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Old 13th July 2012, 07:48 AM   #1
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Default Mark's new home set up

Hi Guys,
I've finally got the living room sorted in the new home (busy fixing roof leaks, etc etc first). Given the need for the PAF (partner acceptance factor), I got all custom units built. I used my contacts in Dongguan and had a full home set up made using birch ply, veneered and coated. Set up consists:

Home theatre:
LG 3D 55" LED TV 55LW4500, wall mounted
Onkyo NR414 5.1 receiver using HDMI
Phillips Blue Ray 3D DVD player DDP9600
Mac Mini: 2.5GHz : 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
LaCie 2big Quadra hard drive
Now TV cable set-top decoder
2 X Alp7 Gen 3 in Pensils for front left/right, 1 X Alp7 in sealed centre box (6 litres) and 2 X Alp6M's in wall mounted 4.4 litre sealed boxes for rear surround.

Stereo
Tony's 300B with the Zhu transformers
Accuphase DP65 CD player
The 2 front left/right Alp7 Pensils (cable swop over).

Room is 4.4 X 7.2 metres, ceiling is 2.5 metres high, false to allow cable runs to the rears. LIghtly damped, wood floors, large glass area to left of AV cabinet - see pics.

So far, I'm happy with the stereo side as I'm familiar with it. I'm still learning about the new HDMI connectivity. Having problems getting the HDMI between the Mac Mini and the Onkyo to work properly. I can't get a stable TV picture from the the Mini via the Onkyo. Took my IT guy ages to set-up a custom screen profile on the Mini, a real pain in the posterior.

Onkyo said theres some software fixes in the pipeline. Currently I'm running the HDMI output from the Mine direct to the TV and using its headphone jack to feed stereo to the Onkyo. Not the best set-up. Anyone got any suggestions?

The rest of the HT set-up is working nicely. No problems with the HDMI between decoder, DVD player, Onkyo and the LG TV.

Cheers
Mark.


I've been
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Last edited by markaudio; 13th July 2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 13th July 2012, 09:40 AM   #2
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Nice!

The Mac mini's headphone output is also mini-toslink, optical audio out. Could be run direct into the Onkyo for digital audio.
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Old 13th July 2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio Au View Post
Nice!
The Mac mini's headphone output is also mini-toslink, optical audio out. Could be run direct into the Onkyo for digital audio.
Hi Au (Guys),
Thanks for the recommendation. I've done a quick sketch (see pic) of my current Onkyo connectivity set-up. I think its possible to assign a spare optical input on the Onkyo to take a Mini Toslink feed from the Mac Mini. I'll need to convert from Mini Toslink to the standard size to fit the Onkyo.

Any experience using Toslink? Is is an improvement over the standard audio connects?

Or, anyone knows of a HDMI fix to get the Onkyo and Mac Mini to co-operate with each other?

Cheers
Mark.
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Last edited by markaudio; 13th July 2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 13th July 2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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I bought a 5 1m mini-toslink to regular optical, it is only a change in size, no conversion or anything. If you have the option for digital, seems a shame not to use it.

You can just buy mini-toslink adapters, but doesn't seem worth it.

Mini Display port is really great (thunderbolt if new enough).

This company Neet, sells cables that definitely carry audio from DP to HDMI

1.8m - Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Cable by Neet: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

How is the tube amp working in your set up?
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Old 13th July 2012, 04:23 PM   #5
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markaudio View Post
Hi Au (Guys),
Thanks for the recommendation. I've done a quick sketch (see pic) of my current Onkyo connectivity set-up. I think its possible to assign a spare optical input on the Onkyo to take a Mini Toslink feed from the Mac Mini. I'll need to convert from Mini Toslink to the standard size to fit the Onkyo.

Any experience using Toslink? Is is an improvement over the standard audio connects?
I think that depends on the comparative quality of the DACs involved, and from my own experience is not hard to surpass those providing audio line level outputs in any of the Mac /Apple family ( I currently own about 6 such devices) - and I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to change. It should be easy enough to find a mini to standard Toslink cable. But AFAIC the whole point of HDMI is the convenience of all audio / video signal on a single interface connection, and it sure works for me on the ATV streamer - for both Netflix or anything in several iTunes music or movie/photo libraries - you can even push from an iPhone.


Quote:
Or, anyone knows of a HDMI fix to get the Onkyo and Mac Mini to co-operate with each other?

Cheers
Mark.
That definitely sounds like a few more hours required with the Onkyo's manual to sort out the configuration settings. Wouldn't it be nice if you could get a decent performing "senior's / big button version" of surround receiver (like with cell phones)? It took me about a week to sort through anything beyond the simple audio/speaker configuration menus on on Denon AVR1610, and even now an errant press on any of the 60+ buttons on the remote and things can get very confusing.

Are you running the Mini headless, and controlling via phone or screen share on a lap or desktop Mac?


BTW nice little surround speaker array, sounds familiar


edit: quickly scanning the 90 or so pages of the English language on-line manual, (pages 43/44?) it almost reads like the HDMI inputs are by default expecting to see indication of video signal (even if blank content) - this might be a feature that can't be over-ridden, and for an audio only digital input, you might need to use the Toslink or coaxial inputs.
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Last edited by chrisb; 13th July 2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 13th July 2012, 07:04 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Mark - I just noticed that your TV is 3D - is there yet much worthwhile content available to justify the wearing of the dorky goggles? I recently saw my first 3D movie (Prometheus, and to paraphrase Bill Maher - "that's 11hrs of my life I'll never get back" ) , and frankly there were less than 10 minutes of which I'd say the 3D effect added much for me to the emotional impact of the story - if there's a sequel to this prequel, I doubt I'll be able to get excited about it.
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Old 13th July 2012, 07:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markaudio View Post
Any experience using Toslink? Is is an improvement over the standard audio connects?
Cheers
Mark.
Hi Mark - I have used the Mini-Toslink coming out of the earphone jack on my Toshiba laptop. It is limited by something in the chain to 24 bits @ 96 but seems fine for my needs and no worries about cable interference due to EMI-RFI, impedance mismatching etc. I purchased a Toslink cable that came with the mini adapter at the local hardware store for like $10 bucks US.

I did do an a/b test with the MkI ear and couldn't detect any audible differences - but we are talking about a HT amp here so there are things that can get in the way of things (such as Dolby - or DTS, etc.) YMMV.

Regards, c2c
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Old 13th July 2012, 07:41 PM   #8
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Mark,

While others try to help you out with HDMI and Toslink, let me commend you on your new lovely looking setup - great choice of veneer and color! The gold/copper cones go really well with the finish. Smart console - gives a nice integrated look and feel.

Regarding the sound, I spy Mark Audio Alpair drivers all around, so I guess that should be pleasing to the ear/brain also.

- Zia
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Old 13th July 2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Old 13th July 2012, 08:24 PM   #10
JRace is offline JRace  Canada
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Hi mark,

What HDMI issues are you having?

Some things you can try:

Turn all off.
Plug HDMI from mac into Onkyo

Turn TV on first.
Turn Onkyo on next, switch to Computers input
Turn on computer last.

Do you get anything on screen while the computer boots up?

If not cycle Onkyo on/off, and if still no picture cycle tv on/off.

If still no go then change to optical from the mac to the Onkyo.
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