ATV2 and Home Theater Connect for Dummies

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by avarex, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. avarex macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    I hope someone out there can help me set up my ATV. I consider myself pretty mechanical, but I'm not sure I'm understanding all the AV Jargon.
    My home theater was setup by a professional but I don't want to spend more$$ to have him do this!
    It appears! that all my cables are run through my Denon AVR-1909.(lots of ins!) I have a HD DVD player, cable box, Wii, The main thing to note is the final connection from the receiver to the Samsung TV is a hefty blue cable (component video cable).
    I want to assume that I can just hook the ATV2 up to the Denon with a HDMI cable into the HDMI (DVD) port. Then everything (sound video) will just pass to the TV like all the other devices seem to do! Right?? Why would I need any other cable (HDMI) to connect back up to the TV? Isn't the receiver already sending HD Video to the TV now?

    Another thing I discovered when I first got the ATV was I just directly connected it to the tv using the HDMI cable (after selecting source HDMI1) I got the ATV to show up and all, but NO SOUND.
    I don't think this set up is the best, correct? since it doesn't take advantage of my home theater, Right?

    Lastly, please address the sound issue especially since i want to stream music in the most high quality way. (I also read that having the audio separate from the TV is good so you can play music separately)
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Just HDMI from the Apple TV to the back of your Receiver. The Denon will handle the rest (video to your TV, and if you've set it up to do it, audio from TV or your music to your speakers).
  3. avarex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Trying that

    I tried doing this. The Denon has 3 HDMI ports 1 (DVD) 2 (HDP) 3 (VCR)
    I tried each of these, but then again I didn't know what or how to tell the tv it was connected. Do I set the Denon on a setting?
  4. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    You indicate the Denon connects to the TV by component cable. Do you have any other devices that connect to the Denon via HDMI? I know HD switching will pass component-in over HDMI-out but I didn't think it worked the other way.

    With the ATV2 hooked directly to the TV you have 2 options for sound: 1) Use the TV speakers (which may have to be enabled thru the TV settings) to watch the ATV or 2) run an optical cable from the ATV optical out to the Denon.
  5. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    I think Marzer is on the right track. If that big cable going from the Denon to the TV really is component video, you can probably only play from component/composite inputs. You should probably replace that component cable with an HDMI cable. That should give you access to all your HDMI and analog inputs. (The receiver will convert the analog inputs to HDMI.)

    There should be buttons on the receiver and remote control which match the names on the ports and allow you to select the right one.

    Once you select the right HDMI port on the receiver for your ATV2, it should do a fine job playing music. It probably has settings which allow you to choose simple two channel stereo for music or multi-channel (e.g. Dolby Digital) for movies. It may also do this automatically.
  6. avarex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    thanks getting there

    Thanks so much for the advice. I think we are almost there.

    Interestingly I tried somethings before i read your posts and it makes sense.
    1) I hooked atv up to denon using HDMI (somehow I selected this input) and I could then hear the atv but could not get any video! --which makes sense since you said the component cable can't transfer the video--

    Is this a dumb question... why didn't my tech install an HDMI cable to begin with? (this was in early 2010) is this new technology? Is he dumb? is there an reason he chose the component cables instead? --interesting my dvd player says HDMI on it but no HDMI slot. I have no other HDMI cables hooked up.

    So to recap you think if I remove the component cable and put in an HDMI cable then I solve problems all around now and future...

    Okay now for a wrench...I want iTunes music.
    My Home AV is set up so I can listen to music on the whole house speakers or send it also to the home theater speakers. So how would you set up the ATV to be able to use the video with the home theater and then the audio 1st with the house speakers and 2nd with the home theater?

    My guess is to hook up ATV to the Denon and then have a separate optical cable go from ATV to the house speaker set up.
  7. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Yes, switching the video out to HDMI should solve it for you.

    As for iTunes...From your question I assume your house speakers are not driven by the Denon? If not, yes the optical out would connect you to another system, of course whatever is on the ATV (video or music) will feed both. If the speakers are driven by the Denon, then you just select the ATV as the speaker in iTunes and turn the house speakers up!

    In my case, I have an ATV on the HT and an airport express connected to the amp that drives the speakers built-in throughout the house. Then someone can be streaming a movie to the HT while someone else can be listening to music elsewhere in the house.
  8. avarex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Thanks again everyone.
    So I had success hooking up the ATV last night. I HDMI it into the Denon then ran another HDMI up to the TV.
    I will try removing the component cables to see what happens!

    ANd to answer the previous post.
    The Denon does not run the house speakers. THey are hooked up to an amp. There is another receiver for the house but is this running the speakers?
    So I assume I need to keep the ATV hooked up where it is, then run an digital optical out to this house receiver? But what you are saying is I can't use the ATV for video and itunes for music at the same time.
    I think this will be okay for now, I bought the ATV to save the cost of an airport since it does the same and more.

    Also I assume there is an optical cable that can hook up to the older receiver which probably only has analog ins.

    I appreciate everyone's time, I think I'm finally getting it.

    Now if anyone has suggestions on a resource for me to learn how to program my all in one remote Universal X-450. I am so annoyed by some of the set-ups the tech did, but I'm afraid to touch it! I know I could do it if I had the right documentation.
  9. marzer, Sep 24, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011

    marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Glad the ATV playback to TV is working out for you but unfortunately there is not a cable that will connect optical-out to analog-in for the house speaker amp. You may find a special converter but would probably cost more than an Airport express or a replacement amp that accepts optical-in.

    Not only is optical out digital (which requires a conversion mechanism to connect to analog-in) but it's also light transmission (requiring conversion to electric signal) which is not convertible with a simple cable solution. Again, I'd recommend an Airpot Express to connect to the household speaker system. As it stands now, if the house amp has no optical-in, you will not be able to connect the ATV2 to it.

    EDIT: The $99 for an Airport Express is really a good deal. It's one of the most unique network devices on the market. You can even use it to share a printer or extend wi-fi signal through the house, while feeding the house speakers as a separate audio node (very flexible). FYI - OWC is carrying it as a refurb (under "specials") for about $69.
  10. avarex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Forgive my AV ignorance
    I suppose the amp has an optical in since it is so new, but the receiver attached to it is old. Can I just run the optical out to directly to the amps, or do I have to go through the house receiver?
    How would I control volume if it went directly to the amp?

    Maybe express is what I'll look into.
  11. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Oops. My misunderstanding. I have never used a separate amp, both my receivers are conventional stereo tuners, each accepts optical-in.

    If you are saying your amp connects to the stereo tuner feeding the household speakers , then yes it may be capable of feeding an optical-in-analog-out to the household speaker tuner. In that case you might be able to connect the ATV2 optical-out to the amp and the amp's analog-out to the household receiver and get sound to the household speakers.
  12. avarex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Thanks getting there

    Thank you for all your comments
    I'm so glad I have this on the way to being completed. I guess my only question is, why would my AV guy have installed the component cables to begin with and not an HDMI cables? I will certainly ask them.
    I think I'm done for now, and I will revisit this thread if I get further with the hook ups.
    BTW: I was able to figure out how to add a Macro to my mx-450 remote! I'm very surprised I figured this out.
  13. VABuckeye macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2011
    Receivers will convert analog (composite video, svideo and component video) to digital.

    They WILL NOT convert digital (HDMI) to analog.

    You can do what you did which is convert over to HDMI for everything or you can buy an external box to convert component to HDMI (and vice versa).


    Amps are going to have balanced or unbalanced inputs. They will never have an optical input on them as they are amplifiers only. The optical (digital) signal needs to be routed through a preamp or receiver first.

    Re: Your tech.

    In 2010 HDMI should have been the connector of choice but it should have been routed for all HDMI sources to go to the receiver and then an HDMI cable (I'd run 2) from the receiver location to the TV. There really was no need for component video cables to be run in 2010. However, I don't know what system he installed or what your budget was for the system or if all the equipment was new or if you asked him to reuse some of your old equipment in the installation. Therefore, I'm not going to judge your installer.

    FYI, I own a company that does custom installations.

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