ATV: Multiple independent audio streams?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by CDN EC, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. CDN EC macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2012
    New here with a question:

    Trying to distribute audio through the house and curious if multiple ATVs will allow for multiple independent listening zones.

    There are 5 total zones in the house, and would like 3 of them to be able to stream different content simultaneously and controlled by different iPods/phones.

    Is that possible?

  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    each aTV acts as an independent receiver.

    from iOS, you can stream to a single location at a time.
    you can stream the audio from almost any app. (including while watching videos)
    video is up to the app designer, and varies

    from iTunes, you can stream audio to multiple locations at a time. (with independent volume control), you can also control this from apple's remote app.
    video is to a single location. (you can't stream audio separate from video, so no video on your computer with matching audio from your airplay speakers)

    from either, you can change your selection of speakers as you want.

    If you're only doing audio, the aTV can be a bit finicky without a monitor attached, you're better off going with an airport express. The older model is usually available refurb for $70, or the current for the same as aTV, $99.
    everything above holds true for the express.

    also check out airfoil, it allows you to stream audio from programs other than iTunes.

    also there are the beginnings of hints that iOS 6 will let the aTV act as an airplay source also instead of just a destination. not sure how that's going to be implemented.
  3. CDN EC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks for the reply!

    What we need is 3 independent streams, 1 stream sent to various zones won't work unfortunately.

    I guess a similar question would be if you had 3 computers running iTunes, would three different iPods/devices be able to control the 3 iTunes' independently if they were each paired with a seperate express?
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
  5. CDN EC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks again..

    Have you tried this approach and if so, what were your experiences with it? Did you find there were any communications issues between all of the components and did all of the streams work OK independently?
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    airplay will allow for multiple sources and destinations on your network. i haven't done exactly what you want to do, but it will work.

    The only problem you may run into is available network bandwidth, if you're on a low quality wi-fi network, you may have issues once you start adding multiple streams (or possibly even one stream). but that holds true for any network traffic, not just airplay.

    if your router is older, you also may run into issues, but maybe not. sometimes they don't like all the traffic, and need to be reset every so often.

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