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Old 07-15-2013, 09:08 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cincinnati OH
Posts: 9,846
Default 2010-2012 Mac Pros, Imacs, and Macbook Pros do multi-channel HDMI audio out!

Maybe some of you know this already, but I just figured out that the recent Macs that don't have physical HDMI outputs will still do multichannel HDMI audio out through the Displayport protocol for surround mixing/monitoring.

I got interested in this recently when someone posted about hooking up their recent Mac Mini (which does have the HDMI jack) to their home theater receiver and monitoring surround through it.

In doing some research, I realized that pretty much all the Macs since 2010 will support this, even if they don't have a physical HDMI jack. You just need an inexpensive adapter. Specifically, a Mini-displayport to HDMI adapter, and then an HDMI cable in whatever length you need.

I got this adapter, which works and is built well:


It's $24.99, but they will price match Amazon's price (the price that it would be with shipping). You can get it from Amazon here:


So either way it's about $16.00

I've been using this from my 2010 Mac Pro into my home theater receiver (they're both in the same room). With a single HDMI cable, I not only get the multichannel audio, but my TV (hooked up by HDMI to the receiver) is seen by the Mac as a 2nd display, where I have the typical options of using it for extended desktop, or mirroring mode, just like I would with any other display.

Once you configure it properly in your Mac, you don't even need to use Aggregate Audio function in Protools. Your receiver model will simply show up as another option for sound output, in addition to built-in output, digital output, etc., and you just select that instead of your normal interface.

To figure out if your Mac has this capability, go to the upper left Apple icon, select "About this Mac">"more info">"system report">"hardware">"Audio (built in)". Over to the right you will see all your Mac's options including line out, headphone out, digital out, etc. Down at the bottom you will see "HDMI / Displayport output". If that last thing is listed, then your Mac has this capability. You just need the adapter and cable and you're good to go.

If anyone is interested in details of how to set it up, I'll explain it. There is something odd I had to do in the Protools I/O setup that I still don't understand, but somehow it works.
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