How to set up Apple TV with surround sound system

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jackhjharding, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. jackhjharding macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi there,

    I currently have my Apple TV hooked up to my HD tv via HDMI cable. I am looking to purchase a surround sound system in which to play my Apple TV movies. What would be the best way in which to do this? Does the Apple TV need to be connecting to the back of the surround sound box? Would this be better with HDMI cable or optical audio cable?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. ibglowin macrumors regular

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    #2
    The easiest way is to purchase an A/V receiver with at least 3 HDMI inputs (4 is better) such as the Onkyo SR606. That way you run an HDMI cable into the receiver (from the :apple:TV) and one from the receiver to the TV. The receiver handles all audio and video including switching of inputs.

     
  3. jackhjharding thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, I can't afford one of those!

    Would good sound quality be produced if I were to purchase an optical switch, and then run my Sky box, PS3 and Apple TV with optical cables? (The Apple TV could then be connected via HDMI to my TV?)
     
  4. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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  5. jackhjharding thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Not a lot!!

    Would optical cables not give a very good sound quality?
     
  6. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular

    wrkngclasshero

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    #6

    Optical cables or HDMI (directly into the receiver) are the only way to get true 5.1 surround sound. The Red/White cables will not transmit 5.1.

    Also, most TVs do not pass through 5.1 surround sound so :apple:TV -> TV -> receiver setup will not result in surround sound no matter what cables you use.

    Personally I send the video straight to the TV and the audio straight to the receiver (I don't use my receiver for video switching).


    At the risk of sounding like an elitist snob, you may want to rethink the surround sound purchase, the receiver quoted does not seem to over priced, and i think you may have trouble finding a decent set up for a price drastically less than what was quoted.

    Now I'll go sit quietly and wait for the barage of links to awesome inexpenisve surround sound receivers that is bound to follow my overly general statement ;)
     
  7. jackhjharding thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    So you recommend Apple TV -> TV by HDMI cable and Apple TV -> receiver by optical audio?
     
  8. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular

    wrkngclasshero

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    #8
    yea, I like that option the best. That way you have stereo sound through the TV in the event you don't feel like turning on the surround sound system. That's what I do, but your mileage may vary.
     
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #9
    I would...... nothing wrong with that at all..
     
  10. jackhjharding thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thank you very much for your help! The only thing I was worried about was the HDMI sound clashing with the optical audio sound - would this be a problem?
     
  11. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular

    wrkngclasshero

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    #11
    Nah I mute the TV usually, but a lot of time i flat out forget to and i don't notice it.
     
  12. jackhjharding thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
  13. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #13
    Like others have said.. mute the tv. No clash.
     
  14. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular

    wrkngclasshero

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    #14

    I can't speak to that exact switch and cable but I do have TOSlink optical cables with my Apple TV and the sound is fine.

    I don't know much about switches overall, but I would venture to guess that that switch would work just as well as any other you would be looking at.

    Especially since it sounds like you're looking at the inexpensive end of surround sounds systems, I think that unless you have a $2500 BOSE system, you wont notice any sort of audio quality increase with the more expensive cables/switches.
     
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #15
    Oh boy..... BOSE........

    Don't get us started......

    Got no highs, got no lows must be bose...
     
  16. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular

    wrkngclasshero

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    #16
    think that unless you have a $2500 (INSERT BRAND OF YOUR CHOICE HERE) system, you wont notice any sort of audio quality increase with the more expensive cables/switches.

    This better??:D

    Just trying to make an point on my disapproval of Monster cables as opposed to what appeared to be my approval of BOSE. ;)
     
  17. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #17
    LOL....... Yeah it is! Thanks! :D

    I can agree there re: Monster Cable...........
     
  18. CLuv macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Please as rhett said don't start with BOSE. In regards to digital cables, don't get suckered by Monster Cable and you don't need to spend much on HDMI or optical. I don't know of any cable that can make the 0s rounder and the 1s straighter.
     
  19. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    my tv has an optical passthrough, I have my atv and cable box hooked to the tv with hdmi, and then an optical cable from the tv to the receiver. keeps it fairly simple. Check and see if your tv does that.
     
  20. Cap41 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I have surround system. DVD and HDCable box are hooked up via HDMI. Great sound. I have my ATV set up where the red and white cable goto the reciever, and split to the tv. That way i can watch ATV either through the TV or through the surround. While most people here have a great ear for TRUE 5.1 or 7.1 sound. to me my surround still works great via the red and white cables. Also it is the cheapest solution.
     
  21. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #22
    I couldn't agree more! 0's and 1's are just that.
     
  22. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #23
    I would be curious how you are getting surround sound out of stereo cables? Does your receiver have something to the effect of 5 channel stereo?
     
  23. CLuv macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Dolby Digital can only pass through digital coax, optical, or HDMI

    2 channel (red & white cables) can only pass Dolby Pro Logic. Dolby Pro Logic is an early version of surround sound. The rear channel is "folded" into the 2 channels and decoded to provide a mono rear channel. Also known as 4.1.

    It must be either 5 channel stereo done by the receiver with the 2 channel, or it is Dolby Pro Logic II that takes a 2 channel source and through processing it simulates a 5.1 system.
     
  24. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #25
    That is what I was eluding to also. I know on my old denon it had a five channel setting that basically takes your stereo signal and pumps through the five speakers. Not a true DD or 5.1.
     

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