Y-connector for optical cables?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Tim Kline, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess this could go in the PC forum but it's really a cabling question that I have... :p

    Is there any kind of optical Y connector/cable, so that I can plug both of the optical sources into the 1 optical port?

    I have a PC with a good sound card that has an optical port on it for dolby digital. I just ordered a brand new Mac G5 that also has an optical port to do the same thing. I also ordered a nice set of 5.1 speakers, that only connect with an optical cable. I'm going to have my PC and Mac connected with a monitor, keyboard and mouse usb switch box so they both use the same stuff. I want to connect both to my new speakers, but there's only 1 optical port.

    Anyone know if this will be possible at all? If so anyone know where I can get such a cable/connector/whatever?
     
  2. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Ive seen an optical switcher. We have them at soundtrack.
     
  3. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    that would work.. is soundtrack an online store? can you give me a link? [​IMG]
     
  4. AlbertA

    AlbertA Stunt Coordinator

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    There's an optical splitter at radioshack for $5:

    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1585

    Yes it's a splitter but I have used it the other way around. However you have to make sure that both devices are not active at the same time (only one or the other) for this to work. I had one device that even in standby it would send an optical signal.

    Otherwise you have to go with a switcher like mentioned before.
     
  5. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, that splitter is pretty much what I need... but, what happens if there are sounds playing on both? Like, playing a game on my PC, while listening to music on the Mac? Will it be able to play from both sources and just mix them together? Or will it just not work at all? If it doesn't work, I guess I'll have to go with a splitter?
     
  6. AlbertA

    AlbertA Stunt Coordinator

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    No, it won't work like that (you would need some kind of digital mixer or maybe route through your pc if you have optical input capability).
    If you use them at the same time there will be interference and you'll just get garbage out.

    A switcher won't work if you plan on using both at the same time, since you can only select one input at a time( hence the name switcher).
     
  7. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, well it looks like a switcher will have to be the way to go then... I take it radio shack doesn't have them? Where can I get em?
     
  8. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh wait... Did you say it will work how i want it if I route it through my pc?

    Well, my Mac has an optical in and optical out. My PC just has optical out. So, if I plug my PC into the mac's in port, and the mac to the speakers, would that work, instead of buying the switcher?
     
  9. AlbertA

    AlbertA Stunt Coordinator

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    It may. Since I am not familiar with the Mac you have or the hardware you have, I am not sure.

    But I can't see why it wouldn't work. You should have some kind of mixer application on your Mac, which would let you mix in the digital input with the your regular audio(sound file playing, game audio, etc) and spit it though the digital output. Why don't you just try it out? and see what happens...

    The only downside would be that if you need to hear the PC, you would need to turn on the MAC.

    So just to summarize, there are 3 possible solutions:

    1. A splitter.
    Pros: Cheaper than a switcher.
    Cons: Won't work if the two digital connections are active. You can listen to one source at a time only.

    2. A switcher.
    Pros: It works even if all the digital inputs are active.
    Cons: Most expensive solution. You can listen to one source at a time only.

    3. Route digital output of PC through the MAC.
    Pros: Cheapest solution, no hardware to buy. Posibility of mixing both sources.
    Cons: MAC needs to be turned on to listen to PC.
     
  10. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have my Mac yet, it's on order and should be here in a couple of weeks. But the speakers I ordered should be here next week. I'm gonna try and run it through my Mac first and see how that works, and if it won't work, I'll go for a splitter. I don't need to be able to listen to both the mac and PC at the same time, it just would have been nice, but it's not that big of a deal [​IMG]
     

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