I have called apple. Called logitech. Talked to Fry's and Best Buy "specialists". And no one can give me an answer.
Here is my problem:
I have a 20" new Imac (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=C1211F78&nclm=iMac) with a optical digital audio output/headphone out AND optical digital audio input/audio line in for 5.1 surround sound.
And I just purchased a Logitech 5300e surround sound set (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=734,CONTENTID=9586). That has three 3.5 jack output: front, rear, and center/sub. But also comes with an attachment to hook them up to left and right stereo RCA plugs.
I want to get 5.1 surround sound. This is what I know/tried/purchased: I have the toslink with the mini adapter so that I can plug it into the optical audio out on my imac. I know there is some way to hook it up to a home receiever or dvd player, but I can't even do that. I've looked for converter boxes that can accept an optical AND 3 mini jacks and the closest thing I found was some home theater connecter from creative (http://www.soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=16&product=14191). Which i'm not sure even works the way I need it to. I also found another decoder from creative, but it seems VERY dense with a lot of other equipment that I don't think i need (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=4&subcategory=136&product=9468).
How do I get this to work? What do I do? What do I need? What are my options? There HAS to be a way to accomplish this. Even as a LAST resort, how would I hook them up to home theater revievers if I needed to and if i did would i get surround sound with my left and right attachments?
(if you have pictures to help me understand your answers that would help also)
I know this is a dense and layered question, but I have tried looking everywhere and asking everyone. I hope someone can help me.
Odd. I don't see anything in the specs about audio at all, much less that the optical port handles 5.1. In all the other Macs I've seen, including my own, the optical ports are S/PDIF digital which is two channel only.
Can you find the link that says this iMac does 5.1 via the optical ports?
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There is a simple solution to your problem. I just bought a brand new 27" Imac to replace an old pc. I have logitech 5.1 surround sound speakers (Hi end but analog). I purchased a "FIREWAVE" device from griffin technologies (Amazon.com sold it to me for < $50). I hooked the green, orange and black plugs to the appropriate color-coded ports on the back of this device, connected it to my imac via firewire cableand I know have beautiful 5.1 surround sound from all 5 speakers and the subwoofer. This thing works great. The connection on the back of the Firewave is firewire 400 (6 pin). The firewire ports on my new Imac are firewire 800 (9 pin). So I ordered a 6-pin to 9 pin cable online (Google "Firewire 400 to Firewire 800" cable).
If you have an older imac (with firewire 400 port(s)), then the 6-pin to 6-pin firewire cable that comes with the FIREWAVE will work and you need no other cable.