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I am currently considering buying an iMac 27" to replace my PC, and also to have at the centre of my home cinema/media system.

The iMac would be used to play DVDs, stream video, play CDs, MP3s etc.

I want to send both the video and audio to a Home Cinema Reciever, ideally all through an HDMI cable (avoiding a separate cable for the audio), connected to the iMac via a MDP to HDMI converter. The video is then relayed on to my projector by HDMI from the Home Cinema Reciever.

I have a few questions that aren't clearly answered by the Apple specs:

  1. Will DTS/Dolby audio be sent via the Thunderbolt/MDP port to the Home Cinema Reciever through the HDMI cable? Apple say audio is sent, but that could just mean stereo!
  2. I read somewhere that for HDMI with Audio it was necessary to mirror the display. The iMac will be visible from the seating for viewing the projected image. I will want to blank the iMac screen and just use the projector when watching movies etc. I don't want to see a smaller version of what is projected!
  3. Will I be able to output audio to the Home Cinema Reciever when playing MP3s etc through iTunes or another media player?
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1 Answer

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  1. According to Apple Support you can get MDP to HDMI adapters with sound support from Griffin and Moshi.

According to http://store.moshimonde.com/faq-minidisplayport-to-hdmi:

  1. Which audio formats are supported via Apple's Mini DisplayPort?

Recent Apple/Mac models (see above table for compatibility list) do support multi-channel 24-bit digital audio output such as Dolby Digital Surround and DTS as well as 2-channel stereo. Our Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter is a translation device that would then pass the audio bit stream unaltered to your AV receiver or TV for further processing.

  1. I don't see why that would be necessary.

  2. As long as audio output is set to HDMI.

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Mirroring is definitely not required but ensure a high quality thunderbolt or mdp converter is used (if new IMac go thunderbolt - greater throughput) –  George Pearce Jan 30 '12 at 11:36
    
Yes - I see that audio is possible through MDP to HDMI adapters, but I am specifically interested in whether Dolby, DTS etc signals will be sent. Audio could just mean stereo. –  dunxd Jan 31 '12 at 10:25
    
@dunxd : From Moshi's and Griffin's specs it seems audio is supported as pass-through so DTS/Dolby should be ok –  Vlad Feb 2 '12 at 9:51
    
I need to know whether the Dolby Signal is output to the Thunderbolt port. The specs for adapters connected to that port don't tell me if the signal is there to pass through in the first place... –  dunxd Feb 2 '12 at 12:04
    
@dunxd See updated answer. According to Moshi FAQ the MDP to HDMI will passthrough both Dolby and DTS. Since the adapter does passthrough the type of signal supported depends on your iMac. –  Vlad Feb 2 '12 at 13:33
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