are optical audio and hdmi video both on and in sync?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by foice, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2008
    I am thinking about a new apple tv 3.
    I would like to have it connected to my projector and my audio 2.1 analog speakers (harman kardon sound sticks iii).

    I know that to connect to the analog speakers I have to use a digital-analaog converter. I found one that should be good for stereo audio for around 20$

    I was wandering if the setup that I have in mind will work, with the video on the projector through the HDMI and the audio to the 2.1 analog speaker through the optical out and the digital-analog converter.

    Do the two outputs of the apple tv (HDMI and optical) work at the same time?
    from the forum seems yes, but better be sure...

    Is there any risk of de-sync?
    here I did not find any comment on the forum ... any direct experience?

    Thanks for the discussion
  2. macrumors 603

    Aug 3, 2006
    They seem to be in sync to me.

    And yes, HDMI and the optical port can be on at the same time.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2008
    hey T5BRICK! great news! thanks for posting it!

    an important detail, are you connecting the digital output straight to some speakers or do you have a digital-analog converter?
  4. macrumors 603

    Aug 3, 2006
    My optical output goes from my AppleTV to my receiver.
  5. macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2011
    There is a chance when using a converter that the audio will be slightly out of sync, true with anything when you add a component in between out put and the analog input of your amplifier. The better quality the converter the less chance of out of sync. This may be an example of going cheap is going to cause a problem. Most converters I have seen are at least $80.00.
  6. foice, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2008
    that is why I wanted to ask to people what was their experience ... good to know that the two outputs are both on, for the sync I would like to have some experience shared by people on the forum...

    Anybody have some experience to share with the sync of the HDMI+Digital Out+DAC ?
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I have an ATV3 connected via HDMI for zone 1 on my receiver and using an inexpensive $20 DAC for zone 2 (my patio). I have not noticed any sync issues when listening to music (and it would be fairly obvious, because we've got our windows open and can hear the inside speakers to some degree). I think you'll find that even cheap D/A converters will do it fast enough that any latency is negligible.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2008
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I bought this one (looks like it could be the same as the one you're looking at):

    It's worth pointing out that I only use this for music, so no issues decoding surround sound audio. If your source has surround (i.e. Dolby Digital 5.1), you might need to select "stereo" (or something like that) on the ATV for it to work (the affordable DACs cannot decode surround audio).
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2008
    yep it looks like it's the same stuff ... I'll try it! Thanks a lot for all the discussion!
  11. macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2011
    Think my system is 'normal'. My experience is....

    I was running an HDMI cable of the proper spec from the ATV2 to an hdmi port on the AVR. All seemed ok. The eternal quest for MORE led me to add the optical tosslink from the ATV2 to the corresponding optical port on the AVR. Didnt notice much diff in anything. One day pulled out the tosslink while streaming an m4v movie from the iPad, works great. NO difference. pulled the hdmi cable and of course video AND sound stopped. Plugged in optical again and no sound. ON THE AVR, for the input at that HDMI port, it turns out there is a choice. Analog, HDMI, Optical. So thats interesting. Next ran the hdmi cable from the ATV2 up to the flat screen. Left the optical in the previous port and on the AVR set the port to optical.. PRESTO ! hdmi video and a much improved sound out of the 5.1 system. SOooo yes they can both be on, but with YOUR AVR, are they both contributing???? or do you need them both on and hdmi to the TV for video and the optical to the AVR to drive the sound system. Just my .02 Interested in any comments. This is not a request for help, unless someone thinks I am about to melt something :), just a general comment.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009

    Sorry to revive this thread, but I recently did the same type of connection (ATV3 with hdmi for video straight to the TV and optical for audio directly to speakers) and have seen a small unsyncing with video lagging.

    I assume its the digital-analog adapter I bought (cheap-monoprice). Did anyone find an adapter that didn't have an issue??

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