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Old Sep 1, 2010, 03:38 PM   #1
mchalebk
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New AppleTV a Major Step Backward for Audio

I realize I'm probably in the minority, but I use my AppleTV more for music than video. I love being able to sync all my music so I don't have to have my computer on all the time. We never listen to CDs anymore, just the AppleTV (or Pandora or XM), so the lack of local storage is a major negative.

However, there's another feature that's been deleted that is an absolute showstopper for me: no analog audio! Why do I care? Because I run a 2-zone audio setup. As is true with most receivers, my AVR will not output digital audio to zone 2. To use zone 2, I need to use analog inputs. So, right now my AppleTV is connected via HDMI for zone 1 and analog for zone 2 audio.

Furthermore, I was hoping the new AppleTV might be able to replace my Roku NetFlix player. However, I also use that to listen to Pandora. So, once again, the lack of analog audio is a showstopper. (We spend a lot of item on our patio with music playing in the background.)

It's a shame that Apple doesn't offer a $199 version of the AppleTV that offers local storage (with streaming) and all the old connectivity. Either that, or they should keep the old design around as an AppleTV Classic...
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 03:51 PM   #2
rayward
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+1

I can stream Netflix through my PS3, and that's the only upgrade I see for the new ATV. This audio limitation means I won't be getting one to replace my main living room unit.

The good news is that it's much cheaper now to get one for new locations where the analog audio issue isn't an issue. The $99 price point will make it more accessible for new users and existing users to add units.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:02 PM   #3
hitekalex
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Wink

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Originally Posted by mchalebk View Post
However, there's another feature that's been deleted that is an absolute showstopper for me: no analog audio! Why do I care? Because I run a 2-zone audio setup. As is true with most receivers, my AVR will not output digital audio to zone 2. To use zone 2, I need to use analog inputs. So, right now my AppleTV is connected via HDMI for zone 1 and analog for zone 2 audio.
So get the Airport Express for your Zone-2 analog needs.. it's perfect for audio-only purposes.

Otherwise, keep your old ATV - looks like Apple will continue supporting it (see Engadget report for upcoming software update). No one one is forcing you to throw away your old ATV and get the new one
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:04 PM   #4
TheBritishBloke
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I'm sure someone will find that the USB on the back can be used for an external drive
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:05 PM   #5
mchalebk
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So get the Airport Express for your Zone-2 analog needs.. it's perfect for audio-only purposes.
I don't want to stream from my computer, so that's no good. Can the new AppleTV stream to an Airport Express? And even if it can, we need to buy another $99 device so that we can have analog audio out?
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mchalebk View Post
I don't want to stream from my computer, so that's no good. Can the new AppleTV stream to an Airport Express? And even if it can, we need to buy another $99 device so that we can have analog audio out?
You can buy a optical to analog converter if it really means that much to you.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:10 PM   #7
hitekalex
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Can the new AppleTV stream to an Airport Express? And even if it can, we need to buy another $99 device so that we can have analog audio out?
Obviously not, as it has no local media storage. Buy an analog-to-digital converter.. or just keep your old ATV.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:11 PM   #8
Jason S.
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Please let Apple know how you feel about this: http://www.apple.com/feedback/

This is a big reason I won't be buying it. I want it, but my TV, for whatever reason, won't carry audio through the HDMI connection and I don't have digital audio.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:14 PM   #9
mchalebk
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Please let Apple know how you feel about this: http://www.apple.com/feedback/
I will certainly be doing that. However, I think I'll wait a couple of days. I imagine they'll be inundated with feedback after a major announcement like this.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:17 PM   #10
Duffinator
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Originally Posted by mchalebk View Post
I realize I'm probably in the minority, but I use my AppleTV more for music than video. I love being able to sync all my music so I don't have to have my computer on all the time. We never listen to CDs anymore, just the AppleTV (or Pandora or XM), so the lack of local storage is a major negative.

However, there's another feature that's been deleted that is an absolute showstopper for me: no analog audio! Why do I care? Because I run a 2-zone audio setup. As is true with most receivers, my AVR will not output digital audio to zone 2. To use zone 2, I need to use analog inputs. So, right now my AppleTV is connected via HDMI for zone 1 and analog for zone 2 audio.
I have two ATV's, one in my HT and another in my dedicated music system. While I only stream audio (and streaming photos is what I've wanted for over three years) omitting analog audio outs is problematic for me as well as I also use multiple zones. With the lack of 1080P I'll be sticking with my current ATV's and maybe buy another one as a backup when Apple blows them out on their website.

I see the new ATV as an interm step and maybe as soon as next year we'll see one with more capabilites and with 1080P video.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:21 PM   #11
hitekalex
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I see the new ATV as an interm step and maybe as soon as next year we'll see one with more capabilites and with 1080P video.
We won't. What you see is what you'll get for a few years (obviously with software updates).
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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The good news is that Amazon and other retailers will be selling off the old AppleTV for dirt cheap. If I didn't have one already, I think I'd go out and buy the old one instead of the new.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 04:58 PM   #13
Duffinator
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I just checked Apple's website and they have the 160 gb ATV for $149. Get'em while you can.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 05:03 PM   #14
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I don't want to stream from my computer, so that's no good.
You could also stream from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 05:05 PM   #15
mchalebk
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You could also stream from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
My comment about not wanting to stream from my computer was in reference to using an Airport Express to provide analog audio for zone 2, so none of those devices would work (besides, I don't own any of those devices).
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