Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use the optical out on my new Mac Mini to play high quality music over a separate D/A converter and a class A amplifier. This worked fine with the previous Mac Mini revision.

Now, when I connect the most recent mac Mini with HDMI to a TV set (for watching movies) and at the same time connect optical out for music, the music channel is dead. The read line on the optical cable is on, but the D/A does not receive any signal?

The selection in the system preferences for Audio can be toggled between HDMI and optical out, but does not give any result.

The only option I now have is to use the headphone out with an analog signal into my amplifier, but with a loss of quality.

share|improve this question

New macs have 90 days of free phone and online support. Do get the hardware checked out since the optical switch in the port could be faulty or need cleaning from shipping debris.

share|improve this answer

Does the optical out work when the HDMI is not connected to a TV, or not plugged in at all? If so then this may be a DRM limitation of some kind where HDMI and optical out cannot work at the same time. If the optical out doesn't work when HDMI is not in use either you probably have a hardware issue. Visit an apple store or other apple authorised repair outlet.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.