TV and Soundsticks
January 26, 2004 12:51 PM   Subscribe

I have Harman Kardon SoundSticks that connect to my iMac. What hardware would I need to connect my television's sound output to these SoundSticks?
posted by BlueTrain to Technology (12 answers total)
I assume you want to connect them to the iMac and the TV at the same time? Get a rca-to-mini stereo and a Y-adapter from radioshack. Connect both iMac output and TV output to y adater, plug speakers into other end of Y adapter.
posted by Hackworth at 1:41 PM on January 26, 2004

so, one of these and one of these, assuming that these are not USB speakers and that the TV has rca-audio out. And you may need something like this to go from the iMac to the Y adapter, if you don't already have some cable for it.
posted by Hackworth at 1:48 PM on January 26, 2004

The SoundSticks are USB. I'm not sure exactly what I need, but my theory is that a device exists that connects from my TV to the iMac, like an external microphone, and then play it back through the SoundSticks.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:48 PM on January 26, 2004

You want the iFire from Griffin Technology. It turns USB speakers into "normal" powered speakers.
posted by mrbill at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2004

BTW, the iFire mentions being for the Apple Pro speakers, but they're just custom Harmon Kardon speakers like the SoundSticks.
posted by mrbill at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2004

OH, well then, nevermind :)

Something like this might work for you. I know it's built for PC to stereo applications, but I don't know off-hand if it can go the other direction.
posted by Hackworth at 1:56 PM on January 26, 2004

mrbill, if I understand correctly, I can connect an audio cable from the tv to the iFire, which is connected to the SoundSticks. My only question then would be, would I need to disconnect the speakers from the iMac, or would the iFire serve as an intermediary between the computer, the speakers, and the tv?

BTW, thanks Hackworth. I'm still very new to accessorizing my computer, so all information is welcome.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:05 PM on January 26, 2004

You'd basically have to use the SoundSticks/iFire on either the computer or the TV at any given point; there's no real easy (affordable) way to use them on both at once.

Buying a cheap set of powered speakers for the TV is probably cheaper than the iFire.
posted by mrbill at 2:14 PM on January 26, 2004

iFire does not interface with the Sound Sticks. As noted, they are USB speakers -- the Apple Pro speakers use an 1/8" mini stereo plug, which the iFire is designed for (and FireWire at the other end, hence the name. ;)

Looks like Hackworth's suggestion might work -- although you would be running the intended signal in reverse -- I fried an audio component that way once. :(

SoundsLike™ what you really need, is a USB based patch from the TV to your Mac -- the Mac then will drives the speakers. Gotta be something out there...
posted by Dick Paris at 3:52 PM on January 26, 2004

Er, or from Hackworth's first suggestion, is the RCA output signal strength from a TV too great for an adapter to the Mac's microphone input? (See previous post about frying audio component.)
posted by Dick Paris at 3:54 PM on January 26, 2004

This ought to work, unless there's something really peculiar about Macintosh audio mixers that I don'tunderstand: Connect the TV's audio output to the line input of your iMac (Those have audio inputs, right? Living the iLife and all that?). Turn on the TV.

Don't use a microphone input. That would be bad, and even if it works, which it shouldn't, don't expect it to stay working forever.
posted by majick at 4:41 PM on January 26, 2004

The Apple Pro Speakers I had with my G4 Cube were most definitely USB speakers, but it seems that the Apple Pro Speakers that came with the Cube and what Apple sells now are two completely different creatures, at least interface-wise. They look the same, though.
posted by mrbill at 5:07 PM on January 26, 2004

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