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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:13 PM   #1
DennisMadsen
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AirPlay: AirPort Express or Apple TV?

I was planing to buy a Apple AirPort Express for having the ability to stream music from my iPhone and from Mac/iTunes to my Home Theater via AirPlay. Instead I could buy a Apple TV, which have extra functionality. Are the any disadvantage of buying the Apple TV instead of the Apple AirPort Express?
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:26 PM   #2
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I was planing to buy a Apple AirPort Express for having the ability to stream music from my iPhone and from Mac/iTunes to my Home Theater via AirPlay. Instead I could buy a Apple TV, which have extra functionality. Are the any disadvantage of buying the Apple TV instead of the Apple AirPort Express?
It doesn't act as a wifi router?
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:27 PM   #3
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It doesn't act as a wifi router?
I've a Time Capsule
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:28 PM   #4
Le Big Mac
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It doesn't act as a wifi router?
Or allow a USB connection to a printer . . .
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:35 PM   #5
DennisMadsen
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I can listen to music on Apple TV without turning on my TV, right?
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:38 PM   #6
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I can listen to music on Apple TV without turning on my TV, right?
Correct, but you have to use an optical out to your receiver.

Go with the AppleTV. The only thing you'd be missing from the Express is a USB port and Wifi range extension, which it sounds like you don't need anyways.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:38 PM   #7
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I can listen to music on Apple TV without turning on my TV, right?
Depends on how you are connected. Using the optical to a receiver will work.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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Depends on how you are connected. Using the optical to a receiver will work.
What about the Audio Out (Phono)?
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 01:51 PM   #9
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Correct. It works without the TV being on if you connect the HDMI or optical directly to your stereo. Both outputs on the ATV are on and work simultaneously so you can have it setup several different ways.

As far as being an audio/music client there isn't much difference if any between an Apple TV and an Airport Express. The decision basically boils down to if you need the router or network extender functionality of the AE or if you prefer to have the additional capabilities of the Apple TV involving a screen.

I guess if you were only planning to use it for music, you have to take in consideration that the Apple TV is capability of showing music videos and also displays the album cover artwork, time, etc. while any music is playing. And one of my favorite features of the ATV is the ability to show photos while music is playing on my home theater in the family room. But then I use an Airport Express for my music at my outdoor patio because I don't have a screen there and I needed a way to get a better wireless signal outside so it killed two birds with one stone. So it really depends on your needs.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 03:10 PM   #10
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What about playing music from my iTunes to the device via AirPlay. Are they equal here?
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 03:15 PM   #11
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What about playing music from my iTunes to the device via AirPlay. Are they equal here?
Basically yes.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 05:03 PM   #12
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The AirPort Express in NOT an 'AirPlay' device. It is an 'AirTunes' device meaning that it can stream audio only from a computer (or a hard wired device connected to a computer) running iTunes on the same network. 'AirPlay' denotes a newer iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad running iOS 4.2 that can stream both audio & video directly to an Apple TV2 without a computer.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 05:06 PM   #13
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The AirPort Express in NOT an 'AirPlay' device. It is an 'AirTunes' device meaning that it can only stream from a computer (or a hard wired device connected to a computer) running iTunes on the same network. 'AirPlay' denotes a newer iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad running iOS 4.2 that can stream directly to an Apple TV2 without a computer. The Apple TV2 is also an 'AirTunes' device.
Not correct the airport express does allow airplay and works well. I bought the ATV over another AE as you get a lot more with it. I have two AEs and the ATV.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 06:05 PM   #14
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ATV2 and AE

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I bought the ATV over another AE as you get a lot more with it. I have two AEs and the ATV.
I bought both ATV2 and AE last Friday and am waiting for delivery.....

Why?
- ATV2 gives me video and audio streaming
- I can use Ipad remote app for ATV2 and AE
- I can listen to music without turning on the TV with AE
- I can watch tv (eg sport) with the sound down and listen to music through the hifi via AE
- I cant use optical out from ATV2 to hifi because hifi already has optical coming from TV (only 1 optical in port on hifi)
- I can use the wireless of AE for ethernet connection to my DVD/HDD recorder.
- I can move AE to another room if I want to sometime later...

All the computers, internet and wireless are at one end of the room. The TV, hifi and multimedia is at the other end of the room. Thank God for Wifi...
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 06:08 PM   #15
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The AirPort Express in NOT an 'AirPlay' device. It is an 'AirTunes' device meaning that it can stream audio only from a computer (or a hard wired device connected to a computer) running iTunes on the same network. 'AirPlay' denotes a newer iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad running iOS 4.2 that can stream both audio & video directly to an Apple TV2 without a computer.
No. AirTunes became AirPlay when video was added. AirPlay works fine with an Airport Express, it's just it can only do audio. My iPod Touch streams music (and movie audio) to my Airport Express with AirPlay.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 06:30 PM   #16
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No. AirTunes became AirPlay when video was added. AirPlay works fine with an Airport Express, it's just it can only do audio. My iPod Touch streams music (and movie audio) to my Airport Express with AirPlay.

My Bad! Just discovered that I am wrong. AirPlay does work from my Touch 2G to my AX. Thanks for the enlightenment.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 06:41 PM   #17
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The apple TV only supports digital output for audio (either through HDMI or the optical out), whereas the Airport Express supports analog and optical digital through the same output jack.
Therefore, if your music system doesn't have optical or HDMI inputs, you would be better with an airport express.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 07:08 PM   #18
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... whereas the Airport Express supports analog and optical digital through the same output jack. ....
What does this mean? Is it just that whichever receiver (digital or analog) the cable plugs into both will be sent?

I will be using a cable to split the single output jack to red and white for input as AUX on the hifi.
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 02:29 AM   #19
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The apple TV only supports digital output for audio (either through HDMI or the optical out), whereas the Airport Express supports analog and optical digital through the same output jack.
Therefore, if your music system doesn't have optical or HDMI inputs, you would be better with an airport express.
My Panasonic sc-ht500 does not have HDMI or optical audio but only the old-school Phono audio in. Couldn't I just buy a "Optical audio to Phono/minijack" adapter?
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 04:19 AM   #20
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Very Cool

I got my Airport Express today and am really happy with it. It took about 30mins to get everything installed and working. I got the ATV2 but aren't allowed to open it till Christmas.

With the AE, I can
- Play from itunes from 2 PC's to the hifi and watch tv at the same time
- Control whats played on itunes using remote on my ipad and the wifes iphone
- Play from ipad or iphone direct to the hifi
- Connect my HDD/DVD recorder to the internet, via AE to router to modem to internet.

Pretty cool
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 04:23 AM   #21
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I got my Airport Express today and am really happy with it. It took about 30mins to get everything installed and working. I got the ATV2 but aren't allowed to open it till Christmas.

With the AE, I can
- Play from itunes from 2 PC's to the hifi and watch tv at the same time
- Control whats played on itunes using remote on my ipad and the wifes iphone
- Play from ipad or iphone direct to the hifi
- Connect my HDD/DVD recorder to the internet, via AE to router to modem to internet.

Pretty cool
Except from the router-part, all of these would be possible with the Apple TV too, right?
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 04:28 AM   #22
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Both work really well for that kind of thing. I use both but I need video from the ATV and I need printing and wi-fi extension from the express.

It is not a huge investment these days.
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 04:29 AM   #23
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My Panasonic sc-ht500 does not have HDMI or optical audio but only the old-school Phono audio in. Couldn't I just buy a "Optical audio to Phono/minijack" adapter?
You could get a 3.5mm to Phono adapter and use it with the Airport Express (which is exactly what I do). You'd need an active converter that incorporated a digital to analog converter (don't even know if they exist) to convert Optical out to Phono / mini-jack
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 04:33 AM   #24
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You could get a 3.5mm to Phono adapter and use it with the Airport Express (which is exactly what I do). You'd need an active converter that incorporated a digital to analog converter (don't even know if they exist) to convert Optical out to Phono / mini-jack
What about a adapter like this: http://www.av-cables.dk/lydkabler/op...o_3752_da.html. Sorry, it's from a danish store.
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 04:44 AM   #25
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What about a adapter like this: http://www.av-cables.dk/lydkabler/op...o_3752_da.html. Sorry, it's from a danish store.
Yeah, that looks like it would work
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