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H00513R
Nov 5, 2010, 09:27 AM
I tried finding a thread on this, but didn't see exactly one that fit my question. I'm finally getting around to converting my CDs to MP3s and am wanting to listen to them around the house.

1. I want to stream music from my late 2009 iMac to my stereo.

2. My stereo supports HDMI

My question is what would be the difference between purchasing an Airport Express over the new ATV (for the price
0? It seems like both will do the job and ATV has the extra features if I wanted.

I was hoping that Apple would lower the Airport Express price after the ATV refresh, but maybe they haven't due to the range extender and services sharing features?

Thanks.



kiranmk2
Nov 5, 2010, 03:47 PM
Can only speak for the UK, but Apple have lowered the refurb price of the airport express (66 to 55) since the new ATV came out. Would have made more sense to include range-extending capability and harddrive/printer sharing capabilities in the ATV2 and discontinue the Airport Express - would have got a load more ATVs into houses.

H00513R
Nov 5, 2010, 06:57 PM
Can only speak for the UK, but Apple have lowered the refurb price of the airport express (66 to 55) since the new ATV came out. Would have made more sense to include range-extending capability and harddrive/printer sharing capabilities in the ATV2 and discontinue the Airport Express - would have got a load more ATVs into houses.

I'll keep my eye out for the refurbs and hopefully they'll drop the Express price. Just didn't know which was better for streaming and if the ATV was worth it over the Express. Thanks!

SonicStomp
Nov 6, 2010, 12:49 PM
I tried finding a thread on this, but didn't see exactly one that fit my question. I'm finally getting around to converting my CDs to MP3s and am wanting to listen to them around the house.

1. I want to stream music from my late 2009 iMac to my stereo.

2. My stereo supports HDMI

My question is what would be the difference between purchasing an Airport Express over the new ATV (for the price
0? It seems like both will do the job and ATV has the extra features if I wanted.

I was hoping that Apple would lower the Airport Express price after the ATV refresh, but maybe they haven't due to the range extender and services sharing features?

Thanks.

how were you connecting your AE to your stereo?

If you were using the standard 3.5mm minijack to analog audio in then with the atv using hdmi you will be using your stereo to decode the digital signal vs the AE. You should therefore see an improvement in sound quality. If however you were using 3.5mm minijack to optical (toslink) then there won't be any difference.

I use my old AE and the new ATV2 (different locations). Using airplay controlled from iphone remote app there is no functional difference between the two.

wpalomine
Nov 6, 2010, 10:25 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

The APE dubbs as a wireless extender or portable wireless access point. ATV can stream virtually all media in your iTunes library, + YouTube, netfix, etc...

For digitally streaming music, sonically I can tell the difference. However, with APE you have 2 points of control, iTunes and iDevices. ATV you can add the UI via TV.

H00513R
Nov 8, 2010, 08:04 AM
how were you connecting your AE to your stereo?

If you were using the standard 3.5mm minijack to analog audio in then with the atv using hdmi you will be using your stereo to decode the digital signal vs the AE. You should therefore see an improvement in sound quality. If however you were using 3.5mm minijack to optical (toslink) then there won't be any difference.

I use my old AE and the new ATV2 (different locations). Using airplay controlled from iphone remote app there is no functional difference between the two.

I apologize if I didn't make it clear enough - I don't have an AE or ATV. I also use an Epic not iPhone so the remote app would not be an option for me.

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

The APE dubbs as a wireless extender or portable wireless access point. ATV can stream virtually all media in your iTunes library, + YouTube, netfix, etc...

For digitally streaming music, sonically I can tell the difference. However, with APE you have 2 points of control, iTunes and iDevices. ATV you can add the UI via TV.

Which one sounds better IYO?

wpalomine
Nov 8, 2010, 01:29 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

The difference is negligible, but for my setup I prefer the optical out when watching 5.1 material. The audio output volume is also slightly higher via HDMI.

After fubling with my reciever settings, I settled for optical connected to my receiver and HDMI to the TV, and TV audio via PCM passthrough to my receiver. Different inputs means different sound settings for each input. HDMI for stereo flix n tunes, and optical for 5.1.

tekilla
Nov 8, 2010, 02:13 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

The APE dubbs as a wireless extender or portable wireless access point. ATV can stream virtually all media in your iTunes library, + YouTube, netfix, etc...

For digitally streaming music, sonically I can tell the difference. However, with APE you have 2 points of control, iTunes and iDevices. ATV you can add the UI via TV.

Really interesting thread and can see where you're going with it.
The one question I'd like to add (being in a similar position) is;
Can the APE extend Wireless through any router? Basically, if I plug an APE into my Linksys router with CAT5, once configured, could I then disable the wifi on the Linksys and have the APE as the only base station?

Nowhere I can find will give me a definitive answer about this but keep mentioning WDS which Linksys don't do.

H00513R
Nov 8, 2010, 05:51 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

The difference is negligible, but for my setup I prefer the optical out when watching 5.1 material. The audio output volume is also slightly higher via HDMI.

After fubling with my reciever settings, I settled for optical connected to my receiver and HDMI to the TV, and TV audio via PCM passthrough to my receiver. Different inputs means different sound settings for each input. HDMI for stereo flix n tunes, and optical for 5.1.

Wow, so it sounds like the ATV would be the better route to go if you don't need the extend range capabilities. Do you use an AE for anything at all?

wpalomine
Nov 8, 2010, 09:26 PM
Wow, so it sounds like the ATV would be the better route to go if you don't need the extend range capabilities. Do you use an AE for anything at all?

Yup, 2 APEs purely for streaming tunes to different rooms.

KevinC867
Nov 8, 2010, 10:58 PM
The lack of analog audio outputs on the new Apple TV was a show stopper for me. I use my receiver's zone 2 speaker system a lot. Unfortunately, it requires an analog input for the zone 2 amp. I think this arrangement is still pretty common on many receivers. (Mine is an Onkyo TX-SR607).

However, my original Apple TV works brilliantly as a music player. It has lots of flexibility with HDMI, optical and analog audio outputs. I use the analog outputs for Zone 2 and HDMI for the living room surround system. I ended syncing most of my music collection into it's hard drive so my computer doesn't need to be active to play my tunes. (However, all video is streamed from my computer.) With the refurbs going for $130, this may be a competetive solution for you.

It's too bad that you don't have an iPhone. The Remote app for controlling the Apple TV is brilliant. It might even be worthwhile trying to find the cheapest possible used 1st gen iPhone or iPod Touch, just for this purpose.

SonicStomp
Nov 9, 2010, 04:31 AM
I used to use an AE connected via toslink (3.5mm minijack to optical) to my living room AVR to stream music from itunes to speakers.

I now have an ATV2, which I connect via HDMI direct to my receiver.

My AE is now in my kitchen connected directly via analog to my DAB Aux In.

I can use my ATV2 exactly as I did my AE with no discernible difference in quality. Of course, it also does TV stuff as well :)

For my money unless you want the extending range / printer sharing capabilities of the AE I would go for the ATV2 - it will give you all the video / photo streaming & rental functionality as well. I am not sure there would be much difference is audio quality between taking the digital signal from the AE to your stereo via toslink cable (as I used to have) compared to HDMI to your stereo from ATV2. The important bit is that in either case it is your stereo that is doing the digital to analog conversion and not the AE/ATV. You will only potentially notice a difference if you connect the AE using the analog cable.

spiritlevel
Nov 9, 2010, 06:43 AM
If it just for stereo use I would seriously consider an old 160GB ATV and an old iPhone running remote.

This gives you some serious added functionality that neither an APE or an ATV2 has...

The hard drive on the original ATV means you can sync your music to it, meaning your computer does not need to be on to use it.

The remote on the iPhone means you can control it all from the comfort of your chair.

You can digital out from the old ATV to your stereo so sound quality will be good.

This is the setup I have and it's brilliant. When I got an IP4 I was going to sell my old IP3g but decided to keep it just to use as a stereo remote and stuck a few games on it for the kids, so my wife/kids can use the stereo and play games without needing to borrow my IP4.

H00513R
Nov 9, 2010, 10:21 AM
The lack of analog audio outputs on the new Apple TV was a show stopper for me. I use my receiver's zone 2 speaker system a lot. Unfortunately, it requires an analog input for the zone 2 amp. I think this arrangement is still pretty common on many receivers. (Mine is an Onkyo TX-SR607).

However, my original Apple TV works brilliantly as a music player. It has lots of flexibility with HDMI, optical and analog audio outputs. I use the analog outputs for Zone 2 and HDMI for the living room surround system. I ended syncing most of my music collection into it's hard drive so my computer doesn't need to be active to play my tunes. (However, all video is streamed from my computer.) With the refurbs going for $130, this may be a competetive solution for you.

It's too bad that you don't have an iPhone. The Remote app for controlling the Apple TV is brilliant. It might even be worthwhile trying to find the cheapest possible used 1st gen iPhone or iPod Touch, just for this purpose.

I used to use an AE connected via toslink (3.5mm minijack to optical) to my living room AVR to stream music from itunes to speakers.

I now have an ATV2, which I connect via HDMI direct to my receiver.

My AE is now in my kitchen connected directly via analog to my DAB Aux In.

I can use my ATV2 exactly as I did my AE with no discernible difference in quality. Of course, it also does TV stuff as well :)

For my money unless you want the extending range / printer sharing capabilities of the AE I would go for the ATV2 - it will give you all the video / photo streaming & rental functionality as well. I am not sure there would be much difference is audio quality between taking the digital signal from the AE to your stereo via toslink cable (as I used to have) compared to HDMI to your stereo from ATV2. The important bit is that in either case it is your stereo that is doing the digital to analog conversion and not the AE/ATV. You will only potentially notice a difference if you connect the AE using the analog cable.

If it just for stereo use I would seriously consider an old 160GB ATV and an old iPhone running remote.

This gives you some serious added functionality that neither an APE or an ATV2 has...

The hard drive on the original ATV means you can sync your music to it, meaning your computer does not need to be on to use it.

The remote on the iPhone means you can control it all from the comfort of your chair.

You can digital out from the old ATV to your stereo so sound quality will be good.

This is the setup I have and it's brilliant. When I got an IP4 I was going to sell my old IP3g but decided to keep it just to use as a stereo remote and stuck a few games on it for the kids, so my wife/kids can use the stereo and play games without needing to borrow my IP4.

So it still sounds like ATV wins, but now which one to get? You guys might be onto something with picking up an old ATV and getting a cheap 3G to control it. Have you had any problems with the ATV 1.0? It won't be able to do the rentals, etc. that the new ATV 2.0 will do, correct? So many choices lol...

KevinC867
Nov 9, 2010, 01:02 PM
So it still sounds like ATV wins, but now which one to get? You guys might be onto something with picking up an old ATV and getting a cheap 3G to control it. Have you had any problems with the ATV 1.0? It won't be able to do the rentals, etc. that the new ATV 2.0 will do, correct? So many choices lol...

The original Apple TV with the latest software (V 3.02) is very capable. You can do movie rentals and purchases on the box. I don't think the new $1 TV rentals are available, but you can buy episodes for $2.

H00513R
Nov 9, 2010, 02:21 PM
The original Apple TV with the latest software (V 3.02) is very capable. You can do movie rentals and purchases on the box. I don't think the new $1 TV rentals are available, but you can buy episodes for $2.

Is the 3.02 expected on these refurbs? I didn't see a version listed:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB189LL/A?mco=MTA4Mjc0MzM#overview

KevinC867
Nov 9, 2010, 03:20 PM
Is the 3.02 expected on these refurbs? I didn't see a version listed:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB189LL/A?mco=MTA4Mjc0MzM#overview

Yes, I would expect that's what it will come with. But if it doesn't, it's an easy and free software update.

H00513R
Nov 10, 2010, 01:20 PM
I forgot to ask, have any of you streamed via Xbox 306 with something like Connect360? I don't own an Xbox, so maybe this is also an option for an extra $100 or so over the ATV 1.0 idea.

wolrabsj
Nov 10, 2010, 02:41 PM
You might want to use Apple Lossless format for ripping your CDs, rather than MP3, particularly if you're going to play through an optical connection. It takes up a lot more disk space, but it preserves every bit and byte from your CDs. MP3 does not. I got a 2TB external hard drive just for this, and discovered it has room for about 4500 CDs in Apple Lossless format. Or quite a few movies.

H00513R
Nov 22, 2010, 12:30 PM
Decided to go the Xbox route for the streaming. For a couple hundred more I get the gaming capabilities. I'll be using the Connect360 software.

Thanks for the replies/advice everyone!