Archinago thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2008
    Thanks chilipie.

    If I understand this correctly, it does support 5.1, but only if you're playing with certain programs and the file is encoded in a certain way, as the Mac doesn't see it as 6 channel, but a 2 channel.

    So what about if I was trying to play a game, Half-Life 2 or something, on Windows XP via Boot Camp; would I get 5.1 sound or would I be stuck with 2 channel being "spread around" (pardon the technical jargon :D)?

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