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iBug2

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
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I recenly purchade an Oled TV and an Apple TV. Most of my content is on my hard drive, so the first thing to fix was to how to get the films to play on my TV without actually connecting the computer to the TV with a cable. Infuse took care of it.

Then came the actual problem. My TV has only one analog output and that's the headphone jack. And it's terrible quality and it has a buzz.

And I have a pair of stereo studio monitors which were connected to my Mac with a Duet 2 Audio interface for 10 years. Now Duet 2 is a USB dac. So it has no optical inputs. So I cannot get the sound from the TV optically into Duet so I can hear it through my speakers.

I was almost about to get a HDMI audio extractor since they have stereo L/R RCA outputs. But then I thought about Airplay.

So I added my Macbook Pro as an Airplay receiver into Home app.

Apple TV sees Macbook Pro as an Airplay speaker. So I can route the sound from Apple TV to the Macbook Pro speakers with Airplay. But I don't have to use speakers. If I choose Duet as sound output in my Macbook Pro, the sound goes to the speakers.

So it's a weirdly complex setup if you think about it.


The movie file is on the Macbook Pro. It then goes to Apple TV with Ethernet. Infuse decodes the video and audio. Then the audio leaves Apple TV with airplay, back to the Macbook Pro and then goes to the speakers with USB and then audio cables.

But it works. No sync issues at all. The only "problem" is that Airplay downgrades the signal, to exactly what I have no clue. I think if it receives the audio is PCM, it just downsamples it to 44/16. So it's still CD quality.

I have no idea what happens to Dolby True HD though. Infuse Pro can decode True HD. But then if you take that sound out from Apple TV with airplay, what kind of a file is that? Anyone know?
 

400

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Buzz is sometimes one leg dis. on the cable or poor soldered/dry joint or connectors not mated correctly. Interference can also be an issue but not always. But when you have a USB doohickey in circuit, no idea, but is it time to look at O/E options? That is unless cost is an issue.

I always prefer the simple options with audio and video.

No idea with the rest.
 

iBug2

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
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Buzz is sometimes one leg dis. on the cable or poor soldered/dry joint or connectors not mated correctly. Interference can also be an issue but not always. But when you have a USB doohickey in circuit, no idea, but is it time to look at O/E options? That is unless cost is an issue.

I always prefer the simple options with audio and video.

No idea with the rest.
Not about the cable. I tried 3 different headphones. All buzzed. The output is bad. And that output buzzes even without anything connected to the TV. The mains cable has no ground. Modern TV's I suppose.

The only other way would be to buy an A/V receiver, one with balanced outputs since my studio monitors are balanced and my current DAC is balanced, otherwise I'd be going down in quality not up. And that would be way too expensive, just to simplify things a little bit.
 

G5isAlive

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2003
1,399
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You don't say, but going to assume these are darn good speakers that you are jumping through hoops to keep them.. and you bought an OLED.. going to hope its new and has HDMI... if so.. yep its expensive but will do double duty as a music system too..

the songs amp. made for your situation.
 

400

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2015
760
316
Wales
Not about the cable. I tried 3 different headphones. All buzzed. The output is bad. And that output buzzes even without anything connected to the TV. The mains cable has no ground. Modern TV's I suppose.

The only other way would be to buy an A/V receiver, one with balanced outputs since my studio monitors are balanced and my current DAC is balanced, otherwise I'd be going down in quality not up. And that would be way too expensive, just to simplify things a little bit.
Ah, balanced. OK, just wondering. Once you stick an xlr in a box the prices seem to rocket.

If the TV is faulty, returns option with the seller?
 

iBug2

macrumors 601
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Jun 12, 2005
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Ah, balanced. OK, just wondering. Once you stick an xlr in a box the prices seem to rocket.

If the TV is faulty, returns option with the seller?
I doubt it's faulty. They will simply say it's my electricity and not the TV's fault. And this way I get to use my Balanced DAC as well instead of using the cheapass DAC inside the TV anyway. It's just clunky but the quality is great.
 
Buy a RECEIVER!!! It will solve all connection issues. Think of it as the "central hub" for all audio/video switching. AppleTV to Receiver via HDMI, Receiver to TV via HDMI. Receiver will power those speakers. Receivers can handle about ANY audio format.

Start with your stereo speakers and then add center and rears whenever you like for a full home theater. It will do for your ears what that OLED TV does for your eyes.

For stated needs- watch TV and play sound on stereo speakers- receiver is way overkill. But even a cheap one is going to be able to accommodate "growth" beyond this equipment.

Also, consid converting all of your content through (free) Handbrake to make "native" versions of the files. You can convert while you are asleep. Then get them indexed by Movies/iTunes app and AppleTV will see them natively. If you want to retain TrueHD or similar, Infuse or Plex become THE way, so the Handbrake option won't be the way to go (it's pretty time consuming anyway).

WIRED is generally better than WIRELESS. Save Airplay for situations where you need the convenience. In this setup, you are making it a dependency. Use it as intended which is really not as a dependency.

If you don't want to spend a few hundred for a receiver and aspire for only stereo sound, a cheapie audio extractor will do the job but then you'll need an AMP to power the speakers. I'm guessing you may already have an AMP. If so, for about $20-$50, just about any audio-extractor will do the very basic job of generating the stereo signal from the HDMI input. Those to AMP, AMP to speakers.
 
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iBug2

macrumors 601
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Jun 12, 2005
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But a RECEIVER!!! It will solve all connection issues. Think of it as the "central hub" for all audio/video switching. AppleTV to Receiver via HDMI, Receiver to TV via HDMI. Receiver will power those speakers. Receivers can handle about ANY audio format.

Start with your stereo speakers and then add center and rears whenever you like for a full home theater. It will do for your ears what that OLED TV does for your eyes.

For stated needs- watch TV and play sound on stereo speakers- receiver is way overkill. But even a cheap one is going to be able to accommodate "growth" beyond this equipment.

Also, consid converting all of your content through (free) Handbrake to make "native" versions of the files. You can convert while you are asleep. Then get them indexed by Movies/iTunes app and AppleTV will see them natively. If you want to retain TrueHD or similar, Infuse or Plex become THE way, so the Handbrake option won't be the way to go (it's pretty time consuming anyway).

WIRED is generally better than WIRELESS. Save Airplay for situations where you need the convenience. In this setup, you are making it a dependency. Use it as intended which is really not as a dependency.

If you don't want to spend a few hundred for a receiver and aspire for only stereo sound, a cheapie audio extractor will do the job but then you'll need an AMP to power the speakers. I'm guessing you may already have an AMP. If so, for about $20-$50, just about any audio-extractor will do the very basic job of generating the stereo signal from the HDMI input. Those to AMP, AMP to speakers.
The speakers are active, they have amps in them. And I'm a stereo guy. I don't like home theater setups. I won't trade a really good stereo to anything. Even with a receiver I'd use it with 2 speakers like right now.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
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But a RECEIVER!!!

Yes.

Also, consid converting all of your content through (free) Handbrake to make "native" versions of the files. You can convert while you are asleep.

I'd skip Handbrake, use MakeMkv so nothing is lost, and send to the appropriate Apple TV client

And I'm a stereo guy. I don't like home theater setups. I won't trade a really good stereo to anything. Even with a receiver I'd use it with 2 speakers like right now.

When you say "really good stereo" it implies that you care about sound quality. If you are watching movies though stereo speakers by definition you aren't getting quality sound for most current movies. The multi channel sound the director intended is mangled into those 2 speakers. I just added ceiling speakers to my 5.2 system in order to get Atmos and the results are breathtaking. My favorite demo is Bohemian Rhapsody when the drone flies down into the stadium. Initially you hear maybe the equivalent of stereo sound when high above, but as you move closer and into the crowd on the floor you are surrounded by cheering from those on your left, right, front, back, and from the top from the upper stadium seats. The comment I usually get is "it's just like you are there". Can't get that with stero speakers, no matter how good.
 
The speakers are active, they have amps in them. And I'm a stereo guy. I don't like home theater setups. I won't trade a really good stereo to anything. Even with a receiver I'd use it with 2 speakers like right now.

A receiver wouldn't force you to only listen to everything in surround. You can pick & choose which speakers are used easily... even auto-configure for stereo-only when listening to music but "use more speakers" when watching DTS/Dolby sound movies/shows. It would certainly be much simpler than trying to work AppleTV to MB via Airplay to audio hardware to speakers. Again, a receiver tends to be the central hub for the "flow" of all video & audio. Play anything you want in stereo to 2 speakers or turn on up to "all speakers" or "whole house" mode and play it with more than 2 speakers.

However, now that I understand that the speakers are already AMPed (themselves) and you don't want anything more than stereo sound, the $25-$50 extractor should do the trick for you. HDMI OUT of Apple TV into Extractor, stereo/toslink/digital out of Extractor into your speakers (whichever way they can best receive stereo signals). Something like this one looks favorable: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BHYXVTY/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_33XWZZVB7PA76Z3TQ91R

Your reference to "TrueHD" made me believe you wanted something MORE than stereo out of your setup. Usually, when one is exploring that, DTS options and ATMOS, they are thinking (more than 2-speaker) home theater or perhaps faux theater in an "Atmos Soundbar." In your case, it sounds like you are locked in on a 2-speaker setup regardless of source and thus really only need any audio format to output stereo signals to then play on your 2 speakers. Extractor (specifically referencing it can handle the multi-channel formats too) is probably about a $25-$50 solution.

However, that shared, note HDfan's last paragraph just above. With 2 speakers- regardless of how great they are- you are definitely sacrificing sound quality for visual entertainment like movies and TV shows. The best stereo speakers in the world can't replicate the intended effect of more than 2 audio channels in a 5.1, 7.1 or ATMOS setup. I'm not trying to sell you more audio hardware here- just conveying this idea that there will be tradeoffs for anything in TrueHD (and similar) if you are pumping it through ANY 2 speaker setup. Audio configured to play sound to 5 speakers will sound closer to intended with 5 speakers. Audio configured for 7 will sound closer to intended with 7. Etc. No 2-speaker setup is going to match that for that kind of audio.

If you are interested in stuff like TrueHD for movie & TV audio, I again suggest you skip the extractor and get yourself a Receiver. Let it act as "extractor" for now and then add additional speakers for visual entertainment when you can. If I'm you, I probably add a high quality center first, then sub, then surround and so on. Until you add speakers, you can enjoy stereo-only exactly as you seem to want to do here... but have the easy flexibility to improve your audio over time as you add some other speakers.

The actual extractor approach is an immediate & cheaper solution... but a dead-end one too.
 
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iBug2

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
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678
Yes.



I'd skip Handbrake, use MakeMkv so nothing is lost, and send to the appropriate Apple TV client



When you say "really good stereo" it implies that you care about sound quality. If you are watching movies though stereo speakers by definition you aren't getting quality sound for most current movies. The multi channel sound the director intended is mangled into those 2 speakers. I just added ceiling speakers to my 5.2 system in order to get Atmos and the results are breathtaking. My favorite demo is Bohemian Rhapsody when the drone flies down into the stadium. Initially you hear maybe the equivalent of stereo sound when high above, but as you move closer and into the crowd on the floor you are surrounded by cheering from those on your left, right, front, back, and from the top from the upper stadium seats. The comment I usually get is "it's just like you are there". Can't get that with stero speakers, no matter how good.
The thing is I have a pair of stereo speakers that cost 20K. I wouldn't be able to get that kind of home theater setup, it'd be way too expensive. These speakers are really professional studio monitors, used by mastering studios and such. They are extremely detailed. So even as stereo they give amazing sound. And while I realize it's not the filmmakers intent to watch a film as stereo, this is what I have.
 

iBug2

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
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Your reference to "TrueHD" made me believe you wanted something MORE than stereo out of your setup. Usually, when one is exploring that, DTS options and ATMOS, they are thinking (more than 2-speaker) home theater or perhaps faux theater in an "Atmos Soundbar." In your case, it sounds like you are locked in on a 2-speaker setup regardless of source and thus really only need any audio format to output stereo signals to then play on your 2 speakers. Extractor (specifically referencing it can handle the multi-channel formats too) is probably about a $25-$50 solution.
I mentioned True HD because even though I would still be listening to True HD in stereo, it's a higher bitrate stream compared to regular DD or DD+. So even in stereo, True HD is lossless audio compared to lossy.
 
The thing is I have a pair of stereo speakers that cost 20K. I wouldn't be able to get that kind of home theater setup, it'd be way too expensive. These speakers are really professional studio monitors, used by mastering studios and such. They are extremely detailed. So even as stereo they give amazing sound. And while I realize it's not the filmmakers intent to watch a film as stereo, this is what I have.

You could still use them though. In a home theater setup, the main stereo pair are often referred to as the "mains." Additional speakers could be thought of as supporting role speakers. For example surround speakers are often playing "effects" sounds while the main audio action is out in front of the listener.

And don't be confused (by speaker salespeople pushing the ultra-importance of matched sets) that you would have to add $20K speakers to your setup. The "mains" are usually the best speakers someone has. The rest typically will not cost as much (though I could make a fairly passionate case for putting some dollars into a quality center speaker too). Your mains would still own the bulk of the audio playback job. The rest would simply help with select parts, particularly the parts intended to come from somewhere other than left & right.

I mentioned True HD because even though I would still be listening to True HD in stereo, it's a higher bitrate stream compared to regular DD or DD+. So even in stereo, True HD is lossless audio compared to lossy.

I understand, so again, Extractor for < about $50 will do the trick here. Just be sure to choose one that specifically says it can process multi-channel sources like TrueHD. Not all of them can.
 
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iBug2

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Jun 12, 2005
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And don't be confused that you would have to add $20K speakers to your setup. The "mains" are usually the best speakers someone has. The rest typically will not cost as much. Your mains would still own the bulk of the audio playback job. The rest would simply help with select parts, particularly the parts intended to come from somewhere other than left & right.
This is true, I may look into some setups where I can actually use these as mains.

I understand, so again, Extractor for < about $50 will do the trick here.

Yes but like I said, with an extractor analog output to speakers, I'm using the really cheap DAC inside the extractor. In my setup, I'm using my Apogee Dac, which is probably much better.
 
This is true, I may look into some setups where I can actually use these as mains.



Yes but like I said, with an extractor analog output to speakers, I'm using the really cheap DAC inside the extractor. In my setup, I'm using my Apogee Dac, which is probably much better.

Yes, but you're trying to float audio from AppleTV to Mac via Airplay... so that becomes the "weak link." Get Airplay out of the chain if you want to stick with doing things close to how you are. Maybe there is something (hub?) that will take HDMI out of AppleTV and pump the digital audio into your Mac... then out of Mac through Apogee to those speakers? I'm not sure if there is something that will preserve the full digital stream throughout like that (I would guess copy protections will want to try to prevent the potential of piracy even with the audio-only slice of the HDMI stream). But either way, that still sounds "messy" to me.

If me, I would want to get Airplay and Mac out of that chain... and probably Apogee too if it is basically married to the Mac to be able to be used.

If you want highest quality of signal from source(s) to speakers, RECEIVER! RECEIVER! RECEIVER! Pay up for a great receiver and you'll get premium audio signal handling/management. AppleTV to Receiver via HDMI, stereo L & R to your speakers. No "middleman" tech and no wireless link in play. That should get you the premium delivery of audio you seek in a way that is "blessed off" by those worried about HDMI signal piracy. Pristine audio from source(s) to speakers.

If you don't think you will ever want to build out home theater setup, the AMP portion of a receiver will be overkill. So then you may want to search for the non-AMP "half" of a receiver only: often called "pre", "pre-amp" or "pre-processor." I know I've seen pairs of hardware split out like that (amp separate from the non-amp portion) and the non-amp part can be purchased on its own.

I suppose one other way that will use what you have is to stop thinking of AppleTV as the playback source. Watch or listen to whatever you want on your Mac. For video stuff, mirror your Mac screen through AppleTV to your TV. That would let you push the audio from whatever you want to watch or listen through Apogee to speakers and basically toss the video piece wirelessly to AppleTV and then on to your screen.

OR cut AppleTV out of that equation and just hook your Mac directly to your TV via HDMI out (or HDMI out with a hub if you Mac lacks HDMI) and use Apogee out for audio to your speakers.
 
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iBug2

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Jun 12, 2005
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Yes, but you're trying to float audio from AppleTV to Mac via Airplay... so that becomes the "weak link." Get Airplay out of the chain if you want to stick with doing things close to how you are. Maybe there is something (hub?) that will take HDMI out of AppleTV and pump the digital audio into your Mac... then out of Mac through Apogee to those speakers? I'm not sure if there is something that will preserve the full digital stream throughout like that (I would guess copy protections will want to try to prevent the potential of piracy even with the audio-only slice of the HDMI stream). But either way, that still sounds "messy" to me.

If me, I would want to get Airplay and Mac out of that chain... and probably Apogee too if it is basically married to the Mac to be able to be used.

If you want highest quality of signal from source(s) to speakers, RECEIVER! RECEIVER! RECEIVER! Pay up for a great receiver and you'll get premium audio signal handling/management. AppleTV to Receiver via HDMI, stereo L & R to your speakers. No "middleman" tech and no wireless link in play. That should get you the premium delivery of audio you seek in a way that is "blessed off" by those worried about HDMI signal piracy. Pristine audio from source(s) to speakers.

If you don't think you will ever want to build out home theater setup, the AMP portion of a receiver will be overkill. So then you may want to search for the non-AMP "half" of a receiver only: often called "pre", "pre-amp" or "pre-processor." I know I've seen pairs of hardware split out like that (amp separate from the non-amp portion) and the non-amp part can be purchased on its own.

I suppose one other way that will use what you have is to stop thinking of AppleTV as the playback source. Watch or listen to whatever you want on your Mac. For video stuff, mirror your Mac screen through AppleTV to your TV. That would let you push the audio from whatever you want to watch or listen through Apogee to speakers and basically toss the video piece wirelessly to AppleTV and then on to your screen.

OR cut AppleTV out of that equation and just hook your Mac directly to your TV via HDMI out (or HDMI out with a hub if you Mac lacks HDMI) and use Apogee out for audio to your speakers.
Tried using Mac as the hub. HDMI out to TV is choppy. Mirroring does not work flawlessly, even TV as separate display can have some choppy framerate issues with 24 fps movies. With 60 fps it works perfectly fine though. So that was the reason I switched to Apple TV in the first place. Otherwise I'd use Mac as hub, HDMI the video to TV, and the sound would go to speakers through apogee.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
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I wouldn't be able to get that kind of home theater setup, it'd be way too expensive.

As others have said you don't need to spend as much on the other channel speakers. In my case each speaker runs ~25% the cost of the main speakers. [My 5.2 setup was suggested by Sandy Gross, the founder of Polk, Definitive Technology, and GoldenEar]. You can start with just a couple of surrounds, then a center, and then go all the way with atmos and a sub if you want. The difference between my older 5.2 and current 5.3.4 setup is simply amazing. Add some channels, enjoy the better sound, and then add more when you can. This way you can be constantly improving your sound over a period of years.

I'm not sure if there is something that will preserve the full digital stream throughout like that

Apple TV doesn't preserve the digital stream. NVdia Shield TV does.

Out of curiosity what kind of speakers are your mains?
 

iBug2

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As others have said you don't need to spend as much on the other channel speakers. In my case each speaker runs ~25% the cost of the main speakers. [My 5.2 setup was suggested by Sandy Gross, the founder of Polk, Definitive Technology, and GoldenEar]. You can start with just a couple of surrounds, then a center, and then go all the way with atmos and a sub if you want. The difference between my older 5.2 and current 5.3.4 setup is simply amazing. Add some channels, enjoy the better sound, and then add more when you can. This way you can be constantly improving your sound over a period of years.



Apple TV doesn't preserve the digital stream. NVdia Shield TV does.

Out of curiosity what kind of speakers are your mains?
I think Apple TV does preserve the digital stream through Airplay as long as it's not above 48khz.

My mains are a pair of ATC SCM 50 ASL's.
 

fishjump

macrumors newbie
Dec 1, 2021
1
1
I had a set-up similar to yours but with a RME babyface 1st gen which has optical in.
Maybe you can find a used one and sell your duet.
I personally would not put a $35 extracter with a poor DA converter in the chain with your high end monitors.
 
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Mark Holmes

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2010
111
528
San Diego CA
I'm using two HomePod Minis set in stereo, as the default speakers with our Apple TV 4K. It was problematic and had connectivity issues for months but TVOS 15.1 seems to have fixed them. They seem permanently linked now to the Apple TV, and every morning the TV is turned on they are still reliably linked. I actually prefer the sound (and the size) to the surround sound receiver and speakers I used previously. And this isn't a small TV - it's a 120-inch projector setup. The minis are on either side of the screen and we love the sound even when watching movies. The minis are especially good with vocals. Not lots of bass though obviously.
 
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iBug2

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I'm using two HomePod Minis set in stereo, as the default speakers with our Apple TV 4K. It was problematic and had connectivity issues for months but TVOS 15.1 seems to have fixed them. They seem permanently linked now to the Apple TV, and every morning the TV is turned on they are still reliably linked. I actually prefer the sound (and the size) to the surround sound receiver and speakers I used previously. And this isn't a small TV - it's a 120-inch projector setup. The minis are on either side of the screen and we love the sound even when watching movies. The minis are especially good with vocals. Not lots of bass though obviously.
I just got my Tv and Apple TV so I only did test out the latest TV OS and everything works perfectly with Airplay like you said. I have no clue about earlier times though.

I can imagine Homepods sounding great with vocals. Usually speakers that are low on bass are better for vocals. For example my ATC's have insane bass, but since my room is not treated, actually they don't have clear vocals during loud movies. The bass gets echoed and muddles the voices. With speakers like Homepod one doesn't have that problem.
 
iBug2, that's where a good center channel speaker shines. A receiver will send the vocals to that center channel speaker. Since they are typically optimized for that purpose, you'll get great vocal parts from it. Then your left & right mains will simply own the audio meant for left & right.

If you had some money available to another speaker, that's the NEXT one I would suggest for your setup. Receiver and then a good center channel speaker.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
3,375
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think Apple TV does preserve the digital stream through Airplay as long as it's not above 48khz.

The Apple TV doesn't natively support the "lossless" movie audo formats, DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD, just Dolby Digital Plus. AirPlay is even more restricted.
 
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AL2TEACH

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2007
532
110
North Las Vegas, NV.
I recenly purchade an Oled TV and an Apple TV. Most of my content is on my hard drive, so the first thing to fix was to how to get the films to play on my TV without actually connecting the computer to the TV with a cable. Infuse took care of it.
which oled tv do you have? why not use the "computer" tab on the Apple TV to get your movies to show on the tv? is Infuse better? just curious.
the rest of your post is beyond me, lol.
 
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