optical audio out removed - question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by paulold, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. paulold macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #1
    I was just checking the specs since a friend asked what was better about the new Apple TV and I noticed that the new model will not have an optical audio out! I've been using this for playing my music. My setup is I play music in my iTunes on my MacBook Pro and connect via AirPlay to my Apple TV. The Apple TV is connected to my Samsung Plasma HDTV via a fiber optic cable and an HDMI cable. The sound from my TV is then connected to my stereo receiver via a fiber optic cable. It's a little annoying to have to turn on my TV to hear music on my stereo, but the sound quality is great.

    Now my understanding is the HDMI has been updated to HDMI 1.4 on the new Apple TV, which I believe means the sound is now built into the HDMI port. Is that correct? Does this mean I no longer need to have the optical connection from my Apple TV to my TV and since I will still get the same quality audio now from the HDMI cable?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

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    New Zealand
    #2
    Sound has always worked via HDMI right back to the first ATV (I have 1,2 and 3 versions and will likely get the 4 soon.)

    The sound will be the same as over optical so I wouldn't worry about it. The only reason to have the optical was if you had an old amp which didn't support HDMI input or if you were using a dedicated audio only amp.
     
  3. Rigby macrumors 601

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    San Jose, CA
    #3
    As GreatDrok wrote, audio output was always part of the HDMI spec, so for your setup you don't really need the optical cable. However, you could connect the optical cable from the old Apple TV directly to your receiver in order to play music without having to turn on the TV. Won't work with the new ATV obviously.
     
  4. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    Jun 19, 2013
    #4
    I don't need to turn on my TV to play audio from the apple tv. I setup my Harmony remote to turn on my receiver and ATV only. then all I need to do is airplay to the apple tv. Simple.
     
  5. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

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    #5
    My amp has airplay built in. Quite nice to fire up the iPad and stream the music directly to it.
     
  6. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #6
    If you read the first post again, the OP wrote that he is routing the audio through the TV, presumably because he's using a stereo receiver that doesn't have HDMI ports. This only works if the TV is turned on because it needs to convert from HDMI audio to optical S/PDIF. Alternatively he could connect the Apple TV directly to the receiver, but this will only work with the current model since Apple dropped the optical out on the new one.
     
  7. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    Jun 19, 2013
    #7
    Wait... He's going from the tv to the receiver? I'm surprised he found a tv that still has audio outs. A lot of them are ditching audio outs and just have HDMI in.
     
  8. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #8
    Well, some kind of audio output makes sense on a TV in case you watch using the integrated tuner or "smart TV" functionality. Optical audio is quite common for that reason. Both of my TVs have one too. Very new sets may drop it in favor of HDMI audio return (which turns the TV's HDMI port into a bidirectional audio interface), but that requires both the TV and the receiver to be quite new.
     
  9. digduggler macrumors 6502

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    Jul 2, 2007
    #9
    My older receiver does not have a HDMI in, so I will be doing this so I can upgrade. If OP got something like this he/she wouldn't need to turn the TV on to listen to music.
     
  10. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #10
    Thanks for the suggested adapter. It's good to know that's out there in case I need it.
     
  11. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

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    Torrance, CA
    #11
    My VIZIO 4K 70" has both.
     
  12. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    It took me a moment to figure out why I have things wired the way they are. My stereo receiver only has one optical input and no HDMI connections. So everything needs to go thru the TV in order to ride that one optical cable into my stereo (if I want to hear everything on the stereo speakers). Thus, my cable connects via HDMI to my TV, my Apple TV via HDMI to my TV, and my PS3 via HDMI to my TV. So now I think I'm probably not even using the optical out of the Apple TV (but I'd have to check). Thus, all I need to do is turn on my stereo and adjust the volume. No need to switch between the different devices. The sound is all coming thru that one input.

    So after all this, maybe I never needed the optical out on the Apple TV? Me dumb.
     
  13. Rushli0n macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #13
    I have a similar situation, but if you run your setup this way, doesn't that negate 5.1? I don't think 5.1 will pass through HDMI through your TV to Optical into your stereo system.
     
  14. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I actually don't use 5.1. I have a pair of speakers that are almost 30 years old that still sound amazing and I prefer just two speakers for music. I know, I'm behind the times, but my ears are happy.
     

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