Apple TV Sound through Surround Speakers

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Airnova, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI Canada
    #1
    I have the Latest Apple TV (3) & would like to know what is the correct setup to have sound come through my home theatre surround speakers.

    I had my optical digital audio cable connected to my Apple TV and from there connected to my home theatre receiver, but sound only comes from the TV speakers.

    I tried connecting the optical cable directly to the TV from my Apple TV audio port. Still, sound only comes through the TV speakers. I followed the Apple TV setup guide as instructed.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #2
    Did you check the settings to make sure optical audio was selected ?

    I mute my tv when using the apple tv because I will get sound from both the optical and hdmi cables.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    rocknblogger

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    Don't the HDMI connections carry full surround sound? Do you mean that if I want surround out of my Apple TV I have to use the optical connection?
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #4
    The answer really is "it depends". The primary factor is your home theater receiver and how you have your other devices connected to it and your TV.

    BEST OPTION:
    Generally speaking, you should have all of your devices, including your AppleTV, connected via HDMI cables from the device to the home theater receiver. Most home theater receivers of the past 3-5 years have several HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. You can then run 1 HDMI cable from the receiver's HDMI out up to the the TV. This is really clean, and allows you to control your system by simply changing the HDMI selection on the receiver. You never have to change the input on the TV as all of your devices are really controlled by the receiver sending the picture up to the TV using a single HDMI cable. (Note that some receivers will even pass input from non-HDMI sources up through the HDMI cable. So even an old DVD player or Wii for instance can sill be connected to the receiver and utilize the HDMI out from the receiver to send the signal to the TV.)

    ALTERNATE OPTION:
    If your receiver does not have multiple HDMI inputs, then you likely will need to send 2 signals using 2 cables...1 from your device up to the TV (for video) and 1 from your device over to the receiver (for audio). Obviously this is not nearly as clean as the best option above, and is also much less user friendly as when you switch from 1 device to another you have to switch inputs on both the TV and the receiver.

    Please let me know if this helps clarify the solution. It may help for you to indicate the receiver make/model.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI Canada
    #5
    My home theatre system is a Panasonic SC-BT100 7.1ch surround sound system
    with Blu-ray player all in one receiver. The receiver has only one HDMI input/output. The Panasonic 50" plasma has 4 HDMI's.

    My set up:

    1. PVR HDMI out to HDMI input 1 on TV.
    2. Panasonic Home Theatre Receiver out to HDMI input 2 on TV.
    3. Apple TV HDMI out to HDMI input 3 on TV.

    I use my Panasonic remote to select input for device I wish to use.

    Looking at your second option, Apple TV device has only one HDMI source so i am unable to run one to the TV for video and another from my device to the receiver for sound. Maybe i can use a HDMI splitter.

    Thanks for responding and hopefully explaining my setup and make of receiver was helpful to you.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    You will not be able to take advantage of the "best option" I indicated. Also, since your receiver does not have even a single HDMI input, a switch will not do you any good.

    What I would suggest is this...

    1) Keep your existing setup with an HDMI output from each device going to the TV's various HDMI inputs.

    Then, do 1 of the following:

    2a) You MAY be able to use an optical cable from your TV back to the Panasonic receiver. I say may be as only some TVs will support this. I'll be honest, I don't think that this will work.

    2b) You can use an optical cable from the AppleTV and send that to the optical input on the Panasonic receiver to pass digital audio. This should work, depending on the capabilities of the receiver. This is how I set up my sister's system, although she has a stand-alone AVR receiver and not an "all in one". The all-in-one units are not really designed to be "trafic cops" and accept the multiple inputs as the AVRs are designed. Also, the problem with this setup is that you are only taking advantage of the receiver's digital audio for the AppleTV and not for your PVR since the receiver only has 1 optical input.

    Are you married to the Panasonic system? Or did you just get it and have the option to exchange for a true AVR? In my opinion, and with what you are trying to accomplish, an AVR and separate speaker configuration will be much more pleasing to you (albeit more costly).
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    why doesn't the Apple TV come with a 3.5mm audio output like the apple airplay box does? it's so easy to just plug straight in and away you go.

    hdmi output to the tv
    3.5mm audio out to av connectors - plug into audio av inputs on stereo SIMPLE

    Thats what i would like to see anyway. Hasn't stopped me from purchasing one though HAHA.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #8
    I have an older receiver that doesn't have any HDMI inputs/outputs at all. Each of my components (Apple TV, Blu Ray player and Xbox 360) are connected to the TV directly with HDMI and also to the receiver by either optical or coax digital audio. Each device, including the ATV, is successfully outputting audio separately in addition to the HDMI.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    i mean Apple Airport Express box.......
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #10
    The problem here is that the OP'sreceiver only has 1 optical input.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #11
    Ah, in that case the OP may be able to send audio from the TV to the receiver via an optical audio cable, depending on what output options his TV has. He may be limited to stereo audio as I believe most TVs won't pass through full 5.1 audio.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Senseotech

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    Wilkesboro, NC
    #12
    Both the TV's I've had, a budget Sanyo and a mid range Vizio both have digital audio out (Coax or Optical) that will pass 5.1 audio. My setups work this way:

    All devices go to the TV HDMI input, usually via a cheap HDMI switcher. An optical cable or coax<>adapter<>optical setup goes from my TV to the speaker system. I've gotten DD and DTS to my speakers this way from the AppleTV as well as a PS3 and Xbox 360.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #13
    I used to have an optical audio out from my LG TV to my receiver but it was unable to pass through 5.1 audio.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Senseotech

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    Wilkesboro, NC
    #14
    An optical cable is, what, $9 online? Worth a try before going more in-depth, most TVs of others that I've had experience with will pass-through.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #15
    Yes they will carry 5.1.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #16
    I have a 2008 Samsung tv and it only passes stereo. Before I bought a new receiver with enough hdmi ports, I had to use a manual optical switcher to get 5.1 sound into my receiver for all my stuff.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #17
    Yes, this was suggested as an option that may or may not work.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    rocknblogger

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #18
    Is that yes to, HDMI will carry 5.1 or yes to optical carrying 5.1?
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Senseotech

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    Wilkesboro, NC
    #19
    Yes to both. HDMI will carry 5.1, and so will optical.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    rocknblogger

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #20
    That's what I thought, thanks.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #21
    Mostly because 3.5mm audio isn't a standard connector on Home Theater components where HDMI rules the roost.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    #22
    3.5 stereo vs 5.1 HDMI

    The Airport Express and TV audio are designed for 2 different things. The primary function of Airport Express is simple 2 channel (Stereo) audio. The standard 3.5mm mini stereo plug is perfect for delivering audio to the RCA AUX In of many compact sound systems. (think boombox) Most of those are not designed for anything other than simple 2 channel audio. The secondary use of the Express is to extend a network and add print server abilities

    The TV relies on HDMI and TOSLink to carry the more complex 5.1 audio signal. It was designed specifically to stream video + movie audio.

    The TV can handle plain ole' stereo great. The Airport Express can't handle video or 5.1 With both at $99, I would always pick TV unless the print server abilities of the Express were going to be its main use.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Senseotech

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    Wilkesboro, NC
    #23
    Not disagreeing with you, but the Airport Express' audio out is double duty, its a 3.5mm analog and an optical audio out as well. I've not done any testing or heard one way or the other, but I'm curious if this optical audio port is capable of outputting 5.1.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #24
    It may be capable with extra software, but out of the box I think it's just designed to play music from iTunes, which isn't 5.1. I'm curious if somebody has found a way to play 5.1 audio through an APX.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Senseotech

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    Wilkesboro, NC
    #25
    I'll have the newest Airport Express here tomorrow, so I'll do some testing to see.
     

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