How to connect appletv to receiver with only one hdmi port already connected to tv

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ezsobre, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. ezsobre, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    ezsobre macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Hi all. Just bought a new laptop and an appletv so i could get mirroring and streaming going. Problem is I have only one hdmi port on my tv (its old) and only one on my sony blu-ray player, which is just an hdmi output (also a few years old) which acts as the receiver into which my internet and speakers connect and interact.

    I'm not too savvy on hdmi, but can i get what i'm seeing on google called an "hdmi splitter" (or is "hdmi switcher" i want?) to solve the problem? Will that effectively act like a power strip? Or does the switcher only allow one signal at a time to go in/out and you have to switch between them? Also, i'm guessing I can't use the splitter on the bluray if it only has an output port, but maybe on the tv? If I use a switcher on the tv hdmi and plug the bluray and appletv into it, will the appletv be able to reach the speakers connected to the bluray, or does the switch mean only one can operate once? If the latter, I will a toslink optical audio cable connecting the atv to the bluray solve the problem?

    Alternatively it looks like I can run a optical cable from the tv to the receiver the speakers are connected to. In theory then i could connect the appletv via hdmi directly to the tv, and run the audio out of the tv and into the bluray receiver, and just use that as an audio receiver and forget about video from it since i have the appletv now. Anyone tried that? I don't have an optical cable so will need to pick one up to test.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. markrath macrumors member


    Nov 23, 2011
    Here is what I have and how I solved a similar problem:
    TV with 3 HDMI in and 1 Optical out
    BlueRay (and surround sound) with 2 optical in 1 HDMI in and 1 HDMI out
    Dish Hopper
    XBOX 360
    I also wanted to on occasion run my computer/iPad etc through HDMI

    I have my Dish in HDMI 1 of the TV and optical 1 of the BlueRay
    I have the AppleTV in the HDMI 2 of the TV and the 2 of the BlueRay
    My BlueRay goes into HDMI 3 of the TV

    Here comes the splinting part: I have a device that has 4 HDMI in and 1 out (splitter if you will) it's connected to the HDMI in of my BlueRay. I can run my xbox, computer and two other devices into this. Only one device can be seen on the tv at a time however. Since it's going into the BlueRay there is no need for additional sound output.

    In your situation a splitter into the tv and using the optical out should work. My experience with my HDMI 4 and 1 has been a little spotty with my xbox. I believe it's because the xbox may require more power so I think I just need to experiment a little.

    Long answer to a short question yes the splitter should work however it may have some limitations. Like most things if you pay for a high end splitter you may have less issues.

    Good luck

  3. takeshi74, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    It would probably be easier to answer your questions if you'd post the model of your receiver and bluray. Might as well post the model of TV as well. Are your speakers stereo or surround? Some TV's with ARC don't support surround sound for audio output.

    It would probably be easiest just to get a receiver with multiple HDMI inputs but there might be a solution that doesn't require the outlay.

    Those are called switchers. They switch from one source to another. A splitter splits one source to multiple targets.
  4. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    HDMI switcher connected to TV. Then connect all your devices to the switcher. Make sure the switcher has an "auto" feature to automatically switch to the most recently active device. It will be completely seamless and require no effort on your part.

    I bought one for ~$35 at Fry's. Bytecc brand. Also available at Amazon.
  5. ezsobre thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Will I need to separately connect the atv to the bluray for the speakers? Or will the sound run from the atv through the switcher to the bluray connected speakers?
  6. ezsobre thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2007

    It's an entry level bluray either Sony bdp s350 or 550. One Hdmi out. Optical audio jack, coaxial and stereo outs. Component, s video and composite video outs. Speakers are surround. TV is an older Olevia which is basically just an LCD monitor with Hdmi jack and all the above audio and video plugs.
  7. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    You could look for a switch similar to this one

    That splits out the digital audio from the HDMI to a dedicated optical/coax. That way all the devices behind the switch will send digital audio to the speakers and the video can continue through the HDMI OUT to the TV.
  8. ezsobre thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2007

    I think i found a solution that doesn't require a switch. Toslink cable from atv to sony bluray. Put bluray in audio mode. Run hdmi from atv to tv. Done. Thanks for your help.
  9. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    So, your speakers connect directly to the Blu-Ray player? Normally you need an A/V receiver to provide the speaker connections.

    Can the optical jack on that player act as an input? I looked up both models that you say yours might be, both list the optical as OUTPUT, not input. Also, does your TV have an optical output? I'd run everything to the TV with HDMI (using a switch if needed) then run optical from the TV to your audio device.

    Mine is set up like this:

    DVR and ATV connected to the TV through HDMI (I have 2 HDMI inputs, swap the DVD/Blu-Ray in for the ATV if needed or wanted). TV routes audio through optical out to my RCA surround receiver which sends to my speakers.
  10. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Glade u found a solution.

    But sooner or later, the next HDMI source will again bump you through this limitation.

    Next upgrade, more HDMI ports on TV or new receiver with multiple HDMI-INS.
  11. ezsobre thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2007
    I had the bluray model wrong. Its a 570, which as an optical in from a tv. I set it in tv mode (rather than audio), connect the appletv with optical cable, and then connect appletv with hdmi to my tv, and it works like a charm.

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