Apple TV and Surround Sound system question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by themoffster, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. themoffster macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    I am looking to get an Apple TV as well as a surround sound system (note - surround sound, not home theatre as i don't want a DVD player i just want a good speaker system) to go with my new TV.

    What i plan to do is:
    * Apple TV -> TV via HDMI
    * TV -> Surround sound system via HDMI

    Would this work? Would i be able to play the content i have on my iMac via Apple TV and have the video show on the TV and the sound come out the surround sound system? I'm not certain about connections and getting it all to work smoothly.

  2. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Your biggest obstacle would be whether your TV has HDMI out. Not every TV does.

    You do have two other options though.

    1) Apple TV -> A/V Receiver via HDMI, then A/V Receiver -> TV via HDMI.

    2) Attple TV -> TV via HDMI, then TV to A/V Receiver via Digital Audio Out

    Both of those will give you your desired effect.
  3. DaREdBaRoN macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Your best bet is :apple:tv to receiver via HDMI then receiver to TV via HDMI. That way you can stream music through your :apple:tv to the speakers without having your TV on. Plus the way you described isn't possible as far as I know, since I don't know of any TV's with HDMI out.
  4. laurim macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2003
    Minnesota USA
    A watchout from my own experience. I tried to have all audio come through my TV via optical because my dvd/surround system only has one optical in. Found out my three year old Samsung tv doesn't pass 5.1 out its optical port, just flat sound. So, I ended up having to use an optical switch to switch between my dvr sound and my ATV sound in order to get 5.1

    I tell you this because since I was getting some sound from my first arrangement, I didn't realize I wasn't getting all the sound I could be getting.
  5. giobox macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2009
    Most newish TVs and AV receivers with HDMI 1.4 support ARC (audio return channel) over an HDMI cable which would let you wire it up this way, but as others here have suggested it would be far easier to connect your apple tv to an AV receiver and then the AV receiver to the TV. I am also not 100% sure that the ARC will passthrough the surround signals, some sets just pass through stereo.

    ARC is mainly used for passing the sound from your TV's internal tuner back to the AV receiver via HDMI.
  6. themoffster thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    thanks for the replies everyone.
    it looks like an AV reciever is the way to go - but can anyone recommend one?
    i'm not looking to break the bank especially as it seems to just be needed to act as a proxy for the HDMI cables.
    However, it'd be nice if it contained a radio tuner so that i could listen to the football on radio scotland (AM frequency) and be compact.

  7. giobox macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2009
    The AV receiver will typically do far more than just act as a proxy for your HDMI cables. It will normally decode the surround signals with its own DACs and also provides amplification for your speakers, making it one of the most important components in your setup. Ideally you want to spend as much as you can reasonably afford. Good ones typically start arround the £200 to £300 mark, but as with all audio equipment you can spend far more than this!

    Richersounds have the Sony DH510 for well bellow its usual RRP right now:

    I have personally used this amp, and quite like it. It is an abosolute bargain at £129.99. Most retailers are charging 200 to 250 for it. It supports HDMI 1.4 so will work with 3d TVs etc. I'd be very surprised if you find a better deal than this.
  8. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    I have my Apple TV 2 connected via option 2 above. My AVR is old and predates HDMI, but replacing it right now is not a priority. Sound is solid via this method for me.
  9. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    Richer Sounds is s good place to look in the UK, and the Sony is a bargain at that price. You can also check out reviews on for receivers at every price range. Sometimes good stuff comes up on Ebay too. Personally I picked up a Cambridge Audio Azur 340R for a little over 100 quid, and its perfectly good.

    Of course, with any AV receiver, you'll also need speakers to go with it. And, five of them for surround sound. Plus a sub woofer. Which will add to the cost a little!
  10. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    Oh, and news item on whathifi:

    HOT DEALS: Massive clearance sale at Hi-fi Corner - ends Saturday
    27 Apr 2011

    Hi-fi Corner is closing its Rose Street shop in Edinburgh and merging it into its refurbished Haddington Place outlet in the city. That means a major clearance sale at Rose Street, with some real bargains to be had in store...
  11. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    My receiver does support HDMI, but I also have it hooked up with HDMI to TV and Optical to receiver. The main reason is that I might want to just use the TV's speakers for sound and don't need to get my receiver involved in the process. When I do want DD5.1, I just turn my receiver on and turn the volume down on the TV. Since ATV2 doesn't support audio formats that don't work with optical output, there is no reason to have HDMI going through the receiver first in my setup.

    Of course, my Oppo and PS3 are hooked up via HDMI to the receiver, but it is because of the hi rez audio sources.
  12. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Is your TV new enough to have an audio return channel built into its HDMI? Like within the past 12-18 months?
  13. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    I picked up ATV2 a month ago and also a Dennon 591 ba. Its the Dennon 591 amp and Boston Acoustics speakers....530 shipped from Amazon.

    I think they work great together :)

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