Can ATV 4k do Dolby Pro Logic II?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by 2ms, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    I have active monitors (so no receiver) and just play my audio straight from my Airport Express to my speakers. But I've been thinking of adding more speakers and getting an Apple TV.

    Would the Apple TV be able to play stereo recordings on all 5 speakers? Does it have Dolby Pro Logic built in so I could do that (conversion of stereo recordings to multichannel)? Usually people have receivers that can perform this role, but as I say, I prefer to stick with my zero electrical components except one Apple device setup.

    Thanks ahead for your advice.
  2. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I doubt aTV will decode DPLII but as DPL is analogue mix on 2 channels, it would pass it on in stereo signal.
    So external DPLII decoder should decode it.
    As a matter of fact, DPLII downmix has been encoding option in HandBrake for a long time already.
  3. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    OK, yeah, I just really like the minimal Apple TV and speakers configuration. Really didn't want to get any kind of receiver or other big bulky box. But I guess it's unavoidable with home theater. With my stereo setup I have never missed having preamp, receiver, amplifier, etc components once. Active monitors are a beautiful thing.
  4. priitv8, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Copy that. But Dolby Surround is something that needs a decoder.
    If aTV did the decoding, then it would also need 4 or 5 analog audio outputs to send the decoded signals to.

    Just out of curiosity - why would you go with an outdated obsolete surround encoding system?

    PS maybe the HomePods can get you there someday? As of my current understanding, you can only build a stereo system with them.
  5. brucewayne, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018

    brucewayne macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2005
    The ATV 3/4/4k is always actively decoding/encoding (for instance taking a DD5.1 stream and converting to 5.1 LPCM) but it is does not have stereo analog outputs much less the 5 you would need to make that happen.

    The ATV will preserve whatever surround info that is embedded into a stereo signal and send that out via 2.0 PCM, but you will still need some sort of digital - analog surround decoder before you get to your 5 speakers (active built-in amplifiers or not).

    I suppose you could try to put something likethis in the mix between the ATV and the speakers using the optical out on the ATV3 (or buying an hdmi to toslink adapter for the atv4 /4k) . I doubt you are going to be happy with the sound quality.

    There are tons of decent receivers with pre-outs or preamps that would do what you want in a much higher quality way - many with Airplay or Bluetooth built in (i.e. replacing the airport express/ATV altogether)

    If I was in your shoes, if you are primarily listening to music, I would just stick to stereo. Id rather have good 2.0 than mediocre surround
  6. 2ms, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018

    2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    I'd certainly use the latest and greatest surround processing for movies, I just thought I'd also use surround speakers for listening to music while not seated in optimum stereo listening position. It's nice for parties, cleaning house, etc. My impression was the PLII is the only way to convert stereo to surround sound. Am I wrong about that?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 28, 2018 ---
    I'm actually planning on using one of these for room correction. I have a 2 channel one on my stereo between my airport express and monitors and the sound is incredible. I do use stereo for most listening but would like to be able to utilize the additional speakers for non-critical listening.
  7. worldvga macrumors member


    Nov 21, 2018
    Apple TV 4K and Apple TV (4th generation) automatically play sound in the highest quality that’s supported by your home entertainment system setup and available with content that you watch.

    If your home entertainment system doesn't support the audio format that Apple TV automatically selects, you can manually change the audio format. Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format and turn on Change Format. From here you can choose the following:

    • Dolby Digital 5.1: Plays audio on multiple speakers and a subwoofer, like a 5.1 speaker setup.
    • Stereo: Supported audio quality for all televisions, movies, and TV shows that plays sound through a right and left channel.
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I am not sure about the "surround" part in your sentence. All artificially created multichannel mixes, that have not been mixed as such by the sound engineer in studio, are just best approximations.
    But there are definitely other ways to get multichannel output from a stereo input. Simple multi-channel stereo on my AVR for example, will output audio from all speakers.
    DTS Neural:X is another pseudo-surround algorithm. Also simply setting my AVR into Dolby Surround mode and feeding it a with stereo signal will cause its upmixer to create a pseudo-surround effect.
    So DPLII is definitely not the only way.
    The only real ways are DSD/DVD-A multichannel and Blu-ray video discs with multichannel audio. There actually exist special audio bluray discs without much visual content, but audio is mixed in Dolby TrueHD, sometimes with Atmos, or DTS-HD Master Audio.

Share This Page

7 November 26, 2018