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Sound via toslink into Mac Mini


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Hello all,

 

I have a Mac Mini set up to my audio system and it works beautifully for playing music etc. My only problem right now is that I can't get my TV sound playing through my audio system.

 

I get the TV broadcast through a normal RF chord directly from the antenna and straight in to my tv. I would like to use the optical out port on my samsung flat screen and route the sound into the optical port of my Mac Mini and then out to my sound system through my usb sound card.

 

I can't get it to work, there's simply no sign of any sound.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

Rob

 

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I have a Samsung TV with an optical out and a mini. It never occurred to me to route it into the mini, but there are two potential problems:

 

1. The optical input (shared with the analogue input) is basically a microphone input, so I am not sure how that would work (maybe fine).

 

2. My one attempt with the optical out from my TV into an optical input (the TV sound bar) was mixed. We have what is called "basic cabal" TV. I personally hate TV and if it were up to me, I would only use it as a monitor for the mac mini or turn it on during natural disasters and enemy invasions to see what was happening. However, I have a wife and kids who insisted upon having TV, so we compromised. Cable is pretty much all digital now, but they are required by law to provide local programming as well. However, if you don't pay their $60/month ransom, they downgrade the signal to analogue. So I THINK (but am not certain) this is why only a small subset of my TV audio came out the optical hose.

 

So short answer, hook it up to something else to verify a signal is actually coming out, and if so, hook it up to the mini, and then use the Sound preference pane to select for digital external mic or something like that.

 

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Couple of thoughts Rob.

 

Make sure you have the correct hole. I don't know the mini but on the macbook the optical INput is shared with the analog OUTput so you would use the headphone socket, not the mike socket.

 

Digital in may not be automatically routed to the default output device. Try monitoring the signal; run audacity or similar and set to monitor to guarantee that the signal is being routed.

 

- John.

 

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Thanks for your answer wgscott. I too have "basic cable" which is analog. I guess that i just assumed that the TV would convert the sound to digital and route it to the toslink output.

 

I thought that because the toslink was blinking I had an output signal, but maybe that is not the case. The fact that i have analogue audio in, might be the problem

 

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John, thanks for the comment. I checked it out and the newest Mac Mini that I have does have Separate digital out and inputs.

 

I think you are right regarding the automatical routing, I will definitely check that out. The wierd thing though is that I also tried going into my E-MU soundcard optically, but couldn't get it to work either

 

Thanks,

 

 

Rob

 

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Robert ... it does sound as if your TV is not converting the analogue audio to digital, but you could try connecting the line-in to your MacMini via analogue rather than optical.

 

As was suggested, also try downloading Audacity and see if you can record anything via the optical input - it maybe that there is no automatic Line In to Line Out facility - can't remember how the Mac works in this respect.

 

If you are able to record ... check out Line In - a piece of free software from Rogue Amoeba (creator of AirFoil). http://www.rogueamoeba.com/freebies/

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Depending on how important this is to you, you could consider taking the analogue output into your Mac Mini via an ADC.

 

Something like the Firestone Audio Fubar I-O USB or a Pro interface such as from E-Mu or Tascam, etc.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi Rob,

 

I have a similar set-up and attacked it from another angle. I got a digital switch-box (audio authority 1177A) that has 4 SPDIF inputs and 1 SPDIF output.

The toslink from the Mac Mini goes to input1,

my TV also has a toslink that goes to input2

and my DVR/DVD player goes into input3

The output signal goes into my DAC (Weiss DAC2) via SPDIF coax.

Works like a charm, the switch does not seem to add any jitter and works up to 24/96 (that's as high as Mac Mini SPDIF goes).

 

Another solution is to get an Elgato EyeTV or similar. This is a TV tuner that plugs into the USB of your Mac Mini and gives it TV AND DVR functionality.

 

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

 

Cinematic[br]__________[br]Mac Mini/Meridian 588/Weiss DAC2/Transrotor Fat Bob+SME 3500+ZYX RS100+Pass Labs XONO/Pass Labs X2.5+X250.5/Martin Logan Summit

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@cinematic...

 

"The output signal goes into my DAC (Weiss DAC2) via SPDIF coax."

 

Why do you connect your MacMini via TOSLink to your DAC2 - doesn't FireWire work better?

 

Using the Elgato EyeTV (or similar) does seam like a good idea though.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I expect Firewire would work better, but the mac and dac are in different rooms and I already had a coax installed for an older dac. Perhaps a future upgrade but I'm very pleased with current performance.

 

Cinematic[br]__________[br]Mac Mini/Meridian 588/Weiss DAC2/Transrotor Fat Bob+SME 3500+ZYX RS100+Pass Labs XONO/Pass Labs X2.5+X250.5/Martin Logan Summit

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  • 2 months later...

I have a similar set up as I want the sound from the TV to go out via the mac to a set of connected self-powered speakers (Audioengine A5). Yeah I tried connecting the TV directly to the speakers but that created a problem with hum (thank you cable company) plus my TV doesn't have variable output so I had a problem with the volume. Sending the sound out via toslink to the computer worked well and solved my hum problem. What I used was a software solution. Rogue Amoeba has a free program, line-in that does the trick, http://www.rogueamoeba.com/freebies/. Miguel

 

Macmini (as server)-> AE Express/SB Touch-> Dacmagic plus -> Outlaw RR2150 -> PSB Image T6 (dedicated 2 channel audio system)

Macmini (via toslink)-> NAD T747 -> PSB Imagine B/SVS SB2000 subwoofer (home theater)

Macbook Pro-> Peachtree idecco->PSB Imagine Minis, Energy ESW-M8 subwoofer, Beyerdynamic DT880 (home office)

IMac->audioengine D1 dac->airmotiv 4 (work system)

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