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Mac Mini HDMI and USB question

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I suspect this is a very newbie question (as I am a newbie)- so:

If I buy a new Mac Mini will I be able to send the video signal through the HDMI cable and sound through USB to my 2-ch amp, concurrently? I hope this is worded sensibly.

My desire is to purchase a Mac Mini and a Wadia 151 PowerDAC Mini. For music listening mostly - and occasional movies.

Thanks in advance for any advice,



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I may not have understood your question fully, so apologies if my answer isn't what you are looking for.

I have my mac-mini connected to my samsung tv, via hdmi to use as a monitor.

itunes dislay/iphoto & internet etc.

The audio side of things is sent to my lavry dac via a hiface interface from one of the macs usb sockets.

All is fine, stable & easy to set up.

Hope that helps a bit.



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Thank you Matt. Yes that does help. Also, it helps me to clarify my question a bit. So, if you were to play a DVD through iTunes, or another movie program, there would be no problem of the video portion being directed through the hdmi and the audio portion through your hiface? If so, this sounds like it might suit my needs.


From one newbie to another, thanks again!



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Glad to be of help.

In my music room, I don't have a dvd player & I've not yet tried watching a downloaded movie. I think it should be OK, but don't take my word for it. Someone else here must know more than I about this.

You could always ask at an Apple shop, the guru guys there must have been asked similar questions before.

Hope you get it sorted.



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I have the 2010 mini. Yes, you can send the video through the HDMI and audio out via a different interface. In my case, it is an annoyance I try to avoid (I have a sound-bar associated with the TV, and 2-channel stereo speakers on a different side of the room), but it can definitely do it, at least with "built-in audio/toslink" so I would assume it would also be the case for USB. You just need to select what you want in the "Sound" preferences pane (or hold down the option key and click on the menu bar volume slider thingie). But please verify before you buy.


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  • 2 months later...

great insight gang, thanks. Additional question:

I am planning on using a mini to (1) utilize HDMI for video (sight and sound) and (2) USB for 2-channel audio. I think that's the originating question, but I am curious if the mini can differentiate when to send an audio signal via HDMI (for 5.1-channel movies et such) and when to send via USB (for 2-channel music)??

My concern is if you predesignate the sound-output to USB, you regulate all audio to 2-channel (including movies and TV shows).


thoughts and clarity most welcome!!



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You can choose the output from the System Preferences>Sound panel, by option-clicking the little speaker menu bar icon, and you can further tweak the settings in Audio Midi.


Also, you can specify HDMI as your default output and then have a program like AyreWare play via the non-default (in this case USB) output, so you would never have to do a switcharoo.


I wrote launchd scripts to ensure that a given program will use a given audio interface, and I also mapped applescripts into keyboard buttons that permit me to toggle between the two interfaces. For this, using a command-line utility really helps.


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