Apple TV as a Music Server

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by korowa, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. korowa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I mainly use the ATV as a music server; listening to the ALAC (Apple Lossless) files, which are placed on to the ATV's hard disk.
    With ALAC encoded material, I have found that the analog RCA output (the ATV Digital-to-analog converter) SQ is comparable with a CD player of the same price as the ATV.

    I hope the Apple iTunes eventually releases ALAC - lossless music.

    I was involved with sound mixing when I was younger, and I can really tell the difference between lossy and lossless music files.

    Anyway, The ATV has an optical (S/PDIF) Toslink outlet. At this stage, I gather this is mainly intended for movies that have a multichannel AC3 (Dolby Digital) s/track.

    Although I have read that the optical outlet is also used by audiophiles to connect 'jitter-free' external DACs/pre-amps.

    I would like to hear from anyone who uses an external DAC, and find out what type they're using.

    The Bel Canto looks great but it's awfully expensive;
    http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_preamps.html

    I'm sort of puzzled, considering the cost of these DACs, is the ATV in the same league? I mean there must be other options for audiophiles to decode ALAC playlists with hardware of similar quality to say the Bel Canto DAC.

    cheers
     
  2. lexnut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    #2
    Plug directly into your receiver first.

    I also mainly use my ATV as a music server, and it's great, really revolutionized my experience of my cd collection. I just plug my ATV directly into my Marantz receiver via HDMI. This utilizes the DAC in my receiver, and it sounds amazing! Try this, and let me know how it works for you.
    Lex
     
  3. korowa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Cheers, I haven't got a receiver with HDMI but I must check it out
     
  4. mhdena macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #4
    I'm using my atvs with a Marantz 8500 and a Marantz 8000 via optical and apple lossless, I am quite happy with this setup;)
     
  5. DimasLopez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #5
    ATV As a Music Server

    I have been using mine exclusively as a music server, not even a TV or monitor is attached as I use Apple Rermote for the iPhone.

    I use TOSLINK connected to a Benchmark DAC1 (less than $1K) with excellent results. Since I'm using Apple Lossless format I had to "upgrade" (hack) to a 320 GB disk in order to accomodate the music files. The only issue is that in the 3.0 version of Apple TV I can not find the option of "Digital PCM" so I'm assuming it is doing it by default. Before you could switch from DSP to PCM, and in order to keep data integrity the signal should remain PCM.
     
  6. DimasLopez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    HDMI - selectig digital audio type

    Does ATV have a menu option to set up the Audio type coming out the HDMI?
     
  7. korowa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    I gather you'd only have to enable Dolby Digital Out if you prefer the surround s/track on selected movie titles
    Settings > Audio & Video > Dolby Digital Out
    I dare say that it applies to both optical toslink and HDMI outlets.
    There are no specific settings for HDMI audio out.
     

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