I am a bottom feeder of Apple goods, which has been a successful strategy for me for decades.
I am using an Xserve (Late '06), running snow leopard server to host a lot of different services (DNS,Mail,Files,Video,Audio, Etc).
Lately I have been thinking about adding a home theater. Since my movie's are residing on the Xserve, I was thinking I would love use that to push my TV and (wait for it) my audio.
So, obviously, the xserve has no audio out. I have been exploring the various options to get this working, with limited success. I have an old Onkyo USB based Stereo out box, which works great for stereo.
I purchased the generic looking Sewell USB Sound Box (which can be viewed in all it's glory here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Y0ERRO/ref=pe_175190_21431760_M3T1_SC_dp_1)
This box works well for what it is (ie cheap), BUT it appears it is only able to drive the 5.1 setup through analog from unencoded sources. So, if you have a file on your mac that is a 5.1 audio file it will play fine through this USB Box. BUT any encoded content (Like any real media playback) doesn't work.
So, to make a long story short, I need to find a way to get the raw audio from my xServe to an optical connector, and then to a Surround receiver.
IS THERE ANY know solution to go from USB or FW to Optical audio on a Mac? The Sewell Box and MANY others have this feature, but the software to switch it on isn't available for OSX.
Thanks for ideas,
PS I did already upgrade the video card in my xserve with a flashed PC Radeon HD2600Pro.