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I have a laptop with a regular mini-jack output and a HDMI output. I use my computer to view movies, and as I have a really expensive sound system I'd like to take advantage of the Dolby features. The sound system was bought right before HDMI was made a standard, so it only has COAXIAL and RCA (Red and White) input...

I have a mini-jack to RCA converter, but it still doesn't give me good sound, and the EQ is horrible! It's way to loud in what I bet is the 120-300 Hz range, so turning the bass speaker down of course doesn't fix it..

The HDMI cable goes straight into the projector, which doesn't have any audio output.. So I'm thinking that maybe the only possible solution would be to buy a HDMI to HDMI and Coaxial, but I can't find any of them eighter..

Do you have any soulutions to my problem? Thanks :)

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HDMI audio "breakout boxes" exist for professional video, very expencive units. – Psycogeek Dec 30 '11 at 13:25
You shouldn't, in theory, be able to get surround sound off a pair of RCA inputs. You might be able to using co-axial (assuming its the yellow RCA style one) – Journeyman Geek Dec 31 '11 at 13:43
For the mini-jack to Phono/Rca connection. the problem might be the signal levels. A "line level" signal is supposed to be 1v p-p, but a headphone type output can be designed to output a lot more signal. An "attentuated" adaption would reduce the signal so it is more acceptable to the device getting that signal. Attentuated adapters usually just have simple resisters on the signal (or signal and ground). You can make one up with parts from local electronics stores fairly easily. Also of course turning down the output level when possible. (it still might not be perfect) – Psycogeek Jan 1 '12 at 5:06
But, is it difficult to make one of these boxes, since there isn't any cheap and easy solutions to the problem on the market? – Friend of Kim Jan 1 '12 at 19:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I can't recommend anything in particular (I do headphones mostly) but an alternative would be a USB sound card, which does dolby surround that supports co-axial out (since you couldn't plug in a optical one into your sound system).

A little more specific research would be needed to pin down which cards specifically would work, but its an option that seems to be plausible.

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I'm looking into buying this one: – Friend of Kim Jan 1 '12 at 19:25
But, how do I get VLC to output multichannel to the audio interface/sound card? – Friend of Kim Jan 1 '12 at 19:25
Well, if VLC supports it it supports it. The fastrack may not be the best option though, this is one of the few situations where a 'regular' consumer grade bit of kit might be a better option than recording kit. Some research might be needed, possibly in a place where purchasing questions are on topic. – Journeyman Geek Jan 2 '12 at 0:43
I'm looking into it because I'm going to record some songs with the band.. But, do you think that the output isn't that good on the FastTrack? – Friend of Kim Jan 2 '12 at 8:07
I'm not sure if its designed for surround output. For recording kit and as a improvised DAC/headphone soundcard, i love m audio gear. I'm just not sure if it'll do surround sound over cp-ax – Journeyman Geek Jan 2 '12 at 9:45

There are devices that will split out audio, although as they need to licence HDCP, they're not that cheap. Might be worth it to use an expensive amp though. has some options, also

Both mentioned in this thread:

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Could you edit your answer to include some more information? We prefer you don't just link things – Simon Sheehan Dec 30 '11 at 13:45

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