Mac Mini/AVR problem - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Asked about this in the thread dealing w/ my AVR (HK 3600), but perhaps this is a more appropriate place to inquire . . . .

I am trying to connect an old mini (1.42/G4) to my receiver, but only get a blank green screen when switched to selected input ("media server") no picture no sound. Configuration I used: monitor/video out from mini > HDMI 4 on receiver, audio out from mini > optical 1 on rec. Any ideas on what I've done wrong? All my other devices are connected to the receiver and the rec. connects to the TV via HDMI cable. The only part not working is the mac. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks very much, Jeff
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 06:51 AM
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See if you can make a direct connection to your TV first and don't try to route the video through the AVR. You didn't mention which model HDTV you have or its native resolution, but first see if it's possible for such an old mini to achieve that resolution. If it is, when directly connected, you may have a shot with a little tinkering and/or the purchase of an additional device like the Gefen DVI Detective, to achieve it when first going through the AVR.

Before you do throw any good money after bad, though, I'm curious why you're trying this with such an old mini? The G4 mini doesn't have optical out, so unless you're using something like an M-Audio firewire or USB interface that supports it, you can't go into the optical in of an AVR and will have to connect via analog.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 07:02 AM
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Configuration I used: monitor/video out from mini > HDMI 4 on receiver

What exactly does "monitor/video out" mean?

You didn't mention how you're doing this, i.e. with which adaptor or cables. If your HDTV had a VGA input try that as well as going DVI to DVI or DVI to HDMI from your mini.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response.

"monitor/video out" refers to the port on the back of the mini used to connect it to a monitor. I used an adapter cable w/ DVI on one end and HDMI on the other to connect mini to receiver. Since DVI transmits only video, I also used a toslink optical cable to connect the mini via headphone jack. Thought that would supply the audio.

As far as why do this at all . . . . just figured I'd get some use out of it--- Amazon video streaming, web surf, etc. Not much, but at least not sitting on a shelf doing nothing. For an out-dated machine, it still works well.

Due to my set up, direct connect would be difficult (and require add'l cables and/or devices such as the one you mentioned). Not sure this is a project worth investing in beyond the cables referred to above for audio and video. Guess I thought this would be an easy plug and play since all my stuff runs through the rec. and is output to TV (Samsung DLP 4674), but perhaps not :-)

Anyway, thanks again for the reply. I do appreciate the help, Jeff
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-12-2012, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Guess I thought this would be an easy plug and play since all my stuff runs through the rec. and is output to TV (Samsung DLP 4674), but perhaps not

Definitely not, there's nothing about sending audio and video from a Mac (any Mac let alone a 7 year old G4) through an AVR and then to an HDTV that has ever been plug and play. But back when I had a G4 mini I can tell you it connected just fine to a Samsung DLP 4663, which was 720p native res just like yours, and did a decent job with standard def dvd rips. I tried it over VGA, DVI to DVI and DVI to HDMI, and all worked just fine at 720p when directly connected. I used an M-Audio Firewire Solo in order to get DD 5.1 and DTS passthrough to my AVR and that worked most of the time, it was a huge improvement over going analog audio out of the mini. It's just sooo vastly under-powered, as soon as I could replace it with something that had an Intel core duo, I did.

Quote:
As far as why do this at all . . . . just figured I'd get some use out of it--- Amazon video streaming, web surf, etc. Not much, but at least not sitting on a shelf doing nothing. For an out-dated machine, it still works well.

well, video streaming is actually somewhat demanding since it involves Flash or, the lesser of two evils, SilverLight, so Amazon, Netflix, Hulu et al requires a pretty powerful, relatively modern Mac, for any decent performance, at minimum a 2.0 C2D Intel. Just about the only thing that G4 mini would still be good for would be a very low priority bedroom HTPC, where you'd be watching on a smaller screen, say a 32" 720p set, and where you'd only be watching standard def rips. You'd still have to go analog audio out, but most older sets have an analog audio in option.

That G4 mini would also serve quite nicely as a quiet, low power whole house iTunes audio server for your other devices and Macs, if I still had one lying around and hadn't already set something else up for iTunes home sharing (in my case, that's how I repurposed a 2.3 dual G5 PowerMac) so that's how I'd recommend you use it. I'm totally with you on not just letting older stuff lie idle. The problem you'd run into even just using it for iTunes music playback directly connected to your AVR for audio only is you wouldn't have a digital audio out...and its analog audio out over the minijack would be relatively poor. Now, put an Apple TV or Airport Express there instead and let them pull iTunes content from that G4 mini acting as a server and you'd be all set.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-12-2012, 07:29 AM
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Like someone else suggested, direct connect to your TV first and see if that works perfectly without any tweaking or add on utilities. I am running an iMac 2007 (core 2 Duo) using mini-DVI to HDMI adapter to my NAD T775HD receiver and it works perfectly at 1080p (24 and 60Hz). This also worked properly at 1080i with my older HK AVR 745 receiver. Most probably it is your old Mac that is to blame.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-15-2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

Definitely not, there's nothing about sending audio and video from a Mac (any Mac let alone a 7 year old G4) through an AVR and then to an HDTV that has ever been plug and play. But back when I had a G4 mini I can tell you it connected just fine to a Samsung DLP 4663, which was 720p native res just like yours, and did a decent job with standard def dvd rips. I tried it over VGA, DVI to DVI and DVI to HDMI, and all worked just fine at 720p when directly connected. I used an M-Audio Firewire Solo in order to get DD 5.1 and DTS passthrough to my AVR and that worked most of the time, it was a huge improvement over going analog audio out of the mini. It's just sooo vastly under-powered, as soon as I could replace it with something that had an Intel core duo, I did.



well, video streaming is actually somewhat demanding since it involves Flash or, the lesser of two evils, SilverLight, so Amazon, Netflix, Hulu et al requires a pretty powerful, relatively modern Mac, for any decent performance, at minimum a 2.0 C2D Intel. Just about the only thing that G4 mini would still be good for would be a very low priority bedroom HTPC, where you'd be watching on a smaller screen, say a 32" 720p set, and where you'd only be watching standard def rips. You'd still have to go analog audio out, but most older sets have an analog audio in option.

That G4 mini would also serve quite nicely as a quiet, low power whole house iTunes audio server for your other devices and Macs, if I still had one lying around and hadn't already set something else up for iTunes home sharing (in my case, that's how I repurposed a 2.3 dual G5 PowerMac) so that's how I'd recommend you use it. I'm totally with you on not just letting older stuff lie idle. The problem you'd run into even just using it for iTunes music playback directly connected to your AVR for audio only is you wouldn't have a digital audio out...and its analog audio out over the minijack would be relatively poor. Now, put an Apple TV or Airport Express there instead and let them pull iTunes content from that G4 mini acting as a server and you'd be all set.

Wow, perfect! Thanks. This is actually what I'm planning on doing. I too have a G4 Mini, and an Apple TV (160 GB first generation) on a 32" TV. Well, right now I'm in the middle of home renovations, so most things aren't together yet or protected in a closet.

I'm basically a newbie at all of this so if could elaborate some (well, a lot), I'm very interested. I also plan on running the mini as a home automation server for Indigo and general home network server.
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