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Topic # 109260 17-Sep-2012 08:28 Send private message

A bought a Mac Mini a couple of months ago as a HTPC, it was appealing as it was a quite unibody with inbuilt IR, however, I have a requirement that I can have dual audio output (analogue 3.5mm plug and digital HDMI). After a great deal (days) of work around trials and boot camp I have concluded that this just isn't going to get me there, so I'm going to dispose of it on trademe and look for a windows alternative.

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  Reply # 687013 17-Sep-2012 11:07 Send private message

If you want something premade there are some good Asus Eee Box options.

Alternatively it's PC so just pick an ultra slim case you like and choose your own internals (mobo/cpu, ram, etc).

If you don't mind something larger like mini itx size instead of ultra sff size, there are tons of options, too many to list.

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  Reply # 687031 17-Sep-2012 11:54 Send private message

Why not use HDMI and USB out?
I run an HDMI out of my MacMini and a USB into a standalone USB DAC.
Normally you would not be able to do this, but there's a pretty darned easy work around.

Under Mac OS go into 'Utilities' and then 'Audio MIDI Setup'.
Then create 'Multi-Output Device' and choose what you want to... Actually, thinking about this, you should mean you could simultaneously use both HDMI and the 3.5mm Headphone port.

Or are you looking to use this when running Windows on your Mac Mini?



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  Reply # 687107 17-Sep-2012 13:34 Send private message

Ragnor: If you want something premade there are some good Asus Eee Box options.

Alternatively it's PC so just pick an ultra slim case you like and choose your own internals (mobo/cpu, ram, etc).

If you don't mind something larger like mini itx size instead of ultra sff size, there are tons of options, too many to list.


Thanks, I had completely forgotten about them, can they render 1080?



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  Reply # 687110 17-Sep-2012 13:41 Send private message

Dunnersfella: Why not use HDMI and USB out?
I run an HDMI out of my MacMini and a USB into a standalone USB DAC.
Normally you would not be able to do this, but there's a pretty darned easy work around.

Under Mac OS go into 'Utilities' and then 'Audio MIDI Setup'.
Then create 'Multi-Output Device' and choose what you want to... Actually, thinking about this, you should mean you could simultaneously use both HDMI and the 3.5mm Headphone port.

Or are you looking to use this when running Windows on your Mac Mini?


The Mac OS would not allow me to select HDMI when the 3.5mm is connected. I've been unwilling to throw more money at it to try and get a selectable output solution.

The work around I was trying to use was overiding the output in XBMC to send output to HDMI, which works "most" of the time, but unpredictably the system siezes control of the IR and performs unexpected underlying operations, sending audio out on the deaful output (3.5mm analogue).

I never wanted Windows  on the Mac, it was just one of the work arounds I have tried.

The setup is a dual zone amp, digital 5.1 in the lounge and analogue stereo to speakers mounted outside over the deck. As you can imagine, the audio output suddenly switching to the outside at full volume at 10pm does not please the neighbours.

I'm trying to use the Mac in a way it was not designed, and being Apple, resistance is futile.

BDFL
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  Reply # 687114 17-Sep-2012 13:55 Send private message

Shame the Dell Zino HD is no longer in production. Almost same size as a Mac Mini, with more grunt. I still use mine as a Windows Media Center and it plays almost everything... Can't find any even on Trade Me though.






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  Reply # 687130 17-Sep-2012 14:28 Send private message

Dunnersfella: Why not use HDMI and USB out?
I run an HDMI out of my MacMini and a USB into a standalone USB DAC.
Normally you would not be able to do this, but there's a pretty darned easy work around.

Under Mac OS go into 'Utilities' and then 'Audio MIDI Setup'.
Then create 'Multi-Output Device' and choose what you want to... Actually, thinking about this, you should mean you could simultaneously use both HDMI and the 3.5mm Headphone port.

Or are you looking to use this when running Windows on your Mac Mini?


this suggestion has turned one of the few connected cogs in my head. I need a dual digital output instead of 3.5mm analgoue. My reciever has an unused BlueTooth adapter, perhaps I could pair that with the Mini and disconnect the analogue and the OS may allow switching between them, I'll try that tonight.

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  Reply # 687163 17-Sep-2012 15:20 Send private message

There's a new sized mother board out called low profile mini itx or something to that regard.I have seen a Lian Li case that supports the size and its about the size of a MySky/DVD player but with a socket 1155 motherboard.





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  Reply # 687176 17-Sep-2012 15:43 Send private message

freitasm: Shame the Dell Zino HD is no longer in production. Almost same size as a Mac Mini, with more grunt. I still use mine as a Windows Media Center and it plays almost everything... Can't find any even on Trade Me though.


I got mine through eBay Australia when I discovered Dell stopped selling them. They make an excellent media PC if you can find one.




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  Reply # 687225 17-Sep-2012 16:47 Send private message

What about an Acer Revo? They were also touted as a media-centre device. Not sure you will have any more luck finding one of those however.

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  Reply # 687252 17-Sep-2012 17:12 Send private message

For a dual zone receiver, you'll be wanting to run digital into zone one, and analogue into zone 2 (unless you have a MEGA BUCKS receiver that is).
So the obvious solution will be to have what I have right now...

HDMI out for video + audio.
USB out (using a USB external DAC) into the DAC, then stereo RCA into the amp.
Give it a nudge, it's all set to work in my world.

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  Reply # 687268 17-Sep-2012 18:00 Send private message

Something like this http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/14/intels-core-i3-nuc-mini-system-bares-it-all-for-idf-hands-on-v/

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  Reply # 687271 17-Sep-2012 18:09 Send private message




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  Reply # 687316 17-Sep-2012 19:06 Send private message

Dunnersfella: For a dual zone receiver, you'll be wanting to run digital into zone one, and analogue into zone 2 (unless you have a MEGA BUCKS receiver that is).
So the obvious solution will be to have what I have right now...

HDMI out for video + audio.
USB out (using a USB external DAC) into the DAC, then stereo RCA into the amp.
Give it a nudge, it's all set to work in my world.


Yeah, that the one. I've tried a BlueTooth connection and if functions the way I need, but the audio is terrible, so now I'm off to find the dirt cheapest USB DAC I can find.



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  Reply # 697860 8-Oct-2012 14:02 Send private message

After a visit to the Yoobee store it appears that the Airport Express will be the answer. They had one connected instore and it addresses the challenge in a way I had not considered, basically allowing me to mix and match the output to the second zone of the amplifier without having to interact with the Mac mini at all. I'll report back on how well this works out in my scenario.



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  Reply # 698047 8-Oct-2012 17:39 Send private message

AirPort Express installed and confirmed as the solution I was after. This has provided me with the selectable output I desired (plus a little more, as an AirPlay device I can stream directly to it). Only connection to Mac mini is HDMI. The analogue stereo is connected to the AirPort Express and iPhone/iPad used to control the input (via the Apple Remote application) and output (AirPlay).

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