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Old 08-05-2012, 05:23   #1
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Question Sound system setup with Mac Mini

What is your setup?
We just got a mac mini that will have all our music and movie collection. A DVD drive will be connected to it. And mac mini's input will be connected to a TV. No TV channels reception. Right now we are trying to setup the sound system. Help?

We want to have two zones: cockpit and inside salon (same sound, different volume control). Two speakers in the cockpit and a soundbar, 2.1, or 5.1 in the salon. Would two amps with speakers in each zone interlinked and connected to the mini do the trick? Or a single amp that does different zones? Can you suggest a make/model that is preferably compact?

We already have the outside speakers, but are struggling to find a unit for the inside. We like good sound, but no audiophiles by any means. Started looking at Bose, but outside of its AdaptiQ audio calibration, we have a very hard time justifying the expense. Any suggestions for the internal speaker system?

Thank you in advance from a very confused couple.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:36   #2
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

You could use AppleTV's which link to the mac mini and then plug powered speakers into those. An iPhone / iPad can then push the audio to whatever you wish.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:57   #3
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

Powered speaker option..Put a mono 3mm splitter on the output of the source. Left goes inside and right goes outside. Run the whole thing set to mono and your left/right pan will send signal to which ever speakers as required.

Passive speaker option. Any car stereo head unit will have front/back and left/right control. You can put a 3mm jack into most current models. Attach what ever passive speakers that match the wattage of the unit.

NOTE: 5.1 is really for home theatre (dvd blueray video etc- not stand alone music) . Stick to stereo (2.0) with maybe a small sub (2.1). IMHO most boats are too small to warrant the space of a sub.

http://i01.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/248...no_plug_to.jpg
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:26   #4
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

I'd suggest putting the Bose Soundlink wireless (Blue Tooth) speaker system on your list for consideration. You can move it wherever you want music, either plugged in or on batteries.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:29   #5
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

Thanks for the thoughts on this.

Regarding AppleTV: We have the setup where the TV hides when not in use. If we were to route sound through the TV, then it would have to be on the surface and powered on, should we want to play some music without any imagery, wouldn't it?

Regarding sub: we already have a space for it (though for a more compact model), but I would be happy to convert that space into storage. Thanks for the ideas on passive/powered speakers. Will investigate.

Regarding Bose Soundlink: already have it, good sound, compact, but wanted something more permanent.
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Old 08-05-2012, 13:58   #6
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

Would the following work:

Connect the inside set of speakers through HDMI to AV Receiver.
Connect the external speakers (with receiver) to 3.5 mm audio out.

??
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Old 08-05-2012, 21:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha
What is your setup?
We just got a mac mini that will have all our music and movie collection. A DVD drive will be connected to it. And mac mini's input will be connected to a TV. No TV channels reception. Right now we are trying to setup the sound system. Help?

We want to have two zones: cockpit and inside salon (same sound, different volume control). Two speakers in the cockpit and a soundbar, 2.1, or 5.1 in the salon. Would two amps with speakers in each zone interlinked and connected to the mini do the trick? Or a single amp that does different zones? Can you suggest a make/model that is preferably compact?

We already have the outside speakers, but are struggling to find a unit for the inside. We like good sound, but no audiophiles by any means. Started looking at Bose, but outside of its AdaptiQ audio calibration, we have a very hard time justifying the expense. Any suggestions for the internal speaker system?

Thank you in advance from a very confused couple.
I think a multi zone amplification system with multiple inputs is the simplest here. That way you have one amplification system to balance the sound around the zones.

You have only one input device, the mac mini. You may get a splitter as suggested and that may be all you need to do.

My home system has cable, dvr, apple tv and ipad dock as inputs to tv. TV audio out goes to amplifier. The downside as you point out is that tv needs to be on.

For audio only you may decide to hook up a stereo to the amplifiers addtional input but gotta make sure the input is compatible. Alternately mirror you music on an ipod (that's what I do) and hook that up as source 2.

Finally you can also install a regular stereo system with CD, radio and 3.5mm front panel inputs (you should be able to supply this with the mac mini 3.5 out or an ipod) and switch the speaker inputs. If you did this right you could have one person watching tv below decks on salon speakers and one person listening to music on deck with the cockpit speakers with the option for both zones to be listening to the music channel.

You have lots of options here. The problem is not turning it into a rube goldberg device...
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Old 08-05-2012, 21:50   #8
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Thanks for the thoughts on this.

Regarding AppleTV: We have the setup where the TV hides when not in use. If we were to route sound through the TV, then it would have to be on the surface and powered on.
Nope.. The AppleTV has HDMI + Optical out. You can use HDMI for your TV and the Optical out to connect to some powerer speakers if you want.

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Old 08-05-2012, 22:16   #9
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Nope.. The AppleTV has HDMI + Optical out. You can use HDMI for your TV and the Optical out to connect to some powerer speakers if you want.

Regards,
Simon
Caution that the apple tv (at least my gen 1) draws craploads of power. I love it at home and run my pc library (about a terrbyte and rising) through it with wireless but not sure I would have it on the boat.

Lots to think about but I think the boat setup for me is...

- iPad as primary video media device - CV tv input
- Laptop as secondary media device - with bulk music and media storage - tv adaptor CV or HDMI
- 12v tv display
- amplification for display desired but optional
- iPad & iPod as primary audio devices with separate amplification - I bought this one on Amazon - http://www.pyleaudio.com/sku/PLMRKT4...Speaker-System

- switchable speaker bank with multiple zones - cockpit, salon, master berth

Last year I "disabled" the cable and the only reason I have cable is for live sports. Wont be missed on the boat.

I subscribe to Netflix and use iTunes to subscribe to any current shows I want. I dont have time to watch 10% of the content availabke to me with this set up and dropped my media bill from about $175 a month to about $50 including 6mps internet and any iTunes seasons I am subscribed to.
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Old 08-05-2012, 22:26   #10
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Re: Sound system setup with Mac Mini

"Caution that the apple tv (at least my gen 1) draws craploads of power. I love it at home and run my pc library (about a terrbyte and rising) through it with wireless but not sure I would have it on the boat."

Yeah first version was bad for power, 2nd and 3rd use hardly anything. No moving parts, etc.
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