Understanding Zone 2 DAC solutions

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jmpage2, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #1
    Hello everyone.

    I am contemplating making the plunge to an ATV (current model) which I would be hooking up to an Onkyo 818 AVR. I actually have an HTPC that I use for movie/TV/disc watching, but the ATV would be nice for Airplay functionality, mirroring of my iDevices to the TV, etc.

    The Onkyo 818 requires an analog output from the ATV for Zone 2. I understand that a DAC would allow me to connect the toslink output from the ATV to the AVR. The confusion for me comes in with comments about needing to disable 5.1 in the ATV.

    If I hook up the HDMI cable and the DAC (for analog capability) both to the AVR I will need to disable 5.1 for the DAC to function? Is this the case with all content, or only if I am playing 5.1 content from the ATV and expect the DAC to work?

    I don't anticipate using the ATV for much "surround sound" duty, but it's possible I might do Netflix or watch the occasional rental, so I would like to not have to cripple ATV by disabling 5.1 sound to get the digital to analog converter to work.
     
  2. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #2
    You know, the easiest method might simply be to add a 2nd ATV.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    #3
    I dont think i had to disable it to get mine to work. I have two ATV both using the Monoprice DAC. I think they were only about $20 a piece
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #4
    Any way you can verify the speaker setting on the ATV?

    What AVR are you hooked up to?

    Thanks.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #5
    Monoprice web page says the DAC only does stereo.

    Anyone have more info?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hanover MD
    #6
    "The Onkyo 818 requires an analog output from the ATV for Zone 2. I understand that a DAC would allow me to connect the toslink output from the ATV to the AVR."

    I have 2 Onkyo's and for analog, its going to have to be RCA. you cant do optical or HDMI to get that zone 2 signal. if you want airplay on zone 2, you could get a DAC and hook it to your HTPC, which is what I have done and have the airvideo server app on my mini. or you can get an airport express or ATV1 and hook it to zone 2, both of which I have done in previous configurations. if you JB the ATV 1, you can get full airplay support on it as well, just no netflix if that matters.


     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    #7
    I Have used the monoprice ones quite a bit, and they work OK. It shouldnt effect you at all in zone 2. I have my apple tv set to dolby digital, (instead of auto) but when you are listening to music, its just reverts back to stereo since there is no dolby track to play.

    And since I assume you are listening to music in zone 2, and not movies, it should work no problem. My only complaint is, when you have zone 2 turned on, and the apple tv isnt playing anything, the monoprice adapter tends to have a little white noise. But this stops as soon as you play something.

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #8
    That's exactly the info I needed, thanks!
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hanover MD
    #9
    My zone 2 wouldn't play thru optical from atv1 or 2, nor hdmi. Only RCA.

    Setting it to stereo doesn't change the digital path.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #10
    I don't think you understand. As I indicated in the original post, my understanding is that an ANALOG (a.k.a RCA) connection is required for Zone 2.

    There's no misunderstanding on that point.

    I will be connecting the HDMI connection of the Apple TV at the same time that I desire to use a digital-to-analog converter to convert the digital audio output of the device to analog (a.k.a RCA) stereo, which will also be fed to the Onkyo.

    The source of concern/confusion was seeing quite a few posts complaining that the ATV had to be switched from DD 5.1 or 5-speaker setup to stereo.

    Apparently I need not worry, as, when listening to music, the audio will output 2 channels regardless of the speaker setup in the device... so my question has been answered to my satisfaction.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hanover MD
    #11
    Gotcha, my bad.

    Just hate to see anyone buy something they don't need.
     

Share This Page