Apple Tv 2010 and Bose Cinemate GS

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by thegame2002, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. thegame2002 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010

    Was wondering if you guys could help me. I have Samsung LED TV.

    I wish to purchase the new Apple TV and the Bose Cinemate GS surround sound system.

    I know that the aTV supports AirPlay. So my question is this:

    Once Airplay is released can I then stream just music to my Bose System using a wireless connection from my iPhone without switching on the TV?

    If so what is the best way to set up my system? So that I get:

    1 - Full Surround Sound whilst watching appleTV.
    2 - Full Surround Sound whilst watching just the TV or any movie on it.
    3 - Wirelessly stream music from my iphone, without switching on my TV.

    I am quite confused about this and any help would be very nice.
  2. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Well, I am not familiar with this Bose surround system, but I see that it does not have a receiver. Are you connecting it to a receiver somehow or do you plan to use is as a standalone system?

    Without a receiver I am not sure how this would all work. The back of this Bose unit has very few A/V connections (1 HDMI, and 1 optical audio).

    By connecting the AppleTV to the Bose via the optical audio port, and then connect the AppleTV to your TV via HDMI, you would likely be okay for anything that is coming over the ATV (rented TV and movies from the iTunes store, or streaming your iTunes content). But it seems like it would leave out all of your other A/V sources (Cablebox/DVR, DVD/Blu-Ray, game system, etc.).

    Unless maybe someone else here has a good idea for you.
  3. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    That Bose system has very limited connectivity, only one analog and one optical input and I don't think it will let you switch between sources. Furthermore, like most Bose equipment, it carries a fairly hefty price tag. Unless you only have a single source for audio, I would highly recommend something else (unless you have an external way of switching between sources).
  4. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Well, i just watched a little video on the Bose site about this system, and I was totally off on my thinking of how it worked. I had a bit of tunnel vision as it pertains to the need of a receiver. I believe this Bose system will likely work they way you expect.

    From what I can gather, as opposed to needing to plug in all your A/V equipment into the speakers, you plug them all into your TV, and then this system outputs all audio over these speakers. So, as long as your TV currently has enough inputs for all of your audio and video devices, then this should work as expected.

    Of course you will still have to switch audio/vidoe source inputs on your TV to move between regular TV, and ATV content, as well as DVD or game systems. So that won't change. But since this Bose system seems to only act as an external speaker, then your TV will do all of the audio processing.

    Sorry if I confused the matter.
  5. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    The Apple TV gets connected to your television via HDMI (2010 in the thread title implies the new Apple TV). The Bose system gets connected to the television via analog or optical cable, depending on what your television supports. Turn off your television's internal speakers and use the Bose system to regulate volume - instructions will be in the manuals for both.

    As far as scenarios 1 or 2, you'll get whatever sound your signal source supports. It might be surround, it might not, that would depend on the television channel or on the video file being streamed from the Apple TV. Scenario 3 isn't going to happen as the Apple TV is connected to the television and data flows in one direction: to the television from the Apple TV.

    edit: Correction - since the Bose unit is 2.1 and is manufacturing some sort of surround-type sound from a 2 channel input (as noted below in post #8), you'll get some sort of ersatz surround sound no matter what.
  6. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I'm not so sure on this. The Apple TV would still be connected and sending the data (music) over optical audio to the TV. In my understanding of this Bose box, is that any audio received by the TV, is then passed on to these Bose speakers, almost like you had plugged headphones into the headphone jack.
  7. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I have a high level of confidence that a television that isn't turned on isn't going to pass through signals. I also have a high level of confidence that an Apple TV is completely dependent on the television for its user interface.
  8. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    It's very important to note that most (if not all) TVs only output surround sound if they are receiving a surround signal from an over the air channel. If you input a DVD player or an AppleTV, most TVs will only send a stereo signal over its digital audio output. If you want surround sound out of the AppleTV (or anything else you're connecting), this setup is most likely not going to work.
  9. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    And I have total confidence in your confidence. Yes, of course the TV has to be turned on. I must have snorted some serious stuff because I had somehow overlooked thevery important part of the OP's question where it said he wanted the TV to be off. In my head, I thought we were just deciding whether or not you could successfully stream audio from an iPhone, to the ATV, and have it be output over these connected speakers. Which I do believe would work, as long as Bose and Apple play nicely, and as long as the TV is on :D.

    Sorry OP. I may just put my training wheels back on and observe for the rest of the day.
  10. thegame2002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010
    On doing some more research i've noticed the following:

    The Bose System has an interface module with the following connections:

    1 - Optical Out
    2 - Stereo Audio Cables.

    The new apple TV has the following

    1 - Optical In/out
    2 - HDMI

    So I am thinking this:

    1 - connect the optical out of the Bose interface module to appleTV
    2 - connect the stereo cables of the Bose interface module to the back of the TV
    3 - connect the apple tv to actual TV using the HDMI cable.

    Then I have the following scenarios:
    1 - If the TV is turned off and the Bose and the aTV are on, then I should be able to stream music from my iPhone using airplay to the aTV which in turn sends it to the Bose.

    2 - when the TV is on and I want to watch a movie/sports channel on the TV then the sound comes from the stereo cables to the Bose (Thus, bye-passing the Apple Tv)

    3 - When I want to watch the apple TV, then the sound goes from the apple TV to the Bose system through the Optical cable and the picture through the HDMI cable to the main TV.

    The only problem is that the HDMI cable includes (Sound + Picture) and the Optical going from the aTV to the Bose includes (Sound). So the TV would then need to figure out a way to cut one source of sound. Can it do that?

    Also can the apple TV just stream Music by itself to a sound system?
  11. Loves2spoon macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2010
    Just turn the tv volume to 0 and the bose cinemate will control the volume for both inputs.
  12. thegame2002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010
    FYI Also this Bose System does not need a receiver. It is designed to operate without one. Thanks a lot for your help guys. But please help me figure out this.
  13. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I did some more research as well, and this is how I interpret the info from the Bose website. From the user manual it is indicating that the optical audio port on the Bose is Input only.

    Likewise, the optical audio on the ATV seems to be Output only. This is not definitive since it has not been released yet, but it makes sense for both products.

    Apple wants you to stream from the ATV to the TV, not the other direction. Conversely, Bose wants the interface module to be able to collect or take in all sorts of audio, and output it to it's own speakers. I doubt they want to support you outputting to other devices or speakers.

    So, it would seem like the direction of the audio is going in the opposite direction that you need it to in your scenario above.
  14. thegame2002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010

    Thanks for all the research!!

    Don't quite understand what you mean by directions?

    ??Apple wants you to stream from the ATV to the TV, not the other direction??

    I am only streaming from the aTV to the TV and my speaker system. So, this is just one way. The only difference is that instead of the sound going through the TV speaker, I want it to come out from the home cinema system thats all.

    like wise when i watch normal TV/Sports the atv is off and the sound from the TV goes to the bose.

    Does the HDMI cable that comes with aTV it also carry sound?? or do I need a different cable for that??

    It'll be so stupid of apple to make you switch on your TV, change the input settings, then find your phone and then stream music off it. right?

    It should just be a case of leaving the atv on, the bose on and the tv off, whilst you use your iphone to play music in your living room, through airplay.
  15. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC

    I want to put this delicately to avoid any offense, but while the bose claims to reproduce surround sound with 2 speakers, it doesn't. It does do some neat phasing tricks that sometimes makes it sound like there is sometimes a surround speaker(s). That said for $800 you can get a much more accurate sound system. If you like the bose aesthetics and it sounds fine to you, that is ok also, but their systems are not accurate in reproducing sound the way it was intended. I want to be really clear though in saying that if it works for you, then go ahead, but i would suggest you know your options first - perhaps visit and explain your budget, your room, and what you want to achieve, and some very nice knowledgeable people will help you find some great gear for the money.
  16. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Oct 8, 2007
    If your confidence is right.. This is the advantage of airport express. Streaming music without TV.

    This makes me think not to return the AE that I bought last weekend...
  17. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    You would need the TV to configure the Apple TV and pair the remote, although the remote app on an iPhone appears to have enough of a UI to play music. I have an AE too that I mostly use as a travel router. I used to use it to stream music, but I replaced it with an Apple TV.
  18. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    From your original post, I don't believe you have bought the Bose system yet. If that's true, I highly recommend you start researching a different solution. That Bose system does not have any audio outputs. It only has two audio inputs, and you can't use the analog input if the digital input is connected. From the manual: "When your TV is connected to the optical input on the interface module, the analog input cannot be used as a second audio input."

    Really, this device is intended to replace the speakers in the TV. The only way this will do what you want is to route everything into the TV, then connect the optical out of the TV to the Bose. And the output from the TV will almost certainly be stereo only (no 5.1 surround) for anything other than over the air TV. Furthermore, the TV will have to be on in order to route audio to the Bose.

    For $800, there are a lot of solutions out there that are much better suited to what you really want to do. A decent home theater receiver with lots of inputs is a much better idea. Or, if you don't want to go to a full blown receiver with surround, look at some soundbar systems. Some have multiple inputs which is what you need. This Bose system is (IMO) just the wrong solution for your situation.
  19. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    From your earlier post, you were indicating that you thought the Bose had an optical Out port, and that the Apple TV has an optical In/Out port, but this doesn't seem to be correct for either device. I believe that the Bose optical port is Input only, and the ATV optical port is Output only. If you understand this but merely misspoke your plan, then you should be fine related to my comment about direction. But, if you were meaning that you wanted to output from the Bose and Input that into the ATV for some reason, then this will not work. But like I said, maybe I was just confused on how you phrased it.

    The HDMI port does carry audio, although some people have older equipment, such as a receiver that has no HDMI, so they may need optical audio. As for switching settings on the TV, you definitely will have to switch sometimes unless you have a universal remote that is programmed to do the switching for you. The ATV will presumably be connected to your TV over one of it's HDMI ports, but your other sources (cable box, DVD/Blu-Ray, etc.) cannot be connected to the same input port. So, you will have to switch the TV when you want to switch sources.

    I have to say that this topic is turning out to be much more challenging to discuss than I anticipated, and I feel a little delirious at the moment. I think it is because it is pretty technical and so many devices involved that may or may not behave unpredictably with each other. In any case, hopefully we are now on the same page.
  20. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Thanks for posting this. For some reason I just couldn't state it quite this clearly.

    OP, I for one have a surround receiver that all of my audio is routed through, which then gets piped over a set of bookshelf speakers, and I love it. Even though I have to use a remote to switch audio and video inputs, it's not hard or inconvenient. It's only a button press.

    As for Bose, some people love them, and some hate them. But you should listen to them or any other speaker system you plan to buy to see if you like them before spending the cash. If you can't listen to them first, at least make sure you get them somewhere with a generous return policy so you can send them back if you don't like them. Everyone's ears process sound differently.
  21. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I almost forgot to give you a heads up on this, but the Apple TV doesn't come with an HDMI cable.

    From the tech specs page...

    In the box

    Apple TV
    Aluminum Apple Remote
    Power cord

    So assuming you are still planning on getting the new ATV, you will also need to spring for an HDMI cable.
  22. matt1540 macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2008
    My current set-up is a Vizio TV, appleTV, and the Bose Cinemate system.
    Been running this since Dec. 2009.

    The TV has to be ON to stream music and listen through the Bose System.
    Not a real big issue b/c I enjoy having my photos running as a screensaver on the TV when the music is streaming and playing.
  23. thegame2002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010


    I think you've go the older version which is not wireless.

    I just spoke to the guy at the apple store and he says that what I am trying to do is perfectly fine. I need to connect the HDMI from the apple TV to TV. the Optical from the apple TV to the Bose and the analogue (or an optical splitter) from the Bose to the TV.

    PLUS MY TV DOES MY TV DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ON!! because the new apple tv has wireless capability. Something similiar to the airport express (ignoring its wireless router capability)

    Do you have the Cinemate GS or the Cinemate series II?? How is sound quality?? I heard the demo GS in the shop and its remarkable. Perfect for my needs. Do you agree?
  24. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    The Bose system you’re looking at is not designed to use both inputs; it’s designed to be either/or. Once again, this is from the manual: "When your TV is connected to the optical input on the interface module, the analog input cannot be used as a second audio input."

    So, connecting the AppleTV to the digital input on the Bose and the TV to the analog input will not work. Yes, you could add some kind of switch, but why not buy a system with more than one usable input?

    Are you ever going to want to view other sources (such as DVD player, satellite receiver, cable box)? If so, you’ll need to run them to the TV first, in which case you’ll only get 2.0 sound from the Bose (of course, as already pointed out, you’re not going to get real 5.1 surround out of the Bose anyway, but you won’t get to take full advantage of the Bose simulated surround). Unless, of course, you get some kind of external switch that let’s you choose from multiple inputs.

    Obviously, you can buy this Bose system if you want. However, it’s not designed to do what you really want to do. I’m not a Bose basher; I think they make fine systems. However, Bose gear is generally overpriced. There are other systems out there that will sound just as good (if not better) for less money. Plus, I’ll guarantee you can find one for less money that will sound very nice and will handle multiple inputs.
  25. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I can't comment on what this guy at Apple did or did not tell you, but if he is a smart Apple guy he should not be implying that any non-traditional setup of a third party product will work. Mainly because he has no product training from Bose to know whether or not it will work. Theoretically it could work, but if Bose does not enable all input ports to work simultaneously, then it's not going to work, and the Apple guy wouldn;t know this unless he read the manual. Just because they may sell some Bose products at the Apple Store does not make him an authority on their use or functionality.

    Also, Given what Mchalebk quoted from the Bose user manual, it is definitively clear that it will not allow usage of both inputs simultaneously. If you doubt the correctness of this information then you should talk to Bose, not Apple. I know this ruins your plan, but it is the truth.

    As to your comment about the current (old) ATV not having wireless capability like the new one, well this is just not correct. They are both wireless and both capable of streaming from a Mac and accessing the iTunes store over your wireless network.

    So, if you absolutely want to be able to listen to music with the TV being off, then you should probably either get an A/V receiver. Of course, in this setup, the receiver would then have to be on while listening to music. I know you are wanting everything to work in harmony together, never having to switch inputs, and everything working in any connection scheme that you can invent, but it's just not reality. can get a good A/V receiver (good brand) for $225-300, and a nice set of bookshelf speakers from $199-299 and still save some compared to the bose system. But if you prefer a simpler setup, then it sounds like you will have to concede having the TV on while listening to music.

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