8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2011 9:43 AM by louie
Acuraice Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

i checked in apple system profiler to see if i have an optical output available for my imac to connect for better sound quality to my new phillips blu ray home theater system. it appears that it does indeed have this type of output for high quality audio output

just wondering if this wire is the correct one i would use to connect my imac to my new phillips blu ray surround system? i checked my imac hardware settings and it says

S/PDIF OPTICAL DIGITAL AUDIO OUTPUT

Connection Combination Output

S/PDIF OPTICAL DIGITAL AUDIO INPUT

Connection Combination Input

i read in the manual for the phillips blu ray,that it has an OPTICAL INPUT for audio,would this wire work to simply connect from the imac to the stereo???

 

 

i found this wire on ebay that looks like it would be the correct one to connect the imac to the phillips blur ray Can somebody help me to confirm whether or not this wire will work and if i am even on the right track! Thank you very much for your help!!!

 

this is the ebay listing for the wire i think will work:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160597409256#ht_1130wt_1141


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2.4 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • louie Level 4 Level 4 (2,945 points)

    No, that eBay cable won't work. The iMac optical SPDIF is hidden inside the headphone jack (hence, combination). You need an optical cable that has the form of a miniplug (like a headphone plug), but is really an optical plug. It is a safe bet that your Philips unit takes standard TOSLINK optical connectors, so you most likely need an optical TOSLINK to miniplug cable like this:

     

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229&cs_id=1022902 &p_id=1557&seq=1&format=2

  • Acuraice Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!!! I WILL ORDER THIS WIRE RIGHT NOW,AND HEY IF IT DOESNT WORK ITS A VERY CHEAP LOSS TO ME! THANX AGAIN FOR YOUR HELP AND FAST RESPONSE TO MY QUESTION. I JUST HOPE I CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO CONNECT IT PROPERLY. SO YOUR SAYING ONCE THIS WIRE COMES,JUST PLUG IT INTO THE HEADPHONE OUTPUT PORT OF MY IMAC OR THE ONE RIGHT NEXT TO IT???? THEN PLUG THE OTHER END INTO THE COAXIAL INPUT PORT ON THE BACK OF THE PHILLIPS BLUR RAY STEREO?

     

    SHOULD WORK RIGHT? I DO HAVE A WAY OF SWITCHING THE AUX MODE ON THE PHILLIPS PLAYER TO COAXIAL,I WdILL TRY THAT FIRST IF NOT I WILL JUST CONNECT IT LIKE I HAVE IT NOW WITH THE STANDARD HEAPHONE OUTPUT TO THE STEREOS AUX INPUT.

  • louie Level 4 Level 4 (2,945 points)

    After plugging the optical cable into the iMac headphone jack, you have to go to System Preferences/Sound/output and select digital optical output.

     

    Then, the TOSLINK end of the cable should go into the optical input of the Philips, since you say it has one. Note, a coaxial digital SPDIF connection is not technically the same as the optical connection.

     

    What model Philips sound system it this?

  • Acuraice Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    even though i did just order the wire online, lets start over since you obviously know what your talking about when it comes to this kind of stuff.

     

    i have a 2.4 ghz intel core 2 duo imac(i believe late 2007) running latest version of snow leopard 10.6.7

    i used to have a killer phillips surround system300 watts that sounded great even though its petty to todays standards,i usually hooked it up with a cd/aux wire(headphone jack one side,red white other side) from the imac's headphone port to the stereo's aux input(red/white) but then my rabbit chewed the wires and speaker beyond repair,so i bought this brand new phillips blu ray system 100 watts thinking i would get much better sound while connected to my imac while playing movies,games etc. but once i hooked it up like i used with the older system,it sounds basically the same,only slightly better,when it should be 700 watts better! but i figured i was doing something wrong wince the imac has all these crazy better quality output ports and the new system has all these crazy better input methods. dont want to sound ********,i do know a lot about basic audio,editing and all things computers! anyways, i was poking around with the system profiler application and noticed it said the S/PDIF output mode was available and the imac had a digital output capability. i also noticed in the manual for the phillips that it said something about a coaxial/digital input and thus i thought by buying a special wire i need to make the connection i would get much better clearer or ever dolby or dts audio output,which most of the blu rays and games i play on my mac have. so basically i have all the necessary components except for the wire to achieve this dream of mine. thats where you came in to help,thank GOD!

    Here is the link for the exact model i ordered from walmart and already have set up and connected via the old method as we speak.

     

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Philips-Blu-ray-Home-Theater-System-HTS3251B-F7/160049 41

     

    by comparing the player with the imac i have can you tell me if i am on the right track as i thought i was before?? Or what would you suggest i do to get better or the correct high def sound out of the imac from whatever is playing and to play out of the new phillips blu ray system i just bought. Thank you very much for all your time and helping me with what should be an easy, simple problem.

  • louie Level 4 Level 4 (2,945 points)

    OK, upon looking at the manual, I see the Philips system does not have an optical digital audio input, but a coaxial (electrical) digital audio input. The iMac only has an optical digital audio output. In order to connect the two, you would need an optical to electrical (minijack TOSLINK to coaxial) converter, like this Gefen unit:

    http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=9137

    I'm sure there are other brands that do the same thing, and I have not used the Gefen unit, and sometimes these units just do not work even though they should, so if you buy, make sure you can return such a device. Then you still need the optical cable you apparently bought, and a coaxial to coaxial (RCA to RCA) SPDIF digital audio cable, which is the same as a composite video cable.

     

    You may not notice a huge difference in the sound from your current method of headphone jack to red/white RCA plugs, versus the digital connection. The main advantage of the digital connection is that the optical method eliminates hum and buzz from ground loops, and the digital audio can convey a multi-channel Dolby or dts soundtrack that the sound system can usually decode. I haven't tried this on the iMac myself.

     

    I am confused about playing Blu-rays on the iMac, since they don't normally play them. I am guessing you don't have an HDTV you use with the Philips, you just use the sound?

  • Acuraice Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks again sir!! this is starting to get a little crazy!! so i need to buy another wire and this convertor thingy just to reduce hum and buzz which i normally do not get anyway with the standard headphone connection. Leave it to apple to include an output that even the latest surround systems dont have the correct input for!! There's no way i will pay another $80 bucks for that convertor thing,when i would assume that phillips player already has the proper decoders to decode dts,thx,5.1 etc built in already.i have never seen an audio or video connection between two devices that requires more than one wire to do it,sounds a little ridiculous. Why couldn't the imac simply have an HDMI connection available whereas both the audio and video could be streamed at high quality through just one common set of wires??? that would make too much sense i guess to apple. kinda like they way they screw you and only give you one firewire 400 port. my brother has a brand new i7 imac and that only comes with one firewire 800 port,useless unless you have a device that has a faster firewire 800 input. he had to sacrifice speed and buy a firewire 800 to 400 adapter just to connect his TB external drive.

    As for watching blu rays on the the mac,its a snap!! simply download and install video lan client,i have been using it for years now,works flawlessly and plays ANYTHING you throw at it! just simply drag any video/audio file on the entire mounted blu ray disc onto the playlist and click play! will even work with all the blu rays extra content and features! totally free from macupdate.com here:s the link:

    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/5758/vlc-media-player

     

    and yes your right,i don't even own a tv,haven't for over ten years now! i watch all my movies,music and games through the imac! better sound,and picture and no cable bill...EVER! ps- no commercials either since they usually edited from the tv shows i download and watch.

     

    Thanx again for your help with this, can't believe i cant just buy one wire and connect the 2 devices easily. but if there's really no huge difference in sound,ill probably just keep it the way i have it now,which does sound great, i just had hoped i was missing the big picture and could upgrade the audio connection through a higher quality medium to enjoy better clearer optimal sound form the blu rays i download.

  • Acuraice Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    would either of these do the trick without the need for the geffen convertor?

     

     

    http://www.core-sound.com/toslink-cables/1.php

  • louie Level 4 Level 4 (2,945 points)

    The Core Sound cables are optical to optical only. They don't convert optical to coaxial.

    Sadly for you, the interface options of the iMac and the Philips are limited. Apple chose optical and Philips chose coaxial. Other manufacturers might have included both, but that costs them more money.

     

    If the headphone/red/white electrical cable sounds good, there is no problem continuing to use that. You just won't have the capability to play encoded multichannel digital streams.