Can ATV double as an AirPlay controller for speakers?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Toe, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Toe macrumors 65816


    Mar 25, 2002
    Hi, folks.

    If I set up an AppleTV in my living room and plug external speakers into it, can I also readily use it as my living room sound system (i.e., AirPlay to the speakers without the TV being on)?

    And if so, are there speakers that work well with this setup?

    Apple's ATV website is remarkably unhelpful and uninformative in this regard... which makes me dubious.

  2. JOSE891 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2012
    Las Vegas
  3. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I do it all the time, but then of course I have my HDMI hookup AS WELL as the optical hookup.

    My optical hookup is connected to the audio received, TV off.

    So as long as your speakers have a toslink hookup, me thinks you are good to go.
  4. Toe thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 25, 2002
    So to be clear, you can do like in this image? AirPlay video content goes to both the speakers and the TV; while AirPlay audio goes only to the speakers, and the TV is irrelevant. Right?

    Bonus question — do your speakers draw power when not getting input, or do they sleep? (Would love recommendations for speakers for this setup —*perhaps a bar?)

    Attached Files:

  5. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    When u play video on the ATV, both video and audio information is sent out the HDMI cable, and am almost sure audio is sent out the optical simultaneously.

    Speaker power is totally dependent on your particular speakers. Generally they draw some standby power even with no signal.
  6. Silver78 macrumors 6502


    Aug 24, 2013
    Just remember you need a tv to setup the atv:)

    I use a dac magic D/A converter between my analog stereo amp and atv. Much better sound than build in dac in both atv and most speakers and amps with dac build in.
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Make sure you understand that the speakers need to be powered, and the ATV audio must pass through a DAC. Connecting a receiver with the optical or hdmi cables works fine.

    TV doesn't have to be on for audio.
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Keep it simple. If the powered speakers have a toslink connector, THERE is the DAC.

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