Apple TV music streaming through optical digital out?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sft109, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2009
    With a 2nd gen Apple TV can it stream my iTunes library using the remote app on my iPhone if I have the optical audio out connected directly to my home theater system even if the tv that the hdmi cable is connected to is turned off?

    Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
    Ok - I confess I am using the HDMI out to my AVR not optical but my understanding is that there is no difference as far as the atv is concerned.

    Yes you can - your atv will appear as a set of speakers using airplay (after setting it up). You can then stream to it using your iTunes library (controlled with your remote app if you desire) in exactly the same way you would using the existing Airport Express. In fact, a nice touch is that the Atv will wake from sleep in order to do this. There appears to be no control via HDMI on atv either so it is not automatically bringing my tv on - this is a good thing as I often want to listen to music without having the tv on.

    I would expect the optical out to work in exactly the same way, but if you want to keep it simple and you have an hdmi compatible AVR then you can just go ahead and use the single hdmi connection and forget optical. :)
  3. macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2010
    That's what I do (the HDMI to AVR) and it works really well.

    One thing I have noticed though is you are correct - the tv won't automatically come on when you wake the ATV. But there is communication going on. If I turn the tv off when a song is playing, the atv will pause. A quick tap on play and all's right again.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    I haven't tried this yet, but does the AppleTV2 fully wake up if there is no HDCP-compliant display connected to it? Some TVs might complete the handshake even off, some might not.
  5. macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
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    I regularly use the atv2 as an airport express for AirTunes. I.e - tv remains off, AVR on and then just select re atv as a set of speakers using airplay on iTunes or using remote app. Atv wakes up automatically, tv stays off and music plays!
  6. macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
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    sft109 - re-reading your question, I don't think we have answered it. I havent tried using optical at the same time. I am guessing if optical is connected as well as HDMI then the atv will send music down both cables simultaneously? In which case u could connect HDMI to TV and optical to amp, getting sound to both tv and amp at the same time (albeit with a lip-sync risk if listening to amp?)
  7. macrumors 68020

    Surf Monkey

    Oct 3, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Mine is set up that way. HDMI feeds video to the TV, toslink feeds audio to my AVR. No synch problems at all.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    This was my question, the Apple store dude didn't seem like he knew and just told me something. Glad it was on the front page of this forum I was about to be the guy who asks it again and doesn't bother searching. I don't have an HDTV yet so I wasn't even going to plug it in to a TV at this point. I need to upgrade my Airport express to something with the n-spec, so I was thinking of just getting an Apple TV instead. Does the wireless do 5.0 Ghz? It might not even matter I think it will be on the same piece of furniture as my router I could just hardwire it.

    Side note: anyone know of a good D/A converter for the optical out? My stereo is old and awesome.

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