Can I use an aTV as an airplay receiver?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rrandyy, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2009
    I'm not satisfied with the airplay compatible speaker options out there. I'm considering buying a speaker with AUX input and then setting up an airport express for airplay streaming.

    However, this will sit right under my TV. Instead of an airport express, can I use an appleTV? I'd like to not have to turn on the TV and do a bunch of "prepping" before being able to airplay to the speaker.

    Also, I don't want to airplay the audio through the TV speakers (which shouldnt be a problem if the TV isn't set to that input anyway).

    Would this work? If so, I can get an apple TV and have my airplay setup. It would be ideal.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Yes. The aTV has an optical out you can use as an airplay receiver. Though you need to be aware of the roughly 5s of static noise if you start playing directly to a sleeping aTV without waking it up before hand.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2009
    Interesting. Any way to prevent it from going to sleep, or other work-around?
  4. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2005
    A couple of things:

    The ATV does not have an analog audio output that can connect directly to a speaker system with only an aux-in. The Airport Express does. An ATV has only HDMI and digital audio out which means it must be connected to a receiver to do the digital to analog conversion. You can connect it to both a TV (via HDMI) and to a receiver to have both options for audio.

    If the primary use is going to be audio, I would suggest the Airport Express - both because it has analog as well as digital outputs, but also because it does not have to be managed through a television, and as noted, there is less of a delay when waking from sleep. My ATV2 (the black box, but not the newest version) doesn't make any static during that time, but it does take at least 5-10 seconds to wake up and play music, whereas the AE is nearly instant.
  5. macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2011
    as an added note...if you were to have BOTH an atv and the express i believe in the next atv software you can actually SEND audio to airplay enabled speakers instead of just being an airplay receiver itself. This way say your speakers with express are outside and your itunes library is far away but your tv is right can use the tv to play your library through the tv AND express or either or.

    however as said express is what you are looking for not the atv.. There was a neat device coming out...announced in january but i doubt will see the light of day now that apple has changed the form factor of the airport express called the griffin twenty. It takes the airport express...runs it into a small amp then allows you to turn on just about any type of passive speaker setup...
  6. macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2006

    Is there a speaker or set of speakers that will take an optical audio input directly from the appleTV?

    (I have a stereo receiver but it's old and doesn't have an optical input, and is thus banished to the analog turntable room).
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2009
    Ive seen a bunch of amplified speakers with optical input. This would be the best route for an Att, rather than a speaker with just aux.

    I'll likely try the aTV/speaker route to see how it works out.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2011
    Yes, this will work. What I do is I have the AppleTV hooked directly to the TV with HDMI, and then an Optical Audio cable connecting the ATV to my receiver. (My audio reciever does not have HDMI inputs.) That way, I can listen to music through the AppleTV even when the TV is off.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    My setup as well. The beauty of it is I never have to change the reciever settings for watching AppleTV or listening to music.

    As for the Airport Express, I had both at one point, but took out the Express when I upgraded from 1st gen to 2nd gen AppleTV. With both being able to Airplay, I felt the Express was unnecessary. The delay doesn't bother me.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Have you considered upgrading the stereo receiver? Even an inexpensive modern receiver will with a good set of speakers will have optical in and sound better than most stand alone speakers. And still not cost a lot.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    I use the Audyssey Media Speakers which have an optical input. They work very well with the ATV. What other amplified speakers with optical inputs have you seen?
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2009
    Pretty much all the sound bars Costco sells has it. I'm looking at:
    Visio VHT215
    Yamaha ATS-1010
    Samung HW-E450C
  13. macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2012
    I actually use an Apple TV connected to an old Bose Wave Radio. I bought an inexpensive digital-to-analog converter from Monoprice for around $20 and it works fine. I'm not a super audiophile by any means, so don't know if it would suit everyone, but I love it.

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