AirPlay: AirPort Express or Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by DennisMadsen, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #1
    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?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    grawk

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    Southern York County, PA
    #2
    It doesn't act as a wifi router? :)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    I've a Time Capsule :)
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    Or allow a USB connection to a printer . . .
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #5
    I can listen to music on Apple TV without turning on my TV, right?
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    SE Penna.
    #7
    Depends on how you are connected. Using the optical to a receiver will work.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    What about the Audio Out (Phono)?
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #9
    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.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    What about playing music from my iTunes to the device via AirPlay. Are they equal here?
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Mr Kram

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #11
    Basically yes.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    stuartmeyers

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney
    #14
    ATV2 and AE

    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...
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    #16

    My Bad! Just discovered that I am wrong. AirPlay does work from my Touch 2G to my AX. Thanks for the enlightenment.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Phil A.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Telford, UK
    #17
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    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.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    stuartmeyers

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney
    #18
    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.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #19
    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?
     
  20. macrumors regular

    stuartmeyers

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney
    #20
    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 :)
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #21
    Except from the router-part, all of these would be possible with the Apple TV too, right?
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    i(am in the)cloud
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Phil A.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Telford, UK
    #23
    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
     
  24. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #24
    What about a adapter like this: http://www.av-cables.dk/lydkabler/o...gital_converter_til_analog_phono_3752_da.html. Sorry, it's from a danish store.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    Phil A.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Telford, UK
    #25

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