Finally.

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From Gizmodo:

Frustratingly, Mini DisplayPort doesn’t include audio, so to get sound when outputting to an HDTV using HDMI, you’d need to use yet another cable. This adapter uses USB for audio, so you get the full A/V with just one cable.

As someone who’s had trouble with Mac Mini audio output before, this is a much welcome addition. At least when it arrives in August. And honestly, I don’t care what the price is.

The Kanex Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter Includes USB Audio

Getting 5.1 audio out of a Mac Mini

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“Why does it keep getting quieter?” a special lady friend asked while listening to a Genesis 5.1 audio DVD on my Mac Mini media PC.

After some digging, I found this, which I hadn’t realized:

To turn on 5.1 audio in Apple’s DVD player, Choose DVD Player > Preferences, and then click Disc Setup. At the bottom of that window, change the Audio output setting to “digital out” and (very important) check the box next to “Disable Dolby dynamic range compression.” Voila! Your DVD’s 5.1 sound is now streaming out of your Mac Mini.

Thanks to HVY TK’s how to enable 5.1 sound output from a Mac Mini and Jen for bringing over music about settings on the Mellotron and mowing the lawn.

Home Theater Roundup

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I went through half a dozen home theater receivers last year, trying to find one that would work connected to my Mac Mini media PC. Here are the results:

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Media center suggestions?

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I want a network-accessible drive and a way to comfortably play back movies on my TV.

The more I think about it, I’d like to get a dedicated Mac Mini to hook up to the TV and have that be my media center, since it plays YouTube and Netflix and iTunes and also works as a PC to boot (no pun intended). It doesn’t play Blu-Ray, but I can always get a drive that does when they come out. Sorry PS3. It was down to you and the Xbox as a gaming machine, and since the Mac beats both of you at media playback, and I already begrudgingly have an Xbox, I don’t feel a strong desire to buy a PS3 to collect dust along with it.

An IT friend suggested building a PC with ~six(!) RAIDed drives rather than buy an NAS, which would be ideal, except you can’t put six drives into a Mini and I’m not going to have a big grey tower with fans constantly buzzing as a viable replacement. The drawback to the Mini is that it doesn’t have much storage on its own, so I’m back to my original NAS problem; but if I’m always going to have a PC running, I may as well just get a couple of Firewire 800 drives and connect them into the Mac Mini.

That’s the best idea I came up with. I wonder what other people have done?

Homebrew Farscape DVD

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I was a little disappointed with the corner-cutting on ADV’s Farscape line of DVDs and just as a proof of concept thought I’d show that yes, you can make a cool-looking DVD interface without trying too hard.

Cover –

The best part of the cover is its designer-imposter motif. Hold it up next to one of ADV’s Farscape DVDs and you’ll find it hard to tell the real one from the home-made one. The quotes, episode descriptions and even tiny credits and badges help complete the illusion. Like they say, “The devil is in the details.”

DVD Cover

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