What About The Optical I/O?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
No one seems to be mentioning this. You can get the Logitech 5.1 surround sound speakers from the Apple store, with an optical (TOSLINK) connection. Doesn't anybody find this the least bit exciting?!? My brother's Dell had USB 5.1 years ago! Finally we get something just as good, or even better.



Or should we be complaining that it's not 7.1?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I'm told that higher end audio has that optical IO. I'd expect some to use it to play iTunes on their home system.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    The digital audio system from the Apple store is quite expansive. I expect that less expansive digital audio system will appear in the Store later.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,401member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Powerdoc

    The digital audio system from the Apple store is quite expansive. I expect that less expansive digital audio system will appear in the Store later.



    I'm confused on this subject. Do the new powermacs have an improved built in audio card (or intergrated audio) to go along with the optical jacks or do you have to purchase the audio system to make use of the jacks?
  • Reply 4 of 23
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sc_markt

    I'm confused on this subject. Do the new powermacs have an improved built in audio card (or intergrated audio) to go along with the optical jacks or do you have to purchase the audio system to make use of the jacks?



    No it's built in. But you have to find the right HP, and i don't know many with digital audio in input, excepting the one suggested on the Apple store for 400 bucks.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    jlljll Posts: 2,713member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    I'm told that higher end audio has that optical IO.



    Most AV receivers and amp have toslink.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    You can also get a separate D/A convertor to make use of the toslink.



    But my question is, will DVD player in panther support 5.1?
  • Reply 7 of 23
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by chych

    You can also get a separate D/A convertor to make use of the toslink.



    But my question is, will DVD player in panther support 5.1?




    I waiting to hear these too but for all intents and purposes it makes little sense to add Toslink I/O and not support Multichannel Audio.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by chych

    You can also get a separate D/A convertor to make use of the toslink.



    But my question is, will DVD player in panther support 5.1?




    yes, it will support routing the digital audio signal through the optical out to a receiver that can decode DD and DTS
  • Reply 9 of 23
    rmcfrmcf Posts: 4member
    The Optical sound out does not have to be connected to the newer toslink in on some speaker set ups.



    You can also connect it to the older SPDIF systems (like my 1998 speakers) using a ten dollar ac-powered converter.



    However digital sound is irrelevant at the moment since we still have no AC3, not mentioning DTS.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally posted by applenut

    yes, it will support routing the digital audio signal through the optical out to a receiver that can decode DD and DTS



    The G5 will be released before Panther. Jaguar does not support the multichannel setup. Will there be something in the interim, or will we have to wait for Panther?



    I can finally use my minidisc player for something useful again.



    Also, I accidentally bought a couple of audio CDs with copy protection. Pisses me off. I was able to rip a few tracks into iTunes, but not all of them. Now I can (I'm not advocating piracy here, I'm just pissed at these CDs). I can record them digitally with minimal loss in quality, and then suck them into iTunes.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by GardenOfEarthlyDelights

    The G5 will be released before Panther. Jaguar does not support the multichannel setup. Will there be something in the interim, or will we have to wait for Panther?





    OS X itself has support for multi-channel audio. Nearly nothing uses that because well.... Apple's hardware has never supported it.



    I believe there is a third party DVD player available for OS X that supports DD 5.1 right now called VideoLan
  • Reply 12 of 23
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    What I'd like to know is how many people have their computers set up in a place where setting up a pair of rear effects speakers would be practical. I suspect it's common for people to buy surround set-ups for their computers, and then cram speakers in wherever they can, in completely nonsensical arrangements that ruin any real surround effect.



    I can *nearly* do surround speakers properly myself, because of the way I sit at my computer between two L-shaped desks, but the position of the right rear speaker would be a bit skewed, and it would certainly be hard to run the wires neatly.





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  • Reply 13 of 23
    hemmer1hemmer1 Posts: 16member
    Well, I'm a bit late to jump on this thread, but I'll give it a go! I have been waiting for a while for a simple, low transfer loss way to link a computer to a hifi system - I think this optical i/o might work....IF.... it allows you to link 400 CD changers to iTunes. If an upcoming version of iTunes supports it, it could view the changer as a remote drive and let you control it from the Mac. Not to mention no more importing discs one by one so that discs can be loaded on an iPod. I know Escient has had control devices on the market for a while, but this beats it in capabilities. I'm keeping my fingers crossed....
  • Reply 14 of 23
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    I'm surprised they didn't go with coax for the S/PDIF. The cables are generally cheaper and less fragile. TosLink does feel more exotic I guess, even though it's the more commonly found connection on cheaper A/V hardware.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    jindrichjindrich Posts: 120member
    ther's a reason they've chosen optical versus coaxial. Thru the optical you can send regular cd audio (16 bits @44.1 khz) or using the adat protocol you can send 8 channels of 24bit at 44.1-48khz (read surround for the masses). There're even ways to use that protocol to send higher quality (albeit less channels) audio, like 2 channels 24bit at 192khz.



    Anyway let's not forget this was designed with the home market in mind. If they were approaching the pros, they should have implemented sync I/O along with the opticals (to avoid jitter).



    The better news for audio related people is the 32dBA noise though.



    later.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jindrich

    Anyway let's not forget this was designed with the home market in mind. If they were approaching the pros, they should have implemented sync I/O along with the opticals (to avoid jitter).



    Jitter... a phenomenon with some basis in truth, blown all out of proportion and significance by self-proclaimed golden-eared audiophiles of the kind who claim the imaging of their sound systems improves when they reorient the wood grain of their furniture.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    jindrichjindrich Posts: 120member
    shetline,

    jitter doesnt matter that much when simply reproducing audio

    whatever your audioillogicalphile system you may have.



    the problem is when you are *building* audio at a studio and have a dozen or more digital devices working together. If you dont proper and tightly sync them all you're in big trouble (and it's not an easy task to accomplish).
  • Reply 18 of 23
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jindrich

    shetline,

    jitter doesnt matter that much when simply reproducing audio

    whatever your audioillogicalphile system you may have.



    the problem is when you are *building* audio at a studio and have a dozen or more digital devices working together. If you dont proper and tightly sync them all you're in big trouble (and it's not an easy task to accomplish).




    I'm sorry if misunderstood where you were coming from, but I'm still not sure how jitter relates.



    If you're talking about working with multiple digital devices, isn't getting a common clock the important thing, not for the small sample-to-sample timing issues of jitter, but to prevent clock drift between components that would otherwise, without common sync, run at slightly different independent rates?
  • Reply 19 of 23
    jindrichjindrich Posts: 120member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shetline

    I'm sorry if misunderstood where you were coming from, but I'm still not sure how jitter relates.



    If you're talking about working with multiple digital devices, isn't getting a common clock the important thing, not for the small sample-to-sample timing issues of jitter, but to prevent clock drift between components that would otherwise, without common sync, run at slightly different independent rates?




    High quality external clocks and sync splitters/distributors are not only used to make all devices to *step* at the same time on the parade, but to avoid inherent jitter as well among all of the different clocks of said devices in the chain, who may have clocks of very different quality (thus prone to jitter in very diferent ways)



    Anyway, i was only pointing out that the new G5s optical I/O are more targeted towards the home/consumer (read surround, as they can output up to 8 channels) than semi-pro/pro audio guys (for whom sync connectors are very commonly needed)
  • Reply 20 of 23
    Yeah but why wouldn't your Mac sync to clock via MIDI?
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