Question about Apple TV and analog audio

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Mjmar, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Mjmar, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #1
    Like many of you, the speaker system that I use in my living room is quite old and does not have a digital audio input. This is a problem for me because I want to buy an Apple TV to use for airplay and to play my music in the cloud over this speaker system. I understand that there is a box that can convert the digital audio signal to an analog signal, but before I buy that I'd like to know if i can somehow connect to the speaker system without it. My television has an audio output in the form of analog audio so I'm wondering if I can connect the Apple TV to the television using HDMI, and then use the audio out on the television to plug into the speaker system? I'm not much of an audio expert so if this makes no sense I'm sorry :eek: Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #2
    That will probably work. For the price of few cables (and you probably have some laying around), it's worth a try. The A/D converter will be more expensive.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Downtown San Diego
    #3
    Yeah, it will work, I actually did just this while I was waiting for a TosLink cable to come in the mail... anything that accepts a digital input has a DAC embedded into it (ie. any tv, dvd/blu-ray player, etc). Personally I would recommend getting an outbound DAC, even a cheap one would be nice improvement over using the one in the TV. Then again I'm also a (cheap) audiophile... running the ATV -> Onkyo 805 -> Magnepan MMGs.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #4
    +1

    Outbound dac will yield a much better audio experience than the TV output.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5
    Thanks a lot guys, I will try using the TV and see how that sounds. Hopefully it sounds good and I can save a few bucks.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #6
    I used to do exactly what you're proposing, but I didn't like always having the TV on just to listen to music. That's the only issue I found.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #7
    Is the AppleTV going to be used only for music, or also video? If music only, an Airport Express can be connected directly to your stereo and provide Airplay audio. If you want video also, the ATV is the way to go.

    For what it's worth, I use a Monoprice D/A converter with my ATV3 to run analog audio into my receiver for my outdoor speakers (most receivers will only route analog sources to alternate zones). Works great, costs $20 or so. If the TV analog out doesn't work, this is a pretty effective and affordable way to go.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    #8
    I did the exact same thing and it works perfectly.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #9
    DAC converter not working with Apple TV 3

    I purchased the same converter from monoprice to use for zone 2 onkyo 608 receiver with my apple tv3 running the latest iOS update and I can't get it to work. I have changed the Dolby digital output to off and still no luck. Is there another setting in the apple tv I am overlooking?

    I have tried the converter with a TiVo HD with optical out to a small stereo system via RCA and it works fine. I was thinking the converter was faulty but that test might have proven otherwise. I have tried restore, reset, and additional inputs on the receiver. Any suggestions before I return everything?
     
  10. JoeBlow74, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #10
    Go buy a new receiver. The low end receivers are very good now. You can pick one up for a few hundred $$. For the price of a nice DAC, you could buy a new receiver with all the current connections.

    ----------

    The optical does not pass multichannel, only stereo. There is a settIng in your receiver that can switch each input to analog. You need to switch whatever input the DAC is going through to analog in the receiver. Wait! What are you asking?
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #11
    Here's the connection breakdown:

    Apple TV3 -> (optical) -> Monoprice DAC -> (RCA) -> Onkyo 608 Receiver

    Apple TV settings: Dolby Digital - (off)
    Onkyo Receiver: Input - (aux front panel RCA jacks)

    To test aux input settings on receiver to confirm it was indeed working, I connected it to an iPod (1/8 -> Y RCA cable)and had no problems.

    Are there any other settings or connections to check? Is there a compatibilty issue with 5.0.2 update?
     
  12. JoeBlow74, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #12


    That Onkyo Receiver should have a few HDMI ports. Use HDMI from the Apple TV to the Onkyo.

    I guess I still do not understand what you are trying to do. You have an Onkyo receiver with APPLE TV3 in another room correct? Your Onkyo receiver should have one HDMI out and about 4-5 HDMI in ports on the back. The APPLE TV3 has HDMI out. Buy a HDMI cable for $20 and run this cable from the Apple TV to HDMI in on the back of the Onkyo. This will provide a pure digital signal with HD picture. Oh, make sure you turn the Dolby Digital on in the Apple TV3 settings.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #13
    I have the HDMI connections already complete. This is providing everything needed for the home theater. Works flawlessly and sounds great.

    My conundrum is getting audio to ZONE 2 (so I can listen to the outdoor speakers). Zone2 will only accept analog and there is no way to route the digital input to zone 2 inside the receiver. Just trying to setup for Airplay so I can control everything from outside. As it stands, I have to plug iPod/iPad into aux (routed to zone 2) and leave inside with no outside control.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #14
    He's trying to make "zone 2" work on that Onkyo. That means it must be fed by an analog audio signal. There are no other choices. Zone 2 won't work by a digital (HDMI or optical) feed.

    In fact, this is generally an issue for many receivers with Zone 2, not just Onkyo. I'm not aware of any mass market ones that can make their Zone 2 work when fed by HDMI or optical. I have a pretty high-end one myself (with plenty of HDMI and Optical inputs) and my zone 2 also requires an analog stereo input. It is just as such things are.

    What would be ideal is for :apple:TV4 to include analog stereo out (like :apple:TV1) probably as a minijack. As I understand it, the :apple:TV board is based upon the iPad board and the circuitry is there (Apple just chose not to include an analog audio out port).
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #15
    Exactly! Thanks HobeSoundDarryl.

    Just wondering how others in this thread are getting the DAC to work with their :apple:TV3 optical out? This sounds too simple and maybe I am just over thinking the setup as there really isn't many settings in the :apple:TV that can affect the optical audio output.

    Are others using :apple:TV3? I am on 5.0.2; How do you revert back to an older software to try another version or is this a problem?
     
  16. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #16
    I only recently replaced :apple:TV1 with "3" and this is the thing I personally miss second most (second to what I thought was the better UI in "1"- my own movies in "movies", my own TV shows in "TV shows", etc).

    Currently, my Zone 2 is fed by a SATT receiver analog audio out. Yes, that means I can't play my iTunes music like I could before but I haven't seen a good way to hook up the :apple:TV3 for this. Personally, I'm hoping "4" corrects this shortcoming. The jack might cost Apple a nickel or 2 per unit to include and yet it would solve all "Zone 2" issues for everyone. That's much better than "buy a new receiver" when that option still won't solve this particular problem.

    Another guy suggests hooking up an Airport Express Base Station for zone 2 purposes. That may be the way to go (as I doubt "4" will add the jack). Maybe refurbished/used if this is the only need.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #17
    I thought about returning the ATV to get an Airport Express but the ATV far outweighs the features (useful to me) of the Airport Express for the same price. I agree, when Apple reviews the shorcomings of the ATV3 when designing ATV4, this little hardware feature should not be overlooked.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #18
    I'm with you. "3" is great. IMO, it was a very easy buy just for the 1080p part alone. I miss a few benefits unique to the "1" but "3" is terrific. I hope Apple does hear such comments and makes "4" an even stronger product. I have a short list of things I would like to see (several of which would be resurrected benefits from the "1").
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #19

    Ok, I understand. Most DAC's need some form of power to work. I have seen battery operated, USB operated, and 120v ac operated. Make sure you have power going to the DAC, then Change the AUX input to analog in the settings for that port within the receiver. Yes, you can switch each input in the receiver from digital to analog, or vise versa. Try this and report back.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #20
    5V power supply (wall wart) plugged in: check
    AUX is accepting analog signal: check (confirmed this with ipod connection)

    Also, I have checked the DAC out and it seems to be working; TiVO to DAC to mini stereo shelf system and it worked.

    The TiVo did allow me to change the output from Dolby Digital to PCM which is the only digital signal the DAC will accept. The :apple:TV only has an the option to turn Dolby Digital on/off/auto which I have turned off. I have tried all other settings with no luck either.

    I may just have a defective ATV however, there is light coming out of the optical port.
     
  21. macrumors regular

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    Aug 2, 2012
    #21
    In Apple TV, change the audio out from auto or hdmi to optical. The Apple TV only does One or the other, not both.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

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    Aug 9, 2012
    #22
    I will give this a try and report back later. I don't recall seeing this setting but I will double check...

    If this is the case, it's going to be somewhat of a pain; I will have to change this setting everytime I want to "watch" ATV vs listening outside but "it is what it is."
     
  23. macrumors regular

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    Aug 2, 2012
    #23
    Did you activate zone 2 in the receiver? Zone 2 is not in by default. You have to manually enable zone2.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #24
    Zone 2 is on (LED indicator on). I sometimes just use the FM tuner or route the cbl/sat source to it (I use HDMI and RCA simulataneously). As long as there is an analog source, it can be routed to zone 2.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #25
    Your receiver should have either zone 2 out speaker wire connections, or zone 2 line out. If you want to listen to music outside, run some speaker wire from zone 2 out on the back of the receiver to outside. Speaker wire is cheap and can be purchased almost anywhere. This would allow you to use the apple tv hdmi to onkyo receiver and get a pure digital signal. The receiver will send the music through the speaker wire to your speakers outside. Keep it simple.
     

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