Let's see if I can get all your answers down in one shot.
What exactly does this mean--that your brother can't get his Macbook to work on his receivers either? That you took your Mac over to his place and can't get it work on his receivers? That you tried his Macbook on your Onkyo?
Yes, yes, and yes. My brother has a Sony STR-DG1000 and my neighbor has a Denon AVR-2807. All three receivers indicate that a signal is coming through because whenever I play a movie through DVD or VLC the DD/DTS will pop-up on the receiver. iTunes gives me PCM.
You should realize that usually when someone writes this here, at least 50% of the time, it turns out that it IS the receiver, as in the owner not knowing how to configure it properly, human error, in other words, not assigning or configuring an input properly, not knowing how to switch, etc. As AVRs get more sophisticated, reading the manual becomes even more important. The other 48% it's human error on the Mac side, not understanding what to do or mucking something up. But...maybe 2% actually turns out to be a hardware problem or software bug.
I understand that I made a fairly bold statement. But, I truly believe that I've exhausted all avenues pointing towards a hardware malfunction. Many people believe that ignorance is a crutch that will steady them through their lives. I'm not "many people".
I don't have that Onkyo, but the way my HK AVRs work when I select an audio input is not like this, as in there's no shuffling before I select the type of audio--there's no expectation of what it's gonna receive and no default--it doesn't "settle" on anything--it waits, pulses actually, until I decide to play iTunes (then it will light up and lock on PCM) or for me to select a 5.1 surround track within Apple dvd player (then it will light up and lock on DD.) So not having the 605 I'm at a disadvantage, but is this shuffling normal for all inputs and sources? Does it settle on something before you actually decide what to send?
or is this what you mean--that your receiver only shuffles and then locks onto PCM or DD/DTS when you make that selection in your Mac software player?
Heh, that did sound a bit confusing. My 605 is the only receiver that did this "cycling" of data types. It does this with my XBox 360 and DTV receiver as well. The other receivers came up with PCM until the proper application launched to utilize the DD or DTS.
are you saying that your brother ALSO cannot get any sound out of his Macs to his AVR? or are you saying that trying to connect HIS Macbook to your Onkyo ALSO does not work? between you and your brother, what combo of devices (mac + cables + avr) IS working?
Yes, yes, and nothing has been successful thus far. As far as I can tell, the digital audio out of the Mac is an urban legend
I spent an entire weekend testing each combination on all three receivers with no luck. It was the same issue across the board; there is signal being sent through the cables, but no audio.
It also seems to me you have messed around with plenty of settings on the Mac side, you've done your homework about preferences--for the time being, leave that alone. Let's try to figure out what you think you've ruled in or out hardware-wise. So clarify this...and maybe we can get a better idea how to troubleshoot.
I hope I clarified the situation in the above responses. But, just in case something was missed...
There are 3 Macs and 3 AVRs. All Macs have Leopard and the latests updates. All AVRs are capable of encoding/decoding digital signals. When a mini-Toslink is inserted into the headphone jack the Macs immediately recognize the adapter and switch the audio settings to Digital Out. When the cable is inserted into the adapter and connected to the receiver, the receivers recognize the signal (to my knowledge) by a display response. However, regardless of the application, there is no audio output via the optical link.
Two other questions:
What exactly are you using for this...
And, is your AVR properly recognizing any digital audio inputs from any other devices, a la a cable STB or a dvd player?
Not sure I understand the first question. If you're asking about the cable brands, then I'm using all Monoprice cables and adapters. My brother is using Monster and PureAV cables with a Belkin adapter. And my neighbor's cables are...from Best Buy?
If you're asking what this project is for, then I say, "For a HTPC, of course!" I would thoroughly enjoy the opportunity of using my beautiful Mac on a 61" Sammy.
As for the last question, yes. I've tested these cables against my XBox 360, PS2, Karaoke, DTV receiver, and the Sammy. All cables are working flawlessly. The only thing I couldn't test was the Monoprice mini-Toslink adapter. But, that theory is blown out of the window with the Belkin adapter we just purchased.
If any part of this post is flat out wrong, please feel free to correct me. But remember, flamers are lamers!